Composite Shingle Roof 101: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a homeowner in Raleigh, you know the importance of a reliable roof that not only safeguards your home but also enhances its appearance. That’s where composite shingle roofs come into play. 

In this guide to composite shingle roof materials, our Raleigh area roof installation experts from Artisan Quality Roofing are breaking down everything you need to know. Join us as we uncover the practical benefits of composite roofing and how a composite roofing system could be the right choice for your North Carolina home.

composite shingles, also known as asphalt shingles

What Are Composite Shingles? 

Composite roof shingles, often referred to as asphalt shingles, are a popular roofing material made from a mixture of various materials. Asphalt roof shingles are designed to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials like wood shingles, slate roofs, or clay tile roofs while providing fire protection, UV ray protection, low cost, and long-lasting durability.

Let’s take a closer look at the core composition and materials that make up a composition asphalt roof.


The base material of a composition roof is asphalt, which is a sticky, black, and highly viscous liquid derived from petroleum. Asphalt acts as a binder that holds the shingle together and provides waterproofing qualities.

Fiberglass or Organic Mat

The composite shingle’s core is usually made from either a fiberglass mat or an organic material like cellulose. Fiberglass mats are lightweight and offer good fire resistance, while organic mats are typically made from recycled paper or wood fibers.

Mineral Granules

The top surface of composite shingles is covered with mineral granules, which serve several purposes. These shingle granules provide UV protection, enhance the shingle’s fire resistance, and contribute to the shingle’s appearance by giving it color and texture.

Adhesive Sealant

The bottom of each shingle is coated with an adhesive sealant that activates when the shingles of asphalt roofs are exposed to sunlight and warmth during installation. This sealant helps the shingles bond together and creates a weather-resistant barrier.

Types of Composite Shingles

The composite shingles that make up an asphalt shingle roof come in several different types, each offering unique features and benefits. 

3-Tab Shingles

These are the most basic and economical types of asphalt shingles. They have a flat appearance with three distinct tabs that create the illusion of individual shingles. 3-tab shingles are lightweight, easy to install, and suitable for a wide range of architectural styles. However, they may have a shorter lifespan compared to other types.

Architectural Shingles (Dimensional Shingles)

Architectural shingles are more advanced than 3-tab shingles in terms of both appearance and performance. They have multiple layers or “laminates” that give them a textured and dimensional look, resembling other roofing materials like wood or slate. Architectural shingles are thicker and heavier than 3-tab shingles, providing better durability and often coming with longer warranties.

Laminate Shingles

Similar to architectural shingles, laminate shingles are made with multiple layers to create a textured appearance. They are known for their enhanced durability and resistance to wind and weather. Laminate shingles can be a great choice for homeowners looking for a balance between composition roof cost and performance.

Luxury Shingles

Luxury asphalt shingles are at the high end of the composite shingle spectrum. They are designed to replicate the appearance of premium roofing materials like cedar shake roofs or slate tiles. Luxury shingles often have intricate designs, deep profiles, and rich color variations, providing an upscale look for homes without the high costs associated with traditional materials.

Synthetic Shingles

While not made entirely from asphalt, synthetic shingles are still considered a type of composite shingle due to their composition. They can be made from a combination of materials like rubber, plastic, and other polymers. Synthetic shingles offer exceptional durability, and impact resistance, and can replicate the appearance of various roofing materials.

Advantages of Composite Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingle roofs offer a host of advantages that make them a popular choice among most homeowners in need of a roof replacement. From enhancing the curb appeal of your home to providing long-lasting protection, here’s a closer look at the benefits of choosing composite shingles for your new roof.

Types of roof decking

Aesthetic Appeal

Composite shingle roofs come in a diverse array of styles and colors, allowing you to customize the appearance of your home to match your personal taste. Whether you’re aiming for a classic, modern, or rustic texture look, you can find composite shingles that complement your home’s architectural style.

One of the standout features of composite shingles is their ability to mimic the appearance of other roofing materials such as wood, slate, or tile. This means you can achieve the desired aesthetic of premium materials without the associated costs or maintenance requirements.

Durability and Longevity

Composite shingle roofs are known for their durability and longevity. With proper installation and maintenance performed by a reputable roofing contractor, these roofs can last anywhere from 20 to 30 years or more, depending on the specific type of asphalt shingles used.

Composite shingle roofs are also designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions. They offer excellent resistance to rain, wind, snow, and even hail. Many modern composite shingles are engineered to have high wind ratings, ensuring they stay in place during storms.


One of the most significant advantages of composite shingle roofs is their affordability. When compared to premium roofing materials like slate or wood shakes, composite shingles are much more budget-friendly, making them an attractive option for homeowners seeking value without sacrificing quality.

Composite shingle roofs have relatively low installation and maintenance costs. Their lightweight nature simplifies the installation process, reducing labor expenses. Additionally, maintenance typically involves routine inspections and occasional cleaning, which is less demanding than the maintenance requirements of some other roofing materials.

Installation and Repairs

Composite shingle roofs are relatively straightforward to install, especially by experienced roofing professionals. Their uniformity and standardized installation methods help streamline the process, saving time and minimizing the potential for errors.

In the unfortunate event of damage, repairs to composite shingle roofs are generally straightforward. Damaged shingles can be replaced individually without the need for extensive rework. This targeted approach to repairs helps keep costs and inconvenience to a minimum.

Factors to Consider Before Choosing Composite Shingles 

Before embarking on the journey to revamp your roof with composite shingles, several key factors merit careful consideration. Ensuring a harmonious blend of practicality, aesthetics, and compliance is crucial for a successful roofing project.

Climate Considerations

The unique climate of Raleigh should play a pivotal role in your roofing decision. Composite shingles are designed to withstand a variety of weather conditions, but evaluating their performance under Raleigh’s specific climate—hot summers, occasional heavy rainfall, and mild winters—is essential. Ensuring the shingles’ ability to resist heat, rain, and potential storms is a smart move.

Composite shingles’ response to temperature fluctuations and humidity levels is a key consideration. The heat and humidity of Raleigh’s summers can potentially affect shingle expansion and contraction. Opting for shingles designed to handle such conditions will help maintain the roof’s integrity over time.

Architectural Style

Selecting the right shingle style that complements your home’s architecture is pivotal. The roofing material should enhance the overall aesthetic, rather than appear disjointed. Whether your home boasts traditional Southern charm, contemporary lines, or a blend of influences, choosing shingle styles that align harmoniously is paramount.

Composite shingles offer a diverse range of styles and colors, allowing you to enhance your home’s curb appeal. By carefully considering the shingle’s appearance in relation to your home’s exterior, you can create a cohesive look that adds value and charm.

Homeowners Association (HOA) Regulations

For many homeowners, adhering to the guidelines set by their homeowner’s association (HOA) is essential. Check whether there are specific restrictions or requirements related to roofing materials, colors, or styles. Ensuring that your chosen composite shingles align with HOA regulations is crucial to avoid potential issues in the future.

Thankfully, composite shingles offer a wide array of choices that often align with HOA regulations. Explore the range of available options to find asphalt shingles that not only meet the HOA’s criteria but also satisfy your design preferences.

Proper Installation and Maintenance

Professional installation methods begin with a well-prepared roof deck. Ensuring a clean, level surface is crucial to the shingles’ performance and longevity. Underlayment and flashing are essential components that provide an extra layer of protection against moisture infiltration. Proper installation of these elements ensures a watertight seal and safeguards your home from potential leaks.

Experienced roofing contractors follow specific shingle laying techniques to ensure the shingles are installed securely and in alignment. This meticulous approach prevents issues like improper drainage and enhances the shingles’ overall lifespan.

Regular Maintenance

Regular roof inspections help catch potential problems early on, preventing them from escalating into more significant issues. Set up a maintenance schedule to inspect for damaged shingles, loose granules, or other signs of wear.

Old dirty composite shingles that need roof replacement

Composite shingle roofs can face challenges like moss or algae growth, debris accumulation, and minor damage. Promptly addressing these issues through cleaning, repairs, or professional routine maintenance can extend the life of your roof and ensure its continued performance.

Choosing Artisan Quality Roofing for Your Composite Shingle Roof 

When it comes to the installation of your composite shingle roof, partnering with a trusted and experienced roofing company can make all the difference. Artisan Quality Roofing, a prominent name in Raleigh’s roofing industry, stands ready to transform your roofing vision into a reality.

Expertise and Experience

With a solid track record in the Raleigh area, Artisan Quality Roofing brings a wealth of expertise to every project. Backed by years of experience, our team of skilled professionals is well-equipped to tackle roofing challenges with precision and finesse.

Craftsmanship and Dedication

At Artisan Quality Roofing, we understand that your home is a reflection of your personality and aspirations. That’s why we approach every project with meticulous attention to detail and a commitment to delivering exceptional craftsmanship. Our dedication to quality shines through in every completed roof.

Certified Roofing Professionals

Artisan Quality Roofing comprises a team of certified and experienced roofing professionals. Our team members undergo regular training to stay updated with the latest industry trends and best practices, ensuring that your roofing project is in capable hands.

Personalized Service

Understanding that every home is unique, we offer personalized service that caters to your specific needs and preferences. We collaborate closely with you to understand your vision, and we work diligently to bring that vision to life.

Contact Our Roofing Experts Today for Composite Shingle Roof in Raleigh

If you’re ready to enhance your Raleigh home with the timeless charm and durability of a composite shingle roof, don’t wait any longer. 

Our top-rated Raleigh roofers at Artisan Quality Roofing are here to guide you through the journey of selecting, installing, and maintaining a composite shingle roof that perfectly suits your home. 

Contact us today by calling 919-906-3791 or filling out the form below to get started. 

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