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3 Benefits of Fiberglass Roofing Shingles


When it comes to protecting your home against water damage, no feature plays as large a role as your roof. Similarly, no part of your roof plays as important a role as your shingles. Smart homeowners should have their roofing shingles inspected — and if necessary, replaced — on a regular basis.

Historically, the majority of residential roofs were made up of asphalt shingles. Even today, many homeowners instinctively gravitate towards asphalt shingles. Yet roofing contractors know that a better option exists in the form of fiberglass reinforced shingles. This article takes a closer look at three key benefits offered by fiberglass reinforced shingles.

1. Fire Resistance

To begin, you should understand the basic difference between asphalt and fiberglass reinforced shingles. Unfortunately, these names mislead many homeowners, making it sound like fiberglass shingles contain no asphalt. In fact, fiberglass shingles do still contain some asphalt.

The principle difference between the two lies in the so-called matting material, which makes up the bulk of the shingle’s body. A traditional asphalt shingle contains a mat made from either felt or paper soaked in asphalt. A fiberglass shingle, by contrast, uses a fiberglass mat bound together using an urea-formaldehyde resin.

Both asphalt and fiber glass shingles often receive the highest fire safety rating — a Class A rating. A Class A rating means that, among other things, a roofing shingle can last between 2 and 4 hours before igniting in the presence of flame. Yet most contractors agree that fiberglass shingles offer superior fire safety compared to asphalt shingles.

This improved fire performance stems from a lack of paper in a fiberglass shingle. Simply put, fiberglass shows a much better degree of resistance to fire than the natural materials found in traditional asphalt singles. Fiberglass shingles offer better heat-resistance in general, making them a great choice for those in hot climates.

2. Environmental Impact

As noted above, both conventional and fiberglass shingles contain asphalt. In the case of conventional shingles, between 30 and 35 percent of the shingle consists of asphalt. Fiberglass shingles, by contrast, contain between 15 and 20 percent.

Manufacturers derive asphalt from petroleum — a rapidly dwindling natural resource. Although regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency, asphalt production facilities release significant amounts of harmful gases into the atmosphere. These gases contribute to pollution, and may also lead to weakening of the ozone layer.

As concerns grow over environmental change, embracing sustainable products becomes more important. Because fiberglass roofing shingles use less asphalt, they represent a more environmentally friendly product.

3. Cost

In many cases, fiberglass shingles end up costing less than their conventional asphalt equivalent. Roofing contractors often discuss the price of shingles in terms of squares, where one square equals 100 square feet.

Certain fiberglass shingles may cost as little as $50 per square, while those at the high end of the spectrum may cost as much as $200 per square. Asphalt shingles, by contrast, usually fall into a range between $60 and $120 per square.

Yet fiberglass shingles often end up costing less to install than their conventional equivalents. One reason for this savings has to do with weight. Simply put, fiberglass shingles weigh less than asphalt shingles. This lower weight makes them easier to transport, carry up onto your roof, and install.

As a result, a roofing contractor can finish an installation job more quickly, thus saving you money. Additionally, the low weight of fiberglass shingles means that they can often be installed directly on top of existing shingles. In this way, you can avoid the expense of having your old shingles stripped.

The roofing world has whole-heartedly embraced fiberglass shingles. For more information about why you should select fiberglass shingles for your next roofing project, please consult the pros at Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc.

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