Choosing between asphalt and composite shingles can be much more challenging than most people realize. It’s also one of the most important choices you can make as a homeowner.
The best way to make the right decision is to compare composite shingles vs asphalt based on their key differences and similarities. To make the comparison easier, we’ve organized them all below.
Keep reading to learn more!
Composite Shingles Vs Asphalt: Everything You Need to Know
There are a handful of major differences between composite and asphalt shingles that every homeowner should be aware of when sifting through their roofing material options. The first piece of information to learn about is how each type of shingle is characterized.
Here’s an overview of composite shingles vs. asphalt:
- Composite shingles are synthetic shingles, meaning they’re made of synthetic polymer and recycled materials. They’re also designed to mimic the appearance of slate or cedar shake roofing, as composite shingle manufacturers use real slate tile and cedar shake molds to give them an authentic aesthetic. Unless you’re a professional roofing contractor, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between real cedar or tile and their composite counterpart.
- Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, and they’re made from either cellulose fibers, glass fibers, or both, depending on the type. There are three types of asphalt shingles, including 3-tab, architectural (dimensional), and luxury shingles. 3-tab shingles are your standard asphalt roofing materials, whereas architectural shingles mimic the appearance of wood shake roofing, and luxury shingles are larger to give a slate appearance.
Key Differences For Composite Shingles V. Asphalt
Now that you’re familiar with the primary difference between the two types of roofing shingles, let’s dive into the key differences you’ll need to consider when deciding between them.
Every roofing system is associated with a different lifespan based on its outermost materials. Both composite and asphalt shingles have specific lifespans, which is one of the most important factors you’ll want to think about.
- Asphalt shingles have a general lifespan of 25 to 30 years, depending on which type. Architectural shingles are designed to last up to 30 years, although the average lifespan is usually between 25 and 28 years.
- Composite shingles will last you between 40 and 50 years as their material makeup provides them with a higher impact rating.
It’s important to keep in mind that the lifespan of a roof — regardless of the material — depends on several variables, such as:
- Proper installation
- Adequate attic ventilation
- Regular roof inspections and maintenance
As long as you keep up with your roof as directed by your roofing contractor and the materials manufacturer, it should last as long as expected.
A new roof is always going to be a significant investment. However, the cost difference between composite shingle roofing and asphalt shingle roofing materials is very significant.
- The average cost for composite shingle materials ranges between $7 and $14 per square foot, and the average cost of installation ranges between $15,000 and $26,500.
- The average cost for asphalt shingle materials ranges between $3 and $5 per square foot, and the average cost of installation ranges between $5,700 and $12,000. Of course, architectural and luxury shingles will cost slightly more per material and installation.
The cost of new roofing materials will most likely determine your ultimate choice between the different types of shingles. Regardless of what you end up choosing, you’ll still be adding value to your home — which makes either type a sound investment.
Weather resistance essentially refers to the durability of your shingles. Different regions see different types of weather, which can and should affect your decision.
- Composite roofing shingles are considered the more durable of the two types of shingles. By design, they have a higher impact rating, and their material makeup is highly water resistant, which helps to prevent algae and mold growth. They can also handle more powerful winds that range from 110 to 190 mph and come with a Class A fire-resistance rating.
- Asphalt shingle roofing can typically withstand wind speeds ranging from 60 to 110 mph, depending on the type. However, they also have a Class A fire-resistance rating and water-resistant materials.
Curb appeal refers to the visual attractiveness of a home from the street. Both shingle materials can boost your home’s curb appeal, but the aesthetics will come down to the following factors:
- Composite shingles look just like slate or cedar shakes — two types of roofing considered to be the most attractive. Because of this, most homeowners and roofers agree that composite shingles have more curb appeal.
- Asphalt shingles vary in appearance depending on whether you choose 3-tab, architectural, or luxury shingles — making them quite versatile. For example, 3-tab shingles will have a flat but uniform appearance, whereas luxury shingles are also known to give off a slate-like appearance but won’t look as close to real slate as composite shingles.
Of course, either roofing material type will boost your curb appeal in addition to your home’s value.
Roofing material availability often varies based on location due to manufacturers having regional warehouses and sometimes limited shipping options.
- Asphalt shingles are among the most popular roofing materials and have been for a long time. Therefore, this type of roofing is widely available throughout the United States as a large number of manufacturers produce them.
- Composite shingles, on the other hand, are a bit more challenging to come by. This is because composite shingles are still relatively new, which means fewer manufacturers produce them at this time.
Which Shingle Material Is Right For You?
The decision between composite shingles vs. asphalt shingles is a difficult one. The good news is that whichever shingle material you choose, you’ll end up with a beautiful and strong roof over your head for years to come — as long as you hire the best roofers for the job.
Roof Troopers is home to the most skilled roofers around. Not only will we install your new roof perfectly, we’ll help you figure out which type of materials are perfect for your home and needs. Give us a call today to learn more about our roofing services and to schedule a consultation!