Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofing: Which is Better?

As you drive around town, you might have noticed that more and more people are choosing to redo their roofs with metal, rather than asphalt shingles. Which one is better? Which one is more cost effective?

Let’s take a look at a few of the main points to consider when making your decision.

Phillips roof


Cost. Metal roofing can cost two to three times more than asphalt shingles, which is one of the main reasons most people still choose shingles.

Heat.  Asphalt shingles absorb and retain a lot of heat, which is eventually absorbed into your home. This can produce an increase in the temperature of your home. While that sounds great in the winter, it’s not so nice in the summer. However, insulated rooflines and vented attics can help to mitigate temperature increase.

Metal roofing reflects the sun’s heat rather than absorbing it, so there is no alteration to the internal temperature of your home.

Durability. Although it is more cost effective initially, shingle roofs are much more susceptible to the elements, especially heat, and will need to be replaced much sooner than a metal roof. A shingle roof can last anywhere from 12 to 25 years depending on the quality of the shingles, the weather it endures, whether or not it is maintained, etc.

A metal roof can last for 50 years, maybe even longer. To maintain its long life, your roof’s screws and gaskets will have to be replaced at some point, as the rubber gaskets will not likely last 50 years.

Design. Design is another reason many people choose shingles over metal. Shingles offer a more familiar homey look, while metal tends to look a little more industrial. However, as metal roofing has grown in popularity, new designs, colours and textures have become available. Some designs are paneled, while others are made to mimic shingles or slate. Roofing materials are typically made of steel, aluminum or copper.

The Green Factor. While neither shingle nor metal roofs are either eco-friendly in their initial production, you will send two or three shingle roofs to the landfill in the lifespan of one metal roof. And when it’s time to replace your metal roof, 100% of it can be recycled.

Noise, noise, noise? Metal roofs are noisier than shingle roofs when it rains. An insulated roof helps to mitigate the sound, but it’s still going to be noisier. Some people don’t mind (or even like) the pitter patter of the rain, while others are annoyed by it.

Safety. Snow doesn’t slowly trickle off of a metal roof…it slides off, avalanche-style. That’s why you need to install snow guards at various points along the bottom of your roof to help break up the snow chunks so you don’t get caught underneath.