Composition roofing is the most commonly used form of roofing shingles due primarily to its economical nature widespread availability. Composition shingles consist of a fiberglass mat which is soaked in asphalt and filled with mineral fillers. Basically, the fillers stick to the fiberglass and the asphalt surrounds the formation, making it waterproof.
One downside to fiberglass shingles is they have a tendency to attract algae, making them not only look dirty, but the formed algae build-up can cause the shingles to lose some of their heat-resisting properties.
There are 3 different types of composition roofs.
3-Tab Shingles – Least Expensive – 25 Year Warranty
The least expensive shingle is the “3-tab” shingle. It has a three evenly spaced tabs, giving the shingle an even or flat appearance. While it used to carry a 20 year warranty, most shingle manufacturers have changed the 3-tab warranty to 25 years.
Laminate Shingles – Mid-Grade – 30 Year Warranty
The laminate shingle, also referred to as a dimensional or 30 year shingle, has a two layers of shingle material bonded together, which makes it thicker than the 3-tab shingle. Due to the upgraded look, most homeowners choose to upgrade to a laminate shingle when they replace their roof.
Premium Shingles – Top of the Line – 40 or 50 Year Warranty
The premium shingles can be up to twice as thick as the 3-tab shingle, increasing their wind resistance, hail resistance and overall lifespan. This Class 4 shingle can typically qualify you for a discount on your insurance.
The main downside to Composition roofing is the insurance industries continued move toward Actual Cash Value policies for roofing surfaces. Within the next 10 years, no matter what type of roof you have, when your roof is damaged, you will be paying for all but a small portion of it OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET. It’s not good news to hear, but it’s the reality of the situation.
When you are choosing your roof, choose wisely, because it might end up costing you.