Asphalt vs Composite Shingles (Cost, Maintenance, & More)

Choosing the right roofing material for your home is a crucial decision that can significantly impact both the aesthetics and functionality of your property. Among the myriad of options available in the market, asphalt and composite shingles stand out as two popular choices for residential roofing.

In this comprehensive blog, we’ll take a deep dive into:

  • The characteristics of asphalt and composite shingles
  • Pros and cons
  • Cost considerations
  • Factors to help you make an informed decision between asphalt vs composite shingles

When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Before diving into the specifics of roofing materials, it’s essential to understand when you should consider replacing your roof. Some common signs that indicate the need for a new roof include:

  • Age: Most asphalt shingle roofs have a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, while composite shingles can last 30 to 50 years. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded this timeframe, it’s time to start considering a replacement.
  • Visible Damage: Inspect your roof regularly for signs of damage such as missing, cracked, or curling shingles, as well as leaks or water stains on the ceiling.
  • Sagging or Drooping: A sagging roofline indicates structural issues that require immediate attention.
  • Increased Energy Bills: Poorly functioning roofs can lead to energy inefficiencies, causing your heating and cooling costs to rise.
  • Algae or Moss Growth: Excessive algae or moss growth can compromise the integrity of your roof and indicate underlying moisture issues.

Understanding these signs can help you determine whether it’s time to invest in a new roof and which material will best suit your needs.

Asphalt Shingles: Pros and Cons

asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles have long been a popular choice for residential roofing due to their affordability and ease of installation. Here are some of the key pros and cons of asphalt shingles:

✅ Pros:

  • Cost-Effective: Asphalt shingles are among the most budget-friendly roofing materials available, making them an attractive option for homeowners on a tight budget.
  • Wide Variety: They come in a wide range of colors, styles, and textures, allowing homeowners to choose a look that complements their home’s architecture.
  • Easy Installation: Asphalt shingles are lightweight and relatively easy to install, which can help reduce labor costs.
  • Adequate Performance: While not as durable as some other roofing materials, asphalt shingles offer sufficient protection against the elements when properly installed and maintained.

❌ Cons:

  • Limited Lifespan: Asphalt shingles typically have a shorter lifespan compared to alternative materials, requiring more frequent replacement.
  • Susceptible to Weathering: They may deteriorate over time due to exposure to sunlight, temperature fluctuations, and moisture, leading to curling, cracking, or granule loss.
  • Environmental Impact: Asphalt shingles are petroleum-based products, which raises environmental concerns regarding production, disposal, and recycling.

Composite Shingles: Pros and Cons

Composite shingles, also known as synthetic or engineered shingles, are a newer alternative to traditional asphalt shingles. Composed of a blend of materials such as fiberglass, recycled plastics, and polymers, composite shingles offer several advantages:

✅ Pros:

  • Longevity: Composite shingles typically have a longer lifespan than asphalt shingles, lasting anywhere from 30 to 50 years or more with proper maintenance.
  • Durability: They are highly resistant to weathering, impact, and UV radiation, making them an excellent choice for homes in areas prone to severe weather conditions.
  • Low Maintenance: Composite shingles require minimal maintenance and are less susceptible to damage from algae, moss, or pests.
  • Eco-Friendly: Many composite shingles are made from recycled materials, reducing their environmental impact compared to traditional asphalt shingles.

❌ Cons:

  • Higher Initial Cost: While composite shingles offer long-term savings due to their durability, they typically have a higher upfront cost than asphalt shingles.
  • Limited Variety: Although the range of composite shingle styles and colors is expanding, it may not be as extensive as that of asphalt shingles.
  • Installation Complexity: Composite shingles may require specialized installation techniques, increasing labor costs compared to asphalt shingles.

Cost Comparison Between The Two

When comparing the cost of asphalt and composite shingles, it’s essential to consider both the initial investment and long-term expenses. While asphalt shingles are generally more affordable upfront, they may require more frequent replacement, leading to higher lifetime costs. On the other hand, composite shingles have a higher initial cost but offer greater durability and longevity, resulting in lower overall expenses over time.

The cost of roofing materials and installation can vary depending on factors such as the size and complexity of your roof, local labor rates, and market conditions. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple roofing contractors to compare prices and ensure you’re getting a fair deal.

How to Choose Between Asphalt and Composite Shingles

overhead roof

When deciding between asphalt and composite shingles, several factors should influence your decision:

  • Budget: Consider your budgetary constraints and weigh the upfront cost against the long-term value provided by each roofing material.
  • Climate: Evaluate your local climate and choose a roofing material that offers adequate protection against weather extremes such as high winds, heavy rain, snow, and UV exposure.
  • Aesthetic Preferences: Select a shingle style and color that complements your home’s architectural style and enhances its curb appeal.
  • Longevity: Assess the lifespan of each roofing material and consider how long you plan to stay in your current home.
  • Environmental Impact: If sustainability is a priority for you, research the environmental credentials of both asphalt and composite shingles and choose the option with the lowest environmental footprint.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Factor in the maintenance needs of each roofing material, including cleaning, repairs, and inspections, to determine which option best fits your lifestyle and schedule.

Why Consult a Professional Roofing Contractor?

While it’s essential to educate yourself about the different roofing materials available, seeking guidance from a professional roofing contractor is invaluable. Here’s why:


Roofing contractors have the knowledge and experience to assess your specific roofing needs and recommend the most suitable materials and solutions.

Accurate Assessment:

A professional roofer can conduct a thorough inspection of your roof to identify any underlying issues that may affect your choice of roofing material.

Customized Solutions:

Roofing contractors can provide personalized recommendations tailored to your budget, aesthetic preferences, and performance requirements.

Quality Installation:

Proper installation is critical to the performance and longevity of your roof. By hiring a certified roofing contractor, you can ensure that your new roof is installed correctly and meets industry standards.

Warranty Coverage:

Many roofing manufacturers offer warranties that require installation by a certified contractor. By hiring a professional roofer, you can ensure that your warranty remains valid and that you’re protected against any defects or issues with your new roof.

Your Go-To Roofers

Choosing between asphalt and composite shingles involves weighing various factors such as cost, durability, aesthetics, and environmental impact. While asphalt shingles offer affordability and versatility, composite shingles provide superior longevity and resilience.

Whether you opt for the traditional appeal of asphalt shingles or the modern performance of composite shingles, investing in a high-quality roof is essential to protecting your home and enhancing its value for years to come. Reach out to Monarch Roofing today to learn how to choose the right roofing material for you!

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