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Are Composition Shingles and Asphalt Shingles the Same Thing?
The roofing industry is full of different names and terms that are hard to understand as a homeowner. This can be confusing and often frustrating.
Especially when different roofing contractors use different terms to mean the same thing. This brings us to a commonly asked question, “Are composition shingles and asphalt shingles the same thing?”
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners understand the lingo, terminology, and other aspects of the roofing industry. Now we'll be doing the same thing for you.
To start this article off, we'll clarify if composition shingles and asphalt shingles are the same. After that, we'll give you 3 things that every homeowner needs to know about a composition shingle roof.
Are composition shingles and asphalt shingles the same thing?
Yes, composition shingles and asphalt shingles are the same thing. It's simply just another term the roofing industry uses for asphalt shingles.
The term “composition” comes from the fact that asphalt shingles are a composite of man-made materials. These materials consist of fiberglass, tar, and granules put on a fiberglass mat to make a shingle.
Insurance companies also call them composition shingles on claims for roof damage. So, if you see “composition” on your insurance claim, there's no reason to panic.
At the end of the day, you might hear different roofing contractors use one or the other. But the majority of the roofing industry uses asphalt shingles.
Things to know about composition (asphalt) shingles
Now you know that composition shingles and asphalt shingles are the same thing. After learning this, you're ready to learn the 3 main things every homeowner needs to know about composition shingles.
1. The 3 types of composition shingles
There are 3 types of composition (asphalt) shingles: 3-tab, architectural (dimensional or laminate), and luxury (shake look or slate look). All 3 shingles have different looks to fit the style you're looking for and your budget.
3-tab shingles lay flat and get their name from the 3 tabs on each shingle strip.
Architectural (dimensional) shingles have a random pattern and shadow lines to give your roof more dimension. Some even simulate the look of a wood shake roof.
Luxury (shake roof and slate roof) shingles are larger and thicker than the other shingles. Most luxury shingles are designed to look like slate tiles, hence the name slate look.
3-tab shingles used to dominate the roofing industry, but now architectural shingles are the most common type installed on roofs today. Luxury shingles are as heavily marketed as architectural shingles, but they're around double the price.
No matter your budget or the look you want, you'll be able to find an asphalt shingle that fits your needs.
2. The materials and components that make up a composition shingle roof
While choosing which shingle you want is the fun part; your composition roof system is much more than the shingles you see from the street. It's a combination of key roofing components and materials that come together to form a complete roof system.
These other roofing materials and components are just as important as the composition shingles themselves.
The main materials and components that make up a composition roof are:
Ice and water shield
These materials come together to make a complete roof system that protects you and your family. To learn more about the functions of each roofing component and material, click on the hyperlinks attached to the materials or check out the 9 materials included in your roof replacement.
3. The lifespan of composition shingle roof
A composition roof's lifespan is the number of leak-free years you get out of it. Remember the 3 types of composition shingles we discussed earlier? Well, each comes with a specified lifespan from the manufacturer.
3-tab shingles can last up to 25 years and live the shortest of the three types of composition shingles. On the other hand, both architectural and luxury shingles have a lifespan of around 30 years.
But the luxury style is thicker and has the possibility to go over 30 years and up to 50 under the right conditions. As long as the composition shingles are properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, they'll get really close to the lifespans above.
However, other factors impact how long a composition roof ultimately lasts.