Metal vs. Asphalt Shingling: Which Is Right for You?

Roofing materials can vary greatly in their qualities. Even the same material from different manufacturers can have higher or lower quality depending on the additives used and the manufacturing process. The quality of the roofer installing and maintaining the material adds another level of variability. Still, knowing the basics of each material can help homeowners make informed decisions that keep their homes protected and energy efficient. This article will explore the key differences between metal and asphalt roofs and why one may be a better choice than the other.


Asphalt Shingles: The Basics


Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material, and for good reason. They are durable, inexpensive, easy to install, and always in demand, so finding a roofer who can work with them is easy. Due to their universality, however, asphalt shingles can vary greatly in quality from one manufacturer to another. At Specialty Roofers, Inc, we use asphalt shingles produced by GAF, which is one of the nation's leading shingle manufacturers. There are a few different types of shingles GAF offers depending on your preferences, so you're sure to find an asphalt shingle that you like.


Standing Seam Metal: The Basics


Metal roofing is an increasingly popular material used for residential roofs. Standing seam metal roofs are installed in sheets with the seam running perpendicular to the ground. While their popularity is increasing, it's important to find a qualified metal roofer to install and maintain your roof. Not every roofer knows exactly what goes into a proper installation, and low-quality workmanship can negate the numerous benefits that metal roofing offers. Specialty Roofers, Inc has plenty of experience working with metal roofs, so you can be sure you're getting a top-of-the-line installation.


Which Is More Durable?


Both GAF asphalt shingles and standing metal seam roofs are durable roofing systems. However, in this category, metal roofing takes the cake. Even the best asphalt roofing installations are more susceptible to storm damage and punctures than metal roofing is. High winds can tear off asphalt shingles and falling branches can crack through them. The standing seam metal roof is impervious to all but the absolute worst winds. Falling debris can leave dents.


Additionally, metal roofs provide better longevity. According to U.S. News, roofs can last 20-50 years, but this is dependent on the material used. Asphalt roofs can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance, but generally last 15-20. Metal roofs, by comparison, can last over 50 years. While asphalt roofs are certainly durable, metal roofs take this category with ease.


Which Is More Affordable?


All of that durability comes at a cost. Metal roofs are by and large much more expensive than asphalt shingles. In fact, metal roofs can be over double the price of asphalt shingle roofing. Part of asphalt's popularity is because it is affordable and easy to install, which drives labor costs down. Metal sheets are heavy and require an expert metal roofer, as mentioned above, so the overall initial and labor costs will be higher. An argument can be made that you will make up for the metal roof's initial cost with fewer repairs and less maintenance down the line, but asphalt shingles are much more affordable.


Additionally, asphalt shingling will have a larger pool of contractors to choose from for installation, as mentioned above. If you do need repairs and have a tight budget, then it will be easier to shop around for a lower price. Of course, you may be sacrificing quality for the lower price, but it is an option. Asphalt roofs also typically have more available warranties, so it's more likely you can get the installation covered for around 10-15 years.


Energy Efficiency


In terms of energy efficiency, metal roofs edge out asphalt shingling. Metal roofs are reflective by nature, and so they will absorb far fewer UV rays. Some of this will depend on the color of the metal, but there are also metal roofs that will actively release the sun's heat from the roof. Asphalt will absorb more of the sun's heat and release it more slowly. There are specific asphalt shingles we offer that are made to be more heat-resistant to keep your home cooler. The basic options, however, will absorb more heat than metal roofs.


The option that is best will depend on your individual needs. Speak with one of our roofing contractors today to get a better idea of what option is right for you. Call Specialty Roofers, Inc for more information on the materials we offer, financing options, and more!