Skip to main content

Is your roof old or damaged? Get a free estimate today

« View All Posts

Shingle Styles

6 Things to Know About Synthetic Roofing (Pricing, Longevity, and More)

August 27, 2022 | 3 min. read

Print/Save as PDF

Asphalt roofs may be the most popular, but aren’t for everyone. And other roofing systems like cedar shake and slate roofs can break the budget. 

Luckily, synthetic shingles are another affordable roofing option that can mimic the look of other materials. 

What exactly are synthetic roof shingles?

At Rescue My Roof, we believe you should have all of the information needed to make the best decision for your home and budget. That’s why we’re giving you the breakdown of what you need to know about synthetic shingles. 

This article will teach you what synthetic shingles are and their advantages. In the end, you’ll be able to decide whether synthetic shingles are the material for you. 

What Are Synthetic Shingles?

Newly installed synthetic shingles on a suburban home.

Synthetic shingles are the newest addition to the roofing industry. Synthetic (composite) shingles are roof shingles made of recycled materials, like rubbers and plastics. 

While professionals and their keen eyes might be able to tell the difference between synthetic shingles and the materials they mimic, your friends and neighbors won’t be able to spot the difference from the ground.

Because of this, synthetic shingles are becoming increasingly popular as a cheaper alternative to slate or cedar shake shingles. 

6 Things to Know About Synthetic Shingles

Since their invention in the early 1900s, asphalt shingles have dominated the roofing industry as one of the most popular options for shingles.

However, they have downsides; they lose granules, aren’t the most durable, and don’t have the best longevity.

The synthetic shingle was born to solve these issues and create an environmentally friendly option.

Here are a few things you should know before purchasing a synthetic roof: 

1. How Much Do Synthetic Shingles Cost? 

Synthetic shingles that look like brown wooden shingles.

If you’re looking for an expensive-looking roof for a fraction of the cost, you’re in the right place. 

Natural slate or cedar shake roofs are $20,000-$40,000. In comparison, synthetic roofs generally run between $13 – $20 per square foot, which means if you have a 1200 sq. ft. Roof, you would be paying upwards of $15,000 including labor and materials.

Traditional asphalt roofs are the most affordable option for homeowners, but synthetic shingles are the way to go if you want a premium look. 

2. Synthetic Shingles Have Better Warranties

Natural slate or cedar shake shingles don’t typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty as they are carved from natural materials. 

Since synthetic materials are manufactured, they come with better warranties.

That means if something goes wrong with the materials, their cost will be covered during future repairs. 

3. Synthetic Shingle Are Durable and Long-Lasting

A close-up of synthetic cedar shake shingles.

One of the synthetic shingles’ most significant advantages is their durability. 

They stand up to anything that hits your roof, including wind and hail damage. They are also more resistant to breakage that may be caused by walking on them, which is a risk of natural shingles like slate. 

Synthetic shingles are so durable that they received a class four rating, the highest possible rating on the Underwriters Laboratory 2218.

As a result of their durability, they are one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. As long as it is properly installed, synthetic roofs can last upwards of 40 – 50 years

4. Synthetic Shingles Are Lightweight

Real slate roofs are heavy. So heavy that your house will need additional framing to carry the weight of the tiles. 

Reframing your home can be costly on top of an already-expensive roof. But with synthetic shingles made to look like slate, they’re lightweight, saving your home and your checkbook. 

Synthetic roofing will save you money and time while still giving you the natural look you want. 

5. Synthetic Shingles Are Environmentally Friendly 

Taking care of our planet is essential. For many people, being environmentally friendly is biking to work, recycling more, and being conscious of using plastic materials.

For homeowners, you can take it one step further by using synthetic shingles on your roof.

Synthetic shingles are made out of recyclable or already recycled materials. By using these shingles, you are not putting additional materials into landfills.

If the environment is at the forefront of your mind, synthetic shingles may be the ideal shingle for your roof.

6. Synthetic Shingles Require a Specialty Contractor

Contractor installing an asphalt roof over asphalt-saturated felt underlayment.

You can’t just go with any roofing contractor when it comes to synthetic shingles.

A synthetic shingle roofing system is not necessarily more challenging to install, but it is installed differently than other roofs.

You will want to find a factory-certified roofing contractor to install synthetic shingle roofing systems. If you don’t, the roof may be installed incorrectly, and the warranties will be voided.

Ask potential roofing companies for their manufacturer’s certification to ensure they are the best roofer to take on this project.

How to Tell If Synthetic Shingles Are Right For You? 

There are many shingle options, but how do you know which is the best for your home?

If you are considering composite shingles as an option, here are a few questions to consider:

  • How will composite shingles fit in with your neighborhood?
  • Are composite shingles in your budget?
  • Are you prepared to search around for a certified roofing contractor to install composite shingles?
  • Do you want to invest in an environmentally friendly option?
  • Are you living in your forever home?

If you answered “yes” to 2-3 of these questions, then composite shingles may be for you. If you didn’t, you might want to consider other shingle options.

You can check out other roofing options with our article “3-Tab, Dimensional, or Luxury: Which Asphalt Shingles Should I Choose?
Or, if you are ready to get an estimate and live in the greater Milwaukee area, you can contact Rescue My Roof today to schedule your roof estimate appointment.