While asphalt shingles continue to be one of the most popular residential roofing materials available, metal is another option well worth considering. Each roof type has their own strong and weak points homeowners should be aware of. Before you jump into replacing your roof, take a few minutes to learn more about these two roof types to determine which option is best for you.

1. Durability

Metal roof options are known for their resiliency against the elements, high winds, and California storms. They are built to withstand winds of up 140 mph or higher.

Many of the highest quality asphalt shingles on the market today also hold up pretty well against weathering and inclement weather; they are rated to withstand winds between 60 and 120 mph.

Ultimately, the quality of the materials you choose will significantly impact the durability of your roof. 

2. Lifespan

Asphalt shingles tend to need replacing after 20 years. Most metal roof systems will last for up to 70 years.

Regularly scheduled roof inspections and preventative maintenance routines can drastically extend the lifespan of any roof. It is essential to address roof issues as soon as possible to protect your investment for many years to come. Any unrepaired damage can easily allow moisture to enter and undermine your roof’s integrity.

3. Aesthetic look

Metal and asphalt roof systems have their own distinct aesthetic appeal. Metal rooftops come in copper, tin, steel, or aluminum and can be painted in many attractive colors. Asphalt shingles tend to be more popular among homeowners due to the wide selection of various colors and designs.

Take the time to think about what material would best accentuate your home’s unique design.

4. Energy efficiency

Metal rooftops are excellent at reflecting sunlight which can help reduce cooling costs over time. Asphalt shingles are available in lighter colors or with reflective coatings to help reduce heat build-up in the roof.

Before making a decision, be sure to consider the Energy-Star rating of the roof material. Discuss your options with a roofing professional for advice about what materials are best for improving your home’s energy efficiency.

5. Cost

Your initial investment expense should be weighed against expected lifespan, future energy savings, and maintenance requirements to generate an accurate cost estimate. In many cases, spending more upfront can ensure you save on repair costs, maintenance, and electric bills down the road.

  • 3-tab asphalt shingles tend to be the cheapest upfront, but have the shortest lifespan.
  • Architectural shingles cost more than typical 3-tab asphalt shingles and last slightly longer.
  • Metal materials cost more than asphalt shingles but have a significantly longer lifespan and lower maintenance needs.
  • Copper is one of the more expensive metal options.

6. Length of install             

Metal can be more challenging to work with than asphalt shingles. This makes it important to work with a professional roofer who regularly installs metal roofs. On average, it can take anywhere from a day to a full week to install a new roof. A home’s size and design will influence roof installation timelines. Your contractor will provide an accurate estimate of how long the job should take before getting started.

7. Maintenance

Ongoing maintenance should be conducted on both metal and asphalt rooftops to keep them in optimal condition. Some essential maintenance tasks include:

Be sure to take advantage of any maintenance plans offered by your roofer. A lack of maintenance will accelerate the aging of your roof and leave your home vulnerable to more problems going forward.

8. Mix it up

Custom residential roof systems may use any combination of asphalt shingles and metal to create the desired appearance. Consider adding metal accents to an asphalt roof to help your home stand out. Professionals will be happy to help you develop a unique design to best suit your taste. There’s no limit to how a roof can be designed, so take the time to explore different ideas before you decide.

For more than two decades, Straight Line Roofing & Construction has completed over 11,000 projects throughout California. Our roofing experts are among the 1% of U.S. contractors certified as a Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor; in addition, we hold top GAF and CertainTeed certifications. We offer lifetime warranties on all roofing materials and comprehensive workmanship warranties to protect your investment. Call us to discuss metal and asphalt roofing options for your California home. We will guide you through the installation process and answer any questions you have along the way.