GAF asphalt shingle roof performed by DaBella

Fiberglass vs Asphalt Shingles

8 minutes

Asphalt shingles are some of the most popular types of shingles on the market today. They are popular because they are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and come in a variety of colors and styles. It can be overwhelming with all the diverse types of roofing materials, but we found that asphalt shingles are the best choice for homeowners living in mild environments.  

Fiberglass shingles and organic asphalt shingles are both considered asphalt shingles, but they offer quite diverse types of protection. They both come in either 3-tab or architectural roofing styles. Both types of shingles have pros and cons. We will dive into the differences and similarities between these two types of asphalt shingles to give you a better idea of which type of asphalt shingle is best for your home. 

What are Organic Asphalt shingles? 

Organic asphalt shingles or traditional asphalt shingles are made from paper material and then layered with asphalt and ceramic granules. This type of asphalt shingle can last on a home from anywhere from 25 years depending on the quality of installation, maintenance, and climate. This type of shingle is exceptionally durable, inexpensive, and can be offered in a wide variety of colors and styles. 

What are Fiberglass Shingles? 

Fiberglass shingles look almost identical to traditional asphalt shingles but have small differentiations that make them a whole different shingle. Fiberglass shingles are made of fiberglass which is essentially a sandwich of fiberglass matting with asphalt granules. They are made with less asphalt granules than a traditional shingle which makes these types of shingles much lighter. GAF shingles are warrantied for a lifetime and offer the highest level of protection. Fiberglass shingles offer more protection against hail and wind damage. 

Now that you know the basics of these two types of asphalt shingles, we will break down the pros and cons of each below. 

Pros and Cons of Fiberglass Shingles 

Fiberglass asphalt shingles are known for their great fire resistance strength and value. See some of the benefits and disadvantages of choosing fiberglass shingles for your next roof replacement project.  

Advantages of Fiberglass Shingles 

Very Durable

GAF asphalt fiberglass shingles are exceptionally durable and can last up to 50 years. This is a major selling point for many homeowners, as these shingles will offer long-lasting protection without having to replace them repeatedly. In addition to their durability, GAF asphalt shingles are also Class A fire rated for superior protection for your home. They are much thicker than fiberglass shingles and can also withstand harsh weather conditions including extreme wind, rain, and hail better than other types of roofing materials.

Lasting Color

GAF’s proven Color Lock technology ensures that the fiberglass asphalt shingles will not lose its color in UV rays. With fiberglass shingles, the coloring often fades and can look dull and fade very quickly. GAF allows a homeowner to have attractive, vibrant colors that will last for decades. In addition, GAF also offers a range of designer accents that can help create a unique and beautiful curb appeal for your home.  

Algae Resistant

GAF’s Stainguard Plus technology helps keep algae and fungus from growing on your roof, further protecting its coloring, and elongating its lifespan. This advanced protection is a great benefit for any homeowner and can help keep their roof looking new for longer. On the other hand, fiberglass shingles are not as resistant to algae or fungus growth which can cause discoloring and reduce the aesthetics of your roof. GAF’s Stainguard plus technology is an excellent way to ensure that your roof will stay looking its best for years to come.

Fire Resistant

GAF has tested their materials extensively and even tested against worst case scenario situations including extreme wind and fire. Their materials have been proven to resist fire and protect your home better than any other material on the market. As a result, GAF is one of the most trusted brands available when it comes to protecting your home from fire and other disasters. 

Environmentally Friendly

Asphalt shingles made from fiberglass are environmentally friendly and are made from recycled materials that can be reused again. This helps reduce waste and energy consumption and helps keep the air cleaner from reduced manufacturing. Additionally, GAF’s asphalt shingles are made with up to 90% recycled content. This commitment to recycling and sustainability is a major plus for any homeowner looking for roofing material that is both reliable and eco-friendly. 

Solar Reflecting

 GAF asphalt shingles are made to be solar reflective and can help keep your home cooler during the scorching summer months. This helps reduce your electricity bills and helps to keep your home comfortable all year round. GAF asphalt shingles also come in a variety of colors to match any home’s exterior. From classic black shingles to bright, bold hues, GAF has something for everyone. 

Disadvantages of Fiberglass Shingles 

Wind Resistance

These shingles do not offer the same level of wind resistance that heavier organic asphalt shingles provide. Fiberglass shingles are very lightweight which makes them susceptible to tearing off in areas with high wind conditions. Although GAF has gone through and passed on some of the most extensive testing for wind including ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) D3161 Class F which is a test done under 110 mph winds and ASTM D7158 Class H done on 150 mph winds.   

Cold Climates

When choosing between fiberglass and organic asphalt shingles, it is important to consider the climate in which your home resides. In colder climates, it is best to use organic asphalt shingles which are thicker and heavier and better able to handle freezing temperatures. Fiberglass shingles can become brittle in cold climates and are more prone to cracking and splintering. However, in climates with higher temperatures, fiberglass shingles are the better choice as they are lighter and more durable in extreme weather. 

Pros and Cons of Organic Asphalt Shingles

As with any roofing product their are some advantages but there are also some disadvantages of this type of shingle. Read below to find out how organic shingles compare to fiberglass shingles.

Benefits of Organic Asphalt Shingles 

Best for Cold Climates

If a homeowner is located in a cold climate, organic asphalt shingles are still the best choice. As previously noted, the fiberglass shingles become brittle in cold climates making them susceptible to cracking, splintering, and other damage. On the other hand, GAF fiberglass asphalt shingles can handle freezing temperatures much better and have a higher wind resistance making them the go to choice.  

Composition and weight

One of the key differentiators between organic and fiberglass asphalt shingles is their composition and weight. Organic shingles are heavier and thicker which makes them more durable in extreme weather conditions. This also provides a higher level of wind resistance. Fiberglass shingles are much lighter and thinner, which makes them less durable in extreme weather conditions. 

Disadvantage of Organic Asphalt Shingles 

Water absorption

Organic asphalt shingles are more susceptible to soaking up water which can lead to numerous problems including mold growth on your roof. Therefore, it is important to have your roof inspected regularly to check for any signs of water damage. GAF Fiberglass shingles are more water-resistant and can help prevent water from penetrating your roof and causing damage. Additionally, GAF’s Stainguard plus technology helps protect your roof from water damage in the long run.


Warping is another major problem with organic asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles can become warped in extreme temperatures as well as from prolonged exposure to moisture. Warping can lead to cracking, which can reduce the life of your roof and make it more vulnerable to water damage. On the other hand, GAF fiberglass asphalt shingles are less prone to warping and can better withstand extreme temperatures and moisture. 


The lifespan of organic asphalt shingles is typically 20 years. Compared to fiberglass asphalt shingles and other materials, it falls far below the average lifespan. 

Asphalt shingles vs Fiberglass Shingles: The Verdict 

Making the decision between organic asphalt shingles and fiberglass shingles can be difficult. Fiberglass shingles are a more modern option with more advantages in terms of weight and longevity, but organic asphalt shingles can provide a higher level of wind resistance. Although GAF fiberglass shingles can withstand any temperatures without damage, it is best to be careful not to step on your shingles in temperatures under 40 degrees.  

Contact DaBella Today to Learn More About GAF Fiberglass Shingles! 

With GAF fiberglass shingles, you can enjoy the benefits of a lightweight roofing option that is both durable, effective and energy efficient. The shingles are designed to resist cracking and warping, ensuring that your roof will last for many years to come. GAF also offers Stainguard Plus technology, which provides additional protection against water damage and mold growth and Color Lock technology that helps keep its original color for years. At DaBella, we specialize in installing GAF Fiberglass Shingles and would be happy to discuss the features and benefits of this roofing material with you for your next roof replacement. Contact DaBella today at 844-DaBella to learn more about our fiberglass asphalt shingles.


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Steven Shortridge

District Manager

Portland, OR

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