Are Fiberglass shingles better?

shingle roofing system in grey

Is there fiberglass in asphalt shingles?

Let’s start off this article by answering a basic question: “What are fiberglass shingles made of?” to which the ingredient answer is woven fiberglass base mat, waterproof asphalt coating, and ceramic granules. Fiberglass shingles are made from a woven fiberglass base mat is covered with an asphalt coating that is waterproof, and then ceramic granule top that composition which protects the shingles from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Because of how the fiberglass mat is made, it needs less asphalt for durability and strength for fiberglass shingles.

Inexpensive to produce and comparatively easy to install, asphalt shingles are widely available and a popular choice in the roofing material. Besides being the least expensive, easier to install, but their lifespan put them right up there with other roofing materials. There are two different types of asphalt shingles: fiberglass shingles and organic shingles.

  • They make fiberglass shingles starting with a base mat made of fiberglass. Then a coating of waterproof asphalt is applied, followed by a layer ceramic granule that protects the fiberglass shingles from the sun’s UV rays. This requires less asphalt because of the fiberglass mat, making it more durable and stronger. It also makes it lightweight and thinner. Fiberglass shingles have a high fire rating and usually a longer warranty.
  • They make organic shingles with asphalt-saturated recycled layer felt paper, the layer of asphalt-saturated is for waterproofing. Then a layer of adhesive asphalt is applied as a coating, and then a layer of ceramic granules is entrenched. These are heavier shingles because they apply 40 percent additional asphalt compared to the fiberglass shingles. This makes them heavier, thicker and more expensive. However, they are more flexible and rugged, but they also absorb more moisture, causing them to warp and they are not considered environmentally friendly because of the additional asphalt. 
A multi siding house with fiberglass shingles

Is fiberglass roofing any good?

Most homeowners that start shopping for roof shingles aren’t sure what type to get. They see the asphalt fiberglass shingles or asphalt organic shingles, then there are ceramic, metal, and wood shingles. This makes them wonder are fiberglass shingles better than the others, and what are the pros for fiberglass shingles vs asphalt shingles, or are there any?

 The Pros of Fiberglass Roof Shingles  

  • Lighter weight – this makes fiberglass shingles thinner and easier to install, which contractors prefer because they get your job done in just a few hours and move on to the next one.
  • Fire protection – Fiberglass shingles are placed at a high fire rating, which insurance companies love.
  • Less expensive – Fiberglass shingles are inexpensive because of the lighter weight means they used fewer materials in manufacturing.
  • Environmentally friendly – because there is less asphalt in the manufacturing of fiberglass shingles, they are more friendly for the environment.

As good as fiberglass shingles are for roofing, there are some cons to them as well:

  • Durability – Because fiberglass shingles have less asphalt, so they aren’t as heavy and rugged, they have a shorter lifespan.
  • Cold Climate – Fiberglass shingles are not recommended for houses in cold climates because they break and crack too easily when frozen. 

How long do fiberglass shingles last?

Fiberglass shingles’ life expectancy is between 25 years and 50 years. Traditional asphalt shingles have a life expectancy of fifteen years. The higher the quality of fiberglass shingles you purchase, the longer the life expectancy is guaranteed by the manufacturer.

However, whatever life expectancy they offer, there are factors that can affect that timeframe. Starting with the climate, environmental exposure, and homeowner inspection and maintenance routine. Fiberglass shingles or any roofing material will not last as long as guaranteed if it is neglected.  Routine inspections allow the opportunity to find issues and possible problems, get them addressed, and that extends the life expectancy.

Are heavier shingles better?

No, they are not.  Years ago, manufacturers would use a high-grade asphalt on top and bottom of their asphalt shingles, thinking thicker would be heavier and better. After years of research, they found that the asphalt on the bottom was not effective.

So, they began using less filler and a higher quality of limestone, resulting in better severe weather protection for homeowners. Today’s fiberglass shingles installation is less expensive compared to installing those older style shingles, making fiberglass shingles the preferred choice by homeowners. 

Choose the Best Shingle You Can Afford

You may have to go a bit out of your comfort zone to get a better grade of roofing material, with fiberglass shingles, you can choose from different grades and different brands. Shop around, compare the materials and shop the contractors, comparing the prices. Your home is an important investment, and the roofing material you choose is an important part of that investment. Call (856) 662-1382 today for installation of fiberglass shingles in Berlin and Cherry Hill, NJ from Airborne Roofing.