Metal Roof Vs Shingles: Which Is The Better Choice?

The metal roof vs. shingles question is often faced by a homeowner who is looking to replace an old roof or when laying a new roof on a brand new home. Here we will take a detailed look at the differences and the pros and cons of two types of roofs.

The Cost Factor

At first glance the price of a metal roof will make it seem prohibitive. But, a little bit of research on the prices of metal roof vs. shingles will reveal the true reason for the substantial differences in costs of the roofs. Metal roof has a long life-span lasting several decades. It may be the last roof you will ever have to lay for your home if laid properly and by qualified roofing contractors. Shingles on the other hand will last for a decade to 15 years. So, if you divide the price of metal roofing by its life you will arrive at a cost that is comparable to ordinary roofing shingles.

The cost multiple of metal roof vs. shingles is about three times. These roofs are more expensive because of the higher cost of the materials, the higher cost of installation by trained professionals and the longer time it takes to lay metal roofing with lot of precision and patience.

Metal Roof Vs Shingles – Metals Are Noisy

The reason for this myth is the mental picture that we have old barns covered by metal that sounded like a particularly noisy train or machine gun fire. That is no longer true. Today the metal panels are placed on layers of plywood or solid wood and a layer of roofing underlayment like felt. Placed on these layers a metal roof will make no more noise than say asphalt shingles. So, in a metal roof vs. shingles debate you can safely counter that noise levels of both are almost the same. If you still feel that metal roofs will be noisy there are methods available like adding a layer of foam underneath to deaden the noise.

Do Metals Attract Lightening?

In a storm with lightening if a question arises about the safety of metal roof vs. shingles, it is easy to answer that both are as safe or as risky as the other. Lightening is not attracted by metal. Lightning usually strikes the tallest building in the area. If your home happens to be the tallest building then it might be at risk to lightening strikes and it doesn’t really matter whether you have asphalt shingles or metal shingles. A metal roof is safer as it easily transmits the electric discharge and reduces the risk of a fire. Asphalt and other materials on the other hand are at higher risk of a fire.

What About Resale Value Of Homes?

If you see two homes fitted with a metal roof vs. shingles, which would you buy? A metal roof will last the life-time of the home, while the asphalt roofing shingles will need replacement every decade or so. The home with a metal roof will work out cheaper in long term as you don’t have to do costly roof replacement and repairs. A metal roof is a long-term investment that pays for itself over its life-time. So, homes with metal roofs have a higher resale value.

But, Don’t Metals Corrode?

We are used to equating metal with old barn roofs with big gaping holes that need frequent plugging and repair. Today’s steel metal roofs are coated with protective layers of Zinc or Aluminum. These make them immune to vagaries of nature. No amount of moisture and extreme temperature or weather can affect them. The metal panels are also painted with a protective layer of high quality paint which makes them doubly resistant to all kinds of weather damage. For areas close to sea or ocean, aluminum coated with zinc is a good option to help withstand the effect of corrosion by salt-laden winds. So, if you are considering metal roof vs. shingles for your home, you should know that both are effective. But, asphalt does deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures.

Aren’t Metals Susceptible To Indentations And Depression?

True, you can’t walk on your metal roof like you walk on your concrete pavement. But, it is also quite okay to walk on the metal roof while wearing sports shoes with rubber soles. The contractor or metal roof installer will give you tips and suggestions on how to walk on the metal roofing without damaging it. Follow them and it would not cause any dents or damages to your roof. If you expect a lot of foot traffic on your roof asphalt roofing may be a good idea, but even there you need to take care not to damage or tear them.

Pay Lesser Insurance Premiums

If you check the insurance premiums for metal roof vs. shingles, you will find that it is lesser for metal roofing as they offer better protection against all kinds of weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet and hail. It is the first line of defense for any home and strong roof qualifies for a lower homeowner’s insurance premium. It offers better protection against strong winds unlike asphalt or compositional shingles which tear or fly away under high wind speed conditions.

In the metal roof vs. shingles debate we do find that metals are expensive compared to the cheapest flat asphalt roofing shingles. But, if you opt for the longer-lasting and better looking premium range of compositional asphalt roofing shingles called architectural roofing and laminated roofing shingles the price differential is about two times. But, in the long-term depending on how long you plan to live in the home, the durability of the roof and its capacity to resist fires metal roof is an option you can pursue. Be sure to check with your local homeowners association if they allow metal roofs in the area.

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