Through the years many different manufacturers have attempted alternative roofing materials to take the place of traditional materials such as asphalt shingles, wooden shakes or tiles. Many different forms have come and gone with relative amounts of success.

Composite shingles have been one of the more popular alternatives and have their advantages and disadvantages. In the following article Roofcorp will explore the composition of these materials, their drawbacks and benefits and how they compare to some of the more common roofing materials.

Composite shingles are usually built with asphalt but the felt layer in traditional asphalt shingles is replaced by layers of fiberglass and recycled plastics are used for the backing or tops of the shingle. This leads to a much longer lifetime on the roof. The top layer can also be made with wood or ceramics to mimic other types of roofing such as cedar shakes or slate tiles.

There are numerous advantages of using composite shingles instead of actual wooden shakes or slate tiles. Wooden shakes are very aesthetically pleasing but  pose a number of risks. Wooden shakes are known to warp and crack over time and also have very poor fire ratings which leads to higher insurance premiums. Composites have very high fire ratings coming from different third party testing such as Underwriter Laboratories.

Composite roofing is also seen as an environmentally friendly roofing material. They are made with numerous recycled materials such as plastics and resins. Customers who choose EcoStar roofing can receive up to 4 LEED points which can qualify the homeowner for tax breaks and incentives.

Composite shingles are also beneficial to homeowners that want a material such as clay or slate tiles nut don’t have the proper roofing structure to hold the weight of the these materials. Most people cannot tell the difference between actual slate and composite “slate” unless they are on the roof.

One of the largest disadvantages of choosing composite roofing is the initial cost of installation, especially when compared to traditional asphalt shingles. The materials cost more themselves and can be labor intensive to install which all leads to higher costs. Costs of course vary by region and state with some estimates pegging composite at 400 dollars per square.