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Homeowner’s Guide to Synthetic Shingles

Get the facts on the longevity, cost, and benefits of synthetic shingles and more!

Ohioans are no strangers to harsh weather. If you live here, you are familiar with the hot, humid summers that often produce severe thunderstorms. In the winter, residents of the Buckeye state contend with snow, ice, and blizzards. And then there’s the high winds, flooding, and even tornadoes that can occur any time of year.

As an Ohio homeowner, you shouldn’t have to wonder if your roof can stand up to Mother Nature. That’s where synthetic shingles come in. Synthetic shingles have many benefits over traditional shingles that make them an ideal material for Ohio homes. So how do you know if it’s time to replace your old roof?

  • It’s reached the end of its lifespan
  • Missing shingles from a storm
  • Shingles are curling or buckling
  • Worn out shingles
  • Roof valleys are compromised
  • You can see the sky from your attic
  • There’s moisture or mold in your attic insulation
  • Your neighbors are replacing their roofs
  • Your local climate is taking a toll
  • Your home is more susceptible to future damage after a storm

Once you’ve determined it’s time for a new roof, why should you choose synthetic shingles? Synthetic shingles, also known as composite shingles, are made of a combination of rubber and plastic. They are more durable and are lower maintenance than asphalt, slate, cedar, or clay tile.

Synthetic shingles have many benefits including:

  • Extraordinary curb appeal
  • Lightweight
  • Multiple customization options
  • Durable
  • Class A fire-rated
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to install
  • Backed by a 50-year limited warranty
  • Sustainable and made from recyclable material
  • Suitable for historic buildings

How are synthetic shingles environmentally friendly?

Unlike some other roofing materials, synthetic shingles are sustainable. So what does it mean for a material to be sustainable?

  • They are made from renewable resources
  • They don’t harm the environment and don’t cause significant or irreparable damage to the earth
  • The manufacturing process doesn’t harm individuals or society as a whole

If you make an effort to purchase green products that have a minimal impact on the environment, synthetic shingles are a great choice. Here’s why:  

  • They are made from recycled material, eliminating unnecessary waste in landfills, and can be completely recycled after use.
  • They don’t require the use of fossil fuels or mined materials.
  • They are extremely durable and backed by a 50-year limited warranty.

Wind and Hail-Resistant Synthetic Shingles

Synthetic shingles are extremely durable and don’t have many of the disadvantages of other roofing materials. With a 30 to 50 year lifespan, you can be confident that you are getting a maximum return on your investment. This is significantly longer than asphalt shingles, which usually last up to 20 years, or cedar shake, which usually lasts only 15 to 20 years.

Ohio’s harsh weather can wreak havoc on home exteriors, especially roofs! Moisture is especially harsh, as it can cause mildew, rot, or compromise the insulation. High winds can shift and dislodge panels.  UV rays cause shingles to deteriorate more quickly or crack. During excessive rainfall, water can find its way into the most vulnerable cracks and holes. This insidious infiltration results in irreparable damage.  

Ohio’s cold winters and hot summers make it especially important to choose materials that can stand up to the elements. Synthetic shingles are an excellent choice for Buckeye state residents because:

  • While asphalt shingles can curl because of inadequate attic ventilation, improper installation, age, or defective manufacturing, synthetic shingles will not curl.
  • Synthetic shingles are Class 4 impact resistant so they won’t crack, tear, or split during a hail storm or severe winds up to 110 mph.
  • While other roofing materials can buckle under the weight of snow and ice, composite roof tiles are resilient enough to withstand the stress.

How low-maintenance are synthetic shingles?

As a busy homeowner, you don’t want to spend your precious time maintaining your roof and you don’t want to repeatedly spend your hard-earned money repairing – or worse – replacing your roof before you should have to. The best way to avoid this headache is to choose a low-maintenance roofing material, such as composite shingles. They don’t warp, mold, or rot easily, so you don’t have to worry about constantly checking for damage or cleaning off algae or other unattractive stains.

Unlike wood, composite shingles don’t attract pests, which means you can avoid critter damage and resulting repairs. Squirrels and other pests can wreak havoc on your home. If they find their way in, they can destroy electrical wiring, or drop nuts or pinecones down your gutter, clogging them and allowing moisture to damage your home’s foundation.  

Here is why synthetic shingles are the lowest maintenance roofing material available:  

  • Superior for cold climates as they are designed to allow snow and ice to slide off
  • Stand up to heavy wind, while asphalt shingles may not
  • Moisture resistant and able to withstand freeze and thaw cycles
  • Made of lightweight polyurethane material, making them affordable to install and maintain even in frigid temps
  • Unlike cedar shake wood shingles, synthetic shingles are non-combustible and won’t contribute to a fire

Are synthetic roofing shingles fire-resistant?

A fire in any part of your home is terrifying. Unfortunately, they are all too common. According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2020, on average, a fire department responded to a fire in a home structure every 89 seconds, and a death occurred as the result of a home fire every three hours and 24 minutes. Roof fires can be especially destructive. Knowing this, doesn’t it make sense to choose the most fire-resistant roofing material you can find?

Causes of roof fires may include:

  • When roofing material doesn’t have sufficient insulation for generators around the vent pipes
  • A leak causes electrical wires in the ceiling to malfunction
  • Combustible roof materials, such as cedar shake

Synthetic shingles are Class A fire-rated, which means that they will last two to four hours before igniting, giving you peace of mind that your home and family are protected.

What styles and colors do synthetic shingles come in?

One of the truly outstanding perks of synthetic shingles is the variety of styles and colors available.  

Synthetic shingles come in three distinct designs that can be customized to suit any home, including:

  • Barrel Tile – Mediterranean or Tuscan style homes look beautiful with these gorgeous rounded, smooth tiles that mimic the look of traditional clay, but are lighter and more resilient.
  • Cedar Shake – With a hand-hewn, rustic look, varied shingle width, and grainy texture, synthetic cedar shake compliments ranch homes, those in rural areas, or craftsmen exteriors, without the drawbacks of wood.
  • Slate Tile – With the same grooves as quarried slate, this style is a great accent for Gothic Revival homes, as well as traditional, colonial, or more modern homes built in the last few decades.

Featured Synthetic Roofing Project

A Durable, Synthetic Roof Upgrades Dayton Area Home

A Springboro homeowner had spent more than a year talking to different roofing contractors, trying to find the right replacement for their old shake roof, which was leaking, had curling shingles, and had moss growing on it. Those companies had suggested replacing their roof with either shake or asphalt shingles, neither of which seemed like the right material or style for their home. They contacted American Way Exteriors to meet with a member of our team for a roofing consultation.

Read More
A grey house with a white picket fence.

Trusted synthetic shingle brands

At American Way Exteriors, we carry three trusted synesthetic shingle brands including Brava, CeDUR, and Davinci.


Brava Synthetic Roof Tiles

Brava synthetic shingles are molded to mimic the appearance of natural materials you often see on Dayton area homes. Brava shingles also:

  • Carry Class A fire ratings and are Class 4 impact tested
  • Twice as thick as other synthetic roofing materials
  • Employ a patented, multi-coloring process for realistic replicas of natural materials.
  • Are extremely lightweight and require no structural modifications for support
  • Are made from recyclable materials
  • Offer a 50-year warranty


CeDur Logo

CeDUR matches the appearance of natural wood cedar shakes and:

  • Are engineered to look like hand-split cedar shakes with thick shadow lines and exceptional depth
  • Don’t split, rot, or decay, and are noncombustible
  • Don’t have an unnatural plastic sheen


DaVinci Roofscapes Logo

Gorgeous Davinci composite roofs are:

  • Modeled from actual hand-split shake for a natural, non-repeating pattern
  • Fortified with UV stabilizers for fade-resistant color
  • Has a Class A fire rating, Class 4 impact rating, and a 110 mph wind rating

Are synthetic shingles expensive?

The answer is, yes and no. Here’s how composite shingles compare to other materials:

  • Real slate – About twice as expensive as synthetic
  • Real cedar shake – Approximately the same price as synthetic
  • Asphalt – About half as expensive as synthetic
  • Clay tile – Can be as much as three times more expensive than synthetic

In addition to materials, other factors that go into pricing include the roof’s configuration, installation, and whether your contractor must remove your old roof. Synthetic shingles can often be installed right on top of old roofs.

But the bottom line is this: in the long run, synthetic shingles are extremely durable and last for decades, so you’ll get a much better return on your investment.

Why Choose American Way Exteriors to Replace Your Roof With Synthetic Shingles?

At American Way Exteriors we’re experts when it comes to synthetic shingle roofs. In addition to extensive knowledge of the materials, our skilled craftsmen are highly experienced when it comes to installation. We’ll even go above and beyond the manufacturer’s specifications!  Want to hear why our clients love us so much? Read about some of our highly successful Dayton area projects.

When it comes to customer service, you’ll be able to tell we are different beginning with your first interaction. You can be assured that we will treat you like an individual, not a dollar figure or the next transaction. Our team members take the time to listen and understand your concerns and desires and you’ll never encounter any high-pressure sales tactics.

Throughout the project, we’ll keep you informed of its status. We’ll never keep you in the dark. In fact, we have an easy, convenient way for you to connect with your project manager right from your phone!

Are you ready to learn more about American Way Exteriors and the benefits of synthetic shingle roofs? Contact us today!

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