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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jun 1, 2020 1:00 PM

Advantages of a Metal Roof vs. Shingles

Metal roofing and shingles are two of the most popular residential roofing materials. However, metal roofing offers homeowners a wide range of advantages when compared with shingles. So, what are the advantages of a metal roof versus shingles?

Longevity and Durability

Advantages of a Metal Roof vs. ShinglesPerhaps the most critical advantage metal roofing offers homeowners is longevity.

Roofing can often be one of the most expensive purchases a homeowner will make after the purchase of the home itself. Between the cost of roof replacement and the obvious disruption, it comes as no surprise that most homeowners make it a priority to minimize the number of times they need to replace their roof.  

When comparing longevity between metal roofing and shingles, there really is no contest.

Typical asphalt shingles have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Metal roofing has an average lifespan of 50+ years.  In fact, for many homeowners, the first metal roof they install on their home is the last roof they install.  That's simply not the case for asphalt shingles.

Instead, asphalt shingles are well known for needing regular maintenance, especially on homes that experience extreme weather like heavy snow, hail, and high winds. Shingle replacement, as well as re-caulking and sealing, are common for residential asphalt roofs.

Metal roofing, on the other hand, is naturally resistant to hail and is one of the best options for high wind areas. In fact, many different styles of metal roofs from McElroy Metal are Class 4 rated roofs meaning that they are classified to withstand higher wind speeds and impact damage from hail than all but the most expensive shingles.

Check out this article about how to identify hail damage on a roof

Energy Efficiency

MultiRib-Product-MCEMetal roofing is far more energy efficient than asphalt shingles. Metal roofing offers homeowner’s significant energy savings through the use of cool roof pigments and above sheathing ventilation.

Cool roof pigments are designed to reflect sunlight which lowers the amount of energy absorbed by the roof material. Most metal roofs also have high thermal emittance which is a measure of a roof panel’s ability to release heat that it has absorbed.

These two characteristics of metal roofing materials decrease the amount of the sun's energy that the roof absorbs. Meaning less heat entering the roof system so there is less heat entering the attic space and the rest of the home. These features of metal roofing materials lower the utility load significantly. Studies have shown that a cool metal roof can lower home cooling energy costs by up to 20%.

Asphalt shingles, on the other hand, absorb heat and trap it in the home, which increases utility consumption.

Learn more about why metal roofing is energy efficient and how it lowers utility expenses.

Environmental Impact

Homeowners are becoming more aware of the environmental impact of their roofing, and that’s great. Metal roofing is a fantastic roofing choice for the environment because it is often made from recycled materials and is 100% recyclable at the end of its life!

Asphalt shingles are manufactured from crude oil and chemicals, are often not recycled, and can take hundreds of years to decompose in a landfill. Between the frequency of shingle replacement and the time they take to decompose, many landfills charge an extra fee to accept them in an effort to save their space for more desired items.  

Homeowners can even install metal roofing over existing shingles. This process is called a metal roof recover. A metal roof recover not only extends the lifespan of your roof, it eliminates the expense and hassle of removing your old roof.  A metal roof recover project leaves the old shingles in place which keeps them out of a landfill.  As an added benefit, homeowners ave the cost of having them torn off the roof so it can be truly a win-win for everyone!


MilanCombineAesthetics are very personal, and every homeowner is going to have an opinion about what looks best on their home. That being said, even for those who only prefer the look of shingles on a home, there are specialty metal roofing options available that mimic the look of shingles.

In fact, metal roofing comes in a wide variety of both styles and colors/finishes. Shingles, on the other hand, typically only come in a limited number of colors.

Advantages of a Metal Roof versus Shingles

Metal roofing offers significant advantages over shingles in terms of longevity, durability, environmental impact, and aesthetics. The only real advantage of shingles over metal roofing is price.

Asphalt shingles are perhaps the least expensive up-front residential roofing option available today. However, increased repair costs, frequent replacement, and higher utility costs often mean that metal roofing is more economical over time.

Want to see all of the most common residential roofing options compared? Check out this table from the Metal Roofing Alliance that makes comparing all of your options easy!

Learn More

You can learn more about metal roofing and our line of products here or find a McElroy Metal Distributor or Contractor here

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Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Education, Metal Roofing, Specialty Roofing, FAQ, Residential

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