Fiberglass shingles are among the most popular as far as modern roofing materials are concerned. This is primarily due to their relatively low cost when compared to the benefits that they offer. Fiberglass shingles are very nearly ubiquitous across the northeast and northwest of the United States and are in fact one of the most popular materials for roofing in the entire world. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t come with their own sets of drawbacks and downfalls as well. Let’s examine the actual pros and cons of fiberglass shingles. Give Synergy Roofing Company a call today!
- What Are Fiberglass Shingles?
Fiberglass shingles are a simple and effective material that gained rapid popularity due to how easily they are installed and manufactured. They are made by creating a base mat of woven fiberglass and then coating that mat in asphalt. That mat is then coated in a thin layer of ceramic granules, and you have the finished product!
- The Pros of Fiberglass Shingles
There are actually quite a few upsides to fiberglass shingles, all things considered. Their biggest upside is the fact that they only cost around $90/sq. Ft, which is a lot cheaper than many competing shingle material options. In addition, fiberglass shingles are naturally fire-resistant and almost completely waterproof. On top of this, they are durable enough to withstand minor hailstorms and the weight of heavy snows and ice build-ups. They are tough, cheap, and easily customizable when it comes to colors and style options. It’s easy to see the appeal!
- The Cons of Fiberglass Shingles
They are lighter than asphalt shingles
Fiberglass shingles are made of woven fiberglass rather than asphalt, which makes them lighter in weight than asphalt. The lighter weight means less installation costs and the fiberglass doesn’t degrade over time like organic asphalt does. Fiberglass shingles are also more fire-resistant than asphalt shingles. But they’re not as durable as asphalt shingles and can crack more easily in cold weather.
Although they’re cheaper and easier to install, asphalt shingles are still the most popular option. Not only are they easy to install, but some varieties offer better overall performance than other types of shingles. And they come in a stunning range of colors, including a variety of neutrals, light and dark grays, and even blue-green and reddish tones. And if you want a more vintage look, you can choose a style with a weathered look to fit your house’s style.
Fiberglass shingles are also more environmentally friendly. Because they have less asphalt in them, they’re easier to transport and don’t produce a large amount of waste. As a result, they don’t contribute to global warming. They’re also less likely to end up in landfills.
The major drawback of fiberglass shingles is the fact that they are rather susceptible to warping and buckling. This is especially true in regions where extreme weather fluctuations or heavy winds are common. This is mostly why fiberglass shingles are more dominant in the northeast and northwest of the United States–less unpredictability in weather!
In addition, fiberglass shingles typically only have a lifespan of about 15-25 years. That may sound like a long time but compare that to the 50-100-year lifespans of metal or slate, and you can see why fiberglass can come up short in this area.
They require less asphalt
Fiberglass shingles are an excellent option for homeowners who want to reduce the amount of asphalt used in the roofing process. Fiberglass is extremely durable and won’t dry out or change shape as easily as asphalt does. They also require less asphalt than asphalt shingles and are less rugged. They are also easier to install.
Fiberglass shingles are lighter than traditional asphalt shingles, which reduces the amount of asphalt needed during the construction process. This makes them easier to transport and store, and they can even be recycled for other construction materials. However, their thin thickness makes them less resistant to cold and wind than asphalt shingles.
Although manufacturers guarantee that asphalt shingles will last fifteen to 30 years, many factors affect the life of the material. The climate, environmental factors, and other factors all play a role in determining the lifespan of the product. For example, homeowners in hotter climates may need to replace their roofing sooner than those in colder climates. In addition, sudden temperature spikes can lead to damage, as can ice dams caused by freezing water.
- Overall Evaluation
The general consensus for fiberglass shingles is that the good outweighs the bad. So long as you don’t live in a region where extreme weather is the norm, they should serve you well for many years to come. Fiberglass shingles really only fall short in their ability to hold up against the elements as well as slate, metal, or even composite. However, that doesn’t mean that they should be overlooked. It’s still important to remember that fiberglass shingles are:
- Easy to customize and come in plenty of colors and styling options.
- Easy to repair.
- Waterproof and fire-resistant.
- Very budget-friendly!
When you consider the upsides, fiberglass shingles are not really a bad option. This is especially true if the cost is the major driving factor behind your purchasing choice. There are definitely worse materials you could be used to coat your roof in, that much is for certain!