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Exploring the Pinnacle of Performance and Aesthetics in Composite vs. Asphalt

Learn the difference between composite shingles and asphalt shingles. Choosing which type of shingles to use on your home is an important step in deciding the overall aesthetic and longevity of your roof. When contrasting composite shingles vs. asphalt shingles, the choice becomes clear after considering your budget, roof design, and weather conditions.

What Are Composite Shingles?

Composite shingles resemble slate roofs and consist of several materials, including synthetic polymer, recycled materials, wood, laminate, and slate. Manufacturers make composite shingles look like slate by using molds of real slate tiles, creating an authentic look.

What Are Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles are a type of roofing material composed of granules, tar, and fiberglass fixed onto a fiberglass mat.

Also called synthetic shingles, traditional asphalt shingles served as the most popular roofing option for homeowners until other materials came onto the market. Three types of asphalt shingles still see plenty of use, including:

  • Architectural — More substantial than 3-tab shingles. In fact, they are about 50 percent heavier.
  • 3-tab — Named for the three tabs on each shingle
  • Luxury — Cost more, last longer, and simulate cedar shake and natural slate tile roofs

5 Comparisons Between Asphalt And Composite Shingles

Now that you know the composition of both types of shingles, let’s compare them side by side. We will consider lifespan, warranty, price difference, curb appeal, and durability of both types of shingles.

Although several types of asphalt shingles exist, we will use architectural asphalt shingles for the following comparisons because it represents one of the most popular choices for homeowners.

1. Expected Lifespan

According to the manufacturers, the average lifespan of an asphalt shingle is 15-30 years. However, the lifespan of an architectural asphalt shingle is 25-50 years.

Composite shingles last longer than architectural shingles due to their sturdier makeup. You can expect them to perform well for 30 to 50 years.

The lifespans of both roof shingles also hinge on factors like proper installation, regular maintenance, sufficient attic ventilation, and more. To avoid injury and ensure everything gets done right during your roof installation, you should consider hiring a professional roofer.

2. Warranty

A product warranty guarantees quality manufacturing. If a problem arises due to a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will pay for the installation of a replacement product. Manufacturers warranty their architectural asphalt shingles for a minimum of 30 years. However, in some cases, you can extend the warranty by using one brand for all roofing materials.

Composite shingles come with a longer warranty than asphalt shingles. In some cases, homeowners receive a lifetime warranty for their composite shingles.

3. Cost

Replacing your roof can be a costly investment into your home, even if you select the most affordable material. However, the cost difference between composite shingles and architectural asphalt shingles is significant. Architectural shingles roofing will cost around three times more than composite shingles.

When providing an estimate for your roof replacement, many factors come into play, including your roofing material, the roofing contractor you hire, and the design of your roof. But when comparing architectural asphalt shingles to composite shingles, the latter proves more expensive to install.

4. Curb Appeal

Curb appeal refers to the aesthetic beauty of a home as seen from the street. Real estate agents consider various aspects of a house before showing it. The appearance of its roof factors heavily into its curb appeal.

Although composite and asphalt roofing components both improve your curb appeal, composite roof shingles look better because they resemble cedar shake and real slate. Many roofers and homeowners consider cedar shake and genuine slate as some of the most attractive choices for roofing. You can achieve a similar look with luxury shingles. However, composite shingles offer a similar appearance at a lower price.

5. Durability

Composite and architectural asphalt shingles both offer waterproofing features that prevent algae growth. However, the makeup of composite shingles provides better resistance to the elements.

Composite roof shingles can withstand wind speeds of 110 to 190 mph. On the other hand, asphalt shingles often tear under wind speeds of around 90 mph. Manufacturers also apply a special coating over composite roofs that reduces damage caused by UV rays and other harsh weather conditions.

Pros And Cons Of Asphalt Shingle

Like all products, asphalt shingles offer several benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of asphalt shingles.



Asphalt roof shingles suit almost all roof styles, including those with awkward angles or one-of-a-kind designs.


Asphalt roof shingles come in a wide range of hues with layouts that resemble wood shake or genuine slate.


The price of asphalt roof shingles is affordable. Some brands charge less than $1 per square foot.


Granule Loss

A significant downside to asphalt roof shingles involves granule loss. Granule loss causes rapid deterioration of the shingles that warranties sometimes do not cover.

Weather Prone

In humid regions, asphalt roof shingles sometimes experience algae or mildew growth. Also, ice dams may form during the winter, causing a lot of damage to asphalt roofs.

Pros And Cons Of Composite Shingles

Like asphalt shingles, composite shingles create a few tradeoffs. Find the pros and cons of composite shingles below.


Mildew Resistance

Most composite shingles offer protection from algae and mildew growth, allowing for extended warranties that outlast asphalt shingle warranties.

Quality Construction

Composite shingles enjoy a long lifespan of 30 to 50 years. The shingles’ sturdiness prevents them from tearing, peeling, or warping under harsh weather conditions.

Energy Efficiency

Composite shingles protect against UV rays, regulating the indoor temperature of your home and saving you money on your utility bill.



Composite roof shingles cost considerably higher than asphalt roof shingles, around two to three times more than asphalt roof shingles.


Although asphalt roof shingles cost less, you can improve your roof’s capacity to weather the elements after installation. You can not further strengthen composite roof shingles.

Composite Shingles Vs. Asphalt Shingles | Mighty Dog Roofing

Pick the perfect type of shingle for your home! At Mighty Dog Roofing, we will review your budget and assess your roof to help you select the best available roofing materials. Call one of our expert roofing professionals at (833) MIGHTY 4 to schedule a free inspection today!