Which is Better- Metal or Shingle Roof?

Are you in need of a roof replacement? Of course, the roof is one of the most essential components of a home. Perhaps the most important decision you’ll have to make as a Huntsville AL homeowner is determining whether to invest in a metal or shingle roof. Both materials are viable options. Therefore, knowing the benefits and disadvantage can help you select the right type of roof for your home.


Cost to Install Metal Roof Over Shingles

Is a metal roof cheaper than shingles?

Ultimately, the price of each roofing is a major deciding factor especially if you are working within a tight budget. A metal roofing system is generally more expensive than a shingle roof. Based on research, a metal roof is typically twice as much in its first year. It’s a third of the cost of s shingle roof over the course of sixty years.

Image of a Metal Roof newly installed

The cost of a metal roof largely depends on the type of metal panels used. There are mainly four types of metal materials that are installed on roofs. This includes; aluminum, steel, zinc, and copper. Zinc and copper are the most expensive metal types. Copper metal petals can cost up to $15 per square foot. On the other hand, aluminum which is slightly cheaper can run you about $7-$10 per square foot.


A shingle based roof is considerably cheaper which is why many homeowners opt for this type of roofing material. Asphalts are the most widely used shingle. The cost if installing asphalt shingles can cost $3.50 to $5.00 per square foot or $350-$500 per square.

Labor costs are typically more for a metal roof because installing such material isn’t straightforward. Whereas a shingle roof can simply be screwed on a roofer will have to screw and fastener metal panels down. This requires specialized skill and equipment to complete.


In addition, your home location can greatly affect the estimated you receive. In southern states like Alabama, the average cost of installing a roof is much cheaper. In fact, an asphalt shingle roof replacement can cost as much as $2.50 per square foot.


Is Metal Cooler Than Shingles?

Which is better metal or shingle roof?

No doubt, living in a warm climate area like Huntsville AL where temperatures exceed ninety degrees during the summer months you’ll want to select a roofing material that helps keep your home cool. Metal materials have natural cooling properties that make it ideal for homes in southern states. Metal roofs are reflective which means they don’t absorb all of the sunlight that it is exposed too. Instead, it reflects the sunlight away cooling off your home naturally.


Cool Metal Roof Technology manufactures metal panels that have drastically high solar emittance. This decreases the surface temperature of the metal roof resulting in reduced heat gain into the attic as well as space below. Opting for a metal roof can decrease your energy bill by twenty -fifty percent depending upon the metal’s cooling properties. Depending on the brand, lighter colored metals are known to be fifty to sixty degrees cooler.


Shingles especially asphalt shingles can become really hot in warm climates. Yes, they absorb a lot of heat, increasing indoor temperatures by twenty to twenty-five percent. The heat also has a bad effect on asphalt shingles. Shingles are less reflective than metal. Also, the color of a shingle roof can affect how much heat the roof absorbs. The lighter your roof is the less heat it will absorb. Experts recommend installing shingle roofs in temperament environments. Constant exposure to hot temperatures will result in the early deterioration of shingles leading to shingle failure.


Metal Roof Over Shingle Insulation

Insulating a metal and shingle roof is imperative. Insulating a roof creates a barrier between the roof and the attic. Quality insulation for both roofing materials can help keep the cold out during the winter and balance the temperatures in a home during the summer. Some major benefits of a metal and shingle roof insulation are:


Perhaps the biggest benefit of insulating a roof is that it’s a step towards energy efficiency. It will help decrease the amount of energy it takes too cool off your home and heats it. In the end, you’ll save money on your monthly bills. Also, without proper insulation moisture can become a problem. A buildup of moisture causes condensation which can affect the stability of a roofing material.

The same insulation methods can be used for both a metal and shingle roof. Spray foam, structural insulated panel, the rigid board are the most common insulation methods used on a roof. Seek help from a professional to determine which kind of insulation would best benefit your home’s roof.


Metal Over Shingle Problems

Weighing the cons of each type of roof materials can help you make the best decision. While each type of roofing system is accompanied with its own unique advantages there are a few cons that homeowners should be aware of.


Metal Roof Disadvantages

Affordability – Of course, a major drawback of a metal roof is that it is expensive to install. The material’s long term durability comes with a big tag. On average homeowners can expect to pay more than $12,000 for a complete metal roof replacement.

Leaking – It’s very important for a metal roof to be installed properly so that leaking doesn’t become an issue. Metal roofs with exposed fasteners are vulnerable to leaking when it rains or snows. Since metal expands and contracts, fastening systems that accommodate movement should be implemented.


Difficult to Replace – Metal roof materials are manufactured in large panels. This makes replacing or modifying a metal roof difficult. While individual shingles can be easily replaced if a metal panel becomes damaged you may have to consider re-roofing your home.


Fading – Eventually, the pigment on a colored metal roof will begin to fade. Exposure to UV rays, chemicals and water will result in the metal substrate breaking down. A metal roof can change in color as well as fade unevenly. This may affect the overall aesthetics of a home.


What about a shingle roofing system? Depending upon the quality, shingle roofs are susceptible to more damage than a metal roofing system. Check out some of the common problems homeowners face with a shingle roof:


Clogged Gutters – Clogged gutters is a problem that every homeowner with a shingle roof system will have to deal with at some point. It may sound like a simple issue but when left unchecked it can be detrimental to a roof’s structure. Leaves, twigs, and debris can easily make its way onto the roof blocking the gutters and downspouts. This will affect the roof’s draining ability.


Cracked Flashings – Failing flashings is the number one cause of leaks. Flashings serve as a waterproof system to the roof’s weakest spot. When this failed and water penetrates this leads to a host of additional problems.


Thermal Tearing – When exposed to heat for long periods of time, this can cause the shingles to crack or tear apart completely. Often, these cracks can go unnoticed and this affects the shingle waterproofing capabilities.


Metal Roof Vs. Shingles in Cold Climate

Which roof material performs better in cold climate? An asphalt shingle roof performs well in the wintertime. Since it easily absorbs sunlight and transfers it into the home, it can aid increasing the temperatures inside of a house during winter. These days manufacturers have been able to produce shingles that are energy efficient. Depending on the style, some shingles are adequate at handling the impact of snow which makes it an ideal choice for colder climates.


Metal roofs have also proved to be efficient in cold weather. It’s sturdy and ultra durable exterior means it won’t be easily damaged by snow or ice. In addition, metal roof systems are great at naturally removing snow and ice from the surface. Also, the metal itself acts as an insulator which allows cold or warm air to circulate without escaping. This reduces the costs of heating a home.


Metal or Shingle Roof?

Which is better metal or shingle roof?

What will it be, a metal or shingle roofing system?  Metal roofs are complex requiring very specific techniques and an experienced installer to reap its benefits.  This type of roof system is the most expensive option. However, it’s durable offers and has energy saving properties that can save homeowners money for many years to come. The average metal roof can last more than sixty years. If you plan on living in your home for several years to come, it’s a roof material that is worth considering.


Shingle roofs are the most widely used roofing material. They can be purchased in a variety of colors and styles.  They are produced in a variety of styles and they keep your home warm in the winter. Unlike metal roofs, a shingle roofing system can be easily repaired and replaced. If you’re working with a tight budget, a shingle roof is a good option.


Truthfully, both of these roof materials are great options. When deciding between the two you’ll have to assess your specific needs. Our roofing experts at 2nd2None can help you determine what roofing material best suits your home. Contact us today.