How to decide between a Metal and Shingle Roofing System

Metal and shingle roofing systems are the most commonly used roofing systems. Each has its pros and cons and choosing is not always easy. Below are a few tips to help you pick.

If you have a weak structure and you do not want to stress it (which preserves the integrity of the building by reducing frame damage), metal is the best material because it is very lightweight. This also makes it easier for installers to handle during the installation process.

When looking for longevity, go for metal because it will outlast a shingle roof. Metal roofs go for at least 50 years before you start noticing signs of degradation. In that time, you could have replaced a shingle roof 1 or 2 times. Copper and zinc last for even 100 years, but you will pay more for them. So, if you have some money but you want to save in the long-term, a metal roof is the way to go.

If there is a high risk of fire (such as if you live in an area that is prone to wild fires), metal roofs are best because they are typically noncombustible and Class A fire-rated. When exposed to wild fires, embers and hot ashes that fall on a metal roof have a less devastating effect compared to a shingle roof.

If you want quick installation, go for shingles. Metal roofing requires precision installation and mistakes are less forgiving compared to shingle roof installation. Metal roofing has to be installed by a trained craftsman and is more labor-intensive.

Although metal roofs come in different designs and styles, shingles are more aesthetically pleasing. Metals are prone to oil canning, which is the visible waviness in the flat areas of metal roofs.

Some Home Owners Associations (HOAs) and communities do not allow metal roofs to be installed on existing or new homes within their jurisdiction. The common arguments are that metal roofs are thought to look ‘industrial’, they can cause glare issues, and they can cause inconsistencies against the look of the neighborhood.

If you are concerned about home insurance costs, go for shingles. Although insurers consider metal roofs to be less susceptible to damage, they charge higher premiums because metal roofs are more expensive and making a replacement would mean a higher payout.

If money is an issue both in the short-term and the long-term, go for shingles because they are less expensive to install and also less expensive to repair. Repairing a metal roof is more complicated because metals come in full-length panels that are connected together while most shingles can be removed one at a time.

If you will be using the roof regularly, go for shingle roofing. Shingles can support heavy foot traffic and the material provides greater traction for safe working. Metals are susceptible to dents, buckling, and scuff.

Metal roofs are more weatherproof. They are designed to withstand driving rain, strong winds, hail and ice, snow, high heat, and extreme cold. If you care about the environment, go for metal because it is 100% recyclable.

Shingle gives you more warranty coverage from the contractor and the manufacturer. Some of the issues that are covered are manufacturer error, algae growth, material defect, contractor error, and maximum wind-resistance limit.

We have experience with both metal and shingle roofs. We will guide you on the best option given your circumstances.

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