What are Composition Shingles?

Composition shingles are a very popular roofing material in this area. they are so popular, that when a person refers to “shingles” they are almost always referring to composit shingles as opposed to the many other types of shingles that have traditionally been availible.

Composition shingles are considered one of the most popular and cost-effective alternatives to traditional roofing materials, such as cedar shakes, synthetic shingles, and tile. They provide excellent weather protection, require less maintenance, and are offered in a wide variety of colors and styles, making them ideal for any roofing project.

A Brief History of Composition Shingles in the U.S.

Composite shingles are the most popular roofing material in the U.S. roofing industry. They have been since the early 20th century when they were more inexpensive and easy to install than other options like wood shakes or slate. They used to be an organic mat coated in asphalt and topped with a layer of ceramic granules.

Composite shingles have been used in the United States as a popular and economical alternative to natural slate tiles, or clay tiles since they were first developed in 1901 by Henry Reynolds of Grand Rapids, MI.

Unlike other asphalt shingles, or wood shake shingles, composition roofs are available in many colors and shapes and are more durable than traditional wooden shingles. After their initial success in the first half of the 20th century, advances in technology and production methods have improved their durability and design, making them a popular choice for a new roof.

Composite shingles, remain one of the most popular roofing materials in the US, with their proven performance and cost effectiveness earning them a great deal of popularity over the past few decades.

Are Asphalt Shingles the Same as Composite Shingles?

Composition and asphalt shingles are usually referred to as the same type of roofing material. This is because they both share several common characteristics, such as being lightweight, cost-effective, and relatively easy to install. There is some debate about whether these two materials should be considered the same.

The main difference between composite shingles and asphalt shingles lies in their construction. Composite shingles are composed of layers of fiberglass saturated with asphalt, while asphalt shingles consist of a single layer of solid asphalt that is reinforced with mineral granules for extra durability.

In terms of durability and lifespan, composite shingles tend to be more reliable than asphalt shingles. Composite shingles are known for their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions like high winds, heavy rains, and extreme temperatures. Asphalt shingles can also be vulnerable to cracking and fading over time due to exposure to the sun’s U.V. radiation.

Types of Composition Shingles

Composite shingles are the most popular type of asphalt shingles. They come in various colors and textures, making them an attractive option for many homeowners. They are also relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and last a long time if properly maintained. There are three main shingle types of composite roofs.

3 Tab Shingles

When it comes to composite shingles, the entry level model is the three-tab or strip shingle. These have been around since the 1930s and until recently were still widely used. However, they are getting harder to find and are not as durable as architectual shingles.

They are usually made from a fiberglass mat, coated with a layer of asphalt, then covered in ceramic granules to provide additional protection and give the shingle its unique appearance.

Regarding installation, 3-tab shingles are one of the easiest materials to install due to their lightweight nature, which reduces fatigue on workers during installation.

Architectural Shingles

Architectural shingles offer an even higher level of performance than traditional composite shingles because they have multiple layers which provide additional protection against weather elements.

This type of shingle can also be referred to as a laminate shingle, or dimensional shingles, as the multiple layers are laminated together with multilpe beads of sealant to produce the architectual look over the entire roof.

Dimensional shingles are also designed to resist high winds better than traditional composition or organic asphalt shingles. This is a key factor for homes prone to hurricanes or other extreme weather conditions.

Many roofers suggest using a composite roof, as they tend to last longer and require less maintenance than other types of materials while still offering a stylish look at an affordable price.

Overall, architectural shingles provide greater protection from the elements and longer-lasting performance than traditional shingles. They are also considered luxury shingles, like synthetic shingles, as they come in various colors and styles to suit any home’s design.

The Materials and Elements of a Composition Shingle Roofing

Composite shingles are a type of roof covering that is designed to protect a home from the elements. Composite shingles are constructed of two primary components: the shingle base and the surfacing material. The shingle base is made of fiberglass, which gets saturated with asphalt and other recycled materials, and covered with ceramic granules.

The surfacing material provides color, texture, protection from UV rays, water resistance, granule adhesion, oxidation protection and additional waterproofing. The two components are then bonded together under high pressure and heat, making a composition shingle roof durable, waterproof and a long lasting new roof.

These shingles come in many different colors and styles, offering homeowners plenty of choices regarding design preferences.

Because these asphalt shingles are composed of multiple layers, they provide more protection than standard shingles do, making them one of the most durable roof materials on the market today.

Composition shingle roofs are an excellent choice for homeowners looking for a reliable roof that will withstand the elements and add value to their homes.

Pros and Cons of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles, offer some great advantages and benefits but also come with a few negatives. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of using a composite asphalt shingle roof.


Composite shingles are an attractive, cost-effective roofing option that can provide homeowners with various benefits.

Impressive Life Span

Composite roof shingles are incredibly durable and long-lasting, able to withstand extreme weather conditions, and can last for 20 to 30 years if properly maintained.


Composite asphalt roofing has low maintenance requirements – they only need occasional cleaning with a garden hose or soft wash cleaning.

Easy to Install

A composite shingle roof is also relatively light compared to other roofing materials, making it easier to install on homes that don’t have the structural strength to support heavier materials.

Versatile Designs

Composite shingles come in a wide range of colors and styles that can add aesthetic appeal to any home. You can customize the colors and styles to fit your personal preference and design.


Composite shingles have a few downsides, but it is still important to discuss them so you can make a sound decision for your roofing project.

Higher Upfront Costs

a composite product is not the cheapest option. They cost more than traditional asphalt shingles, although less than synthetic shingles.

Potential Fire Rating Issues

Composite asphalt shingles are not as fire-resistant as a metal or slate roof, or even wood shake, as they are treated with a fire retardant.


Making important decisions like choosing suitable materials can be alot. it is essential to ask expert roofers that can give you an honest assessment and advice.

With Magnum Roofing & Construction, you don’t need to worry about these daunting decisions. Before starting any project, we give you an honest assessment of your roofing needs and provide suggestions for the best roofing systems and materials.

At Magnum Roofing, we strive to give you the best service possible so you can get the highest-quality roof replacement for what you expect to pay. Magnum Roofing aims for excellence and ultimate customer satisfaction!

If you need a new asphalt shingle roof installed, roof replacement, or other roofing options, contact us at 616-622-3072, so we can get you started today!