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Asphalt vs. Fiberglass Shingles

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From three-tab asphalt shingles to flashy copper roofs, there are a staggering number of roofing materials available. Depending on your desired roof aesthetic, you can choose from dozens of colors, styles, and materials. If you’re a first-time homeowner, you’ll likely want to start with either asphalt or fiberglass shingles, which are two of the most common shingle types. Deciding between asphalt vs. fiberglass shingles requires weighing the pros and cons of each material, including durability, longevity, and affordability.


Asphalt vs. Fiberglass Shingles


You’ll want to first assess the materials when deciding between asphalt vs. fiberglass shingles. Overall, asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material. Asphalt shingles comes in two varieties – fiberglass and organic mat. While traditional organic mat shingles are extremely heavy and durable, fiberglass shingles are a bit lighter. They’re made out of a woven fiberglass base mat, then covered with a waterproof asphalt coating and topped with UV-shielding ceramic granules. Because of the composition of the fiberglass mat, the shingles don’t need as much asphalt to give them durability and strength. Organic shingles, on the other hand, are thicker due to a strong layer of cellulose that makes up the base.


Durability is one of the most important factors when deciding between asphalt vs. fiberglass shingles. After all, your roof is an investment – you don’t want to pay for new roofing materials only to have them shatter or wear in the span of a few years. Despite its thin material, fiberglass roofing is tough and resilient, usually lasting between 15 and 20 years. It won’t dry out or change shape; however, fiberglass contains less asphalt than other shingles, meaning it’s not as heavy or rugged. That can be a problem in colder climates. If you live in a region with a harsh winter climate, you’ll want to opt for asphalt roofing. Asphalt roofing is even more durable than fiberglass roofing, usually lasting 20 years or more. Asphalt shingles are also more likely to stay in place during severe storms.


Fiberglass shingles are thinner, which is simply because they contain less asphalt. For that reason, they’re typically the less expensive shingle material, costing between one and three dollars per square foot. Asphalt is the more expensive option, usually costing between $3.50 and $22 per square foot depending on the shingles and the necessary square footage.

Other Factors

Other factors you should take into consideration when selecting roofing materials include environmental impact, potential fire hazards, and ease of installation. If you’re looking for the most environmentally friendly option, fiberglass shingles are the way to go. They’re easier to transport than traditional asphalt shingles, which reduces their environmental impact. Both shingles have Class A fire ratings, but fiberglass shingles are less prone to shattering under extreme heat.

When it comes to ease of installation, fiberglass shingles are much more lightweight. However, asphalt shingles can be placed over shingles in what’s known as a roof recover. You’ll want to be very careful about a recover, which can be a costly shortcut down the line. However, it can be an affordable option.


The choice of asphalt vs. fiberglass shingles can be a tricky one. Make sure to weigh pros and cons like price and durability – and don’t forget to consult a professional.

Are you considering new roofing shingles? If you live in southwest Missouri, contact Taylor-Made Roofing for help. With over 20 years of experience in residential and commercial roofing, Taylor-Made Roofing is a company that you can trust with all of your roofing needs. Our family-owned business offers quality services, a reassuring warranty, and free estimates. For more information regarding roofing materials, please give us a call at 417-326-8778 or contact us online. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fully licensed and insured, Taylor-Made Roofing is ready to take care of your roof.
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