Created from a mixture of commonly used roofing materials, composite shingles are designed to take advantage of their components’ strengths. Some common “ingredients” in composite roofing include asphalt, tar paper, slate, wood, and laminate. When combined, these diverse materials offer durability, longevity, and a high level of protection from the elements. Due to their versatility and strength, composite roofs have become increasingly popular with homeowners.
Some materials are available in both regular and composite versions, such as slate and cedar shakes. Typically this means that the product retains the same look as the regular version, but it has been combined with other materials, whereas the original is 100 percent slate (or cedar, etc.). Adding new components to the material will typically impact the cost of the product and its performance as well. For example, composite slate, which is also called synthetic slate, is designed to look like natural slate roofing but it is more affordable, less likely to break, and available in more color options.
Benefits of Composite Roofs
Composite shingles are designed to offer superior protection. They hold up well to extreme weather and will not crack, split, peel, or warp. If a composite shingle does become damaged, it can be replaced individually without damaging the surrounding shingles.
Due to their durability, composite roofs typically come with longer warranties. While most roofing products last approximately 15 to 20 years, composite roofs are often warrantied for 30 to 50 years.
Resistant to Moisture, Fire, and UV Rays
Many composite shingles contain additives to prevent the growth of moss or algae and reduce UV degradation. They are also resistant to fire.
Some composite shingles are composed partly of recyclable materials such as post-industrial plastics and hemp fibers. Due to their long lifespan, composite shingles don’t need to be replaced as frequently, which cuts down on re-roofing and waste being added to landfills.
Composite shingles are available in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Many composite shingles mimic other types of roofing materials, making it easy to achieve the appearance you want without compromising on durability, longevity, or price.
Once you factor in their longevity, composite roofs are very reasonably priced.
Composite shingles vary, of course, from product to product. Although the benefits above apply to most composite roofs, there are exceptions. Review your specific options carefully and ask for professional advice before making your final choice.
How Do They Compare with Asphalt Shingles?
Although they share many qualities with asphalt shingles, composite shingles carry a longer warranty that traditional asphalt roofing. Unlike asphalt, composite roofs can be designed to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials, like slate. Finally, because they’re more lightweight, they’re also easier to transport and install than asphalt shingles.