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Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles: Pros & Cons

Published on Wednesday April 15, 2020
Standing seam metal roof

When it comes time to install a new roof, it’s easy to grow overwhelmed by the options available.

Asphalt shingle roofing has been the dominant choice for residential homes for a long time, but more recently, metal roofing has surged in popularity.

Metal shingles, metal panels, and other metal roofing options that imitate tile, wood, slate, and even asphalt can make it incredibly difficult to choose what’s best for your home.

Both options have their own list of pros and cons, so before you decide what to use for your roof and make a long-term investment, let’s do a comparison: metal roof vs. shingles.

Is a Metal Roof Better Than Asphalt Shingles?

Metal Roof

Let’s start off by clarifying that both materials—asphalt shingles and metal roofing—are great options for residential roofing. Both will protect your home and should last for many years. However, one or the other might be better suited to your needs and preferences.

When comparing metal roof versus shingles costs, it’s clear asphalt shingles are more affordable. However, metal roofing can last twice as long and is more energy-efficient, so really it’s up to your specific needs and preferences.

Asphalt shingles remain to be the most popular material for roofing residential properties and are available in a wide array of colors and textures. Standard, three-tab shingles are most commonly used, though laminated and architectural asphalt shingles are also available. A matting or fiberglass core, an asphalt coating, and a stone or ceramic surface make for a highly durable shingle.

Alternatively, metal roofing tends to be lightweight, as well as durable and energy efficient. It also comes in a variety of designs which makes for a versatile and therefore appealing product. But what are their specific pros and cons — and which roof is best for your home?

Pros and Cons: Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt roofing

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are typically considered the most visually appealing roofing option. They offer color and texture in a variety of options so you can easily find a style to compliment your home. Some options can even resemble wood surfaces. They are most likely to be consistent with the other houses in your neighborhood and could be the perfect fit for your home.

Asphalt shingles are relatively easy to work with and install. They also absorb heat, which helps warm your home in winter, making your home more energy efficient in the colder months of the year.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

All asphalt shingle roofing options come in dark tones due to the surface granule color, and the consistency that asphalt shingles create with other homes in your neighborhood is considered boring to some. Most builders keep to standard colors and textures since they are low cost.

While asphalt shingles are easy to install, a DIY installation could void product warranties, and since asphalt shingles absorb heat, they are a disadvantage during the hot summer months. Asphalt shingles are recyclable but they typically end up in landfills, and since they contain some toxic chemicals, they are considered environmentally unfriendly.

Asphalt shingles tend to last around 15 to 20 years, though heavier, laminated versions can last upwards of 50 years. While this is a solid lifespan, when comparing metal roofs vs. shingles, metal roofing lasts much longer.

Metal roofing

Pros of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing offers a huge array of color and style variations, enough to complement any home. There are products available to imitate non-metal materials, such as tile, panels — even wood and asphalt.

Metal roofing tends to be light and easy to work with. Plus, it’s energy efficient, particularly in reducing energy consumption during the hot summer months, and made from recycled materials. Metal roofing can also last anywhere from 40 to 70 years.

Cons of Metal Roofing

Metal roofing tends to come at a much higher price point than asphalt shingles. If installed incorrectly, their efficiency is not nearly as high, and they are difficult to install yourself. Metal roofing often requires an underlying plywood framing, which requires professional installation.

Some metal roofing is heavier to work with and can result in cuts to the skin when handled improperly or without the right set of gloves.

Need an Expert for Your Roofing Project?

Whether you’re interested in the energy efficiency of a metal roof or the classic design of a shingle roof, trust Long Roofing for your roof replacement. We specialize in both metal and asphalt shingle roof replacements and use only the best products on the market. 

Visit us online to get a quote, schedule a free, in-home consultation or find answers to any of your roofing questions!

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