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Asphalt shingles vs. composite roofing shingles

Comparing the pros and cons of asphalt shingles and composite roofing shingles

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A durable and secure roof prevents water from leaking into your home and causing rot or mildew. Roof repairs and replacements can be quite costly, so it is important to invest in the right materials the first time. Both asphalt shingles and composite roofing are popular choices, with each type of material offering different benefits and challenges.

These two roofing options are more similar than you might imagine. Understanding the minor differences will help you make an informed decision for your next roofing project.

asphalt shinglesAsphalt shingles remain one of the most commonly used materials due to their flexibility and relatively low roofing cost. Many contractors offer these shingles for less than 70 cents per square foot, which includes the costs to install roofing. Shingles of this type that do not fall into the composite category are comprised of an asphalt felt layer covered with ceramic granules.

These granules deflect sunlight, which degrades asphalt, and offer a touch of color to complement your roof. The asphalt felt is very flexible, allowing for easier installation. It's also easy to find these shingles in nearly any color combination you desire. Asphalt shingles tend to last for 20 to 30 years.

Composite roofing is a type of asphalt shingle, but it has a few variations that offer different benefits. The base layer of felt is often replaced with fiberglass for greater durability and a slightly longer service life. Recycled plastics are also commonly used for the backing and the top layer of the shingle.

composition shinglesA layer of asphalt still holds the top layer to the backing, but this top layer could be a thin slice of slate or wood rather than the usual ceramic granules. These composition shingles offer the look of real shake or stone roofing without the high costs and additional installation requirements.

Models that use recycled resins and plastics to mimic stone and wood offer environmental benefits and resist cracking and warping better than the natural materials they resemble. Composition shingles come with a slightly higher cost per foot, with the national average running about $1.20 per square foot.

Installation is slightly more complicated because workers need more tools to cut and attach the material. As with all shingles using an asphalt base, these products can be installed on roofs with very steep slopes. This roofing material has about the same service life as other asphalt shingles.

Your sense of aesthetics may be the determining factor when choosing between plain asphalt roofing and composite options. If you need the look of slate or wood without the high cost, it may be worth it to spend more on composite roofing. Regardless of which material you choose, look for a product that offers a lengthy warranty period. Reply! is always ready to help you find a contractor in your area who can offer a fair roofing estimate so you can spend less on the home renovation.

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