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What are Composite Roof Shingles Made Of? (3 Things You Need to Know)

September 20th, 2021 | 5 min. read

What are Composite Roof Shingles Made Of? (3 Things You Need to Know)

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Composite roof shingles are growing more and more popular in the roofing industry. While they are growing in popularity, they haven’t been around as long as the other roofing materials. 

That’s why homeowners like you still have some questions about them. One of these questions is, “What are composite roof shingles made of?”. 

Here at Bill Ragan Roofing, we want you to understand every detail about the roofing material you’re considering for your roof replacement. That’s why we’re going to break down what composite roof shingles are made of. 

After learning that, we’ll give you the 3 things every homeowner needs to know about composite roof shingles. 

What are composite roof shingles made of?

Most composite (also known as synthetic) shingles are made of recycled rubber and plastic materials. However, some composite shingles are made out of an engineered polymer instead of the recycled materials. 

what are composite roof shingles made of

The reason for this varies based on the manufacturer of your composite shingles. For example, Davinci Roofscapes doesn’t use recycled materials because of “the long term viability of a roof.”

Their website states the reasoning behind this: 

“While other synthetic tiles may be manufactured from recycled materials such as tires or milk bottles, it is our opinion that the variability found in recycled materials could compromise the long term viability of a roof. 

The only way to assure that a synthetic slate or shake will provide good service for 50 years or more is to consistently produce those tiles to very exacting standards. We do not feel it is possible to meet our high standards for quality and durability using recycled materials.”

Even though their composite shingles aren’t made of recycled materials, they are still 100% recyclable. No matter what manufacturer your local roofing contractor uses, a composite shingle roof is the most eco-friendly roof on the market. 

3 things you need to know about composite shingles

Now you know what composite shingles are made of. However, there’s still more you need to know about this roofing material. 

Let’s get to the 3 things you need to know about composite shingles. 

1. Composite roof shingles are durable

You probably think since composite shingles are made out of recycled materials or a polymer, they are easily breakable. This couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Because of the materials' composite shingles are made of, they’re one of the most durable roofing materials on the market. If you hit them with a hammer, it will bounce back with no damage to the shingle. 

This is due to the high impact rating that composite shingles have. For example, DaVinci shingles (the leading manufacturer) have a Class 4 impact rating, which is the highest rating a roofing material can have. 

You can even walk on them without having to worry about cracking them like real slate and cedar shakes. The impact rating also means they stand up well to anything that hits your roof, including extreme weather, such as hail. 

Because of this durability, composite shingles are one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market.

2. Composite roof shingles look exactly like real cedar shake and slate

The reason homeowners are drawn to composite shingles is because they look exactly like real slate or cedar shake. 

But do they really look like the real thing? Take a look for yourself. 

slate tiles compared to composite slate shingles(Left = Real Slate, Right = Composite Slate)

Composite slate shingles are modeled from real slate tiles and even have chisel marks to add a hand-crafted touch to give them a completely authentic look.

cedar shakes compared to composite shingles(Left = Cedar Shake, Right = Composite Cedar)

Composite cedar shake shingles have realistic grain patterns and deep grooves that create a shingle that looks just like shake shingles.

If you work in the roofing industry, you might be able to tell the difference between composite shingles and the roofing material it mimics. However, you, your neighbors, or anyone walking by your home won’t be able to tell the difference from the ground.

3. The warranties that come with composite roof shingles

You’ll have two warranties after your composite shingles are installed. One will be on your roofing contractor’s workmanship, and the other will be from the manufacturer on the composite shingles themselves. 

The workmanship warranty varies from roofing contractor to roofing contractor. To protect your investment, you should always look for a lifetime warranty or close to it (25 years). 

On the other hand, composite shingles usually come with a lifetime limited material warranty that will prorate after a certain number of years. But just like a workmanship warranty, the actual length of the material warranty depends on the manufacturer of your composite shingles. 

Talk to your local roofing contractor about the manufacturer they use and your material warranty options before jumping into a composite roof investment.

How long does a composite shingle roof last?

Now you know 3 things that every homeowner needs to know about composite shingles. Remember, they are one of the most durable roofing materials on the market today. 

While you know what makes them durable, you don’t know how many years you’ll actually get out of the durability. 

Learning the lifespan of a composite roof (or any roof) helps you understand what you get out of your investment. That’s why we have another article breaking down how long a composite roof lasts. 

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the highest-quality roofing services that Nashville has to offer since 1990. Whether you need repairs, a roof replacement, skylight services, or even just routine maintenance, you can count on us to take care of you and your roof for decades to come. 

Check out How Long a Composite (Synthetic) Roof Lasts to learn what you’ll get out of your composite shingle investment.

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