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In Florida, choosing your roofing materials is a huge part of safeguarding your investment. After all, it only takes winds of 50mph to damage a roof, and hurricanes can easily produce winds exceeding 150mph. So whether you’re a homeowner or looking to protect your business, knowing the pros and cons of a metal roof vs. shingles is essential.
There are a lot of myths out there about the benefits of a metal roof vs. shingles, but with 20 years of roofing experience in Tampa Bay, we’ve got you covered with reliable information that you can trust.
Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Which One Is the Best?
To start, you should know that there is no “best” option between metal roofs and asphalt shingles. Each roofing material has its own pros and cons. However, while there may not be single best material overall, there is probably a best material for you. This is largely dependent on your vision for your property, your performance needs, and your budget for this project.
But before we delve into the pros and cons of a metal roof vs. shingles, let’s start with some basic shingle vs. metal roof information.
Asphalt shingles are the most common type of shingle roofing material, and they’ve been extremely popular throughout the United States for decades. And with so many different types of shingles out there, they can give your property whatever look you want, whether you need a certain color, a certain texture, or certain performance and durability requirements. While the price depends on the specific type of shingle, in general, shingles will be less expensive than metal roofs.
On the other hand, metal roofs are only recently coming into their popularity. While old-school metal roofs were made of lead and copper, today’s metal roofs are available in a wider range of materials, including galvanized steel and aluminum. Similarly, modern metal roofs are available in nearly any color you could imagine, so having a metal roof no longer means being stuck with a grey roof that doesn’t match your home.
Now, let’s see look at some clear pros and cons of a metal roof vs. shingles for your Florida property.
Lifespan of Your Roofing Materials
When it comes to the longevity of a metal roof vs. shingles, a metal roof will always come out on top. Asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 30 years, but watch out—many homeowners insurance companies will request additional inspections of a shingle roof that’s over 15 years old.
On the other hand, metal roofs routinely last for over 50 years. The specifics will depend on the specific material your roof is made of, but across the board, metal roofs enjoy much more longevity than their shingle counterparts. This is because, unlike shingles, metal roofs don’t absorb water over time. So where asphalt shingles can weaken and develop algae over time, metal roofs remain strong and impervious. For all of these reasons, metal roofing is the clear winner when comparing the lifespan of a metal roof vs. shingles.
Cost of a Metal Roof vs. Shingles
Looking at a metal roof vs. shingles through the lens of price, there is a clear winner here. The materials for a metal roof are often more expensive than even luxury tile options. And unfortunately, metal roofing costs don’t stop there.
When installing asphalt shingles, the process of nailing them into place is comparatively straightforward. But metal roofs require much more knowledge and skill from experienced contractors. Moreover, metal roofs take longer to install than shingle roofs, which also increases labor costs. Both of these increases can substantially increase the cost of your project as a whole, so asphalt shingles can be a more appealing option if you’re on a tight budget.
At Classic Roofing & Construction, we are happy to work with our customers to lower the price of your project. When we give you your free estimate, we’ll happily walk through each line of the proposal with you so that we can find a solution that makes sense for your unique needs.
Carbon Footprint of Roofing Materials
Environmental concerns are another important factor in comparing a metal roof vs. shingles. A lot of Floridians are concerned with lowering their carbon footprint, and if this sounds like you, then you’ll want to think carefully about which roofing material you choose.
In general, asphalt shingle roofs do not do much to help the environment. For one, most forms of shingle roofs won’t lower your energy bill, whereas a metal roof can save you money by reflecting heat away from your property. But even in cases where insulated shingles help lower energy costs, they still can’t beat metal roofs when it comes to being eco-friendly.
This is because metal roofs are often made of recycled materials and can be recycled again after being removed. This lowers waste and resource consumption, both of which can help shrink your overall carbon footprint. While it’s true that some types of shingle roofs can be recycled, this process is slow and expensive, so very few people do it. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in the United States alone, asphalt shingles generate 11 million tons of waste each year.
Metal Roof vs. Shingles for Resale Value
This part of comparing the pros and cons of metal roofing vs. shingles is especially tricky. Years ago, asphalt shingles would have been the clear winner in this category. With a variety of colors and textures available, they can do a lot to add curb appeal to your home. And more than that, shingles make it easy to create intricate patterns or designs on your roof by using different colors of shingles.
However, metal roofs are no longer the ugly, plain roofing materials that they used to be.
For our metal roofing projects, we source our materials from Metal Roofing Systems, an American company that provides high-quality metal roofing materials in a variety of colors and styles. So no matter the style of your home or your neighborhood, you can certainly find an option that will increase curb appeal and bolster the resale value of your property.
So who wins in terms of aesthetics? For this facet of shingle vs. metal roof ratings, we have to call it a tie.
Metal Roof vs. Shingles: Hurricane-Proofing Your Home
Tampa and the surrounding areas are, on average, affected by a hurricane every two years. So whether you’re concerned with protecting your investment, your home, or both, choosing a hurricane-resistant roofing material is a great idea. Let’s consider how metal roofs and shingles stack up when it comes to withstanding hurricane-force winds and other severe storms.
When it comes to withstanding high-speed winds, metal roofs are the clear winners. Where a heavy storm could tear shingles off of a roof, a metal roof would likely be completely unaffected. And this is important, because flying shingles can easily become hazards to your and your neighbor’s properties.
Metal roofs vs. shingles in cold climates is another story, however, because metal roofs are more likely than shingles to dent from hail. And you should still keep this in mind even if you live in Tampa Bay. While we receive very little hail, storm debris can still dent a metal roof and cause damage. However, it takes a lot of force and weight to dent a metal roof, so small, light debris is unlikely to damage your new investment.
On the whole, it’s clear that a metal roof is a better investment if you’re looking to hurricane-proof your home in Florida.
Debunking Myths About Metal Roof vs. Shingles
Now that you have reliable information about metal roofs vs. shingles, it’s important to debunk popular misconceptions about these roofing materials. Over the years, a lot of myths have developed surrounding both metal and shingle roofs. Let’s look at each myth and see what the truth of the matter is.
Myth #1: Metal Roofs Are More Likely to Attract Lightning
Tampa experiences more lightning strikes than any other city in the United States, so it’s smart to be concerned about how your home would fare against lightning. But don’t let “common knowledge” influence your decision making; the truth is that metal roofs may actually be safer than shingles when it comes to protecting against lightning.
There’s a popular misconception that metal attracts lightning, but this simply isn’t true. Lightning will strike whatever it’s closest to—metal just works as a conductor of electricity. This means that if lightning does strike your metal roof, the metal will disperse the electricity safely throughout the structure.
Moreover, unlike shingles, metal roofs are very resistant to fire. So where a shingle roof might catch fire after a lightning strike, a metal roof is more likely to be totally unharmed. In this way, a metal roof can actually make your home safer during a thunderstorm!
Myth #2: Dark Shingles Increase Your Energy Bill
In comparing a metal roof vs. shingles, many people point out that darker shingles will draw more heat to your home, thus increasing the amount of cooling your home needs. But this is actually far from the truth. While it’s true that dark shingles do absorb more heat from the sun, your home almost certainly has a way to deal with this.
Most homes have insulated, vented attics to disperse this excess heat. So while it’s true that a metal roof will disperse more heat than shingles, that doesn’t mean that choosing a darker color of shingle is going to raise your electricity bill.
Myth #3: Metal Roofs Are Noisy in the Rain
Many Floridians are skeptical about metal roofs because they don’t want to hear the pitter-patter of rain on metal every time a summer shower rolls through. But when you’re looking at a metal roof vs. shingles, you shouldn’t let this influence your decision.
Decades ago, yes, a metal roof would have been quite loud in the rain. But modern roofing has made this an issue of the past. Old metal roofs were loud because they were installed directly over the rafters. Nowadays, metal roofs are installed over solid decking (wood), which greatly insulates any noise. This means that metal roofs in the rain are not likely to be any louder than their shingle counterparts.
Myth #4: Asphalt Shingles Have Asbestos
Asbestos is a scary word for any property owner, and yes, at one point asphalt shingles were made with asbestos. But as the public realized that long-term exposure to asbestos could be harmful, changes were made to the composition of asphalt shingles.
Decades ago, manufacturers of asphalt shingles purposefully stopped using asbestos in the creation of shingles. Nowadays, most asphalt shingles contain asphalt, fiberglass, and granules, but none of them contain asbestos.
Myth #5: Your Metal Roof Will Rust
Many property owners worry that if they buy a metal roof, they’ll eventually have to deal with it rusting. But thankfully, roofing technology has come a long way, so this should not be a factor as you consider a metal roof vs. shingles.
Modern metal roofing coatings are highly effective at preventing rust. These alloy coatings create a barrier around your roof and have proven highly effective at mitigating rust. Moreover, your metal roof will almost certainly be made of rust-resistant materials—most metal roofs produced today are intentionally designed to withstand weathering and rust. And if all of this wasn’t enough, your metal roof will also be painted with weather-resistant paint to add another layer of protection against rust.
In short, contemporary metal roofs are made with several safeguards in place to make sure that your metal roof doesn’t rust.
Other Roofing Materials to Consider
Now that you’ve had a comprehensive look at metal roofing vs. shingles, you probably have a clear understanding of each roofing material’s pros and cons. But it’s important to remember that these are not the only two options out there. There are other roofing material choices to be made and other roofing materials to consider if you want to get the most out of your investment.
After weighing the pros and cons of a metal roof vs. shingles, you should also consider tile roofing as an option for your property. Tile roofs are a popular choice across Tampa Bay, and while they’re available in dozens of styles and colors, most tiles are made of concrete, clay, or slate.
And what are the pros of tile roofing materials? Well, they’re heavily resistant to high winds and fire, which makes them sturdy materials for Florida roofing. Like metal roofs, a concrete tile roof can last for up to 50 years. Also, tile roofing reflects heat away from your home, which can help lower your energy bill. As a cherry on top, a lack of organic materials in tile roofing means that it’s extremely pest-resistant.
As for the downsides, there are a few cons of tile roofing to consider. The first is that installation can be expensive. Moreover, tile roofing is more likely to need ongoing repairs and maintenance than a metal roof. For both of these reasons, tile roofing can be a big investment. However, if your neighborhood has a lot of tile roofs, the increase in curb appeal could offset the costs of your new tile roof.
As The Sunshine State, Florida has countless homes and properties with solar roofing. Not only is solar roofing a great way to lower your electric bill, but it’s also a useful tool for lowering your energy consumption. But more than just deciding to pursue solar roofing, you’ll need to make a decision about what kind of solar roofing you want.
The most popular, conventional option is to install solar panels. These highly efficient pieces of technology absorb solar energy and use it to help power electricity in your home. And while older models of solar panels have been large and clunky, at Classic Roofing & Construction, we’re committed to being on the cutting edge of roofing technologies. That’s why our solar panel installations come with sleek, unobtrusive solar panels that will not detract from your home’s curb appeal.
If you’re trying to choose between a metal roof vs. shingles, then you may also consider installing solar shingles. At Classic, we use Timberline solar shingles, which create an elegant, sleek look for your home. And as GAF-certified roofers, we are certified both to install these high-tech shingles and to provide the strongest possible warranties.
Metal Roofing or Tile, You Need the Best Roofing Company
Ultimately, whatever your answer is to the “metal roof vs. shingles” issue, you’re going to need experienced contractors to complete the installation. And with no subcontractors on our staff, all of our crews are highly trained experts at what they do. And the decades of experience that they bring to your roof are going to result in a higher quality of service, less hassle for you, and better prices due to our crew’s efficiency. With low-interest financing readily available, there’s no reason to delay your roofing project and increase your property’s value and durability.