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Should You Choose a Metal or Asphalt Roof?

If you're thinking of replacing your roof, you might be asking yourself, "What are the differences between metal and asphalt roofs?" We've got the answers to your questions and more to help you make your decision.

Metal vs. Asphalt

Asphalt roofs are the most traditional choice for a few reasons: they're cheaper, provide relatively adequate protection, and come in a variety of styles to match every home. Asphalt is not as durable as other roofing options, so it requires somewhat more maintenance and replacement after a certain period of time.

However, metal roofs last much longer. Available in various colors, metal roofing provides outstanding protection for your home. Metal roofs are generally more costly than asphalt, but they require considerably less maintenance, actually saving you money down the road.

Metal Roofing

As we said, metal roofs are preferred because of their durability and specialized style. Let's look at the advantages and drawbacks of metal and asphalt roofs.

Metal Roof Advantages

Metal roofs are built to last using material that is strong and resistant to damage. They require very little maintenance and don't require replacing until 40-70 years after installation — that's two or three times longer than the average lifetime of an asphalt roof.

Metal roofs are also very lightweight, making them easier to ship and install, and puts less stress on the structure of your home. Not only will your roof last longer, but your house will benefit from a metal roof, too.

The most significant advantage of a metal roof is its energy efficiency. Metal naturally reflects most of the UV rays rather than absorbing them the way asphalt does. It keeps your home cooler in the summer and will save you money on your energy bills. Additionally, metal roofs can be made from recycled materials to keep from contributing to oil and petroleum consumption like asphalt. When a metal roof does eventually need to be replaced, the metal can be 100% recycled.

Metal roofs are available in an array of colors. If metal is the look you want to choose for your home, there's a shade out there that will work perfectly.

Metal Roof Disadvantages

Because of the higher cost of materials and experienced labor to install them, metal roofs require a more considerable investment upfront. If you want a high-quality metal roof that will allow you to reap the energy-saving benefits, it's essential to hire a certified installer who is qualified and comfortable using metal as a roofing material. If you can manage the initial investment, your metal roof will last you a long time and require minimal maintenance, saving you money over time.

Metal roofs are visually unique. They have a specific look that might not work with every home design, and it's not always desirable to stand out in your neighborhood if you want to sell down the road. Look at other homes in your area for reference to determine what roofs are the most attractive and will provide the highest return on investment.

Sometimes, metal roofs can be more clamorous than asphalt roofs, in that you can hear heavy rain or hail when it hits the surface. While some enjoy the sound of the rain on a metal roof, many prefer to be shielded from the elements both physically and audibly. Don't let this dissuade you. Qualified roofers can offer solutions to insulate the roof and minimize noise.

Asphalt Roofing

Asphalt is a popular roofing choice because of its low cost and aesthetic options. Check out what other reasons there might be behind choosing asphalt as opposed to a metal roof.

Asphalt Roof Advantages

Asphalt shingles are much more affordable upfront, both in materials and installation costs. For the price, they offer reasonable protection and can last anywhere from 10-15 years. Many think this length of time for the price point makes asphalt the best value — particularly if they don't plan to stay in their home forever and delay the new owner's replacement.

Asphalt is an economical material and, thanks to advances in shingle design, can be very attractive. Asphalt shingles are extremely customizable featuring endless combinations of colors and textures. Architectural shingles are a more expensive option that offer more dimensions through multiple layers. An asphalt roof will blend well with the other homes in your area and can be made to match the desired look and design of any home.

During the winter months, asphalt is naturally insulating and will help your home retain heat. It absorbs UV rays and could save you money on your heating bill.

Asphalt Roof Disadvantages

Same as an asphalt driveway or parking lot, an asphalt roof can get very hot, causing your home to heat up as well. This means you could spend more on your monthly energy bills for air conditioning, though most quality asphalt roofing products these days offer cool roofing options to moderate that factor.

Asphalt also doesn't handle temperature fluctuations well. Too many quick changes in air temperature can cause cracking. UV rays from the sun can also cause damage to asphalt shingles, meaning your roof will require frequent maintenance year after year, especially if you live in a place with a variable climate.

Asphalt roofs usually need to be replaced entirely after a decade or so. If your roof requires repair, it can lower your resale value. Having a more durable roof is more attractive to potential buyers and could increase your return on investment.

Asphalt is not an eco-friendly roofing option, either. Asphalt is made from petroleum, a refined form of crude oil. Its cost depends on the fluctuations in the oil market, which is harmful to the environment. It's also difficult to dispose of individual shingles or an entire roof when they need to be replaced. As most of the components cannot be reused or recycled, they end up in landfills.

Is Metal or Asphalt Better For Your Home

When contemplating the difference between metal and asphalt roofing, you'll want to consider factors like cost, durability, and customization. Your roof has to work for you but also work with the style of your home. Asphalt roofs are probably the most common choice in your neighborhood because of their cost point. If you decide to go with asphalt shingles, your home will blend in with the rest of your street. If you choose to install a metal roof, your home may stand out, and you can watch your neighbors replace their roofs while yours stands firm, as metal roofs are much more durable than asphalt.

It's up to you which you'd prefer to choose the popular asphalt or the unique metal look. Whether you've decided on a metal or asphalt shingle roof for your Montana home, America's Choice Inc is here to help. Get in touch with us today to discuss roofing options for your Montana home.