Asphalt shingles are some of the most popular roofing materials in the United States but another material—metal roofing—is quickly gaining popularity. Despite the low costs and ease of installation, asphalt shingles may not be the best choice for your roof. When it's time for a residential roof replacement, many Americans are turning to metal instead. But is it the right choice for you? Here are a few of the pros and cons worth considering.
One of the major benefits of choosing metal over asphalt is the increase in energy efficiency. Asphalt shingles tend to absorb more heat than they reflect. But a metal roof with a light-colored, highly reflective coating can save as much as 50% on energy costs over asphalt. For most homeowners, energy efficiency is quickly become a top priority.
Another benefit of metal roofing is an increased lifespan over asphalt. The highest quality asphalt roofing only promises a lifespan of around 30 years while the average standing-seam metal roof can last up to 50 years. When re-roofing an existing home, it's likely that a new metal roof will last through your entire experience in that home. For many homeowners, the added longevity is worth it.
Another major advantage of metal is increased durability. Asphalt shingles are always susceptible to high winds while metal roofing tends to stay put even in fierce storms. Many metal roofing options are very impact resistant and require very little maintenance to preserve their durability.
Metal roofing can be completely recycled at the end of its lifespan, while asphalt shingles tend to end up in landfills.
The top reason that homeowners choose asphalt over metal is simple: a metal roof costs considerably more up front. Asphalt shingles are very cost effective and for many, the additional lifespan that metal roofing offers just isn't worth the high price tag when asphalt is considerably less expensive. For example, the average cost of an asphalt roof is between $4200 and $6500 while you can expect to pay between $32,400 and $48,600 for a new metal roof.
Another reason that homeowners choose asphalt over metal is because of the ease of installation. An asphalt roof might be installed in just one day with a crew of experienced roofers but a metal roof takes more skill and time. Those additional labor costs are part of the higher price tag.