Metal Roof or Asphalt shingles?

Are you in the market for a new roof and confused about the options? You might be questioning the type of roof that will work best for you and your home or building. And while it’s great to have so many options, such as asphalt shingles, metal, wood, tile, or concrete, it can also be overwhelming to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of each type of roofing material.

Metal Roof Pros:

Longevity – Perhaps one of the biggest differences between metal roofing and shingles is the length of its life. For metal roofing, it’s expected that metal roofing should last at least 50-60 years until signs of degradation begin to show. Different metal materials, such as copper and zinc, have even been known to last 100 or more years in some instance.

Lower Long-Term Cost – Metal roofing is typically less expensive in the long-term because one metal roof (one lasts 60+ years) can easily outlast at least three asphalt shingle roofs (one lasts 15-20 years

Lightweight- Metal is about the lightest material you can install on your roof. Though weight varies based on type, contractors and manufacturers say aluminum varies from about 50 pounds per square, while steel can be anywhere from 100 pounds to 250 pounds per square, according to

Environmentally Friendly- Metal roofs are energy efficient and can save you money in heating and cooling costs (usually saving around 25%) You may even qualify for tax credits when installing a metal roof. Metal roofing is usually made up of 25% recycled materials and are 100% recyclable. Your old refrigerator or aluminum cans can be recycled into high quality metal roofing.

Metal Roof Cons:

Cost-One of the main reasons for the high cost of residential metal roofing is the high cost of labor required for professional installation. Installing a metal roof is a technically involved process requiring special skills, training, experience and equipment. If you have a complex roof with multiple cut-up angles, dormers, sidewalls, chimneys and/or skylights requiring metal flashing, then your total installation cost will be proportionally higher.

Repairs- Metal can be damaged! Extreme hail or falling branches could dent a metal roof, as could walking on it improperly. Repairs can also be costly due to the way the metal panels are joined together.

How long will you stay? –If consumers are in a home they don’t plan on living in long term, they might be more apt to choose a shingle roof; if they plan on staying in the home for decades or keeping the home in the family, they might be more apt to choose metal.

Ashpalt Shingles Pros:

Economical choice- Depending on the product line, asphalt shingles come with a 20 to 30 year warranty (ask us about warranty options) Many are fire-rated as high as Class A, and require minimal maintenance. Some manufacturers offer products that meet Energy Star requirements and qualify as a cool roof under federal standards, making them eligible for tax credits.

Style options- Asphalt comes in many basic offerings from three-tab shingles to fancy styles that mimic wood shakes or slate. Thicker, high-end laminates are available in many colors and with deep shadow lines.

Easy to work with and Install- For pros, the work requires little specialized knowledge and basic tools. Shingles can be installed in a day or two in some cases. Repairs are also easier than metal as the shingle can be cut and retro fitted with minimal material and time.

Asphalt Shingle Cons:

Duration-Shingles have a shorter lifespan due to their own unique set of weaknesses. Pooling water and chronically damp conditions can lead to algae and fungus growth, ice dams can create cracks, and temperature spikes between day and night can reduce the life of your shingle roof. The granules that cover the shingles and help protect them can be dislodged during hail storms or bad weather leading to early deterioration of your roof.

How long will you stay? – If you plan on staying in your home for more than 20 years consider a metal roof and the long-term advantages as outlined above.

Environmental Issues– Traditional Asphalt shingles are a petroleum product and require replacement every 15-20 years. 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles end up in US landfills every year according to the EPA.

In summary, you have to weigh all the factors for you and your home. Call Chuck at Cedar Crest Construction for a free estimate and to discuss what would be the best long term option for both your wallet and your roof!