With so many different options on the market for roofing materials, it can be difficult to decide which one is best for your home. Asphalt shingles and metal panels continue to be two of the most popular roofing materials, and many homeowners find themselves comparing the two in the final days of decision-making. We’re giving an honest comparison of metal roofing and shingles.
When comparing the different characteristics of roofing materials, taking the environment in which the roof resides into consideration is crucial. Lifespans, maintenance, and even pricing can vary greatly based on these different factors.
For this reason, this article will compare “averages,” but it’s important to remember that your home’s specific environment can affect how long your roof lasts, how much maintenance it needs, the cost, etc.
On average, a metal roof will last between 40 and 70 years, and some even longer. The lifespan of a metal roof will depend heavily on the type of metal used (steel, aluminum, copper, etc.) and the environment. Most of Bridger Steel’s finishes come with a 40-year finish warranty, which is against calking, fading, and chipping. Then, the metal panels themselves are also warranted for that same amount of time.
On average, an asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of 15 to 25 years. With proper care and maintenance, you can possibly expect an ever better lifespan. Other factors like improper installation, improper attic ventilation, and harsh weather conditions can shorten a shingled roof’s lifespan.
When it comes to average cost, materials and labor for installation need to be considered. Metal roofing will be more expensive upfront compared to shingles. Shingles will generally be more economical (in the short term) to buy and install than metal roofing.
Although metal roofing has a higher upfront cost, its lifespan and low maintenance qualities typically balance out this price point. Depending on the type of metal roof you choose for your home, the installation and equipment needed for install can possibly increase the costs. However, most find the investment and view the “one-time” cost to be worth it, especially since metal panels will outlast and, in most cases, outperform competing roofing materials like shingles.
Metal roofs are considered to be one of the most durable options on the roofing market. Compared to shingles, their strength is almost unmatched, especially against harsh weather conditions. Shingles are easily damaged by high-speed winds, hail, and rain. Fluctuations in temperatures can also cause shingles to buckle and crack.
Most metal roofing, however, is tested for wind uplift, utilizes anti-siphon grooves for ultimate weather-tightness, and is even designed to expand and contract with extreme temperatures. Metal roofs also are able to withstand hail and heavy snow loads. When it comes to performance in harsh weather conditions, metal roofing is easily considered to be one of the most high performing options.
Maintenance can be a headache for homeowners, especially when it involves the roof. If you have to get on your roof, shingles are much easier to walk around on. Metal roofs are more difficult to walk around on, and even some foot traffic can dent or scuff parts of your roof.
Metal roofs require very little maintenance so you likely won’t need to worry about getting up on your roof at all. Most metal roofs don’t require any annual maintenance or repairs. Unlike shingles, where after a storm or even after a few years, you may have to repair and/or replace a few shingles. Shingle’s granules also begin to flake off as time passes, which can clog your gutters and create other issues.
Eco-Friendly & Energy Efficiency
If you’re looking to make a greener choice for your home, metal roofs are undoubtedly the more eco-friendly and energy efficient choice compared to shingles. For starters, metal panels actually have reflective qualities that don’t absorb the sun’s radiant heat, unlike shingles that do hold heat. The heat held by shingles actually transfers into your home, making air conditioners work harder. Metal roofing saves homeowners an average of 25% on annual heating and cooling costs because of their solar reflectivity.
Metal panels are also 100% recyclable. Shingles are also recyclable, but rarely are they actually recycled. Eleven million tons of shingles end up in a landfill per year, where they remain for 300 years. You can take a step towards a greener world by installing a metal roof on your home.
Before making a final decision on whether you’ll choose shingles or metal roofing for your home, you may also want to consider these few factors:
- Desired Aesthetic — Shingles and metal has two very different styles. Metal roofing is considered to be a more modern choice, where shingles are more traditional. Metal typically has more color and finish options, and shingles tend to be more limited. Your desired final look can play a big part in your decision.
- Roof Design — Factors like your roof’s slope, pitch, and square footage can also affect which material is best-suited for your home. Different complexities of your roof like skylights, dormers, etc. can make an installation more difficult.
- Contractor Availability — The above mentioned roof design can also affect your local contractor availability. You’ll want to make sure you’re hiring someone qualified that has worked with whichever material you choose and has experience, reviews, and the equipment needed to complete your roof install.
Your home’s roof is a big investment no matter what material you choose. Ensuring you’ve compared all your options can help you make the best, well-informed decision for your home.
If you have questions about metal roofing vs. shingled roofing for your home, please contact one of our Product Specialists today. We’ll help you with the decision-making process and even make some expert recommendations if needed.
If you’ve already decided on metal roofing, fill out our Get a Quote form to get the process started!