Composite Roofing Shingles

Composite roofing shingles are one of the most popular options for homeowners. They are made from a variety of different materials combined together into a single shingle, and this combination offers enhanced performance attributes over the materials on an individual basis. Some of the most common types on the market are asphalt shingle roof, although you can also find composites made from more organic materials as well.

“The benefits to composite roofing shingles lies in the added benefits that are recognized when a variety of roofing materials are combined – incorporating the best attributes of each. These result in a number of benefits listed below.”

Basics Of Composite Roofing Shingles

Composite roofing shingles are made from a number of different roofing materials that are combined together and then compressed into a single shingle. Some of the materials used include slate, wood, recycled plastic, laminate materials, hemp, fiberglass, as well as other common roofing materials. The materials are combined are then typically coated in granulated asphalt, due to the UV protection and waterproofing qualities asphalt offers, which is why most people refer to them as “asphalt shingles.”

Composite Roofing Cost

Low To Mid: $2.75 to $4.25 psf installed

Mid To Premium: $4.25 to $5.75 psf installed

Composite roofing shingles cost will vary depending on shingle type, thickness, size, profile, the materials used, the texture and coloring, and whether it has any added features. Click for more on asphalt shingle roof costs.

Benefits Of Composite Roofing Shingles

Strength And Durability
A composite shingle is generally stronger and more durable than other shingle roofing. The shingle should not peel, splinter, crack or warp and should last around 30 -50 years. Some will even carry lifetime warranties. This compares to a regular roofing shingle, which typically only carry warranties of up to 20 years or so.

They can be manufactured to resemble almost any look, texture and color. They are often made to resemble a wood shake roof and the color used in a composite shingle is generally pretty fade resistant, so the color shouldn’t change much over the life of the shingle. They come in a wide variety of color options as well.

Added Features
Many also contain specific additives that provide additional benefits, such as making them more resistant to UV degradation, resistant to moss and algae, and more.

Easy To Install
They are relatively easy to install and if repair is required, a single shingle or a group can be easily repaired. In fact, the originals can usually stay in place, as long as they are flat, and the new shingle installed right over them.

Weather Resistant
Composites hold up well to all types of weather conditions, although they do tend to retain heat, due to the asphalt in the shingle, so they may not be the best option in extremely hot climates.


Heat Absorbent
Due to the asphalt on composites, they are heat absorbent, which can lower the energy efficiency of your home compared to other roofing material options.

Moss And Algae Build-up
Any surface that is exposed to a lot of moisture can be home to a build-up of moss or algae. This can sometimes occur between or underneath the shingle and, if left untreated, it can damage the shingle or obstruct water from properly flowing down and off the roof, resulting eventually in leakage. To combat this problem, a roofing contractors should be called to apply a chemical solution to remove the moss and algae. A powerwasher should never be used on this type of shingle. There are some composite roofing shingles that contain special additives that make them more resistant to moss and algae growth.

May Be Petroleum Based
Composites may be petroleum based and should not be disposed of in a landfill. The good news is that they can be recycled and reused as pavement material to build and patch roads, sidewalks, potholes and bridges.

Types And Options

These are the most popular type of composites currently used. They contain multiple layers of tabs on the shingle, making them extra thick. Due to the extra thickness, they are often referred to as an architectural shingle or even three dimensional shingles. They typically have warranties of 30 – 50 years.

Premium Laminated
These are similar to the laminated option but are typically heavier, thicker and larger than the standard offerings. Some styles also offer added features like UV resistance or moss and algae retardants. Often premium shingles can have warranties of 50 years or more, or even offer lifetime warranties.

These are the most basic of all the options and can vary in look and durability based on how many tabs, or cutouts, they have, what the shape of those tabs are, as well as the alignment. These differences will result in different looks, different textures, and different shadowing affects. You will often see them referred to as “three tab or four tab shingles” and so on, based on the number of tabs that exist along the strip. Most come with warranties of 20 – 30 years.