What Is a Composition Roof?

Installing Composition Roof

A Closer Look at Composition Roofing

If you are researching roofing materials for a roof replacement or new home construction, you have likely heard the term “composite.” But what is a composition roof?

In this post, the trusted roofers at Nelson Contracting, breaks down composition roofing to help you better understand this common material. If you still need assistance or are ready to start with your new composition roof installation, call us at (402) 464-2418.

What Is a Composition Roof?

When it comes to affordable roofing materials, many homeowners turn to composite shingles. Unlike popular asphalt shingles, composition roofing shingles contain a fiberglass mat in their center to reinforce the material and add to its durability. Sheets of asphalt and mineral fillers cover both sides of the fiberglass mat to create a thin layered shingle.

Granules cover the top of the composite shingle, with the asphalt and synthetic resin holding everything together. The granules provide UV protection to the shingles and make the roof mold and algae-resistant.

Composition roofs can last about 20 years, but premium composite shingles have a lifespan of about 50 years. You can extend the lifespan of a composition roof with annual inspections and routine maintenance. Other factors that contribute to the longevity of composition roofs are:

  • Rain: If the shingles have a crack, hole, or tear, rainwater can seep beneath the composite shingle and settle into the wooden structures below.
  • Ice: Damp shingles and frigid temperatures will produce an ice layer that causes the shingles to expand. As they freeze and thaw, the shingles become vulnerable to cracks and tears.

Types of Composition Roofing Shingles

Composition roofing shingles are available in three distinct styles. They are:

  • 3-Tab Shingles: These are the most economical and will last for 10 to 20 years, with maintenance. They are single-layer shingles with three vertical notches on their lower half to create an attractive pattern. They are not remarkably durable, but they are lightweight.
  • Dimensional Shingles: Also known as laminate shingles, these are more popular than 3-tab shingles because they are significantly more durable, better looking, and twice as thick. Their choppy layers make shadows on the roof, mimicking the look of more expensive roofing materials like tile and slate.
  • Premium Shingles: This category is for the top-tier laminate shingles. They are heavier and larger than standard dimensional shingles, resulting in better home protection and more curb appeal.

Advantages of a Composition Roof

composition shingles

Homeowners have their choice of color and style when it comes to composition roofing. No matter your aesthetic or the architectural style of your home, you can find composite shingles to complement your home’s exterior.

Besides beauty and versatility, composition roofs are more fire-resistant than organic shingles with wood or paper cores. Asphalt will burn if you apply a flame to it, but the fireproof-fiberglass center of composite shingles makes this roofing material less prone to severe fire damage.

Composite shingles are also lightweight. They will not add too much strain on your house and degrade its structural integrity. At 2.5 pounds per square foot, these shingles are easier to install and replace, and they won’t require additional roofing structures for support.

Disadvantages of a Composition Roof

wind damage composition shingles

The lightweight features of a composition roof are beneficial to homeowners, but they can also be problematic. The material is light and thin enough for the wind to tear it away from the rooftop without proper installation and maintenance.

Seasonal maintenance is the best way to preserve the look and performance of a composition roof. Still, if you prefer a roofing material with minimal upkeep, this material may not be the right choice for you.

Roofing Done Right

Now that you have the answers to “what is a composition roof?” call Nelson Contracting to begin your roofing project. Serving the residents of Lincoln, NE, and the surrounding areas for over 25 years, our professionals are experts in roof installation, replacement, and repairs, including composition shingles. Call (402) 464-2418 to request your free estimate.

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