What Are the Benefits of Metal Roofs vs. Asphalt Shingles or Concrete Tiles?

There are so many different ways to cover a roof the world over. Some of the oldest methods of covering a roof (e.g., metal sheets, tin sheets, ceramic, etc.) are still in use today. Others are newer, spanning the last 100 years or less and include asphalt shingles. If you are preparing to replace your roof, you have a lot of options to consider and a lot of comparisons to make.

Basic Asphalt Shingles and Premium Asphalt Shingles

Basic asphalt shingles are sold in strips and bundles of strips from home improvement stores. If they are just the no-frills kind, they are the cheapest way to cover and protect your roof and your home. They usually last between ten and twenty years, and then you have to replace your roof again. 

If you choose to purchase a roofing system that contains engineered asphalt shingles with a ton of bells and whistles, you get shingles that can last up to thirty years (sometimes a few years more). They are engineered to withstand intense windstorms, hurricane winds, tornadoes, hail, etc. These shingles will cost you double, triple, or quadruple the cost of the most basic shingles, but what they are capable of doing for your roof and your home makes it worth it. 

Metal Roofs 

Metal as tin protects the roofs of shanties and other homes in other countries. Here in the U.S., metal has been constructed and formed for homes as one of the longest lasting materials money can buy. In fact, many installers and roofing contractors that sell metal roofs back these roofs with a fifty-year or more guaranty and warranties. You can’t get that on asphalt shingles anywhere.

The metal roofs are also designed to look any way you want. Metal is made to look like asphalt shingles, slatted metal roofing, and other types of roofing material is what makes this type of roofing so versatile. Metal roofing adds an extra layer of protection, allowing snow and ice to just slide off the roof and keep more heat inside the home. 

Additionally, metal roofing is fire-resistant and hail-resistant.  The rest of your home could be damaged in a fire, but the roof would be left unscathed. Some homeowner’s insurance companies will give you a break on your insurance if they know you have a metal roof.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete tiles are exactly that- concrete. They tend to lend an old world European charm to roofs and last just as long as some Europe’s oldest houses. Next to slate tiles, concrete tiles (which are manufactured, not cut from slate stone) last almost the same length of time at about 100-plus years. You can select your concrete tiles from lots of different colors and styles. 

The tiles are very easy to install, although it takes longer to install this kind of roof than asphalt shingles or metal roofing. Every tile has to be “hung” from supports installed on the roof. The support framework has a waterproof membrane installed underneath that and over the decking. Every tile is hung separately and layered from the edge of the roof to the ridgepoles. 

As concrete goes, water, ice, snow, fire, wind, hail, rain, and any other manner of violent storm activity doesn’t have a chance. Nothing dents them, cracks them, or causes them to come loose. They are totally low maintenance, often resulting in your gutters needing more maintenance than the concrete roofing tiles themselves.

To top it all off, concrete tiles are the most energy efficient option you can buy. The only downside is that they are not inexpensive, but considering the rest of the benefits (e.g., never having to replace your roof for your entire lifetime!) you might not mind the cost.

Overall Takeaway on Your Options

If you want affordability, durability, style, and strength, choose the metal roof. It is the middle ground for cost. When you think about how long you might live in this house, it really doesn’t seem worth it to have a roof that lasts more than fifty years, and that is right where the metal roof falls. You get everything you could want in a roof without the expense that concrete tiles would bring. Some metal roofs even offer a transfer of the lifetime warranties and the original guarantee. 

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