Metal roof vs. shingles – A question often faced by homeowners looking to replace an old roof or laying a new roof. Here we’ll look at differences between metal roof vs shingles, and study pros and cons of these two types of roofs.
Metal Roof vs Shingles – The Cost Factor
At first glance the price of a metal roof will make it seem prohibitive. But just a little research on the prices of metal roof vs. shingles will reveal the true reason for the substantial differences in costs of the roofs.
Metal roof has a long life-span lasting several decades. It may be the last roof you will ever have to lay for your home if laid properly and by qualified roofing contractors.
Shingles on the other hand will last for a decade to 15 years. So, if you divide the price of metal roofing by its life you will arrive at a cost that is comparable to ordinary roofing shingles.
The cost multiple of metal roof vs. shingles is about three times. These roofs are more expensive because of
- the higher cost of the materials,
- the higher cost of installation by trained professionals and
- the longer time it takes to lay metal roofing with lot of precision and patience.
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Metal Roof Vs Shingles – Metals Are Noisy
The reason for this myth is the mental picture that we have old barns covered by metal that sounded like a particularly noisy train or machine gun fire whenever it rains.
That is no longer true.
Today metal panels are placed on layers of plywood or solid wood and a layer of roofing underlayment like felt. Placed on these layers a metal roof will make no more noise than, say, asphalt shingles.
So, in a metal roof vs. shingles debate you can safely counter that noise levels of both are almost the same. If you still feel that metal roofs will be noisy there are methods available like adding a layer of foam underneath to deaden the noise.
Do Metals Attract Lightning?
In a storm with lightning, if a question arises about the safety of metal roof vs. shingles, it is easy to answer that both are as safe or as risky as the other.
Lightning is not attracted by metal. Lightning usually strikes the tallest building in the area. If your home happens to be the tallest building then it might be at risk to lightning strikes and it doesn’t really matter whether you have asphalt shingles or metal shingles as your roofing material.
A metal roof is safer as it easily transmits the electric discharge and reduces the risk of a fire. Asphalt and other materials on the other hand are at higher risk of a fire.
What About Resale Value Of Homes?
If you see two homes fitted with a metal roof vs. shingles, which would you buy?
A metal roof will last the life-time of the home, while the asphalt roofing shingles will need replacement every decade or so. The home with a metal roof will work out cheaper in long term as you don’t have to do costly roof replacement and repairs.
Seen from this perspective, a metal roof is a long-term investment that pays for itself over a life-time. So homes with metal roofs have a higher resale value.
But… Don’t Metals Corrode?
We are used to equating metal with old barn roofs with big gaping holes that need frequent plugging and repair.
Today’s steel metal roofs are coated with protective layers of Zinc or Aluminum. These make them immune to vagaries of nature. No amount of moisture and extreme temperature or weather can affect them.
The metal panels are also painted with a protective layer of high quality paint which makes them doubly resistant to all kinds of weather damage. For areas close to sea or ocean, aluminum coated with zinc is a good option to help withstand the effect of corrosion by salt-laden winds.
So if you are considering metal roof vs. shingles for your home, you should know that both are effective. However asphalt does deteriorate when exposed to high temperatures.
Aren’t Metals Susceptible To Indentations And Depression?
True, you can’t walk on your metal roof like you walk on your concrete pavement.
But it is also quite okay to walk on the metal roof while wearing sports shoes with rubber soles. The contractor or metal roof installer will give you tips and suggestions on how to walk on the metal roofing without damaging it. Follow them and it won’t cause any dents or damages to your roof.
If you expect a lot of foot traffic on your roof asphalt roofing may be a good idea, but even there you need to take care not to damage or tear them.
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Pay Lesser Insurance Premiums
If you check the insurance premiums for metal roof vs. shingles, you will find that it is lesser for metal roofing as they offer better protection against all kinds of weather conditions including rain, snow, sleet and hail. It is the first line of defence for any home and strong roof qualifies for a lower homeowner’s insurance premium.
Metal roofing offers better protection against strong winds unlike asphalt or compositional shingles which tear or fly away under high wind speed conditions.
In the metal roof vs. shingles debate, we do find that metals are expensive compared to the cheapest flat asphalt roofing shingles. But if you opt for the longer-lasting and better looking premium range of compositional asphalt roofing shingles called architectural roofing and laminated roofing shingles the price differential is about two times.
Over the long-term, depending on how long you plan to live in the house, the durability of the roof and its capacity to resist fires metal roof is an option you can pursue. Be sure to check with your local homeowners association if they allow metal roofs in the area.
More About Metal Roof Shingles
Metal roof shingles are one of the best investments you make on your home to both increase its aesthetic appeal and also raise the value of the home.
Metal shingles provide better protection to the home than any other roofing. These shingles can be designed to look like real wood of various types and this adds to the appeal of the home adding a rustic charm if you so desire.
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Metal roof shingles are desirable for many reasons, the most important being that they are maintenance free. They are free from the problems that traditional wood roofing faces like warping, splitting or rotting.
Another point to be noted is that metal will not catch fire like wood. So homes with metal roofs cost relatively less to insure. Metal roof shingles cost is several times more than asphalt roof shingles but metal last more than 50 years while asphalt will need replacement every 15 years. When you compare the life time costs metal will turn out to be lot cheaper.
Did you know that metal roofing over shingles that are existing can be done?
That’s right you can leave your present roofing as it is and add a metal roof over it. This will save you money as you don’t have to remove the earlier roof and cart it away. It can simply stay where it is with a new roof over it. Installation is simple and easy and relatively fast.
Metal roof shingles are good way to save money on your heating and cooling. They can save upto 20 percent on your energy bills.
If you are concerned about the environment, buy shingles made from recycled metals. Metals will never lose their properties, so they are 100 percent recyclable.
As they come with secure four way interlocking system metal roof shingles are highly resistant to hurricane conditions. This ensures that they are secure in the worst of storms and windy situations. Metals also shed snow and ice faster as even the slightest increase in temperature melts the layer in contact with it and this causes the snow to slide off the roof.
Metal roofs shingles prices are worth the money you pay because of several advantages that saves you years of headache.
- They come in a range of vibrant and vivid hues that not only cause passer’s by to stand and gawk but also adds a touch of glamor to your home and neighborhood.
- The metal roof shingles unlike wood will not absorb water and bloat.
- They are free from infestation from insects which is problem with other types of roof shingles. So you don’t need expensive pest control services to keep your home insect free.
There are several companies that make metal roof shingles and offer guarantee for water tightness, color and durability of their products. Check out the terms of guarantee and choose a company that has good track record and has been in the business of metal roofing shingles for several years.
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Metal Roofing Over Shingles – Why Is This a Good Choice?
Metal roofing over shingles is an option for an existing roof which may have been damaged. You can leave behind your present roof, only adding a metal roof over it. This saves money since you won’t need to remove the old roof or cart away the rubble. It can simply stay in place, with a new roof over it. Many home owners choose this because of the advantages.
Asphalt used to be popular for roofing projects. These shingles lasted for around a decade to fifteen years before needing to be replaced. Shingles of timber give a defined and aristocratic look to a house, but these roofs are hard to maintain. The timber polish wears off with changes in weather conditions. Rainy season is a hindrance, as water slowly decays wood, and is another reason to prefer metal roofing over shingles.
Rubber shingles are easy to install as roofing but they are also hard to maintain and may leak over time. So home owners choose metal roofing over shingles as metals are not hard to maintain.
Metal roofing over shingles can help in re-roofing projects and have the dual advantages of lesser cost and protection of the environment. Landfills will no longer be loaded with rubble from the old roof you tore down. Instead, a metal roof can be laid right over the older shingle roof, and hence metal roofing over shingle is now even preferred even for government buildings, offices, and commercial houses.
There are detailed guides that will help you learn how to install metal roofing over shingles of asphalt, slate or other material, in case you’d like to go the DIY route. Roofing contractors will be able to handle the job effectively, and you’d do well to consult an expert for a quote and some preliminary advice, even if you will eventually handle the job yourself.
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