Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles


For the most part, roofing techniques and materials have remained the same over the past decade. There have been small changes due to the development of solar power cells, but this technology has been integrated into the roofing industry relatively smoothly. This is thanks to the contractors who chose to work with the top roofing talent for proper solar installations. Contractors are constantly looking for ways to cut costs while still increasing the structural integrity of every project. With regards to roofing, it can be difficult to decide which materials are best for your project. Shingles and metal roofing are top options and you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles

Cost and Lifespan

Asphalt is one of the most affordable roofing materials. The average lifespan of asphalt shingles is 15 to 20 years. Asphalt was one of the first roofing materials and has remained an important roofing material despite industrial changes and technological advances. The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA) and the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) suggest replacing asphalt shingles after 20 years. Metal roofing is much more expensive than asphalt and one of the priciest materials in roofing. Metal roofing does last up to 50 years, which more than justifies the initial cost. Alternatives to asphalt and metal roofs include tile, slate, and shake, and they each have their own pros and cons too. They are not as popular as asphalt and metal roofing though.


Asphalt shingles are for function rather than aesthetics. However, because of their popularity and affordability, the market has abandoned traditional three-tab shingles in favor of laminated designer shingles. Laminated designer shingles can resemble more expensive roofing materials like shake and slate without costing you a fortune. This is one of the most popular roofing materials. Laminated asphalt shingles also add dimensionality to your roof because of extra layers of fiberglass mat. This also creates a slate-like appeal. Laminated shingle styles are also typically offered with longer warranties and better wind ratings. Metal roofing has also improved its aesthetic appeal with the use of stamped-panel metal shingles. These look more like the aesthetically appealing slate, shake, and tile. A metal roof also doesn’t have to be silver or gray as metal roofing is now available in a wide variety of colors and styles.


A resilient roof is one that can recover quickly from challenges. It is essentially how tough the roof is. A resilient roof can handle severe storms without buckling under the pressure. SBS-modified or “rubberized” shingles are responsible for the resilience of asphalt shingles. It improves impact resistance and ensures that shingles stay put during strong weather. New advances have resulted in asphalt shingles that can protect homes from nearly everything, even algae. Metal roofing can withstand winds exceeding 140 miles per hour and has an amazing ability to resist fires. With wildfires burning through the country each year, builders are turning to metal roofs to give new and existing homes a fighting chance. Metal roofing is typically given a Class A fire rating, which means it is “nearly impenetrable” to moisture while resisting impacts from hail and debris. With improved coatings that help resist corrosion, metal roofing is safer than ever before. The resilience and durability of metal roofing is another reason it is worth the initial cost.

Energy Efficiency

One major advancement in asphalt shingles is improvements to the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). This includes metrics for reflectance and thermal emittance. Asphalt granules are mixed with light-reflecting pigments to increase the solar reflective value of a roof by ten times. This “cool roofing” reflects solar energy rather than absorb it, keeping the home cool and energy bills low. It also reduces wear and tear on the roof as sun exposure can do a lot of damage over time. Comparatively, the highly reflective surface of metal roofing typically also provides savings. You can save up to 30 percent on cooling with metal roofing as light and heat are reflected away.


Both metal and asphalt roofing are top choices for any project. Depending on your needs and your budget, you can get a quality roof. Call us today with any questions regarding roofing materials and we will help you get the right fit for your home.

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