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Are Composite Shingles Right for You?

November 15, 2021 | 5 min. read

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You’ve got the news that you need a roof replacement – now what?

Home renovation shows hardly showcase the reality of all the decisions that go into a major home project like a roof replacement. When you decide to get a new roof, your only choice in the process isn’t just the shingle color.

Shingles do come in many colors, and you will have to choose one. However, there are also a wide variety of materials to choose from. You can pick everything from wooden shingles to asphalt shingles.

Every shingle style has different advantages and disadvantages, and trying to pick just one without being an expert in the roofing industry might make you feel like you are in over your head.

With over a decade in the roofing industry, Rescue My Roof has worked with hundreds of customers who have felt the same way. We’ve helped walk them through the process so that they feel secure and confident in the decisions they’ve made for their homes.

Today, we are going to extend that same service to you. We have put together everything we know about composite shingles into this guide to help you better navigate the decision-making process. By the end of this article, you will know whether or not composite shingles are the best fit for you.

What are Composite Shingles?

Composite Shingle Type

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

To solve these issues and create a more environmentally friendly option, the composite shingle was born.

Composite shingles are made from engineered materials like recycled plastics and rubber. Because they are manufactured from recyclable or already recycled materials, they can be made to look like asphalt shingles, cedar shakes, or slate shingles.


How Much Do Composite Shingles Cost?

The price of composite shingles can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.

On a traditional asphalt roof, the national price average is $8,000.

However, for a composite roof, you’ll pay two to three times more. Composite 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.

How Long Do Composite Shingles Last?

One of the perks that come along with composite shingles is that they are incredibly durable.

One of the most common warranties you will see in the industry is a 50-year warranty. But realistically, shingles – especially of the asphalt variety – do not last that long. Composite shingles, on the other hand, are made to last 50 years and beyond.

Being made of strong recycled materials like plastic and rubber makes them highly durable. They can handle bad weather, high wind speeds, and hail damage.

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

Shingles qualify for class four status when they withstand having a two-inch steel ball dropped on them from a height of 20 feet. This means class four shingles have the highest impact resistance of any shingle – and composite is the best of the best.

So, if you live in an area with severe weather and want a roof that is genuinely going to withstand the test of time, composite shingles are going to be the best option for you.

The Benefits of Composite Shingles

There are many reasons why composite shingles may be the best option for you and your home compared to other shingles.

Here are three reasons you’ll want to take into consideration:

1. Appearance

Composite shingles are made to look like other, higher-end shingles such as slate or cedar shakes.

Typically these shingles come at a much higher price due to their quality and appearance. Slate shingle roofs go for anywhere between $11,000 to $24,000.

With the composite shingles made to look like slate, you could get the same appearance for a portion of the price.

That is why the appearance of composite shingles is a big attraction for buyers. They can get the modern, clean looks of other shingle styles for a lower price.

2. Composite Shingles Will Last the Life of Your Home

Composite Shingles are made with incredibly durable materials, making them one of the strongest shingles on the market.

Many shingles, like asphalt, slate, or composite, will come with a 50-year warranty. However, it is typically the expectation that the shingles will not last that long.

Composite shingles are the exception. They are made to last, withstanding high wind speeds, hail damage, and tree limbs.

If you want a roof that is made to last with minimal maintenance and don’t mind the higher price tag, a composite roof may be for you.

Additionally, a composite roof may be in the cards if you are in your forever home. Let’s be honest- if you’ve been told you need a roof replacement, you’re probably not happy about it.

What are the chances you’ll want to replace your roof again later on down the road? They’re probably not that high. With a composite roof, you can live in the comfort of knowing the chances of another roof replacement are minimal.

3. Composite Shingles Are Environmentally Friendly

Taking care of our planet is important. 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 composite shingles on your roof.

Composite 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, composite shingles may be the ideal shingle for your roof.

The Disadvantages of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles have a lot of benefits. However, they are not for everyone.

If you’re on the fence, here are a few disadvantages you’ll want to consider:

1. The Higher Cost

While composite shingles are cheaper than slate or cedar shake shingles, they are still two to three times more expensive than traditional asphalt shingles.

Some may say the benefits of the shingles outweigh the cost. But if you have a strict budget to stick to, there are cost-effective options that won’t hurt your checkbook.

2. You’ll Have to Search For a Specialty Contractor

When it comes to composite shingles, you can’t just go with any roofing contractor.

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

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

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

How to Tell if Composite Shingles are the Right Shingle For Your Home

There are a ton of shingle options out there, but how do you know which one 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 roofing contractor certified 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 may 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.