Metal & Copper Roofing Blog

Comparison Time - Asphalt Shingles vs Metal Roofing

coated steel roofing | Metal Roof NetworkAfter dealing with asphalt shingles, many people consider the wisdom of upgrading to metal come the inevitable replacement time. In fact, we've got our very own comparison sheet that goes into detail about both materials. Here are four popular misconceptions that pop up when people compare asphalt shingles to metal roofing:

1. Weight

Even though many people think they must be heavier, metal roofs are usually a lot LIGHTER than asphalt composition shingles. On average, metal roofs weigh 1.4 pounds per square foot, while composition averages 2 to 5 pounds per square foot. A bonus of this extreme light weight is that many types of metal roofs can be installed over existing roof materials (like asphalt and wood shingles, for example) without compromising the roof structure.

2. Lifespan

Metal roofs will usually outlive composition roofing by a factor of 4 – or more. A lot of folks believe that just because most roofers prefer to install composition shingles, this is a reflection of their reliability and permanence. The truth is, it's an easy material to install and it doesn't take much training so just about anyone can do it. Another certainty for anyone installing a compostion shingle roof: It WILL be replaced, and LONG before it's warranty expires. Because the integrity of a metal roof is not compromised by heat and sun like an asphalt shingle roof, it will perform its job many decades longer.


19 year old "50 Year" Shingles3. Warranty

It's shocking to many that the lifespan of an asphalt composition shingle has little to do with the warranty period of the shingles. But it's true that they have little relation. A 50-year warranty on a shingle is NOT an assurance that the product will last that long! If I had a dime for every time I've heard some homeowner say, “I'll take one of them 40 year shingle – that's more than long enough for me!,” I'd already be retired. Those folks just don't (or don't want to) believe that anyone could put that on the label if it “weren't true.” But a quick read of any asphalt shingle warranty will reveal that the manufacturer is making 19 Yr Old Presidential 5 resized 600a distinction between the lifespan and product defects (they're NOT the same) and that the warranty is about defect – not deterioration. That 40 year shingle will need replacing in most parts of the country in 15-20 years, and the warranty won't have the least value to whomever owns the house at that time. Just look at these pictures of “50 Year” roofs that were less than 20 years when they required replacement. A metal roof won't let you down like that.



4. Aesthetics

Almost anyone who's looked at houses in North America would know what you meant when you said, “asphalt shingle roof.” They've been the cheap, fast roofing solution for nearly 100 years and they look like what they are – asphalt shingles. What amazes many outside of the roofing business are all of the shapes, styles, and colors that are available in metal roofing. Many folks only think of “rib roofs” when the topic of metal roofing is broached, but did you know that metal roofing offer more appearance options than any other type of roof material on the market? It's true – from shingles, tiles, diamonds, ribs, panels, and custom shapes, the appearance of metal can compliment any style of architecture – while lasting as long as the building itself.

It all adds up to making the extra investment of a metal roof terrific value for anyone who cares about the longevity, appearance and performance of the roof they're buying. It only takes a little research to learn why so many people are choosing metal as their next roofing purchase.

If you'd like to learn more, visit our Gallery page for photos of various metal roofs or our Resources page for valuable and free downloads.

Topics: benefits of metal roofing, asphalt vs metal