Metal vs. Shingles: How a Metal Roof Compares to Asphalt Shingles

Why should you even consider metal in the first place?

By far, one of the major problems with asphalt/composition roofing shingles is that asphalt is a petroleum based product, which means that it is inherently ecologically and environmentally-unfriendly choice.


There is no easy and effective way to dispose off all the asphalt shingle roofs that require replacement every ten to twenty years, other than to tear off the old shingles, and send it into the landfill where it will be buried in the ground, and left there to decompose for many decades to come.

Petroleum-based Products should be Eliminated as much as possible, not recycled.

One does not need to be a hardcore environmentalist to see how detrimental composition shingles roofing products are to the nature and the environment.

So, the big question comes up then, “what is an environmentally friendly and practical alternative to an asphalt shingle roof?”.

The answer is simple; for the last few decades metal roofing has been steadily gaining market share and popularity as a green roofing material of choice.

Metal roofing can last much longer than an asphalt shingles, which only averages 10 to 20 years of service life.

A metal roof, on the other hand, can last well over 35-50 years when properly installed. The key to a long lasting metal roof is a strict adherence to your system’s manufacturer installation guidelines.


Metal vs. Shingles Installation Video:

Installing metal roofing correctly involves a thorough preparation of the roof deck, proper application of roofing underlayment, and a correct installation of a steel, aluminum, or copper shingles roofing system.

Whether you hire a professional installer, or choose to go do it yourself route, be sure to follow all the installation instructions thoroughly. — This way your new metal roof will actually perform as it should, lasting for many decades, while providing energy savings, maintenance free roof protection, and a durable and long lasting beauty.


Here are a few more reasons to consider a metal roof for your home:

Metal roofing is reliable and long lasting green building material, which means that you can earn green building credits for the installation of an energy efficient metal roof that is rated by a Cool-Roof rating council and Energy Star for its solar reflective properties.

A metal roof can also help lower your homeowner’s insurance by as much as 35%. Metal roofs are fire retardant, which means they do not support fire, which can be a significant factor if you live in a heavily wooded area.

Metal roofs can withstand powerful storms and category four hurricane winds. This may be very helpful if you live in a hurricane prone area.

Metal roofs provide excellent protection in the cold climates. Coated with specialty coatings, metal roofs shed snow and ice, which may help you prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.

As far as aesthetics go, modern metal roofs may add a unique touch of style and either modern or traditional (depending on your choice of a system) architectural touch to your home.

You can choose from a wide array of traditional metal shingles and shake profiles available in many beautiful colors, to the vertically-oriented lines of standing-seam panels that can easily be enhanced with roof-integrated PV solar panels. — This combination will make your house not only energy efficient, but also capable of generating its own electricity from the ever-abundant solar energy.

Do not let the initially higher cost of metal to deter you from choosing this energy efficient, durable, and long lasting roofing option for your home. Remember that metal roofing will help you lower your cooling costs, appraise the value of your property, and provide many years of reliable and worry free service to you.

Metal Roof Colors & Options

With metal roofing, your choice of colors is truly limitless. — This is especially true if you choose to go with a system such as standing seam, which can be roll-formed from a metal coil of any color you may desire.

While most suppliers offer a standard array of colors for a particular system, you can always request a custom color for the system of your choice.

It may cost you a bit more than what you would normally pay for a sheet metal roofing profile delivered in one of the standard colors, but for the right price the flexibility is certainly there if you need it.

If you are not sure about a particular color choice, then check out color charts on MetalRoofing.Systems to see what particular color will best match the shape and exterior color of a house similar to yours.

Standing seam metal roof colors

Aside from a choice of colors, you will also want to give some consideration to a type of metal roofing system you want. While, with standing seam your colors choices are really quite abundant, with a system such as metal shingles you may be limited to standard set of colors offered by the system’s manufacturer.

In my experience with steel shingles, I found that most homeowners prefer Sequoia Red and Vermont Blue colors for their metal roofs. See the examples below:



Aside from colors, you can also choose either glossy or matte finish with your color. The choice of glossy vs. matte paint finish will largely depend on your own preference.

Regardless of the choice of color, make sure that your system is warrantied against paint peeling and chipping. — Most manufactures use Kynar 500 paint finish equivalent that comes with 30 year warranty against peeling and chipping of the paint finish.

Good Luck with your metal roofing project!

Standing Seam Metal Roof Installation Basics

Standing seam is the most popular style of metal roofing – both in residential and commercial building industries. It has also been the longest installed type of metal roof, dating back to when all metal roofing was hand-made from sheet metal – usually copper or tin. standing seam roof Today, standing seam roofs are commercially manufactured by tens if not hundreds of big manufacturers, and thousands of smaller roofing outfits with their own sheet metal shops and standing seam roll-forming machines.

We’ve recently added a complete installation guide that walks you through preparing a roof deck and installing roofing underlayment, installing eave, first metal roof panel with gable / rake trim, field panels, sidewall flashing, valley flashing and installation of hip & ridge caps, and includes a hands-on installation video.

Most standing seam metal roofs installed today are 24 gauge steel or .032 aluminum panels with high quality Kynar 500 paint coating, baked-on in seven layers (including primer) in a controlled factory environment when the metal coil is manufactured.

After the coil is slit to the right size, it is delivered to the “manufacturer” of metal roofs, and is roll-formed into pre-measured length panels, which can take place on a job site or in a metal shop, and then delivered to the job site, where they are installed on the roof.

Standing Seam

Most common profiles of standing seam roofs are 16″ panels; they are either snap-lock or mechanical lock profiles.

Snap lock standing seam allows installers to quickly install a metal roof by snapping one panel into a receiving lock of the previous panel.

Snap lock panels can be installed from left-to-right and vice-versa, and even from a center starter panel in either direction.

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