asphalt or fiberglass shingles?

Old 10-02-01, 05:03 PM
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We are in the midst of interviewing contractors and getting estimates on reroofing our home. We live in southeast Michigan in a bi-level home with a standard pitch roof. We have two layers on right now and are looking at a tear-off and reshingling. We've always heard that asphalt shingles are better, but now we're hearing that the newer fiberglass-composite shingles are just as good, if not better. Is this true? Which is better for our application? Asphalt or Fiberglass? 3-Tab or Dimensional shingles? Any other "pearls of wisdom" are appreciated. Thanks!
Old 10-03-01, 04:41 AM
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You're probably going to get some varied opinions on this one. In colder regions fiberglass shingles tend to expand and contract more than asphalt shingles. This can cause the bond at the tar strip to fail which leads to blow offs. Some manufacturers do not recommend their fiberglass shingles for colder areas. Fiberglass also has a "memory", which means it wants to remain or return to its original shape, it keeps the shingles more rigid so they do not conform as well to any irregularities on the surface under them. They will lay properly over a good smooth surface like plywood sheathing but shouldn't be used over an existing roof as far as I'm concerned. There is also a known problem in the industry about brittleness of fiberglass materials at very low temperatures. Ice falling from dormers or other areas above fiberglass shingles can shatter them. I live in Buffalo, NY and have regretted the few times I have used them because of the cold winters. Check out some of the websites like this one:

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