Asphalt vs. Fiberglass Shingles?

What’s the difference, which one is better? I need a new roof, but am not sure which way to go.



Organic asphalt shingles have a proven track record.They are softer and easier to work with,more tear resistant,typically thicker and can hide minor imperfections in your roof deck.However fiberglass shingles have a higher fire rating and are more resistant to heat and curling.I prefer fiberglass.

They are all ashpalt shingles wether fiberglass mat or organic felt mat. Almost all have gone fiberglass,even IKO is changing to almost all fiberglass mat now.Once upon a time organic mat was rag felt and was double saturated and very good quality,now the matt is recycled newspapers “not kidding” and is crap. In short, go with fiberglass.

ditto, bennett

Ditto, Twill


yeah, all shinghles are asphalt.

organic if you want to tear it off in 12-15…a.k.a. = junk. All of the shingles available in my region are fiberglass, i dont think i can even buy organic anymore. just ask CertainTeed how there “horizorns” were 12 years ago.


Certainteed no longer makes an organic shingle. Typical life of an organic shingle is 10-15 years here.

I’ve been paid by the manufacturer to tear off 3, 4, and 5 year old organic shingles.

I thought that organic shingles were a thing of the past. I must have been wrong.


I thought that organic shingles were a thing of the past. I must have been wrong.[/quote]

Aside from additions, it has been a looong time since I have seen them in use.

Only 3 jobs in the past 10-12 years were done with organic 3-tabs, by customer demand, not just request.

Regardless that I informed each of those 3 clients that the organic shingles, especially the 3-tabs, were much more inferior, they demanded them to be used, because that is what they were told by some other expert.

All 3 roofs, with as much ventilation added as I could convince them of, have all aged about 3-4 times more rapidly than similar, less ventilated F/G 3-tabs.

By the way, not all Hallmarks were composed of exclusive organic compounds. They also offered a F/G version.


IKO and BP used to push the organic thing. Bird even made an organic three tab before Certainteed bought them out.

I think when Certainteed got rid of the Sealdon line they switched over the rest of the organic shingles to fiberglass. At one time it was said that CT could produce three squares of fiberglass shingles in the time it took to produce one square of organic shingles.

A couple years before CT dropped the Hearthsteadt line they were switched to fiberglass.

Don’t think you can find organic shingles anymore.

At one time three tabs could last 20-30 years. My father and I have torn off many roofs that were twice as old as the roofs we are tearing off now. We have both torn off 30+ year old roofs that didn’t have curling or granular loss issues. I know of a roof right now that’s three tabs and about 28 years old that only has staining problems.

When the huge construction boom of the 90’s happened thinking the manufacturers found ways to make the shingles faster rather than better. Even the fiberglass GAF’s are known for huge cracking problems.

Your right Douger the old organic shingles like Fry, Ruberoid “now GAF” and Bird that were made on saturated rag felt were super durable and heavy and had a lot of ashphalt in them. I have seen them last 40 years as well.

Fiberglass shingles are dominating the market right now. They are lighter and easier to handle as well as more resistant to moisture. Another positive aspect is they have a higher fire rating than organic shingles.
All shingles contain an inner reinforcing mat and have a coating of hard asphalt. When choosing a shingle it is important to keep in mind that the strength of the mat and the quality of the asphalt are critical.

My father thought the old bird three tabs were some of the longest lasting shingles on the market. It’s funny to think they can outlast the 90’s shingles by double to triple there life.

Back then they only had about a 15 year warranty to right? LOL!!!

I think the Sealdon 25’s were made on cardboard.

Remeber too, that houses from the past, were not built to higher efficiency air tight models as are currently in vogue. In that aspect itself, the entire structure combatted many ventilation woes that we continually have to now overcompensate for with additional ventilation.