A man taking measurements of shingles on a roof to be installed.

Homeowners have numerous options when it comes to choosing a roofing material, but one that’s continuously gaining popularity is composite shingles. These modern marvels combine the aesthetics of traditional roof materials with the durability of contemporary composites.

Inside this Blog:

  • Understanding Composite Shingles
  • The Advantages Over Traditional Materials
  • Installation and Maintenance Dos and Don’ts

If you’re considering upgrading your roof, here’s what you need to know about choosing and installing composite shingles.

Understanding Composite Shingles

When most people think of roofing, they picture asphalt shingles, which have been the norm for decades. However, composite shingles, also known as synthetic or composite roof shingles, are changing the game with their versatility and durability. These shingles are made from a mixture of several traditional roofing materials, such as fiberglass, recycled paper products, and asphalt. The result is a shingle that’s lightweight, easy to install, and can mimic the look of expensive or historical roofing materials without the same costs or maintenance requirements.

Types of Composite Shingles

Composite shingles come in a variety of types, each with its own unique benefits and aesthetic characteristics.


  • Fiberglass: This type of composite shingle is lighter and more fire-resistant than other options. It often comes with a longer warranty due to its inherent strength and resilience.
  • Cellulose-Fiber Cement: These shingles are made from a mixture of cement and wood fiber. They’re known for their high durability and resistance to insects and weathering.
  • Recycled Plastics: Shingles made from recycled materials are an eco-friendly choice that can provide outstanding performance and look great on your home.


  • Slate Lookalike Shingles: Composite materials can be manipulated to closely resemble the texture and color of natural slate, providing a high-end look at a more affordable price.
  • Cedar Shake Replicas: Some composite shingles are molded to look like natural wood shakes, giving a home character with a rugged, woodsy appeal.
  • Contemporary Designs: Modern composite shingles offer unique designs and colors that may not be available in traditional materials, allowing homeowners to express their personal style.

The Advantages Over Traditional Materials

Composite shingles offer numerous advantages over traditional roofing materials, making them an appealing choice for many homeowners.


  • Composite shingles can last up to 50 years or more, significantly longer than traditional materials like asphalt or wood, which may last between 15 and 30 years.
  • They’re highly resistant to damage from wind, rain, and hail, and many come with a class-4 impact resistance rating, potentially reducing your homeowner’s insurance premiums.

Energy Efficiency

  • Some composite shingles are designed to reflect more heat than traditional materials, which can lead to lower cooling costs in the summer.
  • The long lifespan of composite shingles means less waste in landfills, making them an environmentally conscious choice.


  • With an array of styles and colors, composite shingles can provide a high-end look that matches the aesthetics of any home.
  • They retain their color and shape well over time, maintaining your home’s curb appeal.

Things to Know Before Installation

Before committing to composite shingles, there are several factors to consider for successful installation and a roof that lasts. Here are a few of them:

1. Weather Conditions

  • If you live in an area prone to extreme weather conditions, such as heavy snow, you’ll need to choose a shingle style and installation method that can withstand these challenges.
  • Make sure that the installation process includes a proper seal to prevent water and ice infiltration. Also, consider adding additional features, like ice and water shields or snow guards, for added protection.

2. Local Building Codes

  • Check with your local government or homeowner’s association to make sure that the type of composite shingle you’re interested in meets the required standards and aesthetic guidelines for your area.
  • Some areas may have restrictions on the use of certain materials or may require specific installation methods to ensure safety and compliance.

3. Compatibility with Your Roof Structure

  • It’s important to have a professional roofer assess the condition of your roof’s structure to determine if it can support the weight of the composite shingles.
  • If your home has an existing asphalt shingle roof, the installation process for composite shingles may be easier and more cost-effective.
A man installing composite shingles on the roof

The Installation Process

A professional roofing company should install your composite shingles to ensure they perform as expected. Here are some basic steps to the installation process:


  • Your existing roof will be stripped of old shingles and the roof deck will be inspected for damage and rot. Any necessary repairs will be made before the new shingles are installed.
  • Ventilation and insulation improvements may be made at this time, especially if you’re upgrading your roof to be more energy-efficient.


  • A layer of underlayment, typically made of felt or synthetic materials, will be laid over the roof deck to provide an additional barrier against water infiltration.
  • Additional layers and features may be added depending on local building codes and the specific weather challenges in your area.

Shingle Installation

  • The shingles are installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically in a specific pattern that maximizes their effectiveness and longevity.
  • Special care is taken to ensure the shingles are properly sealed and allow water to flow off the roof without getting trapped underneath.

Final Touches

  • Once the main body of the roof is shingled, the edges and corners of the roof will be finished with ridges, vents, and other specialty pieces designed to complement the style of your composite shingles.
  • Oftentimes, a final inspection by the installation crew will confirm that everything has been installed correctly and meets high-quality standards.

We Provide Roof Replacement Services

Composite shingles are a versatile, durable roofing option for homeowners looking to upgrade their homes. With the many styles and materials available, you can find the perfect match for your aesthetics and budget. Before installation, carefully consider the factors that could affect the performance and longevity of your new roof.

When it’s time to consider a composite shingle roof for your home, trust the expertise and excellent customer service at Maumee River Roofing. Contact us today for an estimate and take the first step in transforming your home with a beautiful, durable new roof.