What is a Composition Roof: Understanding the Basics
Updated: Mar 28
Choosing the best roof for your house is always a challenging feat. On the one hand, the most durable ones, like metal or slate, will cost you a fortune. On the other hand, wood roofs look cool and are cheap but can’t withstand the extreme weather and winds of SoCal. That’s where composition roofs come into play.
Composition roofs (or composite roofs) are made from different materials; all mashed up into appealing and durable shingles. With composition roofing, you’ll get the looks of a slate or a wood roof without breaking the bank or worrying that it’ll come crashing down within a few years.
But what is a composition roof? And how long does one last? That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this article. We’ll also look at all the composition roof types alongside how to properly maintain your new roof.
Image by mrsiraphol on Freepik
What Are the Different Composition Roof Types?
Since composition roofs are made of plenty of materials, several different types exist. Most are asphalt-based; some have a fiberglass layer, while others contain organic materials. So, instead of splitting them up depending on their composition (no pun intended), let’s categorize them depending on the type of shingles used.
Composition roofs with 3-tab shingles were the norm when they came about. They’re light, inexpensive, and can imitate the look of asphalt roofs. Their name comes from the fact that every strip of shingles has 3 tabs (or cutouts). While these were widely used once upon a time, they’re the least durable type of composition roofs.
In came the architectural shingles. Unlike 3-tab ones, these are thicker and will last much longer. In terms of appearance, the architectural (or laminate) shingles feature a random pattern. Despite being more expensive than 3-tabs, these are the most common composition roof type.
If you don’t mind spending the extra buck for a cool-looking roof, luxury shingles are your best bet. Even though they cost nearly double the amount of architectural ones, this is by far the most durable and appealing composition roofing type. They can even imitate slate roofs; plus, you won’t have to break the bank (and we won’t have to break our backs) to install them.
Pros of Composition Roofing
With composition roofs being so prevalent in SoCal, there’s no doubt that they have quite a few advantages.
Durability: While composition roofing consists of several roof parts apart from shingles, there’s no doubt that it’s durable all around. Their durability lies in the fact that their composite usually includes rubber and plastic, both of which can withstand a punch (or a tree branch).
Customizability: No other roof type allows you to fully customize how the final product will look. With composition roofs, you can pick the color of the shingles and the roof type you’d like to imitate. They can even look like cedar shake ones, with very realistic graining patterns.
Long-Term Affordability: Let’s get one thing straight. Composite roofs aren’t “cheap”. But they are certainly the best value you can get from any roofing. Some can last for a lifetime under the right circumstances and cost much less than metal and slate ones.
Easy Installation and Repair: This one’s mostly here for us. Composition roofs are the easiest to install. Jokes aside, since these are made of individual shingles, you won’t need reroofing to fix a couple of shingles.
Cons of Composition Roofing
Premature Breakdown: Because of their composition, these roofs are prone to breaking down if exposed to moisture or the sun for too long.
Still Fairly New: Unlike other roof types, composite roofs haven’t been around for very long, so we’re still learning more about them hence why they might show some issues in the long run.
How Long Does a Composition Roof Last
A composite roof’s longevity is based on its type. Architectural and Luxury shingles will last 30-50 years, with 3-tab ones lasting up to 25 years. That said, if there’s adequate attic ventilation and the weather conditions aren’t too harsh, they’ll last much longer.
But, with the proper installation and maintenance, your composition roof might only last for two decades.
Let Us Install and Maintain Your New Composition Roof
Composition roofs have been the norm in SoCal for quite some time. So, now that you know what a composition roof is, how about you get a new one installed? And, who better to do this than us?
At Roofing Wise, we’ll take care of the entire roof installation process and offer you the required maintenance to keep your composite roof untouched. Contact us now at (833) 315-7663 for a free estimate.