Advantages and Disadavantages Of Asphalt And Metal Roofing: Part 1

The roof is one of the most important components of a house. It protects the house from hazards such as thunderstorms, heavy rainfall and winds. A leaky roof could cost a homeowner a pile of money in direct and ancillary repairs.

The choice of the best roofing material is influenced by personal preferences as well as other factors such as cost, function, aesthetics and longevity. It also depends on the perspective of who is being asked. If one is buying a home, they are likely to be more interested in the price and the functionality, not the material. A production builder wants want the roof to first of all be affordable and then to function well and look good. An architect will also want a well-functioning roof-but most importantly it should be aesthetically pleasing.

Asphalt is the most commonly used roofing material. An asphalt roof is affordable and easy to install and maintain. Asphalt shingles come in various colors and this makes them easy on the eye.They come with a warranty of about 20 to 30 years depending on the particular product line used. But how long they last may depend on how they are maintained and the geographical location of the house.

Despite the popularity of asphalt, metal roofing has started to become increasingly popular. The key reason for this is due to its longevity. A metal roof can last for up to 50 years, comes in a variety of colors (and therefore looks beautiful) and it requires little maintenance. Architects praise the material for giving a house a crisp, modern look. However these positive attributes come at a high cost, which may discourage a lot of people. Metal roofing generally costs three times as much as asphalt.

If you are a builder, it is important to evaluate the various roofing options for your customers. Below is a brief summary of the advantages and disadvantages of an asphalt roof and a metal roof:

Advantages of Asphalt Roofing:

Proven Track Record

Asphalt shingles have an excellent track record and have been used by builders for about one hundred years. Many home buyers are also comfortable with the material, which helps a lot when discussing roofing with them.


The key selling point of asphalt is its affordability. A normal three-tab shingle will cost between 100 dollars and 200 dollars for an area covering 10 feet square. This makes it ideal for entry-level, low cost housing or production housing.

Easy Installation

Asphalt is the easiest type of roofing to install. A qualified professional can even complete roofing a house in a single day. Some keen DIY (do-it-yourself) enthusiasts have been known to undertake roofing projects, but this is not recommended because of warranty concerns.


Asphalt shingles normally come with warranties of 20 to 30 years, depending on the particular product line. Many have class A fire rating and require little maintenance. There are some brands that adhere to Energy Star requirements, which can make the buyer to be eligible for tax credits.

Easy Repair

In the event that it is damaged, an asphalt roof is quite easy to repair.

Wide Range of Styles

If one is concerned about the cost, asphalt comes in a number of affordable basic designs. There are also pricier and fancy designs that look like slate or wood shakes. Most shingles are made using the three-tab design, but one can also get thicker, costlier laminates that come in a variety of colors and deep shadow lines.

Disadvantages of Asphalt roofing:

Uninspiring Colors

Even though they come in snazzy styles and colors, many builders prefer to use duller, unicolored shingles.

Weight Concerns

Whereas basic shingles are not very heavy, the expensive, textured and laminated varieties can be quite heavy.

Affected by Extreme Weather

Normally, asphalt provides good protection from the elements-but severe weather such as hailstorms may be problematic. There are special shingles that can resist adverse weather, but they cost 50% more than the standard shingles. Furthermore, asphalt roofs that lack enough sunlight are susceptible to algae, moss and mildew-which reduces their lifespan.

Longevity Issues

The warranties on asphalt roofs generally cover a long time, but the shingles need to be maintained well and have a properly-ventilated roof deck.

Recycling Problems

Only a small percentage of the disposed asphalt shingles are recycled. The rest remain as shingle waste, which is an ecological hazard.

Check back next week for Part 2 of our discussion!

Rogers Builders specializes in new construction, remodeling, residential and commercial building projects, and more. We guarantee satisfaction and back our work with our years of experience in the business. We have small-town values with big-town quality. Give us a call and we’ll help you with your next project.