Composition Roofs: What You Need to Know

Oct 12, 2023

composite roof

A composition roof is a popular choice for many homeowners due to its durability, affordability, and versatility. This type of roof is made from multiple layers of materials, typically asphalt and fiberglass or polyester. It is also commonly referred to as composition roofing or composition roofing shingles.

What is a Composition Roof?

A composition roof, also known as a composite roof, is a type of roofing system that is made up of multiple layers of materials. The most common materials used in composition roofs are asphalt and fiberglass or polyester.

The process of creating a composition roof involves layering these materials together to create a durable and weather-resistant roofing system. The layers are typically bonded together using asphalt or other adhesive materials, creating a solid and stable roof structure.

Composition roofs are popular in residential and commercial buildings due to their affordability and versatility. They can be designed to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials such as wood shakes, slate, or tile, providing a more aesthetically pleasing option at a lower cost.

Furthermore, composition roofs are known for their durability and long lifespan. With proper maintenance and regular inspections, a well-installed composition roof can last for 20 to 30 years or more.

One of the key advantages of a composition roof is its resistance to various weather conditions. These roofs are designed to withstand high winds, heavy rain, snow, and even hail. They also offer excellent fire resistance, making them a safe choice for homeowners.

In addition, composition roofs are relatively easy to install and repair compared to other roofing materials. This makes them a popular choice for homeowners and contractors alike.

Overall, a composition roof is a cost-effective and durable roofing solution that offers a wide range of benefits to homeowners. Its versatility, durability, and affordability make it a popular choice for residential and commercial buildings.

What are the benefits of a composition roof?

A composition roof offers several benefits that make it a popular choice among homeowners. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Affordability: One of the main benefits of a composition roof is its affordability. Compared to other roofing materials like wood or metal, composition roofs are relatively inexpensive. This makes them a cost-effective option for homeowners on a budget.
  2. Durability: Composition roofs are known for their durability. They are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy rain, wind, and even hail. Most composition roofing shingles have a Class A fire rating, which means they offer excellent fire resistance.
  3. Wide Range of Styles and Colors: Composition roofs come in a variety of styles and colors, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture and personal style. Whether you prefer the appearance of traditional asphalt shingles or want a more modern, sleek look, there’s a composition roof option for you.
  4. Easy Maintenance: Maintaining a composition roof is relatively easy. Regular inspections and simple cleaning are usually all that’s required to keep it in good condition. Additionally, if a shingle becomes damaged, it can be easily replaced without having to replace the entire roof.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Some composition roofs are designed to be energy-efficient, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. These roofs often have reflective materials or coatings that reflect sunlight, preventing excessive heat buildup in the attic and reducing the strain on your HVAC system.

Overall, a composition roof offers a combination of affordability, durability, versatility, and ease of maintenance that makes it a popular choice for homeowners. Whether you’re building a new home or replacing an old roof, a composition roof is definitely worth considering.

What are the different types of composition roofs?

When it comes to composition roofs, there are several options available. Here are some of the most common types:

1. Asphalt Shingles:

Asphalt shingles are the most popular and widely used type of composition roof. They are affordable, durable, and come in a variety of colors and styles. Asphalt shingles are also relatively easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners.

2. Fiberglass Shingles:

Fiberglass shingles are similar to asphalt shingles but have a layer of fiberglass matting embedded in them. This makes them more lightweight and fire-resistant. They are also more resistant to UV rays and can withstand extreme weather conditions better than traditional asphalt shingles.

3. Organic Shingles:

Organic shingles are made from recycled materials, such as waste paper soaked in asphalt. They are heavier and more durable than fiberglass shingles but are less fire-resistant. Organic shingles are not as commonly used today due to their environmental impact and lower fire rating.

4. Three-Tab Shingles:

Three-tab shingles are a type of asphalt shingle that has three tabs of varying widths along the lower edge. They are less expensive and easier to install compared to other types of composition roofs. However, they have a shorter lifespan and may require more frequent maintenance.

5. Architectural Shingles:

Architectural shingles, also known as dimensional or laminate shingles, are a premium option for composition roofs. They have a multi-dimensional appearance and mimic the look of natural materials like slate or wood. Architectural shingles are thicker, more durable, and have a longer lifespan compared to other types of composition roofs.

6. Luxury Shingles:

Luxury shingles are the highest quality and most expensive type of composition roof. They often have unique designs, patterns, and textures that closely resemble natural materials. Luxury shingles offer superior durability, longevity, and aesthetics.

When choosing a composition roof, consider factors such as your budget, climate, architectural style of your home, and personal preferences. It’s also important to consult with a professional roofing contractor to ensure you make the right choice.

How do I know if I need a new roof?

If you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace your current roof with a new composition roof, there are a few signs to look out for. Here are some indications that it may be time for a roof replacement:

  1. Age: The average lifespan of a composition roof is around 20 to 25 years. If your roof is approaching or past this age, it’s a good idea to start considering a replacement.
  2. Leaks: If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, it could be a sign that your roof is leaking. Even if the leaks are small, they can cause significant damage over time, so addressing the issue promptly is essential.
  3. Missing or damaged shingles: If you see shingles that are cracked, curling, or missing altogether, it’s a clear sign that your roof is compromised. These issues can allow water to seep into your home and cause further damage.
  4. Sagging or drooping: A sagging or drooping roof is a serious problem that requires immediate attention. It could indicate structural issues or water damage, and it poses a significant safety risk.
  5. Excessive granule loss: If you find an excessive amount of granules in your gutters or downspouts, it may be a sign that your shingles are deteriorating and nearing the end of their lifespan.
  6. Roof deck damage: If you notice signs of rot, decay, or mold on your roof deck, it’s a clear indication that your roof is no longer providing proper protection and needs to be replaced.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, it’s best to consult with a professional roofing contractor to assess the condition of your roof and determine whether a replacement is necessary.

How do I choose the right composition roof for my home?

Choosing the right composition roof for your home is an important decision that can greatly impact the overall aesthetic and durability of your roof. Here are some key factors to consider when making your selection:

  1. Material: Composition roofs are available in various materials, including asphalt and fiberglass or polyester. Each material has its own pros and cons, so it’s essential to research and select one that best suits your needs and budget.
  2. Color and Style: Composition roofs come in a wide range of colors and styles to complement your home’s exterior. Consider the architectural style and color scheme of your house when choosing the right roof to ensure a cohesive and visually pleasing look.
  3. Durability: Evaluate the durability and lifespan of different composition roof options. Look for materials that are resistant to weather elements, such as UV rays, moisture, and wind. Additionally, consider the warranty offered by the manufacturer as an indicator of quality.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Some composition roofs are designed with energy-efficient features, such as reflective coatings that can reduce heat absorption and lower cooling costs in hot climates. If energy efficiency is a priority for you, look for roofs with high Energy Star ratings.
  5. Budget: Determine your budget for the roof installation or replacement and compare the cost of different composition roof options. Keep in mind that while some materials may have higher upfront costs, they could offer better long-term value and savings in terms of durability and energy efficiency.
  6. Professional Advice: It’s always advisable to consult with a professional roofing contractor like Big G Roofing who can assess your home’s specific needs and provide expert recommendations. They can guide you on the best composition roof options based on your location, climate, and other factors.

By considering these factors and seeking professional advice, you can make an informed decision and choose the right composition roof that meets your requirements and enhances the beauty and functionality of your home.

How do I install a new composition roof?

Installing a new composition roof can be a complex process that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Here are the steps to follow to ensure a successful installation:

  1. Prepare the roof: Before installing a new composition roof, it is important to prepare the roof surface. This includes removing any existing shingles, nails, or debris. It is also recommended to inspect the roof for any damage or leaks and make necessary repairs.
  2. Install underlayment: The next step is to install an underlayment, which acts as a waterproof barrier between the roof deck and the shingles. There are different types of underlayment available, such as asphalt-saturated felt or synthetic materials. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation.
  3. Apply starter strips: Starter strips are used to provide a solid foundation for the first row of shingles. These strips are typically cut from the same material as the shingles and are installed along the eaves of the roof.
  4. Install shingles: The shingles are installed starting from the bottom edge of the roof and working your way up. Each shingle should overlap the one below it to ensure proper water drainage. Use roofing nails to secure the shingles in place, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for spacing and placement.
  5. Trim and flash: Once the shingles are installed, it is important to trim any excess material and apply flashing around chimneys, vents, and other roof protrusions to prevent water infiltration.
  6. Clean up: After the installation is complete, it is essential to clean up any debris or leftover materials from the roof and ensure that the surrounding area is tidy.
  7. Final inspection: Once the installation is finished, it is recommended to conduct a final inspection of the roof to ensure that everything is in place and there are no visible issues or damages.

It is important to note that installing a composition roof can be a challenging task, especially for those with limited roofing experience. It is always recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor who has the expertise and knowledge to ensure a proper installation.

How to Maintain a Composition Roof

Maintaining a composition roof is essential to ensure its longevity and prevent any damage. Here are some steps you can follow to properly maintain your composition roof:

1. Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your composition roof for any signs of damage, such as cracked, curled, or missing shingles. Check for any areas where water may be pooling or leaking. Inspect the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights for any gaps or damage.

2. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

Clear out any debris, leaves, or branches from your gutters and downspouts to ensure proper water drainage. Clogged gutters can cause water to backup and potentially damage your composition roof.

3. Trim Overhanging Branches

Trim any tree branches that overhang your composition roof. Falling branches or limbs can cause significant damage to the roof, especially during storms or high winds.

4. Remove Moss or Algae

If you notice any moss or algae growth on your composition roof, it’s important to remove it promptly. Use a mild detergent mixed with water and a soft-bristle brush to gently scrub away the moss or algae.

5. Prevent Ice Dams

In colder climates, ice dams can form on the edges of composition roofs, leading to water backup and potential leaks. Install proper insulation and ventilation in your attic to prevent ice dams from forming.

6. Address Leaks Immediately

If you notice any signs of a leak, such as water stains on ceilings or walls, address it immediately. Locate the source of the leak and take appropriate measures to fix it promptly to prevent further damage to your composition roof.

7. Hire Professional Roof Inspections

Consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to perform annual inspections to ensure the overall condition of your composition roof. They can identify any potential issues early on and provide the necessary repairs or maintenance.

By following these maintenance tips, you can extend the lifespan of your composition roof and keep it in excellent condition for years to come.

Big G Roofing