For folks ready to re-roof, comparing asphalt composition shingles to metal is a good first step. Asphalt shingles are a standard roofing material in many parts of this country, and many people automatically assume that they have to re-roof with the same material once the first installation begins to fail (which is guaranteed with comp). But wait! There are many other options, and one of them is to upgrade to metal and forget re-roofing again.
We assembled a handy download comparing asphalt composition to metal roofing but here, we'll offer five reasons that metal roofs beat comp every time.
Composition shingles are just that - shingles. Sometimes, manufacturers will paste together several layers of shingles and call them "architectural," but that's as varied as it gets. Metal, on the other hand, offers the widest selection of colors, shapes, sizes and styles of any roofing material on the market. We offer diamonds, tiles, shakes, shingles and panels in copper, steel, aluminum, zinc and more.
Asphalt composition shingles are engineered to fail. Their basic composition - paper or fiberglass, asphalt, filler and stone granules, has been unchanged now for 60 years or so. And no matter what you pay for them, they all face the same fate: the volatile petroleum in the asphalt will evaporate from exposure to heat and sun, causing the shingle to fail to function as a weatherproofing covering. Metal roofs have been proven again and again to perform outstandingly well in terms of both performance and longevity. In fact, the right metal roof in the right climate can last for many lifetimes. Centuries-old, copper-topped cathedrals and churchs in Europe are evidence of that. See more metal roof benefits here.
The varied range of colors, textures, profiles and materials in the metal roof category means it's easy to find a high-performing roof that will match your home's architectural style. Shingles are just, well, shingles - the garden variety roofing material found in any low-end tract home community across the country.
Most metal roofs have high recycled content and can be recycled themselves. Metal roofs with certain finishes can also be used for capturing rainwater. See this post for more about rainwater catchment. Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, are destined for the local landfill.
Metal roofs come with some of the best warranties in the industry. Compare them to warranties for asphalt shingles, which specifically exclude common scenarios like wind blow-off after a very short period of time. Most warranties aren't intended to assure a life expectancy but are in fact limited product "defect" warranties. Read the fine print carefully, and let the 40-Year label convince you otherwise.
So is there ever a time to choose composition shingles over metal? If you're moving - and it'll shortly be someone else's problem - sure.
Find out more about how metal roofing stacks up to composition shingles or concrete-based shakes and tiles. And check out our FREE re-roofing booklet, a comprehensive guide with diagrams, photos, comparison charts and more.