Fiberglass Shingles

Originally Posted By: bsilowash
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Is there any way to visually determine if you are looking at a fiberglass shingle vs an asphalt shingle?

Originally Posted By: dvalley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.


Welcome to NACHI.

You want to know the difference in the two? Ok.

First of all, fiberglass shingles started coming onto the market in the early to mid 80?s. The vast majority of roofing shingles installed on homes today, are fiberglass shingles. Asphalt shingles were the common type of roof shingle used prior to this time.

The difference between the two is in the matting material. The matting for asphalt shingles is an organic felt paper, while the matting for fiberglass shingles is a fiberglass mat. Both are impregnated with asphalt, and a second layer of asphalt is applied over that. Then it is covered with a granular material.
Fiberglass shingles contain up to 50 percent more asphalt than the regular asphalt shingles, and often have a longer warranty and better fire rating. ln spite of the extra asphalt, fiberglass shingles weigh less, and may be more easily lifted by wind. To prevent this, most come with seal-down strips, which work best if the shingles are applied in warm weather so the strip's asphalt has a chance to soften and adhere to the next shingle.

Both shingles are applied to the roof in the same manner.

David Valley
MAB Member

Massachusetts Certified Home Inspections

"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go."

Originally Posted By: jpeck
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.


Welcome to the forum.

Yes, there is an easy way to tell the difference, sort of.

Fiberglass mat shingles are, on average, much thinner than organic felt mat shingles.

Tear a corner off a shingle and you will be able to see the glass fiber mat, or you will see organic felt (rag) mat.

Dang, I was walking across this roof and, when I stepped on this one particular shingle, a corner broke off! Well, I'll be, this is a .... mat shingle. ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)

Jerry Peck
South Florida