Aluminum Roof Shingles – Are They a Good Choice?
Aluminum roof shingles are an attractive roofing solution. So, if you’re thinking about getting your home a new roof, carry out your research carefully and extensively. Materials used for roofing, and the do it yourself installation of a new roof, can be rather expensive. And unless you’re an expert, hiring a contractor to do your new roof may be a wise investment.
First, before anything else, carefully run a comparison of the different kinds of roofing material available. Until a couple of decades back, most homes were roofed with asphalt shingles. Today, asphalt shingle roofs are made of a mix of paper, limestone and cement. The tiles, however, are poorer in quality than earlier ones made of petroleum. Longevity of asphalt shingle roofs is only about 8 to 10 years, compared with the 30 year average from an earlier era.
That’s the reason many home and company owners are shifting towards metal roofing, and aluminum roof shingles are gaining popularity. Aluminum roof shingles are more durable, save energy, are rust and fire proof, and can withstand extreme weather conditions. And they have a much longer lifespan, typically lasting 100 years.
In addition to all these functional benefits, composite aluminum roof shingles are attractive to look at. They can be modified to appear identical to wooden shakes or slate and clay tiles. For instance, you can have green shingles for your shed, and cedar shakes design for your home.
Aluminum shingles, like plastic, will not rust, rot, or get infested with termites or fungus. They are not combustible, and therefore fire-proof, an important benefit these days as insurers are concerned about the risk of forest fires in specific neighborhoods. Also, aluminum roof shingles are easier to install than others. Being light and easy to handle, they can even be installed over existing roofs without having to take down an earlier installation.
Aluminum shingles also help save energy. By reflecting most of the sunlight that strikes it, this can lower heating up of the home and a drastic drop in energy consumption by air-conditioning devices. Homeowners have enjoyed as much as 20% cuts in their power consumption costs.
Aluminum roofing is also weather proof. The shingles can put up with extremes of weather, like hail and rain storms or hurricane force winds. Snow easily slips off the shingles, without collecting and causing damage to your roof. And finally, aluminum roofing adds value to your home. While the initial cost is definitely higher, the long life expectancy cuts down on any repair expenses, and also is an attractive selling point when you decide that it’s time to sell your house and buy another one.
Using aluminum roof shingles also makes you a responsible home owner because they are environment friendly. Not only does the long lifetime make it unnecessary to keep replacing it often, 98% of the shingles are also recyclable.
There are some disadvantages to using aluminum roofing materials, though. The cost is higher at first during installation, though in the long run they will be more cost-effective than asphalt shingles. The smooth surface can make them slippery when wet, making it dangerous to get on the roof for repair work. And while aluminum never rusts, the sheen does dull over time making it necessary to paint them. Installation is a little more complex than with architectural roofing, and so an experienced roofer is needed. And lastly, if you live in a hail prone area, there is a chance of heavy storms causing denting of your aluminum roof.
Overall, aluminum roof shingles appear a good solution for your home or office building. But before you make up your mind, do some more research – and talk to an expert roofer to get opinions and advice.