For a Free Quote Call Now: (262) 226-9451

What Is a Composition Roof?

Date: May 23, 2023

If you work outside of the construction or roofing industry, you might not be familiar with the term "composition roof," which, in fact, is one of the most commonly used roofing methods in residential construction and is more popularly known as the asphalt shingle roof. In North America, these roofs are utilized in approximately 75% of all homes. Most homeowners prefer them to any other roofing system for a number of solid reasons.

In this post, we'll learn more about asphalt shingle roofs and why they're one of the greatest, if not the best, options for your roof.

Why are composition roofs the most common type?

asphalt shingle roofs

As far as roofing systems go, asphalt shingle roofs are known to be the most popular. Here are some of the primary reasons they are widely known and why you would love to have them installed on your roof:

1. Durability: Asphalt shingle roofs are mostly known for being durable and for having a better lifespan than other roofing systems. They are resilient to the effects of different weather conditions. These shingles can survive severe weather conditions and protect against damage from pests like insects or rats because the asphalt they are made of is resistant to wear and tear. 

They are well known for withstanding high temperatures and strong winds. Furthermore, they can even endure damage from fire and ice. These shingles are the best option if your house is situated in an area that experiences excessive heat or cold.

2. Affordability: The availability and price of the materials used in the manufacturing of asphalt shingles are the main reasons why they are so affordable. Since asphalt is available almost everywhere, this helps keep costs down. Another factor is the way shingles are produced, which is automated, thus further lowering their production costs. These components make asphalt shingles more affordable as a roofing material than materials like metal, tile, or slate. These shingles are a go-to if you are looking for cost-effective and, at the same time, durable roofs.

3. Versatility: Do you love to mix and match? Asphalt shingles have it for you! They come in a wide range of styles, colors, and designs, allowing you to choose a look that complements your style and personal preferences. They can give you the look of more expensive materials like wood, slate, or tile, providing versatility in achieving your desired aesthetics.

Asphalt shingles may be used on various roof types, which is another factor that makes them a flexible option. You can use these shingles on steep-slope roofs, shed roofs, gable roofs, mansard roofs, and hip roofs.

4. Easy to install: DIY projects with asphalt shingles will not be a problem. They are easy to install due to the shingles being lightweight. Because of their installation flexibility, they can be used quickly and effectively, which results in lower labor costs and less time consumption. Nevertheless, it is always recommended to consult and ask for the help of a professional installer to make sure that shingles are installed properly to maximize their performance.

How long do composition roofs last?

composition roof

Imagine that you do not have to worry about your roof for the next 30 years. What a relief! Yes, they last for around three decades—just another reason for you to adore these roofs more. As mentioned already, these shingles are durable and can withstand even extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions.

They may last for a long time, but some factors may still affect their lifespan, such as the material used and proper installation. It will be beneficial to select high-quality composition roofs because not all kinds of these roofs are built of high-quality materials. Even if you have the highest quality shingles, improper installation will render them useless.

To make sure that you get the optimum lifespan of your asphalt shingle roof, proper installation, periodic maintenance, and regular checkups conducted by a professional are essential. An expert can advise you on whether repairs are already necessary and assist you in developing an efficient maintenance plan.

What materials do composition roofs consist of?

Composition roofs are made of fiberglass, asphalt, and granules. To be more specific, these tiles are constructed from an organic or fiberglass mat that has been covered in asphalt and granules, hence the name "composition."

The asphalt serves as the waterproofing and adhesive layer of the shingles. On the other hand, the fiberglass or organic mat provides strength and stability. The granules on the shingle's surface have several other functions as well. It shields the asphalt from UV rays, supplies fire protection, and improves the roof's visual appeal. With the mix of these materials, stacking, and installation methods, a sturdy and weather-resistant roofing system is produced.

What are the three types of composition roofs?

These are the three variations of asphalt shingle roofs that you can choose from depending on your needs and preferences:

1. 3-Tab: These 3-tab shingles are known to be the most common kind of composition roof. The name comes from the fact that each shingle contains three identically sized tabs. Three-tab shingles are often the least expensive choice and offer a flat, uniform appearance on the roof. It may be a practical option, but it is not as durable as other types of composition roofs and has a shorter lifespan compared to others.

2. Architectural: These architectural shingles are produced in layers with tabs of various sizes and forms. This style gives the roof a three-dimensional appearance that resembles expensive roofing materials like wood shakes or slate. The roof gains depth and visual appeal thanks to the textured surface. Compared to 3-tab shingles, architectural shingles are improved aesthetically, are built more durably, and have a much longer lifespan. 

3. Designer: Designer composition roofs are famous for their premium composition and have the highest quality, which makes them the priciest among the three. They are the most aesthetically appealing option, as they are created to look just like high-end roofing materials like cedar shakes, tile, or slate, but at a lower cost. Not only is it the most appealing, but it is also the most durable. Designer shingles have more strength since they weigh twice as much as three-tab shingles.

designer shingle


Now that we know more about composition roofs, we can all agree that they are the most widely used and long-lasting roofing systems. They are durable, offer a variety of options from which you may select based on your preferences, are affordable, and offer other benefits. If not the best, this is one of the best options for your roof. To extend the lifespan of your composition roofing, be sure to consult a competent roofing installer for all of your installation, maintenance, and repair needs.

137 Wisconsin Ave
Waukesha WI 53186
(262) 226-9451
© Copyright 2023 Modern Exterior Roofing. All Rights Reserved. Website & Marketing by DUSK Digital.