Shingles are perhaps the most popular roofing style in the United States, and for good reason. Aside from adding a unique decorative style to your home, they protect your roof from warping, leaking and UV damage, all of which can weaken the structural integrity of your entire house. Every shingle on your roof should be high-quality and durable enough to withstand everything from windstorms to snowy nights. The material of your shingles makes a major impact on your roof’s future, so you want to make sure you’re choosing the right option for your needs. Some of the most common types of roof surfaces you’ll find are asphalt, composite shake shingles and composite slate tile. All tend to be durable and long-lasting. But which one is right for you? Equity Builders Roofing is here to help you explore your options so you can make an informed decision.

Asphalt or Composite Shingles for Your Roof?

Contact us now to consult with our roofing specialists and make an informed choice that suits your budget, style, and long-term durability requirements for a beautiful and reliable roof.

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What Are Asphalt Shingles?

Asphalt shingles cover a majority of roofs in the United States. They consist of multiple layers of fiberglass, tar and colored granules. While the fiberglass gives asphalt shingles their strength and water resistance, the granules provide a range of color options for any style preference. The granules also offer UV resistance to protect against sun-related wear and tear. Asphalt shingles come in three main styles:

  • Architectural shingles: Sometimes referred to as dimensional shingles, this formation gives your roof a somewhat random-looking pattern that’s both eclectic and organized.
  • Three-tab shingles: Three-tab singles offer a brick-like appearance and were the most popular choice for asphalt arrays before the architectural style took over. They lay completely flat against your roof, giving them a lower profile appearance, unlike the 3D look of a laminated shingle.
  • Luxury shingles: Premium shingles can offer the most protection thanks to their larger shingle size and increased overlap placement. They can offer a uniform pattern of three-tab shingles or a slate-like appearance of architectural shingles.

Asphalt shingles are a safe, reasonable choice for most homes around the country. There are many reasons homebuyers and construction companies gravitate toward them, including their:

  • Class 4 impact rating: Impact ratings refer to how much hail damage shingles can manage before they’re at a higher risk for damage. Most asphalt shingles do not reach a Class 4 impact rating.
  • Cost: Asphalt shingles are made from affordable materials and are relatively easy to install. Part of the reason they’re the most popular shingle type is that these features can make them the most cost-effective option in most roofing situations.

What Are Composite Shingles?

In many ways, asphalt shingles were the blueprint for options like composite shingles. A newer form of shingle, shake or tile, composite styles take water resistance and UV protection and fuse them into the same layer, offering an even more durable solution than asphalt. Composite shingles are made from synthetic materials and are typically designed to look like they were made from another material, like slate or cedar. Unless you’re a roofer yourself, you may not even be able to tell the difference between them and their natural counterparts after installation. Some of the main reasons people choose composite shingles over asphalt include:

  • Class F impact ratings and above: Most composite shingles have some of the highest impact ratings, resulting in protection against hail damage.
  • Life span: Over time, the layers in asphalt shingles can chip and separate, leading to more frequent repair needs. Composite shingles tend to last longer and be less prone to breakage.
  • Appearance: While asphalt shingles offer a variety of options in terms of color and arrangement, composite shingles are even more versatile. If you get composite shingles, you can make them look like essentially any material you prefer.
  • Moisture resistance: If you live in a humid climate, composite shingles’ longer life span is only enhanced. The plastic-like polymers are extremely resistant to signs of humidity damage, including mold and algae growth, which can lead to earlier roof replacement. Composite shingles also create a stronger barrier that keeps the underside of your roof, attic and ceiling from similar complications.

Comparing Asphalt Shingles vs. Composite Shingles

While both asphalt and composite shingles have merits of their own, the best way to decide which will be better for your home is to compare them directly to one another. There are four main distinctions you should explore when choosing shingles.

Curb Appeal

Asphalt shingles have a timeless, well-known appearance that anyone can identify. Regardless of color, they tend to have the same look thanks to the top granule layer. A fresh application of this classic style can improve any home’s curb appeal and maintain the look the original architect had in mind. However, if you really want to modernize your home and maximize its curb appeal, composite shingles may be the ideal choice. Composite shingles are available in designs that offer the appearance of natural materials like wood or rock. Opt for a look that complements your home’s style and adds a unique appearance that passersby and potential buyers will love.

Life Span

When it comes to life span, composite shingles are an obvious winner. Of course, both shingle types can last for decades when properly installed and cared for. Barring any major weather events, manufacturers estimate you can get 25 years out of asphalt shingles, with the average life span reaching about 30 years. Composite shingles have been known to offer an extra one to two decades following that for an overall life span of 40 to 50 years. Since composite shingles are typically made from more durable materials, you can expect them to stay on your roof for much longer, even during storms and inclement weather.

Warranty Options

When you buy shingles, they usually come with a specified warranty from the manufacturer. Asphalt shingles will typically come with a 30-year warranty. As we noted earlier, 30 years is the average life span for this type of shingle. With some warranties, you’ll likely have access to roofing repairs, maintenance and even a full replacement in certain situations. Composite shingles are more durable to begin with, so manufacturers generally opt for a limited lifetime warranty that protects you in case of material defects. The exact length of this warranty may change based on the manufacturer, but it may not last the duration of your shingle’s life span like asphalt warranties do.


Although many comparisons seem to paint composite shingles as the clear winner, it’s important to note that these improvements come at a cost. Composite shingles are frequently priced over four times the cost of asphalt shingles, mostly due to their more durable construction and longer life span. Still, composite shingles continue to grow in popularity as people recognize the enhanced benefits paying extra can bring them.

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Get the Best Shingle Installation From Equity Builders Roofing

Whatever shingles you decide on, Equity Builders Roofing will ensure they’re installed to manufacturers’ specifications. We’ve spent decades building our reputation as the top licensed roofers in and around Bloomington, Indiana. We’ve installed, repaired, and maintained roofs all over town, and we hope your home is the next one to experience enhanced safety and protection against the elements. Our roofing experts are backed up by extensive remodeling knowledge, so if your roof repair raises even more work, we’ll handle it all with ease. We believe that every Indiana homeowner deserves quality work at an affordable price. We’re transparent about our pricing options from the beginning, and if you can find a similar service for a better price, we’ll match it. We also work with numerous financers to help you find a solution that fits your budget. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and certifications complying with standards set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you can feel confident in choosing us for your roofing needs. You can contact our team online with all your roof-related questions and schedule a free roof consultation today. We’ll get up close and personal with your roof from the start to provide you with a roof to last a lifetime.