Asphalt or Metal: Which is the Better Roof?
The roof of your home is perhaps the most important part of the structure, possibly only coming in second place behind the foundation. There are various roofing options that homeowners can pick from.
Both asphalt and metal are good roofing materials. They are different in some distinct ways and it is important to know which type of roofing will be best for your home.
Asphalt Roofing: Pros and Cons
Asphalt roofing comes in two varieties. The newer process includes a fiberglass shingle and the older style uses an organic shingle. Both of these options cost much less than a metal roof and can often be installed much more easily.
Fiberglass shingles are made up of a fiberglass core that is covered with a layer of asphalt. Organic shingles use a heavy felt that is then covered with asphalt. Fiberglass is more durable and has the added benefit of being fireproof, which is why it is fast replacing organic tiling.
Asphalt Roofing Pros:
- Readily customizable to match the exterior of your home
- Absorbs and retains sunlight to keep the house warmer in winter
- Better soundproofing than a metal roof
- Layered appearance is very traditional and often favored by home owners
- Typically made of recycled materials so is very environmentally friendly
- Can be recycled after use to be made into road construction and maintenance materials
- Easy to ventilate properly to avoid issues with condensation
- Broad selection of materials and price points
- Can be install by many contractors with ease
- Heavy material that is slightly less durable so it can be damaged by wind and hail
- Due to heat absorption, can actually be less energy efficient in hot climates
- Cheap to repair but can be more labor intensive than a metal roof
- The old roof must be removed prior to installation
Metal Roofing: Pros and Cons
Metal roofing comes in tiles, panels or shingles. It costs much more than an asphalt roof in pretty much every circumstance. In some instances, it will be 30-50% more expensive. Metal roofing comes in a variety of materials such as titanium, stainless steel, zinc and copper.
Metal Roofing Pros
- Light enough to be installed directly over an existing roof
- Fire-resistant and durable
- Requires little maintenance
- Comes with a 50-year or sometimes a lifetime warranty
- Needs less repairs than an asphalt roof
- 100% recyclable
- Stays cool in summer because its reflective surface will diminish heat transfer into the house
- In some areas, will be eligible for tax credit, energy-saver rebates and insurance discounts
Metal Roofing Cons
- Can be very noisy if installed incorrectly
- Soundproofing quality will often be inferior to an asphalt roof
- Can rust
- Can require additional parts like snow guards to prevent damage from snow pack
- More difficult to install than an asphalt roof
- Condensation can form beneath the roof
- More difficult and expensive to repair than an asphalt roof
- If damaged, it is not uncommon for a full sheet to need to be replaced
- Not typical in urban or residential settings so can be less popular than and asphalt roof
- Not many color options to choose from and repainting is often needed to maintain originally color
Ultimately, the type of roofing that you select will have a lot to do with your budget, the type of exterior that your home has and the weather in your area. A roofing professional can advise you about the best type of roof for you home and help guide your selection.