What Is a Composition Shingle Roof?

Brian Vaughan

Picking out a roof can be a difficult task because it is so important to the health of a home. A roof must be durable and long lasting while fitting in your budget. Composition shingles are a popular choice because they are less expensive than other options.

Composition shingles are among the most affordable roofing choices.

Composition shingles are made of a combination of asphalt and fiberglass, which allows them strengths and weaknesses.


Composition shingles are fire resistant and don't have much problem with moisture. If winds becomes especially high, shingles can blow off a roof and need replacing. The good news is that composition shingles can be replaced on an individual basis. If the whole roof falls into disrepair, you can even replace the whole roof on top of the old one without incurring any problems.


Composition shingles come in just about any color or design, which makes them a versatile option for almost all homeowners. Composition roofs have a rough texture and they get very hot when the sun beats on them due to their asphalt content. Composition shingles are quiet when walked upon and they typically hold up well to the weight. They also are quiet during inclement weather, as the rain doesn't cause much noise.

Cost Factors

Composition shingles are the cheapest option other than rolled asphalt, which only works for flat or barely sloped roofs. The downside is that composition roofs only last 20 to 30 years, so you are likely to need a replacement at some point. Composition roofs also do not add value to a home, so they won't help with a sale. Installation costs tend to be low because composition shingles take less time to install for roofing professionals.


Composition shingles tend to absorb rather than reflect heat. This makes a house hotter and in turn use more energy to deal with the heat. Another environmental issue with composition shingles is that they rarely are able to be recycled due to how difficult asphalt is to break down. Other roofing options can be recycled and, thus, are a better option for the environment. This is especially important given the relatively short lifespan of composition shingles.