Whether you are replacing your roof with a brand new one or building a home from scratch, it is worth researching the available options when it comes to the choice of material to use. Asphalt shingles have traditionally been the most common material used for roofing, but metal has been growing in popularity as an alternative over the last few years.
Both choices have their list of pros and cons, so before you choose a material, this article can help you better understand your roofing options by offering a comparison between metal vs shingle roofing.
Pros of Shingle Roofing
Known for their affordability and also their overall beauty, asphalt shingles are a popular roofing choice that offer a wide variety of colors and textures, and can be styled to accommodate any home.
Shingles are relatively easy to install and repair and do not require much maintenance. Fixing a shingle roof also requires few materials. They arrive prepackaged, and can be immediately fitted to the roof without the need for a professional installer. However, given the ease with which they can be installed, there are more contractors available to install shingle roofs compared to metal.
As asphalt shingles absorb solar heat it also makes them a good choice for warming the home in the winter months and in colder climates.
Cons of Shingle Roofing
Asphalt shingles are prone to weather damage, and can become loose and break during extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail storms, or strong gusts of wind. This can cause leaks that damage the integrity of the roof. Moisture can also become trapped beneath the shingles leading to mold, algae, and fungus growth, whereas freezing temperatures can cause ice to form, creating cracks in the shingles.
Another drawback of shingle roofing is that it needs to be installed in warmer weather, as shingles can become less flexible in colder weather and the sealant may not activate properly.
Pros of Metal Roofing
After asphalt shingles, metal is the second most popular choice of roofing material, mainly due to its longevity and durability. Metal roofing also comes in a wide selection of colors and styles, and can be made to imitate non-metal materials such as tile, wood, and even asphalt.
One of the main advantages of metal roofing is its lightweight nature which makes it easier to handle and transport during the installation process. It also means that there is less weight bearing down on the structure of the building, which reduces stress and frame damage, helping to preserve the integrity of the structure.
Although it has a higher cost, the longevity of this material means that you will recoup your cost over time, as metal roofs can easily last between 40 to 70 years. The durability of metal also enables it to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions without corroding or cracking. In comparison to other materials such as concrete, wood, or plastic, metal is by far the strongest and most durable material in such conditions. In addition to this, metal comes with long manufacturer’s warranties of 30 to 50 years.
Metal roofing is designated with a Class A fire rating, making it non-combustible and highly resistant to fire. This is advantageous in areas that are prone to wildfires, as it is unlikely they will catch fire.
An energy-efficient choice, metal roofs reflect heat rather than absorb it, which can reduce cooling costs by as much as 25% according to the Metal Roofing Alliance.
Cons of Metal Roofing
An expensive choice upfront, metal roofing can be two or three times more costly than asphalt shingles. The task of installing a metal roof is more precise with virtually no room for error and therefore requires specialized training and equipment. Professional metal roofing installers will be needed to fit the roof making this choice labor-intensive and, therefore, higher in cost.
Metal roofs can also be dented in certain situations such as heavy rain or hailstorms, and may also be noisier under such conditions.
As this article has shown, both metal and asphalt shingles have their benefits and each material can offer the appearance that you would like for your home. Asphalt shingles are more affordable upfront, whereas metal outlasts it more than twice or even three times as long. The deciding factor will depend on your specific needs and preferences.