Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Asphalt Shingle Roof | Composition Roof

What is a Composition Roof? (3 Things to Know About a Composition Roof)

September 22nd, 2021 | 6 min. read

What is a Composition Roof? (3 Things to Know About a Composition Roof)

Print/Save as PDF

If you’re starting your research for a roof replacement, there’s a lot of information thrown at you. You’ll need to learn about different roofing terms, roofing materials, and more. 

One of the common roofing materials you’ll see is composition. But what is a composition roof and what do you need to know about it?

Here at Bill Ragan Roofing, our goal is to help you understand the ins and outs of the roofing industry and products. That’s why we’re going to break down what a composition roof is. 

After learning what it is, we’re going to give you 3 things you need to know about a composition roof to help you understand more about this common roofing material. 

What is a composition roof?

A composition roof is another roofing industry term for asphalt shingles. It’s also what insurance companies call asphalt shingles on claims for roof damage. 

The reason for the name “composition” is because it’s a composite of man-made materials. These materials consist of fiberglass, tar, and granules put on a fiberglass mat to make a shingle. 

There are 3 types of composition (asphalt) shingles: 3-tab, architectural (dimensional or laminate), and luxury (shake look or slate look). All 3 shingles have different looks to give any homeowner a look they want for their new roof. 

3 tab shingles(3-tab shingles)

3-tab shingles lay flat and get their name from the 3 tabs on each shingle strip.

architectural shingles(Architectural shingles)

Architectural (dimensional) shingles have a random pattern and shadow lines to give your roof more dimension. Some even simulate the look of a wood shake roof.

luxury shingles(Luxury shingles)

Luxury (shake roof and slate roof) shingles are larger and thicker than the other shingles. Most luxury shingles are designed to look like slate tiles, hence the name slate look.

While 3-tab shingles used to dominate the roofing industry, dimensional shingles are the most common type installed on roofs today. Luxury shingles are just as heavily marketed as dimensional but are around double the price. 

3 things you need to know about a composition roof

Now you know what a composition roof is and the 3 types of shingles. However, there are still a few important things to know about a composition roof. 

Let’s get to a composition roof’s lifespan, maintenance, and the cost of a composition roof. 

1. How long a composition roof lasts

A composition roof’s lifespan is the number of years you get out of it. The 3 types of composition shingles each come with a specified lifespan from the manufacturer. 

3-tab shingles have a lifespan of up to 25 years and live the shortest of the three types. Both architectural and luxury shingles have a lifespan of around 30 years, but the luxury style can go over 30 years and up to 50 under the right conditions.

As long as the shingles are properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, they’ll get close to the lifespans above. However, other factors impact how long a composition roof ultimately lasts. 

To learn about these factors and how they impact the life of your shingles, check out how long your asphalt roof will actually last.  

2. A composition roof needs regular maintenance

Your car needs its oil changed to keep it maintained and running smoothly; the same goes for your composition roof. It's important to keep your composition roof functioning perfectly and leak-free by periodically checking it over with roof maintenance.

Whether it’s once or twice a year, regular roof maintenance catches any potential problems with your composition shingles and prevents future leaks before they can cause damage to your home. 

Roof maintenance is also the time to clear your roof and gutters of any debris that has built up. If you let wet debris sit on your composition roof, it will shorten its lifespan. 

If you want to get the most life out of your composition roof, it’s important to have it maintained. To learn more about why roof maintenance is crucial to all roof types, check out why regular roof maintenance is important

3. The roofing materials that make up a composition roof

A composition roof is more than just the shingles you see that make up the bulk of your roof system. It’s a combination of different key roofing components and materials that come together to ensure your roof is leak-free.

Even though composition shingles are a huge part of your roof, the other roofing materials are just as important. 

The main materials and components that make up a composition roof are: 

Remember, these materials come together to make a roof system that protects you and your family. To learn more about the functions of each roofing component and material, click on the hyperlinks attached to the materials or check out the 9 materials included in your roof replacement

How much will a composition roof cost?

You now know 3 things you need to know about a composition roof. However, there’s more to know about a composition roof than the lifespan, maintenance, and other roofing materials. 

One of the most important things you need to know is how much a composition roof costs. Unfortunately, the roofing industry likes to avoid talking about pricing. 

We pride ourselves on doing things differently. That’s why we wrote another article giving you the cost of a composition (asphalt) roof and what impacts the price of a replacement.  

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has provided homeowners in Nashville and surrounding areas with high-quality asphalt roofing services since 1990. Whether you need repairs or a full roof replacement, you can count on us and our lifetime warranty to take care of your roof for decades to come.  

To learn what you can expect to pay for a composition roof replacement, check out How Much a New Asphalt Roof Costs: Pricing, Factors & Considerations.

roofing material quiz

Table Of Contents

Related Articles