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Are Fiberglass Shingles Better Than Asphalt?

Posted on March 18, 2023

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Are Fiberglass Shingles Better Than Asphalt?

Your roof is an essential part of your home. It not only protects you and your family from the elements, but it also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your house. When it comes to roofing materials, there are a lot of options to choose from, thanks to the multitude of developments in the roofing industry focused on improving a roof’s functionality. 

If you’re a homeowner considering a new roofing material for your home you’ve likely heard of asphalt shingles. But did you know that asphalt shingles come in different categories? Traditional roofing shingles, known as organic shingles, are just one type, while the other is fiberglass. So, the question remains: Are fiberglass shingles better than organic asphalt? Today, we’ll explore and compare these two types of shingles to help you make an informed decision.

What Are Organic Asphalt Shingles? 

Asphalt shingles are a roofing material consisting of a base material such as wood, and then covered with a layer of asphalt, and then an outer layer of granules. To create the shingles, the base material is saturated with asphalt and then coated with ceramic granules, which gives the shingles their color and protects them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 

Advantages Of Asphalt Based Shingles

Asphalt shingles are by far the most popular choice among homeowners when it comes to roofing materials, and there are several reasons why. 

Asphalt Shingles Are Durable: 

Due to the layers of asphalt, these shingles are thicker and therefore more durable than fiberglass shingles. While asphalt shingles may not be as durable as other roofing materials such as metal or tile, they still have a relatively long lifespan of up to 20-30 years, depending on the quality of the product and the climate. 

Widely Available: 

Another advantage of using traditional asphalt-based shingles is their wide availability and ease of installation. Because asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials, they are widely available and are offered by many different manufacturers and suppliers. This means that homeowners have a range of color and style options to choose from

Disadvantages Of Asphalt Shingles 

Below we’ve provided some of the limitations of asphalt shingles.  

Weak Fire Resistance 

One disadvantage of traditional asphalt-based shingles is that they may not be as fire-resistant as other roofing materials. This is because the base mat of these shingles is typically made from recycled paper or wood, which isn’t fire-resistant.

Prone To Warping

Asphalt shingles can warp over time. This is because the base mat of these shingles is less stable and more prone to moisture absorption than the fiberglass mat used in fiberglass shingles. Over time, this leads to the shingles warping or buckling.

Also Read: Best IKO Shingles For Your Home

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt Shingles

What Are Fiberglass Shingles? 

Fiberglass shingles, also known as fiberglass-reinforced asphalt shingles, are a type of roofing material made from a base mat of fiberglass and a top layer of asphalt and mineral granules. The base mat is made of thin fiberglass strands woven together with resins to form a strong, durable material. 

Advantages Of Fiberglass Shingles 

Fiberglass shingles are a relatively recent phenomenon compared to organic asphalt shingles, but now fiberglass is a crucial component in the roofing industry, and it’s found throughout different types of products. 

Here are some of the advantages of fiberglass shingles: 


Fiberglass shingles are much lighter than other roofing materials, reducing the weight on a roof’s structure, and making them easier to install. Therefore, the roofing contractor will be able to install them on your roof in less time, reducing labor costs.  

These shingles are lighter than other roofing shingles as they have a lower asphalt content (which adds weight). This is particularly beneficial for older homes, or structures that may not be able to support heavier roofing materials.

High-Level Fire Resistance: 

Fiberglass shingles are highly fire-resistant, which can be an advantage in areas prone to wildfires or where building codes require fire-resistant roofing materials. They are a better choice for fireproofing a home with their fiberglass base instead of the paper-based material used in organic asphalt shingles.

Increased Aesthetic Appeal: 

Fiberglass shingles are available in a wide range of colors, shapes, and styles, making it easy to find a look that complements the design of your home. Some fiberglass shingles are even designed to mimic the look of other roofing materials so that you can get a premium look for your home’s roof at a more affordable price. 

An Environment-Friendly Option

It takes less energy to produce fiberglass shingles compared to their asphalt counterpart, making them more environmentally friendly.

Cons Of Fiberglass Shingles

Each type of shingle has its pros and cons, fiberglass shingles are no different, here are some of their limitations: 

Less Durable

Though both asphalt and fiberglass shingles can last for a similar time frame, asphalt-based shingles have a slight edge due to their thick and heavy nature. Therefore, asphalt shingles can withstand harsh conditions better. 

More Susceptible To Wind Damage

Fiberglass shingles are lightweight, which can be an advantage during installation. However, their light weight can also make them more susceptible to damage in high winds or severe weather conditions. 

Fiberglass Shingles
Fiberglass Shingles

Asphalt vs. Fiberglass Shingles: The Final Say

We have now weighed the pros and cons of both asphalt and fiberglass shingles. As you can see, both shingle types are very similar to each other but differ in some parameters. 

If you live in an area with moderate temperatures and are looking for shingles on a budget, then fiberglass shingles are the best choice. However, if you want shingles that are able to withstand cold and harsh weather, choose asphalt shingles. 

At the end of the day, deciding on which type of shingle is better for a particular home depends on various factors other than climate, such as budget and personal preferences. 

Best Shingle Installation Services In Minnesota 

Both asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles can add value to your home if you want to change your roof’s existing material. It all depends on your preferences and the climate in your area. 

Our team at Clear Cut Xteriors LLC can help you regardless of the choice you make. For years, we’ve offered exceptional shingle installation services in Minnesota and the surrounding areas. Contact us today at (651) 340-3410 to book a free roof inspection. Our experts will come to your home and assess the condition of your roof before moving ahead with the installation process. 

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