Which Is Better Asphalt or Fibreglass?

A decent shingle roof properly laid can last twenty to thirty years depending on weather and maintenance. However, all good things eventually come to an end. Clients often ask us which is better asphalt or fibreglass shingles. We decided to share our thoughts on this blog to help them decide which is best for their circumstances.

A Comparison to Explain Which Is Better Asphalt or Fibreglass Shingles

The word ‘organic’ is heavily over traded to give everything from cauliflower to toothpaste a socially responsible halo. The word actually means non-synthetic, which means there is no guarantee the product is environmentally friendly.

An Introduction to Asphalt Shingles

Basic, three-tab asphalt shingles can last as long as fifteen years, while you could add ten years more for thicker architectural ones. They are basically pieces of felt or paper soaked in asphalt, and then covered with a thick layer of additional asphalt containing ceramic granules.

Asphalt shingles are durable and should be able to withstand extreme weather. However, they eventually show damage from wind and sun. They are also more likely to catch fire than fibreglass.

What to Know About Fibreglass Shingles

Fibreglass shingles can last for at least twenty-five years, with some manufacturers claiming up to double that. They use a fibreglass mat held together with resin as core, instead of a felt or paper one. This is then soaked in asphalt to make it waterproof.

However that does not adequately answer the question which is better asphalt or fibreglass shingles. The latter may be less flammable, but they don’t particularly like cold weather.

That’s because their fibreglass core becomes brittle when the temperature is low, weakening their structural strength. This can make heavier, more substantial asphalt ones a better choice for the homeowner in Calgary’s sometimes cold, windy weather.

That’s why organic asphalt shingles are the more popular option in our experience, even though fibreglass versions are often cheaper. At the end of the day it’s the homeowner’s choice and we can only advise.

Do They Appear Different Up On The Roof?

Both types of shingles look approximately the same, because all you see from the street is a layer of asphalt with embedded granules. What’s more important is how well they are attached, and here you have to rely on the integrity of the installer.

Valiant Exteriors in Calgary, Canada have an enviable reputation for waterproof roofing and siding, as well as soffits and eavestroughs on homes and industrial buildings. Please call us on (403)829-1661 if you are planning a repair or a replacement. We will be delighted to offer you a free quotation for a decent job.

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Image: New Shingles For An Old Roof: Joe Mabel BY CC 4.0