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We are a full-service roofing contractor located in beautiful Bellingham, WA. We install, maintain, and repair roofs throughout northwestern Washington, including Whatcom, Skagit, and Island Counties.
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Metal vs Asphalt Shingle Roof

Should I Install a Metal vs Asphalt Shingle Roof?

If you’re ready to replace your roof, you may be debating between a metal vs asphalt shingle roof. Asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs are the two most popular options in the Pacific Northwest with asphalt being the most common and metal roofs growing in popularity. But, which one is better? What are the pros and cons of these two types of roofing? In this article we’ll take a look at pros and cons of metal vs asphalt shingle roofs. We hope you come away with some insights into which type of roof is the right choice for you

Should I Install a Metal vs Asphalt Shingle Roof?

There are pros and cons for each type of roof so it really comes down to your needs, preference, and budget. Let’s take a look at the differences across several categories.

Cost

When it comes to cost, asphalt shingle roofs have the advantage. Metal roofs are one of the more expensive roofing material options, with material costs approximately twice as high as asphalt. The cost of installing each type of roofing material is comparably similar.

Durability

Without question, metal roofs have greater durability; lasting 50-60 years vs 25-40 years for asphalt. In addition, many metal roofs are fire-resistant and can withstand extreme climates and weathering as long as they are installed properly. The length of time asphalt shingles last varies by climate and the slope of the roof they are installed on (asphalt doesn’t do as well on flat roofs as metal).

Resale value

Homes with metal roofs have slightly higher resale value.

Unless you plan on staying in your home forever, resale value is something to take into account. As metal roofs are growing in popularity thanks to their lifespan and energy-saving benefits, homes with metal roofs—especially steel roofing—have slightly better resale value than those with shingle roofs. 

It may be beneficial to invest more in the cost of a metal roof vs. shingle since you’re likely to recoup your investment when you sell your house. Standing seam metal roof costs are especially recoupable—a study showed that there was an increase in resale value between one and six  percent for standing seam metal roofs over asphalt shingle roofs.

Environmental impact & recyclability

Metal roofing is considered the most environmentally-friendly roofing option available on the market today for a couple of reasons. 1. Metal roofs are mostly made from recycled metal and they can be recycled again once they have reached their lifespan on your house. 2. Metal roofs reflect UV rays without absorbing heat so they can increase a home’s energy efficiency.

By contrast, asphalt shingle roofing has traditionally been responsible for approximately 11 million tons of waste in the U.S. each year, according to nerc.org. While shingles are not 100% recyclable, many states are reducing shingle waste by reusing them in various road construction projects. Today there are more options for sustainable shingles. Roofers like Skyline Roofing offer Malarkey roofing shingles that are made with polymers from 90% upcycled materials for a much more environmentally friendly product.

Installation

Installing a metal roof requires the expertise of an experienced contractor to avoid making mistakes that can lead to problems down the road such as moisture buildup between the metal roof and the asphalt shingles underneath. Contractors also need to be extremely careful not to scratch or dent metal panels during the installation process.

Asphalt shingles are generally less labor intensive to install than a metal roof. It’s also easier for contractors to crisscross the roof while installing asphalt shingles because there is less risk of damaging shingles that have already been installed.

Maintenance

Metal roofs are generally maintenance-free, except for periodic cleaning to remove algae and removing branches, leaves, and other debris that collects on the roof and gutters. The only real maintenance factor to consider for metal roofs is that the color can fade over the course of many years.

Asphalt shingles should be monitored and treated for moss buildup that can reduce the lifespan of the roof and look unsightly. Like metal roofs, shingle roofs collect leaves and debris and must be cleaned off about once a year.

Noise

With all the rain we get in the Pacific Northwest, you might be wondering if metal roofs are loud in the rain. It may surprise you to hear that studies have shown that metal roofs aren’t any noisier in the rain than a traditional asphalt roof. That’s because today’s metal roofs are installed with sound barriers in mind. In some cases, roof decks are added to the rafters and/or insulation may be added to attics. In addition, metal roofs placed over asphalt shingles add a sound barrier.

Installing solar panels

Solar panels can be easily mounted on metal roofs for less cost than on shingle roofs. Another advantage is that metal roofs will last as long or longer than the solar panel installed on it.

It is common to install solar panels on asphalt shingle roofs and it works well as long as the contractor expertly handles the penetration and flashing details that will prevent moisture from getting under the roof. On the down side, when the roof needs to be replaced, it will require the solar panels to be removed and reinstalled on the new roof.

So, asphalt or metal?

Both metal and asphalt roofs are aesthetically pleasing and provide an array of colors to choose from that can complement the design of your home. Metal roofs have a longer life-span than asphalt roofs and this is usually the deciding factor in which type of roof our clients choose.

We hope this article has been helpful in answering your questions about the pros and cons of both asphalt and metal roofs. We are here to answer any further questions you may have.

Trust Skyline Roofing & Construction for your roofing needs

At Skyline Roofing & Construction our roofing professionals always strive to add value to your home or business for the long term. Contact us today if you are looking for an experienced, licensed roofing contractor to install, repair, or replace your roof. Skyline Roofing is located in Bellingham, WA and we presently serve Whatcom, Skagit, and Island Counties.

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