Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingle Roof

When it comes to the components of a home, it is hard to argue that there is any part that is more important than the roof. There is no part of the home that sees as much exposure to the weather and it plays an important role in protecting the entire structure.

If you are building a new home or planning to install a new roof, you have a lot of options for the type of material to be used. Among the options that are available, metal and asphalt shingles happen to be two of the most popular. Both are suitable materials, however, each has its own advantages and disadvantages. In this post, we are going to look at some of the important points to consider when choosing between these two roofing materials.

Installation

If the ease and time of installation are a concern, asphalt shingles have a clear advantage. Shingles are an easier material to work with, and an asphalt shingle roof can be installed in less time. Installing a metal roof requires precision and there is little room for error. That is why it takes the skills of a specialized contractor to install metal roofing. This not only increases the time it takes to install, but it also adds to the cost.

Durability

Metal roofing tends to perform better in regard to durability. While extreme weather has the potential to damage any material you could use, metal is much less likely to suffer significant damage. In some conditions, asphalt shingles may also have additional risks that are not present with metal roofs. Damp conditions can lead to issues with algae and moss on an asphalt shingle roof. Additionally, you also have more potential for problems resulting from ice dams.

Lifespan

If you are looking for the longest lasting roofing material, metal is the way to go. Different types of metals and different treatments can affect the lifespan of the roof, but metal tends to perform better over the long term. Depending on a variety of factors, a metal roof can be expected to last anywhere from 30-70 years. If you are talking about a material like copper, it could be expected to last well over 100 years. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs usually need to be replaced after about 20-30 years.

Maintenance & Repair

Generally, metal roofs are very low maintenance. The biggest risk comes from denting that may occur from something falling on the roof or from walking on the roof. Asphalt shingle roofs need a little more maintenance and it is a good idea to inspect the roof regularly. When it comes to repairs, asphalt roofs are easier to repair if a problem does arise. Some homeowners are even known to perform their own repairs on asphalt roofs. For metal, the need for repairs may be less common, but if repairs are needed, they will be more expensive.

Cost

Asphalt shingles are the easy winner when it comes to cost. Several factors can impact the cost of a new roof, but the cheapest metal roof is likely to cost more than the most expensive asphalt shingle roof for the same structure. Depending on a variety of factors, a metal roof could easily cost five, six or seven times that of an asphalt shingle roof. Along with that, you also have to consider the higher cost of installation for a metal roof.