The Story of Fiberglass Shingles

Fiberglass Shingles

The variety and diversity of roofing materials for residential roofing, commercial roofing, and institutional buildings is really quite impressive.  While we are all probably very familiar with the concept of shingles, we may not all know that shingles can be made from many different materials.  Asphalt shingles are the most popular variety used worldwide, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t competition in the shingle department.  Indeed, fiberglass shingles are technically a sub-type of asphalt shingle but they offer unique properties.  So, let’s learn more about the story of fiberglass shingles.

Fiberglass Shingles versus Asphalt Shingles

Okay, so we just announced that fiberglass shingles are a type of asphalt shingle – so what’s the difference between the two.  Somewhat akin to organic mat asphalt shingles, fiberglass shingles feature a fiberglass base whereas asphalt shingles utilize a paper base.  The fiberglass mat represents many benefits including improved water resistance, better fire resistance, and improved performance in hot climates.  On the other hand, fiberglass shingles also have some downsides – they are not as effective in cold climates because they are prone to damage in lower temperatures.  Additionally, fiberglass shingles tend to cost more.  But what can one say about the aesthetic?  Honestly, you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between fiberglass shingles an asphalt shingles – in fact, the most notable difference between these options is pricing.

Fiberglass Shingle Construction

Fiberglass shingles are made from similar materials as asphalt shingles.  As mentioned, the base of these shingles is woven fiberglass.  This base is then topped with a waterproof asphalt layer and finally ceramic granules that protect against UV exposure.  Usually, fiberglass shingles feature less asphalt in their construction as the fiberglass mat makes them more durable and stronger.  Subsequently, fiberglass asphalt shingles are more lightweight and represent an eco-friendly alternative to traditional asphalt shingles.

Cost of Fiberglass Shingles

Given some of the benefits of fiberglass shingles – including waterproofing, fire proofing, durability, and reduced weight – it shouldn’t be surprising that they cost more than asphalt shingles; but make no mistake, fiberglass shingles are still one of the most affordable roofing materials available – especially considering their durability.  Plus, because they are lighter than other shingles, fiberglass shingles can often be applied directly on existing shingles which saves the cost of roof removal.  There are many factors that will ultimately influence how your roof is installed, and you should always remove old shingles if there are two or more layers of existing shingles.  Nevertheless, on average a roof with fiberglass shingles should cost somewhere between $8000 and $16000 for a new installation.  Homeowners can estimate the cost of fiberglass shingle roofing to fall somewhere between $1 and $3 per square foot depending on the slope and pitch of your roof, local pricing, and even the time of year.