Asphalt Shingle Roof vs. Metal Roof

What's the Difference?

Asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs are two popular options for residential roofing. Asphalt shingle roofs are the most common choice due to their affordability and ease of installation. They are made of a fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and granules, providing durability and protection against weather elements. On the other hand, metal roofs are known for their longevity and durability. They are typically made of steel, aluminum, or copper, offering resistance to fire, wind, and impact. While asphalt shingle roofs have a shorter lifespan of around 20-30 years, metal roofs can last up to 50 years or more. Additionally, metal roofs are more energy-efficient, reflecting sunlight and reducing cooling costs. However, metal roofs are generally more expensive upfront and require professional installation. Ultimately, the choice between asphalt shingle and metal roofs depends on factors such as budget, desired lifespan, and aesthetic preferences.


AttributeAsphalt Shingle RoofMetal Roof
MaterialAsphalt shinglesMetal sheets or panels
DurabilityLess durable than metal roofsHighly durable
LifespanApproximately 20-30 yearsApproximately 40-70 years
CostLess expensiveMore expensive
InstallationRelatively easy and quickRequires professional installation
WeightLightweightHeavier than asphalt shingles
Energy EfficiencyLess energy efficientMore energy efficient
MaintenanceRequires regular maintenanceLow maintenance
AestheticsWide variety of colors and stylesSleek and modern appearance

Further Detail


When it comes to choosing the right roofing material for your home, there are several options available in the market. Two popular choices are asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs. Both options have their own unique attributes and benefits. In this article, we will compare the attributes of asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs to help you make an informed decision for your roofing needs.


One of the primary factors that homeowners consider when choosing a roofing material is the cost. Asphalt shingle roofs are generally more affordable compared to metal roofs. The cost of asphalt shingles can vary depending on the quality and brand, but they are generally considered a budget-friendly option. On the other hand, metal roofs tend to have a higher upfront cost. However, it is important to note that metal roofs have a longer lifespan, which can offset the initial investment over time.


When it comes to durability, both asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs have their own advantages. Asphalt shingle roofs are known for their strength and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. They are designed to resist wind, rain, and hail damage. However, over time, asphalt shingles may become brittle and prone to cracking or curling. On the other hand, metal roofs are highly durable and can last for several decades. They are resistant to cracking, warping, and rotting. Metal roofs are also fire-resistant, making them a safer option for homeowners.


The appearance of your roof can significantly impact the overall look of your home. Asphalt shingle roofs come in a wide range of colors and styles, allowing homeowners to choose a design that complements their home's architecture. They can mimic the look of more expensive roofing materials such as slate or wood. On the other hand, metal roofs offer a sleek and modern appearance. They are available in various finishes, including painted or coated options. Metal roofs can enhance the curb appeal of contemporary or industrial-style homes.


When it comes to installation, asphalt shingle roofs are relatively easier and quicker to install compared to metal roofs. They require less specialized equipment and can be installed by most roofing contractors. Asphalt shingles are also lightweight, which makes them easier to handle during the installation process. On the other hand, metal roofs require more expertise and specialized tools for installation. The process may take longer and may require professional metal roofing contractors. However, the durability and longevity of metal roofs make the installation process worth the effort.


Maintenance is an important aspect to consider when choosing a roofing material. Asphalt shingle roofs require regular maintenance to ensure their longevity. They may need periodic inspections, repairs, and replacement of damaged shingles. Additionally, they may be prone to moss or algae growth, which requires cleaning. On the other hand, metal roofs are relatively low maintenance. They do not require frequent repairs or replacement. Metal roofs are resistant to moss, algae, and other organic growth. Occasional inspections and cleaning are usually sufficient to keep them in good condition.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is becoming increasingly important for homeowners. Asphalt shingle roofs have a lower inherent energy efficiency compared to metal roofs. They can absorb and retain heat, which can increase the cooling load on your home during hot summer months. On the other hand, metal roofs have excellent reflective properties. They can reflect a significant amount of solar radiation, reducing the heat absorbed by your home. This can result in lower cooling costs and increased energy efficiency.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to the environmental impact, both asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs have their pros and cons. Asphalt shingles are made from petroleum-based materials and are not considered environmentally friendly. They contribute to landfill waste when they need to be replaced. On the other hand, metal roofs are highly recyclable. They can be made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan. Metal roofs also have a longer lifespan, reducing the need for frequent replacements and further reducing waste.


Noise can be a concern for homeowners, especially in areas with heavy rainfall or hailstorms. Asphalt shingle roofs provide better sound insulation compared to metal roofs. The multiple layers of asphalt shingles can help dampen the noise from rain or hail. On the other hand, metal roofs can be noisier during heavy rain or hailstorms. However, with proper insulation and underlayment, the noise can be significantly reduced, making metal roofs a viable option for homeowners.


Choosing between an asphalt shingle roof and a metal roof depends on various factors such as budget, durability, aesthetics, and energy efficiency. Asphalt shingle roofs are more affordable and offer a wide range of design options. They are durable but may require more maintenance over time. On the other hand, metal roofs have a higher upfront cost but offer exceptional durability, low maintenance, and energy efficiency. They also have a modern and sleek appearance. Consider your specific needs and preferences to make the best choice for your home.

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