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Which Is Better? Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roof

Apr 2, 2021

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Home » Blog » Which Is Better? Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roof

If you’re torn between asphalt and metal roofing, here’s a rundown of their individual benefits, uses, and drawbacks

Asphalt shingles have long been favored throughout the roofing industry by homeowners and roofers alike. Their ease of installation and affordability make them great for residential roofing applications. In recent years, however, other materials have begun to catch up, with homeowners comparing these materials to the existing asphalt status quo. In particular, at Dolan Roofing we’ve gotten many questions about which is better: asphalt shingles vs. a metal roof?

At Dolan Roofing, we feel that both of these materials make for an excellent roofing option in many situations. However, each has its advantages and disadvantages. So when looking at asphalt shingles vs. a metal roof, is there one clear winner? Let’s break things down. 

What are the advantages of asphalt shingles?

The popularity of asphalt shingles comes down to affordability, reparability, and versatility. The first is key for many homeowners: generally speaking, asphalt shingles are among the most cost-effective material upfront, especially vs. a metal roof. Improvements in asphalt shingles have also given these materials more durability in today’s roofing industry.

Besides the low cost, asphalt shingles are highly versatile, both in terms of appearance and their ability to conform to different kinds of roofs. These days, you can get asphalt shingles in a wide variety of colors and visual textures. What’s more, they can be applied to a variety of roof designs, provided the slope is adequate. Finally, asphalt shingles are also readily repaired—in fact, replacing a few shingles is something a moderately handy homeowner can do themselves.

What are the disadvantages of asphalt shingles?

Despite these benefits, asphalt shingles do have their share of drawbacks, particularly when compared to a metal roof. For one thing, asphalt shingles typically don’t have as long a lifespan as a metal roof (or other materials such as tile or slate). Shingles can also be susceptible to different forms of damage, such as high winds, hail, moisture, and extreme heat. Finally, your average asphalt shingle isn’t the most efficient or environmentally friendly roofing option. 

What are the advantages of a metal roof?

Metal roofs have seen a surge in popularity, especially in recent years. There are great reasons for that: metal is extremely durable and long-lasting, highly efficient, and eco-friendly. The first of these is certainly the biggest advantage of a metal roof vs. asphalt shingles. Metal can stand up to the most severe storms and inclement weather, and the expected lifespan of a metal roof is 40-50 years or more.

Metal roofing is also highly efficient. With the right color or coating, a metal roof will reflect a high amount of heat, reducing energy usage during the hottest months of summer. In addition to its efficiency, metal is also quite eco-friendly. Most metal roofs are, in whole or in part, composed of recycled materials—and once a metal roof reaches the end of its life, it can be recycled once more.

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

While metal roofing has grown steadily more popular over the years, it still has a few key disadvantages that turn off many homeowners in the form of higher upfront costs, aesthetics, and difficulty in terms of repairs. The higher cost of metal roofing tends to be the biggest obstacle for most: even cheaper forms of metal tend to be more expensive to install than asphalt shingles. 

In addition, many homeowners also don’t like the look of metal, feeling that a metal roof gives off an “industrial” feel rather than a “homey” one. Finally, it can be difficult to repair a metal roof. Repairing a metal roof is not a DIY project, and in fact, not all professional roofing contractors work with metal, which can create a challenge when it comes to finding a roofer.

The Dolan Team Can Help with Your Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roof Decision!

In the end, the question of whether asphalt shingles or metal is better for your roof comes down to your particular needs and tastes. For instance, while the upfront cost of asphalt shingles is lower, you might prefer the long-term cost-saving potential offered by metal’s extended lifespan. And while some homeowners dislike the appearance of metal, today’s metal roofing options offer a wider variety of colors, designs, and styles than ever before.

At Dolan Roofing, we’re the trusted roofing confidants of countless homeowners when it comes to making key decisions for their roof. We can provide a complete breakdown of your available options, provide cost estimates, and even weigh in on your decision between asphalt shingles, metal, or any other roofing material. Contact us today to get started!