Roofing Materials: Metal Vs. Asphalt Shingles

Metal and asphalt shingles are two of the most common roofing materials in the U.S. Learn about the pros and cons of both options and which material will best meet your needs.

Metal and asphalt shingles are two of the most common roofing materials in the U.S. Learn about the pros and cons of both options and which material will best meet your needs.

When you realize your old roof is ready to be replaced, the variety of options available can be intimidating. Before defaulting to the same material you used before, it’s wise to look at different options available and determine what will best fit your home.

Several factors come to mind – you want a roof that will protect your home and does not require frequent repairs. You will also want to make a choice that suits you as far as practicality, budget, and aesthetic. Metal and asphalt shingles are two popular roofing materials with both advantages and disadvantages to consider.

Metal Roofing Pros and Cons

When thinking about metal roofing, you might picture an old barn or some other rustic structure. However, metal roofs have come a long way from the farm and are used in almost every setting. Today, metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular thanks to the variety of appearance options. Some styles can mimic other materials, such as shingles, tiles, or wood. The most common metals used for metal roofing are aluminum, lightweight steel, tin, and copper.

Metal Pros

Durability: A metal roof can withstand heavy weather and other damage better than many other materials.
Energy Efficient: Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which keeps your home cooler and lowers energy costs in the summer.
Long Lifespan: Metal roofs can last anywhere from 50-100 years, which means you likely will never have to replace it again in your lifetime.
Lightweight: Metal roofing is very lightweight and does not put too much stress on your house structure, reducing the possibility of frame damage.
Lower Long-Term Costs: While metal roofs tend to cost more to install, they can end up saving you money in the long run because they do not need to be replaced as frequently.
Eco-Friendly: Metal roofs are recyclable and the roofing itself is often already made with recycled materials.
Variety of Styles: Metal roofs can come in almost any color and many different styles to suit your preferences.

Metal Cons

Expensive Installation: It is more expensive to install a metal roof than a shingle roof due to both materials and labor.
Difficult to Repair: Metal roofs are more complex to repair than shingles, and maintenance can be difficult because it’s hard to walk on the metal sheet surface.
Higher Noise Level: Unless you install extra insulation, rain or hail will make noise when hitting the metal.
Denting: Despite overall weather durability, hail and large sticks can cause dents in the metal.

Asphalt Shingles Pros and Cons

Asphalt shingles are a popular roofing solution that can work for any home aesthetic at a moderate cost. This roofing material dominates the home roofing market due to its affordable and durable nature.

Although most people still prefer the traditional shingle appearance, nowadays you can find shingles in different styles that mimic other materials such as slate, wood, or tile. They come in a wide range of colors with a variety of different finishes.

Shingle Pros

Cheaper Installation and Repairs: Asphalt shingles are significantly cheaper than metal to install and repair because it’s widely available.
Easy to Install: Shingles do not require as much time and labor as metal for installation.
Fits Any Style: Shingles can create visual appeal on virtually any home.
Better in Suburban Neighborhoods: Most neighborhoods in the suburbs primarily use shingle roofing, so it may be best for your home value to also use shingles.

Shingle Cons

Shorter Lifespan: Typically, shingle roofs last a max of 25 years, so replacement will be more frequent.
Higher Long-Term Cost: Even though shingles cost less initially, you will end up paying more for repairs and replacements in the long term.
Vulnerable to Weather: During extreme weather, shingles can easily start to lift or tear away from the roof.
Less Eco-Friendly: Although there are a few recycling options, typically there is not a good way to recycle shingles.
Prone to Fires: Asphalt is flammable, so if flames come into direct contact with the asphalt coating, it might catch on fire.

Which One is Right for You?

Evaluate your priorities for your roof and what will best suit your geographical location. If you are primarily looking for a roof with low up-front installation and repair costs, a shingle roof may be the way to go. If you are concerned about overall durability and lifespan, a metal roof while less common)will meet your needs.

For more information on roofing materials, call our roofing experts at Enterprise Roofing for a free roof evaluation. Call us at 937-240-2206 today!

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