What you should know about composition roofing.

The most widely used roofing material is the composition shingle. These shingles come in a variety of colors, designs and sizes. Depending on the product, the warranty can be anywhere from 15 to 50 years or a “Lifetime.” Composition shingles are also called composite, asphalt, or fiberglass shingles. They start with a fiberglass base mat and are then dipped in asphalt and coated with mineral granules to add color and texture. Roughly 75% of roofs in Seattle are composition.

The three-tab shingle

You'll hear standard composition shingles referred to as three-tab, because they come in a strip with notches that create what appears to be three separate shingles. Not too long ago, the three-tab shingle was the most commonly used roofing shingle in Seattle. These days most homeowners are opting out of the flat look of the three-tab for a more rich and textured look.

The architectural shingle

With the growing popularity of the architectural shingle, the three-tab is becoming obsolete. Architectural shingles are also known as laminated shingles because they have multiple fiberglass and asphalt layers laminated together. This creates a heavier roofing shingle that has greater depth and dimension in its appearance as well as a longer life. This should be considered the minimum standard for roofs in Seattle.

The luxury shingle

The top-of-the-line shingles for each manufacturer are referred to as luxury shingles. They are often described as having a “pumpkin tooth” design. Brands like CertainTeed’s Presidential and Presidential TL are among the most popular luxury shingles in the Seattle area. They are especially popular in Eastside neighborhoods that were built 15-20 years ago with cedar shake roofs. Shake roofs are often replaced with luxury shingles because they are the closest to the cedar shake look of any composition roofing material. Also, many HOA regulations in Bellevue, Redmond, Sammamish, Issaquah and Woodinville neighborhoods require such roofing products.

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