While most people still regard asphalt shingles as the industry standard for roofing materials, metal roofing has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Since nearly 80% of the residential roofs in America are still covered by asphalt shingling, many professional contractors will automatically lean towards asphalt. There are, however, some very good reasons for the rise in metal roofing for the home and here are some of the very good reasons you may wish to research this sturdy roofing material for your home.
A major advantage is the durability of metal roofing. While asphalt shingles usually last from twenty to thirty years if not damaged, metal paneling can easily last for fifty years. There are some copper and zinc roofs in Europe that have been documented as having lasted for over a hundred years. This longevity can easily outweigh the additional cost over asphalt shingles.
Metal roofs are also much less likely than asphalt shingles to be punctured by tree branches or other flying debris from storm winds and the interlocking panels provide greater water resistance than the overlapping method of applying asphalt shingles.
Price is another factor to investigate. While metal roof panels can cost as much as three times more than asphalt shingles, they last three times as long and still provide much greater weather protection for the entirety of the structure. Asphalt shingles will slowly degrade over the years with extreme heat conditions and winter ice can loosen the edges of shingle overlap. Metal roofing can be treated so that the metal does not rust.
The environmental impact comparisons also weigh in favor of metal roofing. Approximately eleven tons of asphalt shingling goes into landfills every year. There are very few recycling options for asphalt shingles. Metal roofs on the other hand are highly recyclable. Depending on the specific alloy used, the recyclable amount varies from 25% up to 95% and metal reclamation is a widespread industry.
Another positive aspect of environmental savings with metal roofing is the increased energy savings from the heat reflection of metal over the heat absorption of asphalt. Depending on location, the heating and cooling energy savings can range from 10% to 25% less when using metal roofing.
While asphalt shingles will always have their place in roofing, savvy homeowners will continue to find more reasons to switch to the more efficient metal roofs for the long-term advantages of durability and efficiency.