Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Is One Better Than the Other?

Metal Roof vs. Shingles

When you’re planning to install a new roof, it’s essential to understand which types of roofing will keep you warm and dry for as long as possible. As you weigh the advantages and drawbacks of your many roofing options, you must consider several factors that can impact both the durability and longevity of your new roof. 

This blog gives an overview of metal roofing and asphalt shingles, two of the most commonly installed roofing materials on the market today. Both options are available in various styles and are relatively easy to maintain, which leads to their popularity throughout the Dallas area.  

To help you determine which type of roofing best meets your unique needs, we’ve put together an in-depth comparison between metal roofing and asphalt shingles below. 

Durability: Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Who doesn’t want a durable roof that’s built to last? Although both metal and asphalt roofing are designed to withstand multiple types of environmental impacts, metal takes the cake in terms of strength and resilience. Metal roofing is widely known to be one of the most durable materials on the market because it boasts the following qualities:

  • Wind resistance. Most metal roofs can withstand wind speeds of up to 140 mph. Depending on the installation’s material and quality, some metal roofs can withstand wind gusts of up to 180 mph.
  • Fire resistance. Most types of metal roofing feature a Class A fire rating, meaning they’re totally non-combustible. 
  • Mold resistance. Unlike most other roofing types, metal is resistant to all forms of organic growth, including mold, mildew, lichen, and algae.
  • Rot resistance. Due to its impressive water resistance, metal roofing is impervious to most forms of decay, including rot and rust. 
  • Insect resistance. Metal roofing does not give pests easy access to a food source. Hence, it is entirely insect resistant. 
  • Dent resistance. Metal roofing can be prone to denting when impacted, but its dent resistance depends heavily on the metal type and quality.  

How do asphalt shingles stack up against metal roofing in terms of durability? Here’s a point-by-point comparison:

  • Wind resistance. Most modern asphalt shingles have a Class C or Class D wind resistance rating, meaning they can withstand wind speeds of up to 60 and 90 mph, respectively. 
  • Fire resistance. Fire ratings for asphalt shingles vary according to the quality of the material. Certain high-end asphalt shingles boast a Class A fire-resistance rating, but most don’t. If fire resistance is a significant concern for you, most contractors recommend opting for a roofing material other than asphalt. 
  • Mold resistance. Asphalt shingles are prone to developing organic growths throughout their lifespan. Algae and lichen are the most common of these growths, but mold and mildew can also develop on an asphalt roof.
  • Rot resistance. Because asphalt shingles are not impervious to mold or moisture, they can develop rot without proper maintenance. 
  • Insect resistance. Generally, asphalt shingles are considered insect resistant. But because this type of roofing can be prone to moisture damage, it may provide insects easy access to the roof’s wood structure without proper maintenance. 
  • Dent resistance. Asphalt shingles can dent under impact from hail or other falling objects. This type of roofing can also lose a substantial number of shingle granules due to inclement weather. 

Lifespan: Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Considering the average metal roof’s impressive durability, it should come as no surprise that metal is one of the longest-lasting roofing materials on the market. On average, a metal roof will last 40-70 years. With proper maintenance, it can last even longer.

Though asphalt shingles are quite durable, they cannot withstand some of the most damaging environmental impacts completely. As a result, asphalt shingles degrade quicker than metal, which is why their average lifespan falls between 15 and 30 years. You’ll likely need to replace an asphalt roof after 20-25 years, even with proper maintenance.   

Design Options: Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles

Both metal roofing and asphalt shingles have come a long way in design versatility in recent decades. While many people think of metal as a strictly industrial or commercial roofing material, it’s actually quite versatile and therefore well suited to most Dallas homes. 

Today, metal roofing can be fashioned from various materials, including steel, zinc, copper, aluminum, galvanized metals, and more. It’s also available in a wide variety of styles to complement virtually any architectural design and created to mimic the appearance of traditional slate, shake, or shingle roofing. 

Asphalt roofing is also available in a wide variety of styles, color schemes, and shapes. Asphalt shingles complement a range of exterior designs perfectly, from standard shingles to three-tab, architectural, dimensional, and even luxury designs. 

Projected Cost: Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingles 

Since project cost is a major deciding factor for most homeowners looking to install a new roof, it’s essential to understand the expenses associated with both metal and asphalt roofs. 

If you’re looking for affordable roofing material, asphalt shingles are your best bet. The ease of manufacturing and installation make asphalt shingles the least expensive roofing material on the market today. Keep in mind, though, that this type of roofing is available in several styles and quality levels, and higher-end asphalt shingles can be somewhat pricey.

On the other hand, metal roofing is one of the most expensive roofing materials on the market. Due to its manufacturing costs and the specialized equipment and training necessary to install it, metal roofing is pricey, regardless of quality level.  

It’s important to note, though, that because metal roofing outlasts asphalt shingles by at least a couple of decades, it’s well worth the additional cost. Since most homeowners will go through two asphalt roofs before a single metal roof wears out, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to opt for metal. 

Need a New Roof?

If you’re in the market for a new roof, get in touch with our team at Alpine Roofing today. We specialize in residential and commercial roof installation and comprehensive roof repair, and ongoing maintenance. We proudly serve the entire Dallas–Fort Worth metro area and have been in business for over 25 years. To learn more or schedule an estimate, give us a call today at (214) 528-9897 or contact us online. 

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