Asphalt vs Metal Roofing — The Pros and Cons

Asphalt vs Metal Roofing - The Pros and Cons

If you stop to ponder the invaluable job a home’s roof does, you would likely come to the conclusion that it is the most important construction component of all. Even though a roof is like a home’s safety helmet, shielding it from the elements and protecting it from potentially damaging precipitation and falling objects, we seldom appreciate its value until there’s a problem.

When the time comes to build a home or replace the roof of an existing home, there is a great split of opinion when it comes to which materials are best. Architects and designers often favor form over function while homeowners and builders opt for what gets the job done in the most cost-effective manner.

Even thought there are several roofing materials that dominate the industry, asphalt and metal are the front runners. Those in the asphalt industry maintain that their products are easier to install, more affordable, and last up to 30 years. Asphalt has long been a traditionally safe choice, as well. In the words of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, “Its also incredibly easy on the eye. And lets not forget, its easy on the wallet, too!” Architects often concur that asphalt roofing materials are so popular because they help keep building costs down.

In the last 20 years, metal roofs have made a huge comeback. The early tin roofs were brought to America in the late 1700s. They were known for their durability, and easy installation. Around the 1950s through the 1960s, new roofing products employing synthetic materials and space age adhesives led homeowners away from metal roofs to asphalt shingles.

Now a half-century later, the tin roof is back. According to the Metal Roofing Alliance, “Longevity is one of the top reasons consumers report choosing metal roofing for their homes. Metal roofing can last as long as 50 years or more, requiring very little maintenance and looking beautiful all the while.”

Climactic conditions are another consideration when choosing a roof. In some parts of the country, a metal roof may conduct too much heat. On the other hand, areas prone to wind and rain or snow and ice can wreak havoc on an asphalt roof. Furthermore, depending on a home’s architectural style, one choice may simply be the better option from an aesthetic point of view.

Have a look at this list of pros and cons for both asphalt and metal roofing materials. It was originally published on the builderonline.com site:

Asphalt The Pros

    Asphalt vs Metal Roofing - The Pros and Cons
  • It’s extremely affordable
  • Builders like to use it because it is quick and simple to install
  • If damage occurs, it is easy to repair
  • There are numerous style and color options to suit every taste and budget
  • Asphalt is low maintenance
  • Many are EnergyStar rated and eligible for a tax credit

Asphalt The Cons

  • It has been used so much and many new homeowners want something different
  • Harsh weather is its enemy, especially hail
  • Can trap moisture and promote the growth of moss, mildew, and algae
  • Even though a warranty may extend up to 30 years, other factors dictate how well the roof holds up, such as ventilation, climate, and routine upkeep
  • It is not considered environmentally sustainable. EPA studies show shingle waste makes up 8% of the total building-related waste stream.

Metal The Pros

  • It is lightweight so prevents excessive pressure on a home’s framework
  • Very durable and last for decades-depending on which type of metal is chosen, some can last well over 50 years
  • Many metal roof manufacturers provide 50-year warranties
  • They are fireproof
  • Because they offer such a high degree of protection from the elements, some insurance firms offer homeowners as much as 30 percent off their premiums when they opt for a metal roof. More tips on getting a deal on your homeowners insurance here .
  • They are deemed environmentally conscious due to their energy-efficiency and are also recyclable

Metal The Cons


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