While asphalt shingles dominate the residential roofing market, it’s further divided into categories based on how the shingles are made. Older versions of asphalt shingles usually have a base material made of organic material, while newer versions use fiberglass mats. This newer version is also known as fiberglass shingles. How does it compare to the older type of shingles? Let’s take a look.
Style – In terms of style, both types of shingles are fairly the same. In fact, most people wouldn’t be able to tell a fiberglass shingle roof apart from an organic asphalt shingle. Both of them are available as either three-tab or architectural style, and both are available in different colors.
Price – Most fiberglass shingles will cost slightly less than organic asphalt shingles. High-end versions can cost more than regular organic asphalt shingles, but they are still relatively cost-efficient compared to other roofing materials such as clay tile, wood, metal, and slate.
Weight – Fiberglass shingles weigh a lot less than organic asphalt shingles, and they are easier to carry to the site. Not only does that mean that there’s less need for support structures, it also means that fiberglass shingles are easier to install.
Durability -Because fiberglass shingles are lighter, they are more likely to get blown away by strong winds compared to organic asphalt shingles. They also wear down a bit faster, because fiberglass shingles have less asphalt in them. Furthermore, organic asphalt shingles perform better in areas with cold climates.
However fiberglass shingles are a better choice for areas that experience plenty of rain. This is because the organic asphalt shingles tend to absorb more water, making them more likely to warp over time. Organic asphalt shingles have a combustible base material, which also means fiberglass shingles offer better fire protection.
Asphalt shingles are available in two different styles. Find out the difference between three-tab and architectural shingles in part 3 of this series.