Metal Roofing vs Asphalt Shingles?
Most homes in America today come with asphalt shingle roofing. Nevertheless, certain homes feature metal roofing, thanks to the range of aesthetic options offered. Manufacturers now make metal shingles and panels that people easily mistake for wood shake, asphalt, tile, and slate. Knowing the pros and cons of asphalt and metal roofing materials allows a homeowner to choose the material that is best for their needs. This remains of great importance, as the roof of a home serves as a long-term investment in the property.
Metal Roofing Options
Individuals love a metal roof as it holds up with time, is energy efficient, and the weight of the roofing material doesn’t put added stress on the structure. Choose from wooden shake, tile, shingle, and standing seam options based on your specific needs. What materials are used to create metal roofs?
Tin roofs remain the preferred choice of many, as shaping this material takes little effort and tin costs less than other metal roofing options. However, few people use it today, although many men and women refer to steel or aluminum roofing as tin roofing.
Steel roofing, in contrast, serves as one of the more expensive metal roofing options, but it is also among the most durable. This material holds up well even as it expands and contracts.
Aluminum comes with an affordable price tag and is both sustainable and recyclable. People who remain concerned about their carbon footprint need to consider this option, as it benefits the planet. It expands and contracts without difficulty, and it resists corrosion.
Copper costs more than most metal roofing materials, leading many to look for other options. However, those who choose this material for their roof find it lasts for up to a century. In the event it needs a repair, soldering becomes an option, and owners can recycle the material when the time comes for a replacement.
Zinc mimics copper in many ways. The cost leaves this material out of the reach of many, although it also lasts up to 100 years. Men and women find they can recycle the roofing material when its life expectancy has passed, and the malleability of the material ensures the roof conforms to the structure. However, don’t use this material in areas where severe weather occurs. It remains susceptible to damage from hail and other weather events.
Seam standing metal roofs come with a ribbed appearance to allow for expansion and contraction. In addition, manufacturers use a variety of materials when creating the roofing panels. This includes aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper.
Asphalt roofing remains the most common roofing material today. Homeowners find they can choose from a variety of textures and colors, and the price remains affordable for most. The material’s durability comes from the stone or ceramic granule surface, the fiberglass core, and the asphalt coating. The roof remains protected from UV rays and climate conditions thanks to the granules. Most homes come with standard three-tab shingles, although architectural and laminated asphalt shingles continue to increase in popularity.
Architectural shingles, often referred to as dimensional or laminate singles, differ from conventional asphalt shingles in that they cost more because they are thicker and heavier. This life expectancy extends beyond that seen with three-tab shingles, and many varieties mimic slate and wood. Homeowners love the dimensional effect provided by the varying sizes of the shingles.
Which Should a Homeowner Choose?
Certain situations call for one roofing material or another. However, homeowners often find they can choose which roofing option best meets their needs. What are the advantages and drawbacks of each option?
Generally, homeowners who want options need to look at metal roofing materials. Metal roofs come in a range of colors and styles to complement any home. Manufacturers offer products that mimic other materials, allowing the homeowner to choose a roof that doesn’t look like it is metal. However, some people feel a metal roof provides a home with an agricultural feel and doesn’t blend in with other homes in a suburb.
In contrast, asphalt shingles serve as a better option for those who want choices with the appearance of their roof. They choose from countless colors and textures to find the one that improves the curb appeal of their residence. In addition, a conventional shingle roof blends in with other homes in the area. However, three-tab shingles come with dark tones thanks to the surface granules color, and some property owners don’t want their home to blend with others.
However, metal roofs offer more variety in terms of metal types, colors, and formats. People cannot differentiate some products offered today from asphalt and wood, although these styles come with a higher price tag. Asphalt shingles come in a range of colors, and some options imitate slate, wood, or cedar shake. Homeowners find they choose the size, weight, and pattern of these shingles. The major drawback lies in the commonality of the shingles. Most homebuilders use standard shades and textures to keep their costs down.
Cost plays a role in any home improvement project. Manufacturers sell roofing materials either by the bundle or the square. A bundle equals 33.3 square feet, while a square is 100 square feet. Asphalt remains significantly less than metal per square in terms of both materials and labor.
However, men and women need to consider the cost of each roofing material over the long run. Depending on the metal selected for the roofing project, individuals might find their new roof lasts them a lifetime. In addition, the maintenance associated with a metal roof remains significantly less than that seen with an asphalt roof. Over time, the cost of the metal roof works out to be less.
The average homeowner should not attempt to replace their own roof. This task involves a great deal of risk, and the homeowner must get specific tools to ensure they do the job right. In addition, homeowners must ensure they have the proper safety equipment, which likewise adds to the cost of the project.
Most homeowners find they save money by leaving this job to the pros.
For those who decide to tackle a roofing project, metal tends to be light and easy to work with. In many cases, the owner won’t need to remove the old roofing materials prior to installing the new roof. However, they might need to install plywood framing and underlayment, two jobs that require specific skills. Additionally, metal can cut the skin if the person doesn’t wear gloves or mishandles it.
Asphalt shingles, in contrast, aren’t difficult to handle or install. Nevertheless, mishandling of the shingles could lead to the manufacturer voiding the product warranty. In addition, the owner might need to remove the old roofing materials before installation of the new shingles.
This remains one area where metal wins hands down. Metal roofing materials last decades longer than asphalt roofing materials and may still be functional a century after installation. Nevertheless, improper installation shortens the lifespan of all roofing products. In addition, the homeowner must maintain the roof and choose the appropriate materials for the local climate. A failure to do so shortens the lifespan of the roof, regardless of which material they select.
Metal remains extremely durable and water resistant. Its weight doesn’t put pressure on the home, as some roofing materials do, and it can withstand the elements. Nevertheless, it remains susceptible to damage from falling branches or hail. In contrast, asphalt shingles remain less prone to uplift because of their heavy weight. However, this weight could stress the building, which needs consideration during the decision-making process.
When energy efficiency is a priority in a new roof, choose metal. Metal roofing materials significantly reduce energy consumption during the summer months, and the products often come from recycled materials. Furthermore, when the owner removes the roof to replace it, the materials won’t head to the landfill. They make their way to the recycling center. However, proper installation remains the key to getting these benefits.
Asphalt shingles, in contrast, absorb heat. While this helps to keep heating costs down during the winter months, homeowners find this characteristic becomes a disadvantage when temperatures climb. Furthermore, asphalt shingles end up in a landfill where they can leach toxic chemicals into the ground.
Homeowners, when choosing a roofing material, need to consider the material’s ability to resist common hazards. Metal won’t rot and coating the material fortifies it against rust. The metal remains resistant to fire, climate, and weather as well. However, homeowners often find their roof has been dented in a hailstorm, particularly when thinner metals make up the material used on the roof.
Depending on the product selected, asphalt shingles often have a high fire safety rating, and homeowners find they can choose the level of impact resistance. Nevertheless, moss and algae remain concerns, asphalt roofs might sustain damage during a hailstorm or when exposed to UV rays, and homeowners must choose carefully as certain varieties remain vulnerable to climate and weather.
Metal roofs may need painting every few years, depending on the material used to make the roof. Painting the roof helps to protect it from corrosion and rust, but this task adds to the cost of the roof over its lifespan. Asphalt roofs receive a sealant during the installation process and reapplication of this sealant helps when the homeowner finds a leak in the roof. This isn’t a long-term fix, but can extend the lifespan of the roof until they install new shingles. The sealant protects the roof from sun exposure, leaks, and the weather.
Return on Investment
A new roof boosts the resale value of any home. In fact, experts estimate homeowners recoup over 68 percent of the cost of the project when they sell the residence. Metal roofs draw buyers, thanks to their energy efficiency, durability, and weather resistant properties. However, homeowners need to choose common colors and styles to generate more interest in the property, as potential buyers might not like unusual combinations.
When installing a new asphalt shingle roof, consider architectural shingles, as they provide a great return on investment than conventional three-tab shingles. However, recognize that a new asphalt roof doesn’t have a significant impact on the resale value of the property.
Consider all roofing material options when the time comes to replace the roof on your home. Never assume you must use the same material as is currently on the residence. Nothing is further from the truth, so choose the material you like and feel comfortable with. It’s your home, so make it your own.