Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles: Which Is Better in 2022?
The time comes when every homeowner must face facts: that old roof is not going to last forever.
Average roof lifespans can vary considerably. A typical asphalt shingle roof may last around 20 years, whereas a well-constructed metal roof might last a lifetime … 70 years or more. But whatever you currently have, there will come a time when it has had its day.
So you’re faced with a dilemma: asphalt shingles or metal roofs? Which option is the best value? Which one will provide the best long-term protection for your home?
Let’s dig into all these questions as we see which is the best choice in 2022.
Types of Roofs
Take a drive around your Wisconsin neighborhood and you’ll probably notice that most homes have asphalt roofs. They can be attractive and have a reputation for being a good value option. But are they really the best?
Both types of roofs come in a range of styles that can suit different types of properties. The key differences come down to:
- Ease of repair
Let’s see how both options stack up.
Asphalt Shingles: Pros
Asphalt shingles are endlessly versatile. If you want a new roof installation that mimics terra cotta, slate, or wood, you can achieve this look with asphalt shingles. They also look attractive in their own right and come in a wide range of color options.
Many people are attracted to asphalt roofs because they are cheaper to install and repair than metal roofs. The roofing materials themselves are cheaper, plus the installers don’t need special equipment.
Some companies will place new asphalt shingles directly over what is already there. Even if you remove the old shingles, it may only take a couple of days to finish the project.
Asphalt shingle roofing is also easier to repair than metal. Although metal is less susceptible to damage, it’s a complicated job to replace an entire panel. Asphalt roofs can be patched and repaired with minimal fuss.
Asphalt Shingles: Cons
While an asphalt roof is a great, cost-effective option, it just cannot compete with a metal roof in terms of durability.
Asphalt roofs typically last around 20 years. After that, you’re looking at major repairs or a new roof installation.
Asphalt roofs are also susceptible to algae, mold, and mildew. If part of the roof is shaded, they can quickly take hold. You’ll need to get your roof cleaned or risk health consequences from these spores getting into your home.
Asphalt roofs are more energy-efficient than they used to be, and cool roof shingle options are available. That said, they are not usually as energy-efficient as metal roofs.
Metal Roofs: Pros
Metal roofs have some serious eco-credentials.
First, they are completely recyclable. When your roof gets to the end of its life, it won’t go into a landfill. It will be sent to be recycled and will live again.
Standing seam metal roofs are made of sheet metal. Many readily available sheet metal options already contain a percentage of recycled metal.
Metal roofs can also be easily made into cool roofs. Cool roofs reflect more sunlight and absorb less energy from the sun. By staying more than 50° cooler than a conventional roof, they help to:
- Reduce air conditioning use
- Reduce energy bills
- Increase comfort in non-air-conditioned areas
- Possibly extend the life of your roof
Standing seam metal roofs are highly leak-resistant. The seams do not use screws, so there’s no need to drill holes in the roof. This makes the seal that much tighter and better able to resist rain, hail, and snow.
As mentioned at the outset, metal roofs can last a seriously long time. You can expect a minimum of 50 years from metal roofing materials; many last a lifetime. Although the initial outlay may be higher, it’s important to factor their durability into your calculations.
Lastly, a metal roof that will last for decades and keeps bills down is a serious crowd-pleaser. It can instantly increase the resale value of your home.
Metal Roofs: Cons
There’s a common misunderstanding that metal roofs are noisy. Of course, if they are not well constructed, metal will give off more noise during a heavy rain or hail storm. However, sound-deadening insulation will reduce this effect almost completely.
Another potential con is the fact that metal roofs can get dented. If you get serious hail in your area, you can mitigate this by choosing a harder type of metal.
For many people, the con is the higher initial cost. It’s true that a metal roof will generally cost more than an asphalt one. However, consider the maintenance and replacement costs.
Asphalt roofs require constant maintenance. Also, after 20 years or sometimes less, you’ll be looking to replace it. Invest in a metal roof and it’s a once-a-generation expense.
However, if you’re looking to sell your home in the near future, take a moment to perform some calculations. Research how much the roof would add to the sale value and decide whether you’ll see a good return on your investment.
Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofs: Which Is Best?
Asphalt shingles and metal roofs are both excellent roofing options. Answer the following questions to decide which is right for you:
- Which style suits my home best?
- How long do I plan to stay in my home?
- How much can I afford?
The style question is often a matter of personal taste. But if you plan to stay in your home for a long time, a metal roof is probably the best option. If you’re on a tight budget, asphalt shingles are usually the most affordable choice.
Choose Prairie Exteriors for Your New Roof Installation
Whether you choose asphalt shingles or a metal roof, you need to work with a contractor you can trust. Get your roof done right and it’ll provide great protection, keep energy costs down, and keep noise at reasonable levels indoors.
By choosing Prairie Exteriors, you’re choosing a company with decades of experience in both shingle and metal roofs. Our on-site metal roof construction reduces waste and produces an outstanding end result.
Call us at 608.370.2528 or contact us online for home and commercial roofing quotes for the Greater Madison area.