What is a Composite Roof?

Composite is one of those vague words, sounding like part of a science experiment, or a topic covered in an English writing class. If you’re trying to decide which type of shingles to purchase for a new roof on your house, you may have heard about composite roofing as an option. What is a composite roof? Read on for more information. Spoiler alert: Science is involved, but the benefits of composite roofing are worth the read.

Composite Roofing Defined

Composite roofing is constructed from a blend of materials compressed into shingles. Composite, or synthetic shingles can be made from a combination of fiberglass, plastic, polyester, and paper layered and held together with resin or laminates. Composite shingles can be formed to resemble traditional tab shingles or the pricier, harder-to-maintain tile, shake, or stone roofing material.

Types of Composite Shingles

  • 3-tab composite shingles are created with a fiberglass or cellulose mat in the center of the shingle, coated with mineral fillers and then asphalt. The surface of the shingle is topped with a layer of ceramic granules. The single layer has a distinctive pattern of vertical slots splitting the visible portion of the shingle into three tabs.
  • Laminate composite shingles add another layer on the basic 3-tab structure to double the thickness.
  • Architectural composite shingles are built by applying two or more layers of polymer mineral fillers onto the fiberglass mat. Layers are overlapped to create a dimensional, textured appearance. Sometimes called ‘the great pretenders’, composite architectural shingles be shaped to mimic slate, cedar wood shake or clay tile, delivering the beauty of these natural materials with less maintenance.

Advantages of Composite Roofing

The components and manufacturing process used to create composite shingles provides several advantages over other types of roofing material.

  • Affordability: Composite roofing material is less expensive than the cost of slate, wood shake, or tile. The lighter weight of composite shingles saves the expense of roof reinforcements needed for heavier stone or wood materials. While more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles, composite shingles last longer, saving you replacement cost over time. And the density of the material retains heat, helping lower your winter utility bills.
  • Durability: The synthetic material used in composite shingles makes them very durable. Composite roofing, when properly installed, will not peel, crack or split. The fiberglass mat absorbs less moisture helping the shingles retain their shape without warping over time. Composite roofing material is constructed to withstand winds up to 130 m.p.h. and is fire retardant. Some brands offer additional protection from algae, moss, salt-air and snow buildup. You can also find brands with high levels of impact resistance to protect your roof from hail damage. Because of these characteristics, most manufacturers provide warranties of 30 to 50 years, with some offering lifetime guarantees.
  • Versatility: We mentioned the types of composite shingle styles available, but you also have a broad array of choices in color and size, making composite roofing a more versatile option than traditional shingles.
  • Sustainability: Recycled plastics are incorporated into composite roofing material, making it eligible for LEED certification. And composite roofs are usually recycled when replaced, reducing your environmental footprint throughout the life of the roof.

Roofing Vancouver, WA

With these advantages, it’s easy to understand why composite shingles are quickly becoming the preferred roofing material for homeowners. The roof of your house is like the top of your head – without the right coverage, it takes the brunt of rainstorms, hail, hot sunny days, and cold winter winds. Talk with our team at Warner Roofing about how composite roofing can protect and beautify your home. We’ll find the style to match your home’s architectural design and your budget.

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