Metal vs Asphalt Roof: Whats the Difference?

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Your roof is the crowning glory of your home. It protects you from the elements and shields your home from the weather. You may not know that what your roof is made out of is just as important as how well it protects your house.

If your home has metal or asphalt shingles, you may not know the difference between metal and asphalt. Here’s what you need to know about metal vs asphalt roofs.

Material

The material used for constructing roofs is important in deciding the roof’s strength, durability, and fire resistance. Metal roofs and asphalt roofs are two common roofing materials with distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Metal roofs are made of galvanized steel, aluminum, copper, or zinc alloy. They are not flammable and are resistant to corrosion, impact damage, and high winds, meaning they are more fire-resistant than asphalt roofs.

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Asphalt roofs, on the other hand, are a more economical option. Asphalt roofs come in various textures and designs, so you can get the exact look you want with your new roof for your home. They are made of organic fibers and asphalt and are weightier and easier to install than metal roofs. They are also more temperature-resistant and can withstand temperatures as low as -20 degrees.

Lifespan

Caring for your metal roof can last 40 to 70 years or even longer. The length depends on the type of metal used, how well it was installed, and how well it is taken care of. Most steel roofs last between 40 and 70 years, while aluminum, copper, and zinc roofs often last longer than 50 years.

Most asphalt roofs, which are made of asphalt shingles, last between 20 and 30 years. But things like temperature, sun exposure, ventilation, the shingles’ quality, and how they were put on can affect how long they last. A roof made of asphalt can last longer if it is taken care of and any problems are fixed immediately.

Durability

Regarding weather, metal roofs usually do better in hot and cold areas. It also works well in heavy rain or snow, saving the insulation beneath it from damage because it doesn’t let water in.

On the other hand, when temperatures change a lot, an asphalt roof can become weak and break down more quickly. Regarding upkeep, metal roofs are much easier to care for than asphalt roofs.

Metal roofs are also easier to clean and check, so if the damage is underneath, it can be found much sooner. Ultimately, a roof’s durability rests on the weather and maintenance it must deal with.

Maintenance

Because of how they are made and their susceptibility to certain problems, asphalt roofs may need more regular care than metal roofs. Check the shingles for signs of damage like cracks, bending, or missing shingles on a regular basis. To stop leaks, you should quickly repair any broken or missing shingles.

Algae and moss can grow on asphalt roofs, especially in damp or shady places. Cleaning the roof and using the right treatments can help stop or eliminate these growths.

Check for signs of damage or deterioration in the flashing around chimneys, vents, and any other places where the roof goes through. Make sure the seals are in good shape to stop water from leaking. Keep debris out of your gutters and drains so water can flow through them properly and not back up and damage your roof.

On the other hand, metal roofs need less upkeep than asphalt roofs. But checking and fixing them regularly is important to ensure they last and work well.

Leaves, twigs, and other things that could end up on the roof should be cleaned off regularly. This keeps water from pooling, which could cause damage.

Check the roof occasionally for signs of damage, such as loose or broken panels, loose bolts, or damaged flashing. Check to see if the protective layer is coming off anywhere.

You can clean a metal roof with water and light soap if needed. Don’t use anything rough or harsh that could hurt the finish. It might need to be cleaned to get rid of dirt, algae, or moss.

Appearance

Regarding their appearance, metal roofing and asphalt roofing are very different. Metal roofing usually comes in various colors, from traditional reds and browns to bright blues and greens. Asphalt roofing, on the other hand, usually comes in black, gray, and brownish-red shades.

Metal roofs are sleek and modern and come in different styles, like standing-seam panels, curved panels, and shingles. On the other hand, asphalt roofing tends to look more traditional and old-fashioned, though some roofs now have finishes that make them look like metal roofing.

Asphalt roofing is often done with wood shakes, slate, or clay roof tiles. All these options benefit homes, but ultimately, the choice of roofing comes down to what the homeowner wants.

Cost

Metal roofing costs about two and a half times as much as asphalt shingles. The labor cost is also higher for metal roofs because asphalt is easier to put on than metal, which can be heavy and hard to work with.

Metal sheets and shingles are still popular because materials like metal and zinc are cheap, easy to move, require little upkeep, and look good even as they age. Depending on the style and roof material, they cost between $6 and $14 per square foot.

Composite asphalt shingles are popular in the US because they are cheap, last a long time, and are easy to put on. Asphalt shingles only cost between $1.50 and $5.50 per square foot, or about $8,000 for a whole roof.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofs are the most energy-efficient, and tar roofs aren’t far behind. Asphalt roofs soak up heat, while metal roofs bounce heat away from the house. So, metal roofs are better at keeping heat in than asphalt roofs.

Also, metal roofs are much better at withstanding severe weather like hail storms or hurricanes, while concrete roofs are more likely to crack and have sealants that break. Also, UV rays are less likely to damage metal roofs, which can wear down asphalt roofs over time.

Differences Between Metal vs Asphalt Roof

Metal and asphalt roofs both have their advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, the decision of metal vs asphalt roof is best determined based on your individual roofing needs and budget. When in doubt, contact a certified roofing contractor to help you decide. Whatever roof you choose, always ensure it is installed by a certified roofing professional!