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Metal Roof or Asphalt Shingles Which is Better?

Whether you are building or replacing a roof, you will eventually be required to decide which type of roof you would like to install. Shingle and metal roofing are the two most popular materials within the construction trade. But which material comes out on top in comparison?

Person kneeling on roof which repairing a damaged metal roofing sheet

Metal vs Shingle: Installation and Maintenance

Shingles installation is much easier as the process is done piece by piece, allowing for more accessible transportation and placement on the top of a tall building. They are also the cheapest option of the two, making them a popular choice. However, they require penetration through the roof during maintenance, where adhesives and sealant are used. These protection methods will deteriorate over time and allow for damage if ignored. Whilst shingles are the cheaper and most straightforward option, their susceptibility to the elements means they are not always the better choice.

Metal sheeting may require a crane, many man-hours and can come at a cost. However, once the insulated roof sheets have been installed, they are there for the long-term future. Due to their strength, they allow for solid defence against the elements. If they were to acquire damage for any reason, maintenance would not weaken the sheeting, like with shingle, but strengthen it, making it a more sustainable option.

Metal vs Shingle: Durability 

Roof repairs are often the most costly expense for building maintenance. You need a roof that will withstand the strong winds and rain, last for many years, and require little maintenance. If you invest and put good money into a new roof, you can rely on the lifespan and lack of need to replace it again.

Due to their porous nature and susceptibility to the open weather, asphalt shingles often require regular repairs. Water can absorb into the slats and, if they freeze, can crack and break, making them less than helpful in the winter months.

Galvanised steel roofing sheets (corrugated metal roof cladding) are non-porous. This allows for heavy rain and frost to filter off in the direction of the roof. As long as your roof points to the ground or a suitable terrain to absorb excess moisture, there will be little to no issue protecting your building against the weather. With the rust-resistant properties of steel, you can also be assured that when it comes to longevity, choosing metal can improve the lifespan of your roof from 15-50 years to 75 years.

Metal Vs Shingle: Costs

Of course, when it comes to decisions, a big influence is the initial cost of the material. Metal sheeting varies in price depending on thickness, quality, and amount. They do often come with some large price tags, too, in comparison to asphalt shingles. However, as mentioned, they will require fewer maintenance costs over time, so if you are looking for value for money, choosing metal would be the better decision.

Metal Vs Shingle: Environmental Impacts

Taking the environment into consideration when purchasing new materials or a new roof may not be your number one priority, but as the world looks to reduce its carbon footprint, businesses are required to ensure they are evaluating their own.

Sourcing Material – Asphalt shingles are made with petroleum and fibreglass; both materials are fairly toxic to the environment, with many recycling centres unable to take them. Metal insulated roof sheets are one of the most environmentally friendly materials available for use. Steel is one of the most recycled metals across the world and produces 75% less energy to produce than mining for raw materials.

Eco House

Energy-Efficient – Metal is an excellent material for reflecting UV rays which reduces the heat gain from your building, making it much cooler in the summer. Whilst metal may not be great at retaining heat, using high-quality insulated panels can ensure your facility is energy efficient throughout the year. Unfortunately, while impressive at allowing for less heat to escape, shingles can overheat in the summer months, requiring air conditioning and alternate sources of cool air.

Fire Resistance and Safety

Shingles can be preventative of fire; however, metal has a much higher melting point. Having a stronger resistance to fire means your building will be more protected in the event of one and prevents the building from needing further repairing.

Ultimately it is clear that using shingles for your roofing is a much cheaper and quicker choice, but if you are looking for a more sustainable, environmentally friendly and long term cost effective choice for replacing or repairing your roof, then the answer will always be metal.

We have a large range of roof sheets and galvanised steel roofing sheets options for you to browse through on our website, with nationwide delivery options available.