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Metal vs. Asphalt Roofs: Which Is Better?

There are pros and cons to each, and it's important to discuss your needs with your roofer before you make a decision. This article will provide a basic outline of four key things you should consider so you can go into the discussion a bit more knowledgeable.

According to the investment website The Motley Fool, replacing your roof can have a 107% return on investment. It’s an impressive statistic, but replacing your roof can be a bit overwhelming. For one, there are multiple roofing materials to choose from. You can use tried-and-true asphalt roofing or go with a more modern metal roof. There are pros and cons to each, and it’s important to discuss your needs with your roofer before you make a decision. This article will provide a basic outline of four key things you should consider so you can go into the discussion a bit more knowledgeable.

1. Longevity and Durability

Asphalt roofs are a staple of American households, being the number one choice for well over a century. They didn’t reach the top spot by being flimsy and prone to early degradation. The average asphalt roof will last from 10 to 20 years. Investing in higher quality shingles and regular maintenance can increase the lifespan to over 25 years.

Metal roofs, however, take the cake for this category. Metal roofs can last up to 50 years or more. While asphalt roofs do a noble job protecting homeowners from the elements, high winds and torrential rains can cause problems like missing shingles and leaks. Metal roofs use a lot fewer seams and are much sturdier against harsh storms. The only damage you really need to worry about is the roof denting from falling debris or hail. In terms of longevity and durability, metal roofs reign supreme.

2. Contractor Pool

No, we’re not talking about a pool party that’s exclusively for sweaty tradespeople. The contractor pool is the number of contractors who can help with installation, maintenance, and repairs for your roof. As mentioned above, asphalt roofs dominate the market. You will have your pick of the litter when it comes to finding an asphalt roofing contractor. In fact, the options are a bit dizzying.

Metal roofers, on the other hand, are a bit harder to come by. The material is being used more and more, especially for commercial properties, but the contractor pool for metal roofs just isn’t as large as asphalt roofs. You may be thinking, “Well, why do I need a metal roofer? A roof’s a roof!” But the truth is, it’s not quite that simple. Metal roofs and asphalt roofs are similar in that they protect your home and insulate energy, but they are two very different materials. If you hire an unfamiliar roofer to work on your metal roof, you may end up with more problems than you began with. Hiring a reputable metal roofer is very important for homeowners and businesses that have metal roofs.

3. Heat Efficiency

Once again, metal roofs come out head and shoulders above asphalt roofs for heat efficiency. Metal roofs are reflective by nature and as a result, they won’t absorb as much of the sun’s heat. That means less heat is transferred to your home. What’s more, some metal roofs benefit from heat emission, meaning they actively expel heat from the roof to keep your home cool. If you’re looking to save on energy bills, a metal roof can help.

That isn’t to say asphalt shingles can’t be energy efficient. Today the energy efficiency of roofing shingles will vary within the same material. You can invest in more energy-efficient shingles that will help keep your home temperature nice and cool during the summer months. However, it still doesn’t outshine metal roofs.

4. Affordability

At this stage, you may be thinking to yourself, “Who cares if I have fewer contractors to choose from? Metal roofs sound great!” It’s true: metal roofs trump asphalt roofs in terms of durability, longevity, and energy efficiency. However, that all comes at an increased price. It’s true that you can make your money back due to higher energy efficiency, less maintenance, and fewer repairs. However, asphalt roofs are much more affordable upfront, and that’s another reason why they dominate the roofing market. That’s not to say that asphalt roofs are cheap, either. Overall, though, if you have a tight budget, asphalt roofs are the way to go

Whether you’re looking for a metal or asphalt roof, the quality of the roofer you hire will make a big difference. If you need a high-quality roofer in Olympia, WA, or the surrounding areas, turn to The Roof Doctor. We can install, maintain, and repair metal, asphalt, tile, wood shake, and more!

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