Metal Roof vs Shingles: A Comparison Guide

Posted By An Coon

When it comes to choosing the right roofing material for your home, there are a multitude of options available. Among these, asphalt shingles and metal roofs stand out as two popular choices. Both have their unique advantages and drawbacks, making the decision-making process challenging.

In this blog post, we will compare asphalt shingles and metal roofs in terms of:

  • Longevity
  • Costs
  • Durability
  • Energy efficiency
  • Maintenance

Additionally, we’ll discuss when it’s time to replace your roof, as this is a critical aspect of homeownership.

Metal Roof vs. Asphalt Shingle Roof: 5 Factors to Consider

One of the best ways to decide what roofing material is best for you is to do a side-by-side comparison. Here are some of the biggest factors to consider when deciding between metal roofing and shingle roofs.

1) Longevity 👴🏼

Asphalt Shingles


Asphalt shingles are known for their affordability but tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to metal roofs. On average, asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, depending on factors such as climate, installation quality, and maintenance. Some high-quality shingles may extend their lifespan toward the upper end of this range, but they will still require eventual replacement.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs, on the other hand, are renowned for their impressive longevity. When properly installed and maintained, metal roofs can last 50 years or more. Some metal roofing materials, such as aluminum or copper, can even exceed 100 years. While metal roofing typically comes with a higher upfront cost, its exceptional durability often justifies the investment over the long term.

2) Costs💰

Asphalt Shingles

One of the primary advantages of asphalt shingles is their affordability. They are relatively inexpensive compared to many other roofing materials, including metal. This makes them an attractive option for homeowners on a budget or those looking for a cost-effective short-term solution. However, it’s essential to consider the potential long-term costs of repeated replacements.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs typically come with a higher initial cost compared to asphalt shingles. The price varies depending on the type of metal used, its thickness, and the style of the roof. While the upfront investment may be steeper, the long lifespan and reduced maintenance costs often make metal roofs a financially wise choice in the long run. Additionally, metal roofs can increase the resale value of a home, further offsetting the initial expense.

3) Durability 💪

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are susceptible to damage from various environmental factors, such as heavy rain, strong winds, hail, and UV exposure. Over time, they may become brittle and start to curl or crack, leading to leaks and water damage. Additionally, algae and moss growth can be problematic in humid or shaded areas.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are known for their exceptional durability and resistance to the elements. They are highly resistant to water, fire, and pests, and they can withstand severe weather conditions, including heavy snow loads and high winds. Metal roofing materials also do not rot or warp. However, they can be susceptible to denting from large hail or falling branches, depending on the metal type and thickness.

4) Energy Efficiency ⚡️

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles provide minimal insulation and can absorb heat, making them less energy-efficient compared to metal roofs. This heat absorption can lead to higher cooling costs in warm climates, as the attic space below the shingles can become significantly hotter.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are known for their reflective properties, which help reduce heat absorption and keep homes cooler during hot summer months. This energy-efficient feature can lead to lower cooling costs and make metal roofing an environmentally friendly choice. Some metal roofing systems can even be installed with insulation materials, further improving energy efficiency.

5) Maintenance 🔨

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. This includes periodic inspections for damage, such as missing or loose shingles, as well as cleaning to prevent algae and moss growth. Repairs and replacements are also common over time, which can incur additional costs.

Metal Roofs

Metal roofs require less maintenance compared to asphalt shingles. Routine inspections are still necessary to check for potential issues, such as loose fasteners or damaged seams. However, metal roofs are less prone to damage from environmental factors and typically have a longer maintenance-free period. In many cases, a metal roof can last decades with minimal maintenance.

When to Replace Your Roof

Regardless of whether you choose asphalt shingles or a metal roof, there will come a time when roof replacement becomes necessary. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to replace your roof:

  • Age: If your asphalt shingles are nearing the end of their expected lifespan (typically 15-30 years), it’s advisable to start planning for a replacement. For metal roofs, you can generally wait longer, as they have a longer lifespan.
  • Visible Damage: Obvious signs of damage, such as missing or broken shingles (for asphalt roofs) or dents and punctures (for metal roofs), indicate the need for replacement. Leaks, water stains on ceilings or walls, and mold growth are also warning signs.
  • Excessive Granule Loss: For asphalt shingles, if you notice an excessive loss of granules, either in your gutters or on the ground, it’s a sign that your shingles are deteriorating and may need replacement.
  • Frequent Repairs: If you find yourself frequently repairing your roof due to recurring issues, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to invest in a new roofing system.
  • Energy Inefficiency: If your energy bills have been consistently high due to poor insulation and energy inefficiency, upgrading to a more energy-efficient roofing material, such as metal, can be a wise choice.

Metal and Asphalt Roofing Experts

When deciding between the two roofing materials, it’s crucial to weigh your budget, long-term goals, and climate conditions. Ultimately, the right choice for your home will depend on your specific needs and priorities. Regardless of your decision, regular inspections and proactive maintenance will help extend the lifespan of your roof and ensure its continued protection of your home.

And when you want a roofing team that is ready to take on all of your roofing needs, you need Boss Exteriors! From metal roof installation to asphalt roof repairs, we do it all. Contact us today to set up your appointment!

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