One of the most ubiquitous roofing materials here in northern Nevada - and around the country, in fact - is asphalt shingles. They're relatively cheap and easy for even the most inexperienced roofer to replace when they inevitably fail. But if you're sick of forking over thousands of dollars every decade or so for a new roof, you may be considering the wisdom of upgrading to metal roofing. In that case, here are four considerations when you compare asphalt shingles to metal roofing.
Many people assume a metal roof must be heavier than an asphalt shingle roof, but that's not so. The average metal roof weighs in at 1.4 pounds per square foot. The average composition roof is between two and five pounds per square foot. Being lightweight is a big benefit when you're talking about the roof over your head, and that's especially true when it means you can install the new material without having to remove the old one. Many kinds of metal roofs have this benefit - they can be installed right over existing roof materials like asphalt and wood shingles, all without compromising the roof structure or the new roof performance and lifespan.
Another misconception that the ubiquity of composition shingles spreads around is the notion that because roofers tend to prefer them, asphalt shingles must be a reliable roofing product. That's not the case, particularly when you compare them to other materials on the market (ahem, like metal roofs). Again, asphalt shingles are easy to install without a lot of training - that's why they're popular among roofers.
When it comes to longevity, metal roofs usually shingles by a factor of four or more. That's because metal isn't compromised by sun exposure, heat, or freezing temperatures in the same way that asphalt shingles are, which means it can do its job for decades longer. Don't make the mistake of assuming your shingle warranty means anything - 15 or 16 years is about average in terms of lifespan for asphalt.
To elaborate on this point, it's important to recognize that the lifespan of asphalt shingles isn't necessarily related to the warranty period. Simply put, a 40-year warranty on a shingle roof is no promise that the roof will last even close to that long. Even the most cursory scan of the warranty copy will make that evident. The manufacturer is always careful to distinguish between lifespan and product defects. It isn't deterioration that is covered - it's the potential defect. In most parts of this country, those 40-year roofs are being replaced in half the time, if not more, and the warranty has no value.
While there is a range to be paid in the world of asphalt shingles - and those "architectural" shingles can get pricey at the high end! - this roofing material always looks like what it is. Sure, there are some color variants, but that's about it. Maybe that's why people outside the roofing business are always surprised at the many different options available when you're considering metal roofing. From profiles to materials, sizes to colors, metal roofing can truly compliment any style of architecture, and it will do so with superb performance and durability as well.
Want to Learn More?
Familiarizing yourself with the pros and cons of all roofing materials is a sensible decision when you're shopping for a new roof. Download our free guide comparing metal and asphalt shingles, or our free re-roofing booklet, which offers a comprehensive comparison of the most popular choices. You can also contact us today for specific information relative to your home and budget.