Composite Roof Shingles: 5 Best & Worst Qualities

When it comes to selecting the right roofing material for your home, the sheer amount of options available can be overwhelming. However, one option that has been steadily rising in popularity due to its unique blend of features is composite roof shingles. Offering a remarkable imitation of traditional materials with enhanced performance characteristics, composite shingles are becoming a favorite among homeowners. But like any material, they come with their own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Inside this blog:

  • The Rise of Composite Shingles
  • Composite vs. Asphalt
  • Pros of Composite Shingles
  • Cons of Composite Shingles
  • Indicators That Your Roof Needs an Upgrade

The Rise of Composite Shingles

Composite roof shingles have carved out a significant niche in the roofing industry thanks to their innovative construction. Made from a blend of various materials such as fiberglass, recycled paper products, and plastics, these shingles offer homeowners the aesthetic appeal of traditional roofing materials like wood or slate without the associated maintenance and durability concerns.

Composite vs. Asphalt Shingles

While asphalt shingles have been the go-to roofing material for many years, composite shingles are setting new standards in both durability and aesthetic versatility. Here are a few key differences between these two popular roofing options:

  • Durability: Composite shingles are known for their resistance to weathering, UV rays, and even fire. The lifespan of a composite shingle roof often exceeds that of asphalt shingles by several decades.
  • Aesthetic: Composite shingles provide a wider range of styles and colors, closely mimicking the look of natural roofing materials.
  • Environmental Impact: Often made from recycled materials, composite shingles are generally more environmentally friendly than asphalt shingles, which are petroleum-based.
  • Cost: Initially, composite shingles have a higher upfront cost compared to asphalt shingles, but their longevity could offer savings over time.

Pros of Composite Shingles

Here are a few of the upsides of composite shingles:

1. Durability

One of the most significant advantages of composite roof shingles is their robustness. Designed to withstand severe weather conditions, including heavy rains, high winds, and hail, composite shingles maintain their integrity and appearance far longer than many traditional roofing materials.

2. Energy Efficiency

Composite shingles often come with excellent insulation properties and reflective capabilities, meaning they can help regulate your home’s temperature more effectively than asphalt shingles. This can lead to notable savings on energy bills, especially in regions with extreme weather conditions.

3. Environmental Sustainability

With an increasing focus on environmentally sustainable building materials, composite shingles stand out. Many are made from recycled materials and are fully recyclable at the end of their lifecycle, reducing the demand for raw materials and minimizing waste.

Cons of Composite Shingles

These are the downsides of composite shingles:

4. Cost

The most glaring drawback of composite shingles is the initial investment. They tend to be more expensive upfront than asphalt shingles. However, considering their longer lifespan and reduced maintenance costs, the overall financial impact may be mitigated over time.

5. Installation Complexity

Composite shingles require skilled installation due to their unique material properties and installation methods. Finding an experienced contractor who can handle composite shingle installation correctly might be more challenging than traditional materials.

Close-up of shingles on a roof.

Indicators That Your Roof Needs an Upgrade

Below, are several indicators to help you recognize when it’s time to give your roof a little extra care:

Leaks and Water Stains on Ceilings or Walls

The most obvious sign that your roof needs attention is the presence of water where it doesn’t belong. If you’re seeing wet spots, drips, or stains on your ceilings or walls, it’s time to investigate. Water intrusion often starts with a compromised roof, and the longer it’s ignored, the more damage it can do. Act on this warning sign promptly to prevent further deterioration and potentially hazardous mold growth.

Granules in the Gutter

If you’re cleaning out your gutters and find a large amount of granules, your shingles are deteriorating. Granules protect the shingles from UV rays, so when they start to come off, it’s a clear indication that the roof is aging. It’s common for a few granules to be around, but a significant accumulation could spell trouble for your roof’s longevity.

Missing, Cracked, or Curling Shingles

Take a good look at your roof from the ground. Are there any places where the shingle pattern is broken? Do you notice any shingles that are cracked, curling at the edges, or blistering? Damaged shingles not only look unsightly, but also leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and rot. Ignoring these issues can lead to more extensive damage, so it’s best to address them promptly.

Signs of Wear and Tear over Time

Just like any other part of your home, your roof has a lifespan. Most roofs last 20 to 30 years, depending on the materials. If your roof is reaching its golden years, you might start to notice general wear and tear, even if you haven’t spotted any specific issues yet. Regular inspections are key, and if you’re getting close to that 30-year mark, it’s wise to plan for a replacement soon.

Mold or Mildew Growth on the Roof

Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, and a leaking roof provides the perfect breeding ground. If you notice either substance growing on your roof, it’s a sure sign that there’s a water infiltration issue. The presence of mold inside your home can indicate a more significant issue, potentially affecting the roof’s integrity.

High Energy Bills Due to Poor Insulation

Your roof’s job isn’t just about keeping out the rain. It also plays a crucial role in insulating your home. If your energy bills are on the rise, it could be because your roof isn’t holding in heat or air conditioning as it should. Poor insulation and ventilation are often the culprits, and a new roof with modern materials can make a noticeable difference in your home’s energy efficiency.

Do You Need Roofing Services?

Composite roof shingles represent a significant advancement in roofing technology, combining aesthetics, durability, and environmental sustainability into a single product.

If you’re exploring the idea of installing composite shingles on your home and need professional service, contact Kitsap Roof Pros. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you make the best decision for your home’s roofing needs.