What makes fiberglass shingles different?

roofer installing shingles

Finding the Best Roofing

Winters can be hard on a house here in New Jersey and the surrounding area. Having plenty of insulation in the attic, getting the water lines and pipes wrapped, and having ample firewood or oil for heat are essential. Another important factor for a home in this area is the roofing of the house. Today, we’re going to explore the use of fiberglass shingles, answer common questions, and look at the facts if they are an acceptable roof covering for homes in this area. 

Are fiberglass roof shingles any good?

Here in New Jersey and all across the country, fiberglass shingles have become one of the most common roofing materials. But what do we really know about fiberglass shingles and what has made them so common? One thing to bear in mind is that these are actually the common asphalt shingle that is found on almost every roof you see driving down most streets. 

So if they are actually made from asphalt, why are they referred to as fiberglass shingles? Because of how they are manufactured! Fiberglass shingles start out like strands of tough plastic that are woven together to create a fiberglass mat. They are then coated with the asphalt and granules that give them extra protection. 

The pro factors of fiberglass shingles that have made them so common and popular are: 

  • Lighter weight, making installation easier and faster and making labor cheaper. 
  • Fire resistance
  • The initial cost is cheaper.
  • Environmentally friendlier than standard asphalt shingles

Are all asphalt shingles fiberglass?

Looking at asphalt shingles next to fiberglass shingles, they appear the same with their top coating of asphalt, but they are essentially different.  Fiberglass shingles have a fiberglass mat as their base, whereas asphalt shingles have a paper base. 

Are fiberglass shingles better than asphalt?

Both asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles are good products, and like anything, there are some brands that are of better quality than others. Newer options like fiberglass shingles have led to a new level of consumer satisfaction because of the many advantages that we have already listed. 

While both asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles are made with asphalt and granules, the biggest difference is the base. With a fiberglass base, the fiberglass shingles are lighter weight. They can be installed faster, which also affects the end cost of installation. The fiberglass is fire resistant as well, which can often make them a safer choice for homes. These are factors that have led many to choose fiberglass shingles to be the better shingle. 

Are fiberglass shingles the same as architectural shingles?

Your basic fiberglass shingles and asphalt shingles are both 3-tab shingles that lay flat when installed. The architectural shingles that more homeowners are going with have a dimensional appearance because they are made with several layers that are bound together and then adhered to a fiberglass base.

Are fiberglass shingles expensive?

And how much are fiberglass shingles? The roof on your home is vital in protecting one of the most important investments you’ll ever have. You want a roof that is durable and strong enough to withstand the elements of Mother Nature and more, and fiberglass shingles are ideal for doing just that. 

Fiberglass shingles are more expensive than organic asphalt shingles, but they aren’t the most expensive roofing material you can choose either. Pricing can vary between areas and from contractor to contractor. Another factor to consider in pricing is the different brands available to you and the level of quality each brand offers. Here are the estimated costs of fiberglass shingles: 

  • Fiberglass Roofing Material: $40 per square to $200 per square
  • Fiberglass Roofing Installation: $80 per square to $200 per square 
  • Total Cost of Fiberglass Installation: $120 per square to $400 per square 

Are fiberglass shingles fireproof?

With the roof being the most vulnerable part of a home, most building codes require them to be either fire resistant or fireproof. This is especially so in areas that are prone to wildfires. 

Fiberglass shingles can meet those requirements. They have extreme fire retardance, rated at Class-A, the highest rating possible in fire resistance. This means this roofing material doesn’t contribute to fire spreading from roof to roof for exterior fires and will stay together when it is part of a house fire. Other shingles may break off in bits and pieces, blowing around like embers. Fiberglass shingles will withstand a burning fire for almost two hours. Class-A rated fiberglass shingles do not break, crack, slide off or warp, never exposing the underlying decking. 

close-up of shingles on a roof

Topping Things Off With a Final Question

How long do fiberglass shingles last?  A quality fiberglass shingle that is properly installed and maintained can provide your home coverage for up to 50 years. The traditional asphalt shingle will typically max out at 15 years. The better the quality of any shingle, the longer lifespan you can expect. 

You always have the option of purchasing your own fiberglass shingles and doing your own roofing if you’re able and know where to buy fiberglass shingles. Some homeowners that prefer the DIY style will choose this option. However, note that when you do, you’re forgoing any guarantee or warranty that comes with a roofing job done by a professional roofing contractor. You may also lose any warranty from the manufacturer.