Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Shingle Roofing

Metal and asphalt shingles roofing are the two most popular roofing materials among homeowners. If you are in the market for a new roof, chances are you will have to decide between them. Both of these have their advantages and disadvantages. This article will help you decide which one would be perfect for your home and your lifestyle. 

What is the Difference Between Metal Roofing and Asphalt Shingles Roofing?


Asphalt roofing materials are made of fiberglass core or matting covered with asphalt and a ceramic or stone surface. These come in a variety of different textures and colors to choose from depending on the architectural design of your house. 

There are many types of metal roofs available such as steel, tin, aluminum, and copper. These are available in different shapes and colors and can be made to look like other popular roofing materials like slate or wood.

Despite their difference, metal and asphalt roofing are both great investments. Your choice will depend on the local climate, design preference, and the durability you are looking for.

Here are the top advantages and disadvantages of each of the roofing types to help you pick the best one for your home – 

Advantages of Metal Roof

  • Highly Durable – A metal roof can withstand even worse weather conditions, including heat, snow, hail, rain, winds, and snow. Metal roofs are also among the most fireproof roofing material you can find in the market. 
  • Energy Efficient – Metals reflect the sun rays from the roof and help keep your home cool while reducing the energy bills during the summer. A metal roof also retains heat and keeps your home warm and cozy during the winters. It is also easier to mount solar panels on metal roofs.  

  • Light Weight – Being lightweight, metal roofs are much easier to install and do not cause any damage to the roof structure. The material also does not apply much pressure on the frame of the house. 

  • Eco-Friendly – Metal roofs are recyclable, making them more sustainable than asphalt roofing. If the underlayment contains polypropylene, you have the option to recycle it too.

  • Wide Selection – Metal roofs come in a variety of different metals, colors, and style options. Apart from the standard shingles, you can also opt for a panel, tile, or ribbed metal roof. You can also customize metal roofs to imitate asphalt or wood shingles. 

  • Long-Lasting – When metal roofs are installed and maintained properly, they can easily last for more than half a century. If you consider a little more expensive metal such as zinc or copper, they can last for close to a century. 

Disadvantages of Metal Roof

  • Expensive to Install – There are fewer metal roofing experts as it requires certain skills and experience to do it correctly. Even after considering many other cost factors, installing metal roofs is costlier than what you would spend on asphalt shingles.  

  • Vulnerable to Damages – Snow, hailstorm, winds, and even falling branches can damage your metal roofs. Depending on the kind of metal on the roof, even the paint is also vulnerable to fading and chipping.  

  • Difficult to Repair – Metal roofs use full-length interconnected panels, making them difficult to repair if damaged. They are also difficult to walk on and can make maintenance difficult. 

  • Noisy – It is common to hear hail or rain tapping on the roof. Unless you like the sound of the rain, it is best to install insulation to get rid of the issue. 

Advantages of Asphalt Shingle Roof

  • Cheaper Upfront – One of the top reasons for the popularity of asphalt roofs is that they are inexpensive and widely available. They are also much cheaper to install compared to metal roofs.

  • Visually Appealing – Asphalt shingles come in many varieties of designs, textures, and colors, allowing you to find the right one for your house. 

  • Easier to Repair & Maintain – Apart from being easier to install, they are also manageable and allow for easy repairs. One can remove the shingles from the roof one at a time and replace them easily.

  • Do Not Damage Easily – Asphalt roofing can easily stand up to the impact of hail, strong winds, and debris. They do not get easily damaged, especially when brand new.

Disadvantages of Asphalt Shingle Roof

  • Not Recyclable – Asphalt shingles are not recyclable and produce a lot of waste. Since these require petroleum to be manufactured, the process also pollutes the air. 

  • Shorter Lifespan – High-end asphalt material can last for a few decades but not long enough as metal roofs. 

  • Prone to Fires – Shingles are Class A fire-rated, but asphalt is a highly flammable material. The granules on the top protect the roof from catching fire, but if the flame comes in contact with asphalt coating, they can catch fire. 

Which is Better – Metal Roof or Asphalt Shingle Roof?

Both the roofing materials are quite popular, and your choice will depend on a number of factors such as design preference, budget, long-term goals, and the climate of the region. If you are not sure, speak to a professional about the various options available to you.