Metal vs. Shingle Roofs — Which Is Best for Your Home?

When you need a new roof for your home in San Antonio, TX, the choices can be a bit overwhelming. Whether your house is new or you are re-roofing an older home, having to balance the options between style, durability, cost, and installation — you may find yourself second-guessing your instincts.

While shingles have been and continue to be the most popular roofing material in America, metal roofs have seen a growth in popularity in recent years as consumers lean more towards style and durability. 

Does this mean it’s the right choice for you? Choosing between the two can be daunting — so let’s look at everything you need to know to make the right choice.

What are Shingles?

Shingle roofs can be seen in every neighborhood across America. They have dominated the industry for years, and they don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

Most shingles today are made of asphalt. The asphalt is poured onto a thin layer of fiberglass, allowing it to take shape and be reinforced. You will most commonly see asphalt shingles taking the form of a sheet, a roll, or a stack of individual shingles.


When it comes to installing roof shingles, they are traditionally nailed onto a wooden framed roof and layered one on top of another, creating a sloped effect leading to the top of the roof.

What Is a Metal Roof?

A metal roof is simply that — sheets of metal cut and formed to cover the top of your house. Most metal roofs you see today can interlock and attach to the frame of your current roof.

While materials vary, there are a few metals that are commonly used in roofs today. Steel, copper, aluminum, and zinc are widely found, and most roofers will have no trouble sourcing or installing these roofs.

Metal roofs are known to be more expensive initially than their shingle counterparts, but the lower maintenance costs and less frequent repairs they offer can even the price out fairly quickly.

Durability

The question of durability when it comes to metal roofs vs. shingles is fairly straightforward. A well-installed metal roof will most likely outlast a well-installed asphalt shingle roof. While there are always exceptions, this is the accepted knowledge.

In San Antonio, TX, metal roofs can last up to 70 years. This lifespan means if you decide to go this route, there’s a good chance your roof will outlast you. On the other hand, a shingle roof will last up to 30 years if you get a bit lucky.

Metal roofs are also the better choice for resistance to storms and weather. If a branch falls on your roof, there’s a good chance it will bounce or slide right off your metal roof. Shingles can often be ripped off in high winds, causing your roof to be susceptible to water damage and requiring repairs. 

Roofs vs. the Elements

In San Antonio, TX, we see our fair share of storms. Both roof types will fare well in our weather, but metal roofs tend to be rated higher for protection against storms than their shingle counterparts.

While most shingle roofs are limited in their warranties against the wind, one manufacturer offers an exception. GAF offers its best-selling shingles with a lifetime warranty against the wind — with no maximum wind speed limitations. 

The only stipulation is that they must be installed with GAF hardware, but a lifetime wind warranty is worth that small expense.

In general, metal roofs will keep the home cooler, which is great in the summer but could be bad in the winter. Shingle roofs tend to be the opposite, warming the home in the winter and retaining more heat during the summer.

Maintenance

Shingle roofs tend to require more maintenance than metal roofs. This disparity is due to the possibility of single shingles falling off or breaking. However, a repair to a shingle roof is often much cheaper and simpler.

If a metal roof needs to be repaired, the costs could be quite high as it could involve a very technical patch job. If a patch job isn’t possible, it could be that the entire roof or certain sections would have to be replaced with new metal.

Costs

Metal roofs will be much more expensive to install than a comparable shingle roof. The materials costs themselves will usually be about double.

In addition, metal roofs require more technical tradesmen to install. Nearly any roofing company can install a shingle roof without many issues, whereas metal roofs require more specialized knowledge.

Final Thoughts

When selecting your roof, it depends on how much you value each of the features listed above. If you want the lowest possible initial cost, shingle roofs are the best option for you. This selection also holds for the quickest and easiest repairs.

A metal roof is a great choice if you are fine spending more initially and saving on future repairs and damage. Both roofs are reliable and should last you multiple decades.

At the end of the day, the choice is up to you. There is no such thing as a bad choice, and no matter what roofing type you choose, your family will have a safe roof over their heads for years to come.

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