When it’s time to replace your home’s roof, it’s easy to grow overwhelmed by the variety of options available. Asphalt roofing shingles have been the go-to residential roofing material for a long time. But more recently, metal roofing has become increasingly popular among homeowners, making it the second most popular roofing material.
Both materials are durable and will protect your home for many years, but one may be better suited to your specific needs and preferences. Let’s compare metal roofs vs. asphalt shingles to help you decide what to use for your roof.
If you’re comparing metal and asphalt shingles based on the up-front cost, then shingles are far and away the cheapest option, both for the material and installation. Asphalt shingles cost about half of what their metal roofing counterparts cost.
Typically, you can expect to pay less per square foot for asphalt roofing shingles and less per square foot for labor.
A metal roof is significantly more expensive. The material can cost more per square foot, depending on the type of metal. Labor costs are also more expensive with this option.
Metal roofing tends to have a higher upfront cost because:
- The materials are more expensive, especially if you go for high-end options.
- The installation process is more complicated and takes more time, which means higher costs.
- Fewer contractors have specialized knowledge and skill to install metal roofs, and less competition means slightly higher prices.
Although the lower upfront cost of asphalt shingles is appealing, you may want to consider investing in a metal roof since they have a much longer lifespan.
Metal roofs can stand up to nearly anything thrown at them by Mother Nature. Metal roofs have lifespans of 40 to 70 years, with some lasting up to 100 years. Metal can be a better investment since the installation will likely be a one-and-done thing.
Asphalt shingles only last between 15 and 30 years, depending on the weather and environment. They are significantly weaker than metal and are more prone to damage from heavy rain, snow, wind, and hail. Minor problems can cause more significant damage to the roofing system, especially if water gets under the shingles.
While the amount of time it takes to install or replace a roof is determined by various factors, you can almost always expect asphalt roofing shingles to have a quicker installation time than metal roofing.
For pros, the installation of shingles requires basic tools and little specialized knowledge. And since asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material available, most roofers know the ins and outs of their installation process. This knowledge makes room for more competitive labor prices, which can help lower the cost of the project as a whole. Typically, a professional roofer can install an asphalt shingle roof in a day or two.
Metal roofing installation requires more skill and specialized knowledge. The installation is more precise, with very little room for errors. Because of this, the job will take more time to complete, typically 3 to 4 days or up to a week, depending on the roof size and weather conditions. The cost of installing a metal roof can be three to six times higher than the cost of an asphalt shingle roof.
Ease of Repair
Repairs are easier and cheaper for asphalt shingles than metal roofing. The roofer can replace the shingles individually without having to redo entire roof sections. Asphalt sheets are also easy for roofers to work with since they can be cut down to size and installed on the roof with little difficulty.
But since asphalt roofing shingles are less durable, they require repair more often. Pooling water can cause mold and algae to develop on the shingles, weakening the roof’s structural integrity. Temperature spikes and ice dams can create cracks and damage the roofing system, meaning subsequent and potentially expensive repairs.
A metal roof makes you less likely to deal with breaks, tears, or punctures. However, damage can still happen to the panels. That damage could come in the form of storm damage, damage from foot traffic, or failed seams due to poor installation. Some metals can be dented by falling branches or large hail.
Metal roof repairs can be complicated by how the metal panels are joined together. A roofer must retrofit an entire panel or section when making repairs.
Snow and Fire Resistance
Snow and ice can quickly accumulate on asphalt shingle roofs and must be shoveled off to prevent roof damage or collapse. This is not an issue for a home with metal roofs.
The naturally slick surface of metal allows snow to slide off easily, which means that a metal roof is less likely to experience large amounts of snow buildup. While you won’t have to shovel snow off by hand, you may need to install snow breaks to prevent avalanches from your roof.
Metal is a Class A fire-rated and non-combustible material. It will not ignite due to fires or lightning. While many shingles have a Class A fire-resistance rating, they are still combustible because of the asphalt content. They are resistant on the outside but can catch on fire if they come in direct contact with a flame.
Trust the roofing experts at Allstate Exteriors & Restoration to help you choose the perfect material for your roof replacement in Central Ohio and Cape Coral, FL. Come to us with your budget, needs, and preferences, and we’ll make the process easier for you. We specialize in both asphalt shingle and metal roof replacement and complete all jobs with high quality and longevity in mind. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and request a free estimate.