Metal or Asphalt? This is the question you should be asking yourself when you begin looking to replace your roof. Metal roofs have many advantages over asphalt shingles such as: energy/utility savings, insurance breaks, and longevity. So, which route should you take?
Ultimately, a metal roof is a green product compared to asphalt. It is made up of 25% recycled material and can be recycled again when the roof is torn off. While most asphalt shingles wind up in a landfill, recycling asphalt is just a beginning practice. Metal roofs are greener in utility terms as well. During the hotter months of the year, the metal shingles deflect the heat away from the house. Even though a scorching metal roof might not be appealing to touch, it is keeping your home cooler. Asphalt shingles tend to absorb the heat; even with proper ventilation the heat can permeate past the roofline deeper into your home’s structure. Many homeowners see an immediate decrease in utility costs when they switch from asphalt to metal roofing.
Insurance rates often decrease with metal roofing. Besides being fire retardant, the majority of metal roofing products have a Class 4 Impact Rating (the highest possible); impact ratings are based on the potential damage a product could receive. The testing process mimics hailstorms; cracks and ruptures are looked for on the front and backside of shingles. Most roof coverings look similar despite their impact rating so be sure your contractor is using the proper one. If you are doing it yourself, shingles will have their impact rating posted on the label. When you call contractors for estimates, it will be worth it to make an extra call to your insurance agent to see what discount you could be eligible for with a metal roof.
The lifespan of a metal roof far surpasses that of an asphalt one; a home with an asphalt roof will need to be replaced 2 or 3 times before a metal roof will need to be replaced. Longevity does come with a higher initial cost, but many homeowners find it’s value in the material’s durability alone. With all construction related items, proper installation is key to a longer lifespan. Make sure you have a knowledgeable and trusted contractor to install your roof because installation is nothing like an asphalt roof.
The style varieties in metal shingles are just as varied as asphalt shingles. Metal can be made to resemble slate, clay tiles, and architectural shingles. Homeowners are usually worried that a metal roof will not mesh with the style of their home; but with the expanded shingle style, your home’s exterior no longer dictates the roofing material. Be aware that premium styles do come with a premium price.
The pros and cons of asphalt or metal should be weighed in determining what’s right for you. Asphalt is a widely accepted roofing material and is easy to find qualified installers but is more vulnerable to severe weather and has questionable longevity promises. Metal is a proven durable material and comes with solid warranties while it is more expensive and hard to find experienced installers.