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What’s the Difference Between Asphalt and Metal Shingles?

No one really wants to re-shingle their home, but this is something that will occur eventually as shingles’ average lifespan is normally around 14-20 years.
5-2 Roof Shingels
There are pros and cons for the type of shingles you can put on your roof. Pick the right ones for your geographical location, budget and style.

However, time is not the only thing to consider when it is time to re-shingle your roof. How do you decide what type of shingles to use? We’ll help you decide by pointing out some key differences, but first let’s look at signs of worn out shingles.

Signs it is Time to Replace the Roof

  • When you look up at your roof and notice a lot of dark patches on the light shingles or light patches on the dark patches, this indicates that there is a loss of granules which protects the roof and shingles from the UV rays.  
  • If you see curling shingles on your roof, this is a sign it is time to re-shingle. This is caused from the shingles drying up and shrinking.
  • Missing shingles. When the shingles curl, they will eventually blow away.
  • Lots of moss on the roof means it is time to replace the shingles. The moss can damage the shingles and is indicative of excess moisture.

Metal Shingles

These shingles can be expensive but there are some advantages. The shingles can increase the value of your home and save money on your energy bills as they will reflect the heat. Metal shingles have a life span of around 80 years.

There are some negatives to metal shingles. If you live in a rainy area they can be very loud, although you can add insulation in order to quiet things down. Although the shingles last longer, individual ones may need to be replaced once in a while and it can be hard to find matching shingles.

Asphalt Shingles

These shingles are cheaper than the metal ones and there are a variety of colours and designs to choose among. Being fire resistant and having an increase in resistance to hail are great features too.

There are some negatives to asphalt shingles. One of the biggest drawbacks is unlike metal shingles, asphalt will draw heat into the home. This is good in colder climates but can add costs to your energy bill by increased AC use during warm months. Asphalt tiles can pool water, and this can cause mildew and moss to grow, decreasing the lifespan.

Side by side comparison

  • Lifespan: metal shingles last around 80 years, asphalt 14 to 20 years
  • Energy saving: metal shingles will reduce costs, asphalt is better for drawing warmth
  • Aesthetic: metal shingles have limited options, asphalt has many options
  • Replacement:  metal shingles are hard to match, asphalt is easy to replace and match colours
  • Cost: metal shingles are expensive to install but are long lasting, asphalt is cheaper but needs replacing sooner

When replacing your shingles, the choice between metal and asphalt shingles is a personal one. When choosing, look at the options available including appearance, upfront costs and future costs.

CPC-logoThis story was made possible by our Community Partners Program. Thank you A. Clark Roofing for helping to expand local news coverage in Alberta. Learn more.