Getting New Roofing Soon? Compare Metal & Asphalt Shingles

Is that old roofing getting a bit too old? Or do you need a new roof after a recent Florida storm? On the other hand, maybe you just want to remodel or upgrade your home and you need a new style of roof to fit the new aesthetic?

Whatever the reason you are planning on putting in a new roof, there are a number of important decisions to be made in the process. One of the most obvious decisions involved is which type of roofing material you will have installed.

Here are the ins and outs, as well as the pros and cons of the two most commonly installed roofing materials in the US today – sheet metal roofing and asphalt shingle roofing.

Top 7 Benefits of Modern Metal Roofing

Some form of metal roofing has been around for centuries, and it already began to gain in popularity in America in the mid-1800s. Traditionally, metal roofing meant just one thing – tin roofs. Today, that form of metal is reserved almost exclusively for barns and sheds, while higher-quality, innovative materials are installed on homes and businesses.

But metal roofing is taking the market by storm, becoming more and more standard in many Florida communities. This is not surprising, given the many benefits that metal roofing has to offer, including these seven:

1. Super-low maintenance

One reason to have a metal roof put on is simply because you don’t wish to engage in much roof maintenance down the road. Metal roofing is easy to clean. In fact, the wind and rain do most of the cleaning for you, depending on the pitch of your roof and the exact type of metal roof material used.

Metal roofing tends to need fewer repairs over the years. As long as it was installed properly by a reliable local roofing contractor, you are not going to have much maintenance to do during the life of the roof.

Let’s face it, super-low roof maintenance is a major benefit. Many homeowners don’t want to have to think a lot about their roofing or a lot or maintenance. Some maintenance, of course, is still necessary. (And an annual roof inspection is always the best and safest policy.)

2. Extra-strong durability

Metal roofing is one of the strongest popular roofing materials available today. It gives you an extra-strong barrier against inclement weather, such as the severe storms we Floridians see every year.

Metal roofing is fire resistant and forms an exceptionally effective water barrier to protect your home’s interior. These are its two major strength and durability factors – but there’s more.

Unlike some roofing materials, metal will not rot or mold, is unaffected by insects, will not grow algae (a problem for many seaside homes), and is not going to break or crack. 

3. Longer expected life span

Metal roofing lasts anywhere from 40 to 100 years on average. The exact life span will vary, but it is sure to outlast an asphalt shingle roof. Normally, metal roofing will come with a manufacturer’s warranty of 30 to 50 years, but most of the time it will outlast its warranty by years or even decades.

It’s true that metal roofing on your new roof would cost more upfront than shingles, but you won’t need new roofing again as soon. If you add up installation and maintenance costs and then divide by the number of years of expected usefulness, you aren’t likely paying any more for metal than for asphalt.

4. Metal roofing is very lightweight

Although the word “metal” may conjure up images of something heavy, in fact, metal roofing is very light. Strong, malleable, lightweight metals are chosen for roofing purposes, and they are specially formed and shaped so as to give you the perfect strength-weight balance.

There will be less pressure on your roof structure and on your home’s foundation when a lighter, metal roofing material is on top instead of relatively heavier asphalt shingles.

5. Increases your home’s value

When people are shopping for a new home, one of the first things they ask is “How old is the roof?” What they are really getting at is whether or not they are likely to have to handle roof replacement or major roof repairs soon after moving in, should they buy the property.

Metal roofing alleviates any worries would-be buyers might entertain since it rarely needs to be replaced early. Plus, it boosts your home’s property value and can increase, therefore, your home’s selling point if you ever decide to relocate.

6. Metal roofing can save you money

There are a number of ways that putting metal on your new roof can actually save you money. Home insurance companies may offer a discount on your premiums if you have a metal roof. You may also qualify for tax credits for energy upgrades.

Metal refracts heat off and away from your home more efficiently than asphalt. That means that metal roofing can actually reduce your energy bill. Plus, metal is fully recyclable and likely to actually be recycled due to its high value. (Solar panels are also easier to install on metal roofs.)

7. Metal roofing comes in many varieties

There are many varieties of metal roofing available today. First of all, you have the types of metal to choose from – aluminum, copper, zinc, steel, and more.

There are also different colors. First, each metal has its own natural look if you want to go with that. But you can also have metal roofing painted in any color you wish. Additionally, there are many shapes, sizes, and styles to choose from.

Top 7 Benefits of Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Asphalt shingle roofing is by far the most popular type of roofing in general use today. You might wonder, after hearing all the benefits of metal roofing, why to get asphalt roofing. In reality, asphalt too has a lot to offer.

The benefits of each type of roofing differ, as do their respective drawbacks. It’s more a matter of which material is best for a particular homeowner or building. Here are the seven most important positive aspects of asphalt shingles:

1. Lowest-cost roofing material

Affordability is certainly one of the most obvious reasons that asphalt roofing shingles have long retained their great popularity. The cost of the materials and of the installation is lower. 

You can get higher-quality asphalt shingles, such as dimensional shingles, that cost more. But even then, it may be less than most metal roofs would cost upfront to install.

2. More traditional look

The shingle style, with tabs of a more or less square or rectangular shape, is what many people are now used to seeing on a rooftop. In many quarters, shingles are “standard,” and that can be a good thing.

Others may be more prone to choose a roofing style precisely because it does not look traditional, but for many, sticking with a look that is time-honored is a plus.

3. Quicker installation process

In general, asphalt shingles are easier to install than metal and can be installed quite a bit more quickly. If you are on a tight schedule and want the job done as quickly as possible, this could be a factor.

On the other hand, an experienced company with a large enough crew and all the best tools could install metal roofing rather quickly as well.

4. Great variety of colors and styles

Now, you can get metal roofing to fit with just about any exterior style of a home, but you may have to paint it. Or you may have to order a different brand or wait on back-order for certain specially styled materials.

Since asphalt shingles are in such widespread use (and because you can easily paint the granules at the factory), they come pre-made in a greater variety of colors and styles than any other roofing material.

5. Easier to repair

Of course, a professional roofing contractor can handle any roofing repair, be it on a metal or shingle roof. But it is certainly easier to repair asphalt in most cases.

And if you are comfortable handling small, simple DIY repairs, that works a lot better with asphalt shingles as compared with metal sheets.

6. More warranty flexibility

Although warranties on metal roofs are longer (because the material lasts so much longer,) you generally can get more warranty options with asphalt shingle roofs. And many manufacturers are even now offering lifetime warranties for their asphalt roofing products.

7. More contractors install asphalt

You can find more contractors who install asphalt than those who install metal. That could be a plus in some situations. However, if you find a contractor who is reliable and has deep experience with both – all the better!

Comparing Options for Your New Roof

In summing it all up, it might be helpful to note some of the pros and cons of each type of roofing side by side:

  • Asphalt shingles cost less upfront, but metal roofing lasts longer and requires fewer repairs and less maintenance over the years.
  • Metal is more difficult to repair but less likely to need a repair.
  • Installation of asphalt shingles is quicker and easier.
  • Metal roofs may last 50 to 100 years, while shingle roofs often need to be replaced after 20 to 30 years.
  • Metal roofs can sometimes save you money on home insurance but the repairs may cost more, on average, too.
  • Metal roofs are less likely to suffer significant damage in your average Florida stormy weather. In hurricanes, however, any type of roofing is subject to damage.
  • Metal roofing is very eco-friendly. It is 100% recyclable and it can help reduce your home energy bills.
  • Metal roofing is lighter than asphalt and thus is easier on your rafters and foundation.
  • There is greater variety, overall, with asphalt roofing shingles unless you are going to have the metal painted.
  • Your home’s resale value gets a big boost with any new roof – but it clearly gets a bigger boost from a new metal roof.

It may take some serious thought and contemplation to figure out which type or roofing is right for you – metal, shingle, or something else. Experienced roofing contractors can assist you by giving you all the information you need to make a truly informed decision you will never regret.

Be sure that you do not delay roof replacement too long. While premature replacement can be unwise, waiting too long puts your home at risk.

To learn more about how to decide which type of roofing material to use on your new roof, contact Sheegog Contracting today!


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