Fibreglass vs. Architectural Shingles
Today’s roofing options come in a wide variety of materials. Two of the most popular options include fibreglass and architectural shingles. Both have impressive statistics, but which fits your needs best?
Difference between Fibreglass and Architectural Shingles
Architectural and fibreglass shingles are similarly made, but have distinctive differences. Architectural shingles are thicker and create a textured appearance. Some people refer to them as laminate or dimensional shingles because of the distinctive shadow each shingle casts on the roof surface. Architectural shingles were first manufactured in the 1970s to introduce a higher-end shingle to the market.
Fibreglass shingles are the typical roofing shingles you see on most homes. They are thin and usually have at least a quarter-inch groove between each panel. You normally see them in flat, even rows, as opposed to the layered and textured look of architectural shingles.
Pros and Cons of Fibreglass and Architectural Shingles
Whether you want to base your shingle decision on price or style, we have combined a list of pros and cons of both fibreglass and architectural shingles.
Lifespan: Architectural shingles will normally last at least ten years longer than fibreglass shingles. With architectural shingles, you usually get a 24–30 year lifespan. Some higher grades claim up to 40-year lifespans. Fibreglass shingles average a 15–20 year lifespan.
Price: The longer lifespan of architectural shingles comes at a cost. Most retailers price architectural shingles at least 25% more than fibreglass shingles. While this may save you money on the initial price, you may want to consider the longer lifespan as an investment.
Style: Architectural shingles come in a wide variety of colours and styles. You can choose multi-coloured patterns or shingles that look like wood. On the other hand, fibreglass shingles typically only come in a few neutral colours such as black, grey, or brown.
Weather resistance: The thicker material in architectural shingles gives them a greater resistance to uplift during a windstorm. Architectural shingles also have zinc granules to help fight algae and mould growth. Many architectural shingle manufacturers have also added insulation and materials to deflect the sun. These elements can help lower energy costs in your home. However, most fibreglass shingles have a higher fire rating and greater resistance to storms on low-sloping roofs.
Choosing the Best Shingle Type for Your Needs
Although architectural roofing is more durable for steep slope roofs, we recommend fibreglass roofing for low-sloping roofs. It will protect your home better from wind and rain. Consider architectural roofing materials if you have steep-slope rooflines with gables and turrets.