Metal Roof vs Shingles — Difference and Comparison Diffen

Metal Roof vs Shingles - Difference and Comparison Diffen

Contents: Metal Roof vs Shingles

edit Regional Considerations

Determining whether metal roofing or asphalt shingles are appropriate for a home, and which will cost less overall, often comes down to region, as the two types of roofing behave very differently in different climates. Asphalt shingles will work best in temperate climates, while metal roofing can work well in hot or cold, wet or dry, extremes, but will cost more upfront.

edit Staying Cool

Though it may seem counterintuitive, metal roofs work well in hot climates. In fact, they keep a home much cooler than asphalt shingles do, potentially decreasing peak cooling demand by 10-15%. Metal reflects sunlight, keeping it cooler inside, while asphalt shingles, particularly black ones, absorb the heat of the sun, making a home that much warmer. New, white- or light-colored metal roofing with proper ventilation is better than old metal roofing, and special sealants can further cool down the material.

edit Staying Warm

Because asphalt shingles absorb heat, they may be better at keeping a home warm in wintertime, but with proper insulation. a metal roof should do just as well. Moreover, according to the EPA, the summertime savings of a metal roofdeemed a "cool roof"are so significant in some regions that annual energy spending will still be lower overall with a metal roof, even if a little more heating is required.

One major downside to asphalt shingles in wintertime is that they may not survive layers of heavy, wet snow. The cold temperatures can cause the asphalt to crack, which may then result in a leaky roof. In contrast, snow slides off a sloped metal roof, and the cold temperatures cause no harm to the metal.

edit Durability

Metal roofing is much more durable than asphalt shingles. It’s not uncommon to find metal roofing backed by 50-year or even lifetime warranties, while asphalt shingles tend only to last 15 to 30 years and come with 20- to 25-year warranties.

Metal roofs survive the elements well, remaining intact when facing high winds, hail, and lightning. Asphalt shingles can withstand some extreme weather conditions if installed properly, but it’s common for homeowners to have to replace shingles after bad storms, high winds, or heavy snow. In general, asphalt shingles are prone to a number of climate-related problems, such as algae growth in prolonged humidity.

edit Fire Resistance

Metal Roof vs Shingles - Difference and Comparison Diffen

When it comes to fire resistance, materials matter. A copper or steel metal roof will survive well, for instance, but an aluminum one will eventually melt. Likewise, shingles made from an asphalt fiberglass composition are fire resistant, while those composed with organic wood are not.

edit Soundproofing

Asphalt shingles are quieter than metal roofing, especially in heavy rain, but some may think metal roofing is much louder than it actually is. A metal roof on a home is different from the bare tin roofing of a barn or event center and is much quieter. Regardless, there are numerous ways to reduce noise with either type of roof. Using insulation, particularly having an insulated attic between living areas and the roof, greatly reduces noise.

For metal roofing, some local building codes allow homeowners to install the metal roof over an asphalt shingles roof; this can be ideal for those concerned about noise who are already planning to re-roof their home.

edit Styles

Metal roofing comes in several overall styles, including vertical and standing seam panels, tiles, slates/shakes, and shingles. They can come pre-painted or be painted after installation; any color is fine, but lighter colors are better at reflecting the sun’s heat. One possible downside to metal roofing is that, even when tiles or shingles are mimicked, there is no getting around the fact that the material has a metallic sheen to it.


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