Why Metal Roofs Last Much Longer Than Their Asphalt Counterparts

Durability is unarguably one of the most significant advantages of a metal roof. Nothing can beat a steel roof for longevity. How come metal roofing last so long?

Surveys published by both MetalConstruction.org and Buildings.com, apart from showing the durability of existing metal roofs, provide cost comparisons too.

Age Vs. Cost

The typical metal roof carries a warranty of 40 years, much longer than a similar traditional roof. Findings by the Metal Construction Association show that metal roofs last for 60 years and longer.

Compare that with 20 years for a single-ply roof and 23 years for an asphalt shingle roof. The double lifespan is quite impressive, but it does not address cost, which is the biggest concern.

A survey by Ducker Research Company showed that a metal roof’s lifespan averaged approximately 30 Cents per square foot. The same company found the comparative lifecycle costs for single-ply and asphalt roofs to be 57 Cents and 37 Cents per square foot respectively.

The survey further determined that the cost of a metal roof was 2.5% of the total installed cost, while single-ply was approximately 19% and asphalt was about 38.5% of the total cost.

You need to know the difference in costs, as knowing how long something lasts is not enough.

Why does metal roofing have a long life?

Metal is a durable material as we stated before. However, durability by itself cannot account for longevity. A metal roof is not just a series of steel panels; it is an entire system comprising framing members and clips, all of which determine the longevity of the roof.

Roof clips leave enough “wiggle room” for the panels to shift with the contraction and expansion caused by temperature changes, every day and from season to season and they hold the roof panels to the structural members securely too.

Further improvements to longevity include heavy-duty fasteners and sealants at the seams. Factory punching makes sure that the panels align properly and alleviates the danger of corrosion at the hole edges. Splices are staggered to prevent leak points and completely exposed seams. Roof openings and curbs are factory engineered too. To eliminate the potential for leaks the fasteners are concealed inside the curbs.

Other reasons for durability

Metal is much more resistant to the environment than asphalt and other conventional roofing materials. It can withstand severe weather conditions and high winds that would tear apart an asphalt roof. Metal is also impact resistant, so even a hail storm does not damage it.

As metal is resistant to fire too, there are little chances that the house will burn if lightning strikes a home with a metal roof. In such a scenario, the electrical charge is spread over the roof. The metal is also more than able to withstand the lightning bolt’s heat at the point of contact.

Metal is resistant to seismic activity too. In such a scenario, the metal may buckle, but it will not shatter or splinter. Another important aspect is that metal is pest proof.

Environmental impact of steel roofing

Metal is highly sustainable. Most steel available today contains a high portion of recycled steel. Metal is 100% recyclable, which is not the case with asphalt shingles, which need to be sent to a landfill when removed. Metal roofs, being durable, do not require frequent replacement, diminishing fuel usage and pollution from heavy equipment manufacturers.

Light color coated metal roofs conserve energy in two ways due to their emissivity and reflectivity ratings. Air conditioners require less effort when heat is reflected away from a building. Heat reflected back into the building keeps the rooms warm and cost without inflating energy consumption by heaters.

Metal roofs offer another way to keep the indoor environment comfortable as they can be more densely insulated than traditional roofs. Metal roofs facilitate mounting of unique skylights and solar panels, as they require fewer penetrations as well as decrease the amount of cut edge exposed to corrosive environment.

Other benefits of metal roofs

Steel roofs help you save on insurance and improves your property value. Insurance companies think about a metal roof as a better risk and charge lower premiums because of the metal’s durability and resistivity to fire. It is also possible to change the texture and color of metal roofing materials to make them look like any other material.

Ensure a long life for your metal roof

Enhance the durability of your metal roof by cleaning the accumulated debris and dust annually to prevent water accumulation. You should replace corroded fasteners as well to increase the longevity of your roof. Check the shape of the flashing around the roof penetrations and repaint dents and scratches.

Installed and maintained correctly, a metal roof provides years of service and costs less in the long run. Ensure your metal roof lasts for a minimum of 40 years by taking appropriate maintenance steps as well as adding the proper flashing at penetration points.

The higher initial cost of a metal roof offers more return on investment in the long run, compared to traditional roofs. Savings on wear and tear on heating and air conditioning units, utilities, as well as savings on insurance premiums, make metal roofs the ideal choice. Making asphalt roofs look like a bad deal.

Save money, conserve energy, and be environmentally friendly by opting for steel for your roof the next time you need a reroofing done.

Vancouver Metal Roofing

Cooper Roofing Vancouver
600-1285 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 3X8
(604) 674-0319

Shingle Roofing vs. Metal Roofing: Which is Better for Vancouver Homes?

Depending on who you ask, you will get a different answer when it comes to the best roofing material. A group of production builders will likely say asphalt because they are concerned with function and what looks good. A residential architect will tell you metal because they are interested in what is aesthetically pleasing.

As for a homeowner, they will most likely tell you the material they have, be it metal, asphalt, slate or concrete. Homeowners are more concerned with price than the material. As long as it does its job and the roof functions correctly for a decent time, the actual material matters little to them.

A roofing contractor will be the person to give you the best answer because they work with all materials. While metal is good and looks nice, a contractor will confirm that there is nothing better than the shingle. While metal roofing will last significantly longer and is relatively free of maintenance, it also costs 2 to 3 times more than the shingle. Shingle today comes with fantastic warranties and is much easier to find, install and maintain.

As for a homeowner, you can see the benefits of both metal and shingle so how do you decide. Both materials offer a variety of looks and styles, and for the most part, quality will depend significantly on the roofing product line you go with. Will shingle last long enough or is it worth the additional money to get a longer lasting metal roof? The trade-off is not as for simple as it may seem so thankfully the outline below can help you come to a decision.

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

Low Cost: The lower cost of asphalt is easily the best selling point, with the average roof setting you back only $3.00 or $44.00 per square foot. You can have a high looking roof even when you have a budget.

Easy Installation: Shingles are the most comfortable material to install. The majority of the time the old materials can be stripped, and the house can be re-roofed in the same day. DIY severe homeowners have even taken the task on themselves, although because of security and warranty issues this is not recommended.

Plenty of Styles: Shingles come in plenty of styles including the primary three-tab option for those on a budget and several fancy styles that mimic wood shakes and slate tiles. The basic three-tab versions are the most popular in the roofing industry however recent trends have shown increased interest for the higher-end laminates.

Easy to Repair: Just like with installation, asphalt shingles are the most straightforward roofing material to repair when they get damaged.

Warranties: The high-end laminate shingles are coming with better warranties these days to rival the metal materials. So long as you work with a certified roofing contractor, you will get a 50-year non-prorated warranty. This means 100% of the roof will be replaced should there be any defect within this 50 year period. Additionally, you get a 15-year warranty for 130mph winds and 10 to 15 years warranty for any streaking of the shingles.

Top Performance Record: Asphalt shingles have been used in the industry for over 100 years so are trusted and relied upon. Most come with a decent warranty, depending on the product line. Several brands are fire-rated and require minimal maintenance. You will also find options that meet Energy Star requirements and are classified as for a refreshing roof by federal standards, which can benefit you as a tax credit.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

Weight: The majority of shingles will weigh between 200 and 400 pounds, but the higher-end laminate versions can get close to 500 pounds per square.

Concerns with Longevity: The performance of any shingled roof is connected to the availability of a well-ventilated attic. If your attic space is poorly ventilated, you can lose numerous years of the life of your shingle roofing. This can also void your warranty. It is essential for a shingle roof to be ventilated with a static vent system and a balanced intake system. Homeowners and some roofing contractors have been known to ignore the intake system, and the only outcome of this is a roof that will fail.

Recycling: Today’s society places such importance on recycling, but the asphalt industry is relatively new to this scene. The waste from shingle roofing makes up about 8% of the total building-related waste count. Manufacturers are working hard to develop ways to improve the recycling uses of asphalt, looking into reusing materials for pavements, new roofing, and road or ground covering.

Severe Weather: While asphalt does provide good uplift protection, it does not always hold up well in severe weather conditions such as hail, high winds or accumulated ice or snow.

No Added Value: Due to the low cost and longevity issues, asphalt is considered to be a maintenance issue, so it does not add any extra value to your home.

Pros of Metal Roofing

Added House Value: Adding a metal roof is considered an upgrade that will not need replacement. This makes it very attractive to new buyers since it is one less thing for them to worry about.

Environmentally Friendly: Metal roofing is one of the most energy-efficient types available, providing 60% or more reflective power than shingles. Not only will your house stay more cooling, but the product is recyclable.

Lightweight: Metal is the lightest material you can select for a roof. Even though the weight does vary across materials, they are up to 40% lighter than shingles.

Longevity: Metal roofing delivers weather resistance and durability. The average metal roof will last around 70 years, but with care and maintenance, they have been rumored to last close to 100 years. Metal roofing does not have the same susceptibility as shingles do when it comes to ventilation. You certainly need to have working ventilation for your attic, but the steel is not as heavily impacted as asphalt shingles are.

Warranty: Most metal manufacturers extend 35 to 50-year warranties.

Cons of Metal Roofing

High Cost: Choosing a metal roof will have you spending two to three times more than a shingle roof. You are quickly looking at $6 to $14 per square foot, even though the price has come down a little in recent years. Be prepared to pay even more for zinc, stainless steel or copper roofing.

Installation Difficulty: Installation will require a professional roofing contractor because metal roofs are difficult and tedious to work with. It takes more time for the roof installation when using metal materials. The complication and additional time required contributes to the higher pricing.

Expansion and Contraction: Metal is known for expanding and contracting over time, and when it comes to roofing, this can compromise long-term performance. This can be avoided with proper installation.

Protection Measures: Winter months cause ice sheets on metal roofs, and when this slide down, you better make sure nothing is in the way. Cars have been crushed and hot tubs shattered. For protection, metal roofs often come with ice guards and railings that are very unsightly. While they are necessary, it takes away from the modern, streamlined look you may have been going for.

Roofers Vancouver

Cooper Roofing Vancouver
1285 W Broadway #600, Vancouver, BC V6H 3X8
(604) 674-0319