Let’s start with a statement: both asphalt shingle and metal roofs are great – hence, very popular for residential roof installation. But what’s best for you is subject to a number of factors – your preferences, the location, the climate, the cost, et cetera et cetera. So far, so good. Right?
As professional roofers who have done tons of jobs and have talked to thousands of people, we also know this: homeowners already know that they will spend some money on their new roof. The question is what product their money can buy? Or, if you want, what’s the best value for their money?
In order to make a fair asphalt shingles vs metal roofs comparison, we put these two roofing materials face to face. We compare them in terms of their strength, looks, cost, and all the important factors you will likely consider before you decide which one of these roofs will be best for you. So, should we get started?
Metal roofs win this round with a life expectancy exceeding 50 years. If we are talking about high end metal roofs, like copper, they usually last 100 years or even more. Most asphalt shingle roofs last max 25 years. It’s vital to point out that this is the official longevity of the materials. In practice, their longevity is also subject to the material’s quality, the skills of the roofers, the local weather conditions, and maintenance.
At first glance, asphalt shingles seem cheaper than metal roofs. And they are, indeed. But if you consider the cost in the context of how long a roof will last, you will realize that the cost of the asphalt shingles will exceed the cost of the metal roof. That’s because, given the official life expectancies, a metal roof will last as long as three asphalt shingle roofs.
The shingles are easier to get damaged than metal roofs. Of course, they are durable and their resistance to hail, winds, snow, and all elements also depends on how they are installed – hence, the roofer’s experience. But overall, metal roofs are far more durable. Not that they won’t get damaged if something heavy, like a tree branch, falls on the roof with force or if someone walks improperly on the roof, but they are particularly strong. Make a note that since not all metal roofs are the same, their strength varies too. For example, steel is sturdier than copper.
Both materials perform well for years. Asphalt shingles are more prone to damage compared to metal roofs. As we said, it always depends on their quality and how well they adhere. Overall, metal roofing is more resistant to fire, rain, winds, snow, and hail – assuming it’s installed correctly.
Most metal roofs are made of old panels, leftover pieces, and recycled parts. Sometimes, the underlayment is made of recycled materials as well. In short, metal roofing is a sustainable option. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are not eco-friendly for two main reasons: first of all, they are petroleum-based products and second, they are replaced more often and so fill the landfills.
Plus, metal roofs are energy efficient since nowadays, they retain heat in cold weather and release heat in hot weather.
Both roof materials look great. But there are more color choices among metal roofs compared to the options among asphalt shingles. Since shingles are prone to mildew and algae, the roof’s appearance may be ruined. On the other hand, metal roofs may come with options but they are also considered industrial – and in fact, not accepted in all neighborhoods.
All roofs need some maintenance, collecting leaves, removing debris, and gutter cleaning among other things. Overall, metal roofs are easier to maintain, but asphalt shingles are easier to fix since the shingles can easily be replaced.
It’s clear that metal roofs have more advantages than asphalt shingle roofs. But as we said, everyone must choose depending on their personal expectations but also limitations. For example. Metal roofs are considered cheaper in the long term, but you have to pay a higher price upfront. And since they are not as popular as asphalt shingles, it’s hard to find options and roofing companies with experience. In defense of asphalt shingles, they are popular and so, easy to find, easy to install, and fast to fix. With all that said, the choice is yours.