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HomeReaders ChoiceIs Steel Roofing Better Than Shingles

Is Steel Roofing Better Than Shingles

Advantages Of Metal Roofs

Metal Roofing Vs. Shingle Roofing

Metal roofs offer many benefits, including:

  • Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
  • Durability. If installed correctly, some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack and may be impact-resistant . In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
  • Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
  • Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect the suns UV and infrared light rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat, which can result in a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs.
  • Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream up to 20 billion pounds per year.

Asphalt Shingles Vs Metal: Which Roof Is Right For You

Do you know your roof needs to be replaced? Are you trying to decide if you should stick with an asphalt roof or make the switch to a metal roof? Youre not alone.

I get asked which is better all the time. The truth is, one isnt better than the other. It all boils down to the look you want and your budget.

The team at Bill Ragan Roofing has been replacing asphalt and metal roofs in the Nashville areas since 1990. We know what it takes to maximize the life of your roof. Thats why we offer a lifetime warranty on our workmanship.

To help you make the right decision for you, I came up with the 4 main points to compare the two types of roofs. But before we get to the comparisons, you need to know a little about each of them.

The Amount Of Maintenance A Metal Roof Needs Versus A Shingle Roof

Roof maintenance is the periodical checking of all the vulnerable areas on a roof that could be susceptible to having a problem. Depending on the type of roof, whether it be residential or commercial, it will be annual, biannual, or quarterly maintenance.

Every roof needs some form of maintenance, but some roof types require more than others. With that in mind, a standing seam metal roof will need less maintenance than an asphalt shingle roof.

An asphalt shingle roof needs to be maintained and inspected at least once a year. This includes checking your pipe boots, clearing debris from valleys, or even just cleaning your gutters to ensure a leak doesnt show up.

On the other hand, a standing seam metal roof requires virtually no maintenance. However, that doesnt mean it shouldnt be inspected periodically to keep it running smoothly.

Both a standing seam metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof need maintenance to catch future problems and ensure your roofs life is maximized.

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Is A Metal Roof More Expensive Than Shingles

Metal roof installation is typically more expensive than shingles, as said. Metal roofing typically costs between $120 and $500 or more per 100 square feet , while shingles often run between $100 to $200 per 100 square feet. While shingles roofs are typically less expensive to install, its vital that homeowners consider more than just initial costs when it comes to their roofing choice! Since metal roofs last longer than shingles, youre likely to spend far less on reroofing over the years, but note some added reasons why metal roofing can be more cost-effective and a better financial investment than shingles:

You Live In An Area With High Winds Or Severe Weather

Asphalt Shingles vs a Metal Roof: Which is a Better Option?

Metal is a durable material that can handle the beating a roof can get from heavy rain, sow, gale force winds, hail, and other severe weather. Shingles will blow off during high winds and cant handle the weight from heavy snow. Metal roofs dont have these same concerns.

Consider the location of your home when choosing your roof. If the weather in your area is anything other than mild, then your climate needs to play a factor in the roof you choose. Deal with a leak or having to repair your roof after every big storm will quickly be tiresome.

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Types Of Metal Roofing Panels

  • Corrugated Metal Roofing

If you decide to purchase a metal roof, then the first step is deciding between a concealed fastener or an exposed fastener panel . Metal is a durable roofing material with an average lifespan of 40-60 years. The appearance, cost, and method of installation depend on which panel you choose.

Repair & Roof Maintenance

Any style roof will need maintenance and repair from time to time, especially if you live in an area that is prone to extreme weather. Metal roofs are not only more durable, but theyre also more resistant to damage and leaking. As such, installing a new metal roof will tend to lead to low maintenance or a maintenance-free roof and greater peace of mind that you wont run into any issues.

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Metal Roofing Colors And Styles

Metal roofing gives you a huge variety of colors and styles to choose from. There are different panel profiles and hundreds of colors. Metal can match almost any design style you are looking to achieve.

There are also different types of metal roofing materials to choose from like copperor zinc. These materials are the most expensive type of metal panels.

What if you want the look of copper or zinc, but without the price tag? There are less expensive painted steel panels that mimic the look of copper and zinc, but at a fraction of the price.

Advantages Of Metal Roofing

Shingle Roof VS Metal Roof – What Roof is Better???

Lightweight A major benefit of metal roofing is that its a very lightweight material. First, its easier for the installers to handle and transport up on the roof during the rollforming and installation process. Second, it doesnt weigh down and put unnecessary stress on a structure, which reduces frame damage and preserves the integrity of a building.

Longevity Perhaps one of the biggest differences between metal roofing and shingles is the length of its life. For metal roofing, its expected that metal roofing should last at least 50+ years until signs of degradation begin to show. Different metal materials, such as copper and zinc, have even been known to last 100 or more years in some instances.

Lower Long-Term Cost As we will discuss later, metal roofing is more expensive as a one-time cost. That being said, metal roofing is typically less expensive in the long-term because one metal roof can easily outlast at least three asphalt shingle roofs .

These two photos represent a 60-year cost comparison between mid-range shingle roofing and metal roofing . In this scenario, the mid-range cost for one architectural shingle roof is around $8,700+ and the cost for one 24-gauge steel standing seam roof with a PVDF paint system is about $17,400+. Even if the shingle roof lasted 20 years, you would need to pay for a shingle roof about three times and a metal roof about one time in a 60-year span, making the metal roof a more economical choice.

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What Is Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Asphalt shingles are a mixture of a base coat covered by a layer of asphalt for waterproofing and then topped with ceramic granules.

Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles are the most popular choice and have been since their invention in the 1980s. These roof coverings come in 3-tabbed shingles or architectural style.

3-tabbed shingles vs architectural

Three-tabbed shingles give the appearance of three separate pieces combined into one strip. On the other hand, architectural shingles have extra asphalt layers to make them look bulkier. You can find asphalt shingles in a wide range of colors and styles.

Additional Costs Associated With A Metal Roof

An additional cost you may incur that is not reflected in the quote would be the removing and disposing of old shingles if replacing them with more asphalt shingles. Since metal can be installed on top of an asphalt shingle roof , youll save labor and disposing costs, but keep in mind you will have to buy and install wood purlins to provide an even base for the metal panels. So the cost might still be a wash.

If the project is new construction, such as an addition or new garage, metal is a big winner because an asphalt shingle roof would require a plywood base.

Also, the cost will be affected by the complexity of the roof. If it is a simple roof with few or no valleys, metal panels may be significantly cheaper and faster to install than asphalt shingles . But if the roof is more complex with several valleys and peaks, though the material costs might still be about the same, asphalt shingles are going to install faster and cost less in labor than metal panels. That said, it is still hard to beat the longterm savings of a metal roof.

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What Makes Metal Roofs Better Than Shingle Roofs For Solar Panel Installation

If you look at the before image above, youll notice a ton of moss growing on the roof. That isnt necessarily from neglect. Moss is common on Seattle roofs thanks to our so-very-wet climate.

But when you add solar panels and the shade they produce, moss can get out of control and shorten the lifespan of even a brand new shingle roof by decades.

Now, imagine that old roof with dozens of bolts punched through it to hold the rack system for the solar panels. Would you trust them not to leak for the next 30 years? We sure wouldnt.

Then, theres the durability and longevity of the roof system. Metal will last a minimum of 50 years. The shingle roof shown above may last another decade, at best. Solar panels, however, have a service life of roughly 32 years.

Imagine the expense of pulling those panels off to replace your failed shingle roof a five-figure job, plus the cost of putting the panels back. Insane!

With a standing-seam metal roof, that expense will never be necessary. As for moss growth and new holes in the roof, you neednt worry. Theres maybe one hole that needs to be made for the power cables, and metal roofing is impervious to the ravages of moss growth.

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Lots Of Metal Roofing Colors To Choose From

Roofers in London in 2020

There are far more design options for metal panels than shingles. Metal comes in every standard color you could want plus specialty colors that mimic other materials. For example, there are metal panels that are made to look like zinc and copper which are much less than buying panels in those materials.

The choices for the aesthetic of your roof are greater with metal.

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Shingle Roof Repairs Are More Frequent

A shingle roof is prone to needing repairs, especially as it ages. The lightweight nature of the shingles, which is a benefit in a lot of ways, often causes them to blow off the roof during a high wind storm. This results in replacement shingles having to be installed.

Other Common Issues That Result In Shingle Repairs/Replacement:

  • Granule Loss – The granulated surface of shingles becomes loosened and falls off due to exposure to extreme weather or age. This makes the shingles less resistant to the elements.
  • Buckling Shingles– This is when shingles do not lay flat on the roof and appear to be lifting. This can be caused by movement of the wood deck or wrinkling of roof underlayment.
  • Curling Shingles– Shingles that are curling upwards. This can be from poor attic ventilation or improper installation.

Do Metal Roofs Attract Lightning

Lightening has a tendency to strike tall objects or those that offer the best path to its destination. There has been extensive research into lightning strikes on roofs, and metal is no more attractive than asphalt, slate, tile, cedar shakes, or other materials.

However, metal is a conductor, so should a bolt strike a metal roof, it tends to dilute the lightnings energy. Plus, metal isnt combustible, so it is less likely to burst into flame with a strike. Additionally, the use of lightning rods connected to metal ground rods, usually with copper wire, provides a direct path for lightning energy to follow. A metal roof is typically grounded too, further protecting your home.

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Are Metal Roofs Better Than Shingle Roofs

Metal roofs aren’t better than shingle roofs, but neither are shingles better than metal panels. Your roofing material choice depends on your design preference, budget, environment and long-term goals. To help you navigate all those factors, you can speak with our professionals at

If you need additional protection for the top of your house, our team specializes in roof replacements. We partner with experienced contractors who know how to install all types of roofs, including metal and shingle. For more information about starting the process of installing a new roof, you may contact us online or call 855-560-3765 to get a roof inspection.

Standing Seam Vs Corrugated Metal Roof

Architectural shingles vs Metal roofing: Which Roof is Best?

Standing Seam panels are best for those who:

  • Want the best and most long-lasting metal roof system
  • Want a modern design.
  • Hiring a roofing contractor to install the panels.

Corrugated metal panels usually come in a 24 or 26 gauge, but can be custom ordered in other gauge sizes to meet your needs.

As we mentioned earlier, corrugated panels are exposed fastener panels and will require thousands of fasteners to keep the roof in place. This can affect the durability because all of the penetrations in the roof leave a chance for moisture to get in. If the fasteners are not properly installed or become loose, your roof can be vulnerable to leaks. A high quality synthetic roofing underlayment should be used as it offers an added layer of protection.

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Metal Roof Vs Shingles

While both materials are ideal for residential and commercial roofing projects, each roofing material has distinct advantages. Since a new roof represents a significant investment, lets take a look at the pros and cons of a metal roof vs shingles.

Shingles provide a traditional appearance to homes and commercial buildings. Advancements in manufacturing have created shingles that appear like tile, slate, and wood shake. With a variety of finishes and styles, there is an option to outfit every type of home. For older homes, weathered asphalt shingles help to maintain the aesthetics of your structure.

The average lifespan of composite asphalt shingles can vary between 15-40 years, depending on numerous factors, including exposure and weather conditions. Its worth noting that each shingle could pose a vulnerability for leaks and needed repairs.

Damp conditions and pooling water on asphalt shingles create ideal conditions for fungal and algae growth. Weather conditions can cause damage such as leaks, holes, and the efficiency of the roofing system. Faulty roofing contributes to energy loss and unstable heating and cooling in the home.

Asphalt shingles require more replacements and maintenance. According to reports, nearly twenty billion pounds of asphalt shingles get sent to landfills annually. As a petroleum-based product, asphalt shingles require fossil fuel for production.

Pros And Cons Of Metal Roofs Over Shingles

Despite the initial negative of the higher cost, the reasoning behind purchasing a metal roof becomes clear with the list of benefits that come with it. The average lifespan of a metal roof can be over 50 years depending on the material, more than doubling or tripling the lifespan of a shingled roof. This effectively multiplies your investment and ensures that there will be no need for drastic repairs or replacements for a very long time. The metal roof is a far more durable source of protection against the elements, particularly hail, wind, and snow, than a shingled roof.

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Metal Roof Vs Shingle Roofing

Metal and asphalt shingles are two common roofing materials in the United States. If you need a new roof, consider whether you want a metal roof replacement or a shingle roof replacement. You can use this complete guide to metal roofs vs. asphalt shingles to help you decide which one is better for your budget and design preferences.

What’s The Difference Between Asphalt Shingles And Metal Roofing

Steel Roof That Looks Like Shingles

Asphalt roofing is a popular roofing material available in several colors and textures to accommodate any home aesthetic at an affordable cost. This durable shingle features a matting or fiberglass core with a coating of asphalt and a ceramic or stone surface. You can choose standard three-tab, laminated or architectural asphalt for your property.

Metal roofing is also becoming more prevalent because it features more visual options than asphalt shingles. You can choose from different shapes and colors that make your roof look like other popular materials, such as wood or slate. There are many types of metal roofs, including tin, steel, aluminum and copper.

Despite the differences between these two roofing materials, they’re both wise investments for your property. The choice you make depends on your design preference, local climate and durability requirements. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of each before you decide which one to install.

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