What Are Synthetic Shingles? (6 Reasons Why They’re Worth It)

As technology improves, the roofing industry continues to put out new products and materials. While they’re not all a hit, some aren’t going anywhere soon.

One of these newer materials is synthetic shingles. But what exactly are they? What do you need to know about them? Are they worth the investment?

The team at Elite Exteriors has taken pride in giving homeowners like you the information needed to make the best decisions. That’s why I want to break down what you need to know about this newer roofing material.

By the end of this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • What are synthetic shingles?
  • 6 reasons synthetic shingles are worth it
  • How much does a synthetic shingle roof cost?

What are synthetic roof shingles?

Synthetic roof shingles are roofing materials made of synthetic polymer or recycled materials, like rubber and plastic. They are specifically designed to look like natural cedar shake shingles and slate tiles (more on this later).

synthetic cedar shake shingles and synthetic slate shingles

(Left: synthetic cedar shake; Right: synthetic slate)

As I said at the beginning, these shingles are newer to the roofing industry. Unfortunately, this means there are still some unknowns.

But being newer doesn’t mean it’s not a good product or won’t last as long as the manufacturer states. In fact, I have a slate synthetic shingle roof on my own home.

This is just to be completely transparent, so you have all the information to decide if synthetic shingles are the right roofing material for you.

6 reasons why synthetic shingles are a good investment

Knowing what synthetic shingles are is great, but that won’t help you make a decision. And as I just said, you need transparent information to make the right one.

Let’s look at the 6 reasons synthetic shingles are a good investment for your upcoming roof replacement.

1. Synthetic shingles are eco-friendly

Remember, synthetic shingles are made from recycled materials (rubber and plastic) or a synthetic polymer. This makes them one of the most eco-friendly roofing materials available.

Depending on the manufacturer, some synthetic shingles can even be re-recycled after being thrown away. While this may not be important to you, the world is becoming more aware of our impact on the environment.

The roofing industry is simply responding by developing new roofing materials to become more environmentally conscious.

2. Synthetic shingles have high curb appeal

Because synthetic shingles are designed to look like natural cedar shake and slate tiles, they provide very high curb appeal to homes. The shingle manufacturers do such a great job of mimicking that most people can’t tell the difference from the ground.


davinci synthetic slate roof(DaVinci synthetic slate shingles)

For example, DaVinci Roofscapes (the synthetic shingle brand we trust the most) does this by paying attention to the fine details. DaVinci slate synthetic shingles are modeled directly from real slate tiles and add a hand-crafted touch with chisel marks to make them look authentic.

davinci cedar shake synthetic shingles

(DaVinci cedar shake synthetic shingles)

DaVinci cedar shake synthetic shingles have real grain patterns and deep grooves to create a shingle that looks just like real wood or cedar shakes. Designing them this way ensures you won’t be able to tell the difference between synthetic shingles and the roofing material it mimics.

3. Synthetic shingles won’t show wear and tear like natural cedar shakes

Natural cedar shake shingles show signs of wear and tear by rotting, cracking, and curling as they age. While synthetic shingles go through wear and tear like every roof, they won’t show it the way natural cedar shakes do.

curling cedar shake shingles

(Curling natural cedar shake shingles)

This also means natural cedar shake shingles shift from a “fresh” cedar color to a more worn look as they age. The color change isn’t a big deal, and some even like the worn/aged look.

side by side comparison of a newly installed cedar shake roof and an aged cedar shake roof

(Freshly installed cedar shakes compared to aged cedar shakes)

You just won’t have to worry as much about the color fading with synthetic shingles.

4. Synthetic shingles are lightweight compared to natural slate

A natural slate roof is so heavy that your house has to be built or retro-framed to handle the weight. This significantly increases the cost of one of the most expensive roofs on the market.

Synthetic shingles are lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about the problems that come with a heavy slate roof. You won’t have to do anything to ensure your walls won’t fall in and have your roof cave in on you.

This still gives you the natural slate look you want with the added benefit of saving time and money.

5. Synthetic shingles are durable against storm damage

Because of the way they’re manufactured, synthetic shingles are one of the most durable roofing materials against storm damage. F-wave and DaVinci synthetic shingles (two leading brands) have a Class 4 impact rating, the highest rating a roofing material can have.

This impact rating means they have been tested to withstand hail up to 2” in diameter without sustaining damage. Depending on the synthetic shingle, they can also handle 110-mph to 130-mph winds.

6. Synthetic shingles are long-lasting

The durability of synthetic shingles to withstand storm damage is one thing, but it also means they have a great lifespanAs long as it’s installed correctly, a synthetic shingle roof should last around 40-50 years.

Combined with their storm damage resistance, it’s one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. However, a synthetic shingle will only reach its full potential if you hire a great roofer and invest in quality.

How much does a new synthetic shingle roof cost?

While we covered 6 great reasons to invest in a synthetic shingle roof, one huge caveat is cost. It’s a premium roof system with a premium price point most homeowners can’t afford.

synthetic cedar shake shingle roof

A synthetic shingle roof will cost around $12.00 to $20.00+ per square foot. If you add upgrades like a metal accent or copper flashing, you’ll be a lot closer to the higher end of the price range.

Luckily, you’ll be able to afford a synthetic shingle roof if you’re considering a natural slate or cedar shake roof because they’re usually cheaper. However, this won’t be the right type of roof if you’re looking for affordability.

What are the other popular roofing material options?

After reading this article, you have a good idea of whether synthetic shingles are right for you. Remember, it’s in a price range most homeowners can’t afford.

However, they’re well worth the investment if you have the budget. Now, it’s time to find a roofer if synthetic shingles are the right roofing material for your roof replacement.

Check out The 7 Best Roofing Materials to learn the pros, cons, cost, lifespan, and more about the most popular materials used in residential roofing.

Elite Exteriors is the Southeast’s premier residential and commercial roofing resource for unparalleled service, superior craftsmanship and incomparable quality. And it’s all backed by an unprecedented lifetime labor and materials warranty!

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