How to Choose the Roofing That is Right For You
The roof is one of the first lines of defense in protecting your home and everything and everyone inside. But how do you decide what type of roofing is best for you? Which one is the most durable? Which will look the best on my home? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of roofing? With all of the types of roofing out on the market today, it can tend to get overwhelming. Well sit tight, because we’re going to help you decide on the best option for your home.
Metal roofing is much more common than you might think. However, it is also a much more complex option than shingle roofing. Metal roofing requires specific installation techniques, which leads to requiring experienced installers, while also requiring more pieces and parts. Metal roofing offers more versatility and durability than other types of roofing, which means it is also more costly.
Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of metal roofing.
Advantages of Metal Roofing
Lightweight – Metal roofing is surprisingly very lightweight. This makes it easier for installers to transport up onto the roof. Being lightweight also prevents any unnecessary stress on the house’s structure, including causing damage to the frame of the home.
Longevity – One of the most noticeable differences between metal roofing and shingled roofing is their differing lifespans. Metal roofing should last at least 50 years, which is usually when signs of deterioration may begin to show. There are some types of materials, like copper or zinc, that can even last around 100 years!
The Cost of Metal Roofing
Lower Long-Term Cost – As compared to shingle roofing, metal roofing is more expensive. But, considering the impressive lifespan of metal roofing, it is well worth the cost in the long run. A single metal roof will easily outlast a shingle roof three times over.
Fire Resistance – If you happen to live in an area that is prone to wildfires, you’ll definitely want to incorporate metal roofing into your home’s structure, if you haven’t already. Metal roofing is noncombustible and is typically Class A fire-rated.
Weathering Performance – Compared to materials such as concrete, wood, plastic, and glass, metal is the most durable of them all when it comes to all types of weather conditions. Metal roofing is designed to withstand harsh rains, strong winds, snow, hail and ice, and extreme temperature changes.
Metal Roofing is Environmentally Friendly
Environmentally Friendly – If being eco-friendly is a priority, metal roofing is the way to go. Metal roofing is highly recyclable. Any leftover pieces or damaged parts can be recycled for future use. You can even choose to use previously recycled materials, like metal coils and sheets, for your new roof. If you want to use previously recycled materials, consider aluminum roofing. Even the underlayment of metal roofing can be recycled if it is made of 100% polypropylene.
Energy Efficiency – To continue the environmentally-friendly trend, metal roofing also offers the advantage of energy efficiency. Many manufacturers of metal coils and sheeting offer cool roofing. Cool roofing are highly emissive panels that absorb heat in high temperatures and retain the heat in cooler temperatures. With metal roofing, you also have the ability to mount energy-efficient equipment like solar panels simply with the use of clamps.
Increased Property Value – Metal roofing typically creates a 1-6% higher property value compared to other roofing types. And, because metal roofing lasts longer than their counterparts as well, it makes it easier to resell when and if the time comes.
Low Maintenance – The level of maintenance for metal roofing is pretty minimal and doesn’t differ too much from shingle roofing. All that’s required for maintenance is removing any leaves, branches and twigs, or other debris that may get stuck on the roof and in the gutters. If, however, you find any stains that aren’t coming off in the rain, you’ll need to manually clean the surface.
Retrofitting Over Old Roof – If you’re on a tight budget, consider retrofitting a metal roof over your existing one. By doing so, you will have eliminated excess costs such as tear-off and haul-off fees. Also, by retrofitting your roof, you will have reduced waste that otherwise would end up in a landfill.
Large Color Selection – One of the biggest selling points for metal roofing is the countless color options available to choose from. Metal roofing manufacturers work with reputable paint companies to develop paint specifically designed for metal panels. These paints are also tested in outdoor environments to ensure its durability.
Insurance Benefits – A metal roof could lower your home insurance premium, depending upon the situation, based on factors like their fire resistance and ability to withstand extreme weather.
Variety of Looks – Metal roofing doesn’t necessarily have to look as industrial as you’d think it would. Metal panels can be made to look like shingle or even tile roofing. They come in various shapes and sizes and can range from panel systems to standing seam systems to exposed fastener systems.
Disadvantages of Metal Roofing
Higher Cost – As we’ve previously mentioned, metal roofing is more expensive than shingle roofing upfront. On top of the higher cost of the roofing material itself, the price of the labor and equipment needed may cost more, as well.
Limited Qualified Contractors – There are significantly fewer installers who are skilled in the installation of metal roofing than installers of shingle roofing, making it more difficult to find a qualified professional. And, considering most issues with metal roofing are caused from improper installation, it is even more important to hire an experienced installer.
More Labor Intensive – Another reason metal roofing is more expensive than shingle roofing is because of the labor required. Installation of this type of roofing needs to be very precise. Even the smallest of errors will cause future issues and damage the appearance of the roof.
Oil Canning – One of the biggest issues consumers have with metal roofing is the oil canning effect that an occur. Oil canning is visible waviness that occurs on the flat areas of metal panels. It is also referred to as elastic buckling or stress wrinkling. While it does not negatively affect the performance of the roof, it does occur in all types of roofing metals. Luckily, there are ways in which to prevent severe oil canning.
HOA Issues – Some Home Owners Associations (HOA) covenants may restrict the installation of certain types of roofing. Reasons for this may be that it is too “industrial” looking, it is inconsistent with the style of the rest of the neighborhood, and that it may cause high-glare.
Insurance Drawbacks – While we previously mentioned potential insurance benefits for installing a metal roof, there are also some insurance drawbacks for this type of roofing as well. While some homeowners may receive a break on their premiums because of the durability of the metal roofing, some, on the other hand, may see an increase. Because metal roofing is more expensive, that means the replacement for that roofing would be much higher as well; meaning it would cost the insurance company more to cover any damage.
Shingle roofing can be found almost anywhere, especially here in the Midwest, so it’s pretty safe to say it is much more common than metal roofing. Because of this, a lot of homeowners may not even realize that there are other types of roofing other than shingle roofing. Now, let’s dive in to the advantages and disadvantages of shingle roofing.
Advantages of Shingle Roofing
Affordable – As we mentioned before, shingle roofing is much cheaper than metal roofing as a one-time cost. Because of its upfront affordability, it is arguably the most popular choice of roofing amongst homeowners.
Easy to Install and Readily Available – Remember when we said metal roofing was difficult to install and labor intensive? Well, shingle roofing is quite the opposite. Shingles come prepackaged and ready to install, with the exception of any pieces that need to be cut to correctly fit the area. They are also readily available in many local home improvement stores and from distributors.
Less Expensive Repairs – In the event that any damage may occur to your shingle roofing, it is quite easy to replace and install the damaged shingles. Most shingles can be removed one at a time, as opposed to an entire panel, while also requiring much fewer materials to fix the damaged areas.
More Qualified Installers – Because shingle roofing is relatively simple and easy to install, it is pretty easy to find qualified contractors who are able to install your new roofing. Just make sure you hire an experienced professional for a seamless installation!
Warranty Coverage – Shingle roofing comes with a number of warranties from the manufacturer or the contractor. Some issues covered by the warranty may include manufacturer error, material defect, algae growth, maximum wind-resistance limit, and contractor error.
Disadvantages of Shingle Roofing
Short Lifespan – Depending upon the type of shingle material (usually fiberglass or asphalt), the style, and the coating, most shingle roofs will typically last a maximum of 25 years. Replacement of individual damaged shingles are also common within those 25 years.
Higher Long-Term Cost – While shingle roofing has a smaller one-time cost, it does cost more in the long-run as compared to metal roofing. As we mentioned in the beginning, one metal roof will typically outlast three shingle roofs.
Intrusive Installation – Installation of shingle roofing is actually quite intrusive. To install the shingles, nails are driven through the surface of the shingle into the roof deck below. If not done correctly, this could easily damage the structure of the roof.
Limited Colors – Take a look around at the homes around your town and you may notice that the colors of the shingle roofing are typically dark and dull. Because a shingle’s base material is saturated with asphalt and granules of a dark granite material, bright or colorful shingles aren’t necessarily a possibility.
Heavier Weight – Even with the recent advancements made to make shingles lighter by using less of the base material, they are still heavier than metal panels. When additional weight is placed on the structure of a building, it could cause problems down the road.
More Flammable – Shingles usually contain asphalt, which is a flammable material. Granules are then added on top of the asphalt to help make it fire resistant on the surface. However, if a flame reaches the asphalt underneath, it is much more likely to catch on fire than a metal roof.
Minimal Recyclers – Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingles end up in landfills every year in the United States because people often don’t realize that some can be recycled. Check out this website to find a recycler in your state.
Damages Easier – Especially during extreme weather, such as hail, wind, and snow, shingle roofing can become damaged much easier than metal roofing. Shingles can also become lifted or ripped off one-by-one if not properly installed.
Absorbs Heat – You’ve heard that dark colors attract and absorb heat, right? Well apply that same concept to your shingle roofing. Because shingles are made from asphalt, a naturally dark color, heat is readily absorbed by the roof. When the roof holds onto heat, it can cause your air conditioning and cooling units to go into overdrive, causing an increase in utility bills throughout those hot months. Also, shingled roofing can be damaged simply by exposure to high heats for extended periods of time.
Flaking Granules – If you’ve owned a home with shingled roofing before and were cleaning out your gutters, you may have noticed crumb-looking things lying in there. Well, that is actually the granule coating from your roof flaking off. If not addressed in a timely fashion, these granules can create a blockage in your gutters and pipes.
Mildew, Mold, & Algae – Shingle roofing, unfortunately, can grow mold, mildew, and algae. If there is excess moisture and the roof doesn’t have enough access to the sun to dry out that moisture, these problems can surface.
Oil-Based Product – You may be surprised to hear that the primary ingredient of asphalt shingles is petroleum. So, when the cost per barrel or crude oil changes, it also directly affects the cost of shingles. Also, because of the oil-base of the shingles, they are generally non-recyclable.
Things to Consider Before You Choose
When deciding between metal or shingle roofing, one of the biggest factors is going to be your budget. If you are working with a small initial budget, shingle roofing will probably be the best option for you, especially if you don’t mind the idea of replacing it in another 15 to 20 years. Along the same note, if you don’t plan on living in your home for longer than 10 years, shingle roofing may make more sense for your limited budget. If you have a larger budget and want some peace of mind that you won’t have to replace your roof for quite some time, you should consider metal roofing.
The Design of Your Roof
The shape and style of every roof is different and all of these factors play into which type of roofing is best for your home. Some of the things you should look into before choosing your roofing material include the square footage of your home, the complexities of your roof design (i.e. dormers, skylights, valleys), the amount of your roof that is located under shade, as well as the pitch (slope) of your roof. Roofing manufacturers have minimum and maximum slope requirements for both metal and shingle roofing, so it is incredibly important to know the pitch of your roof before you begin replacing.
The environment in which you live will play a large role in which type of roof is the better choice. For those living in areas with severe weather threats or extreme heat, metal roofing might be your best option. But, if you live in a milder climate where extreme weather is rare, a shingle roof should work just fine.
HOA or Municipality Restrictions
Already briefly discussed, but worth mentioning again, is checking with your HOA or municipality before you begin your project if there are any restrictions regarding the roofing material that can be used on your home.
Availability of Qualified Contractors
Make sure you find a qualified and experienced contractor who can install the type of roofing you have chosen according to industry standards and recommended manufacturer details. This is particularly important if you have chosen to go with a metal roof.
Give Your Home a New Roof Today!
Both metal and shingle roofing are great options, but your final decision will need to be based on both your individual needs and your budget. Before you begin, decide on how much you can afford to spend and what features are important to you such as eco-friendly materials, durability, color and style, and access to qualified installers.
Luckily, Above and Beyond Roofing and Construction are your go-to roofing contractors serving the Wichita, Kansas and surrounding areas. If you’re looking to replace your roof in the near future, give us a call today at (316) 719-2819 to set up your free estimate!