The Difference Between Asphalt Shingles and a Composition Roof

Jul 30, 2021 | Whats New

Back in 1989 when I installed my first asphalt shingle there was many changes in the roofing manufacture sector. The end result was down-sizing the weight to accommodate a more flexible shingle. The old shingles in the USA were known as Asphalt roofing shingles or a standard strip 3-tab shingles. At that time there were other shingles on the market known as Standard strip asphalt composition shingles or Architectural shingles called Timberline or heavy weight shingles known as random tab, and three tabs or standard were becoming composition shingles.

The older organic shingles were just simply called asphalt shingles made with number five crude oil with the advent of the fiberglass standard strip composition shingle was born. Owens Corning helped innovate this process. Since they are the largest fiberglass manufacture in America today.

Many of the other shingles manufactures by fiberglass mats from Owens Corning. This was told to me directly from Owens Corning as a result of a factory tour on the anatomy of the shingle required by Owens Corning Certification. Most of the old asphalt shingles have been torn off and they are in land fills now in the US.

The new fiberglass composition shingles are the norm in today’s society. I know this because I am a Professional Contractor, not somebody hoping I am right in marketing, although marketing takes precedence more than any other thing for any business model.

Referrals are Always the Best just to let you know my feelings on the subject. I have personally installed many shingles in my life and I have always know the newer shingle to be considered composition because of the composite make up of the materials that have been blended by the various manufacturers today in the US.

If you find true asphalt shingles today chances are they manufactured in a third world country where the resources are limited, the standard strip shingle was the first of this innovation followed by a multitude of several shingle brands. Any and all fiberglass shingles are considered composition shingles by most roofing professionals.

These composition asphalt shingles have fire ratings, wind resistance warranties and failure warranty’s based on the fiber glass mat and asphalt fiberglass thickness, granules and algae resistant ratios. The asphalt composition shingle is made to last longer than the old asphalt shingles not to put more weight than the asphalt roof structure can hold according to ICC specification on weight load limitations of roof framing and spans. The asphalt composition is lighter, more flexible and durable than the old asphalt shingle in1989 and previous years.

GAF Elk happens to be largest asphalt roofing manufacturer in the USA and has any brands in the asphalt roofing shingle world. Owens Corning and CertainTeed have a multitude of designer, architectural and standard strip roofing products. The same can hold true with Atlas and Tamco of which all manufacture asphalt composition roofing shingles in the United States today.

GAF/Elk carries the strongest warranties on their roofing materials for their Certified and Master Elite Roofing Contractors. I welcome any and all comments from CARE (Center for Advancement for Roofing Excellence) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association of America (ARMA)as well as any National Roofing Contractors Association of America (NRCA), members of affiliates to correct my definition on the difference between asphalt roofing shingles and asphalt composition roofing shingles.

There are roofing shingles that I have seen come and go, such as the masonite shingle, which is a composite material that requires flashing between each joint to seal it off. There are also concrete tiles which I would consider composite since it does not have the slate or clay tile attributes, known as concrete tiles. There is also another material called Mira Vista of which was a fake slate the Owens Corning made that would fall under the composite material that was made of a plastic or a plasticiser type composite material.

At any rate it is up to you to decide what type of roof you would like to put on your home. Every shingle manufacturer in the USA is an asphalt composition roofing shingle. All Asphalt fiberglass composition shingles come with a 20 year to lifetime warranty and anything in between.

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