Should I Roof My Home with Metal Roofing or Shingles?

Have you wondered which is better - steel roofing or traditional shingles? Here are some facts to consider when choosing a new roof surface.


Snow Slides off a Metal Roof

Usually, this is true. However, only roof pitches greater than a 5 pitch allow snow loads to slide off. Be sure your roof is an 8 pitch or greater for metal roofing. Metal roofing will leak below a 3 pitch if a water and ice shield is not used on the roof deck. Special sealants are required on many lower pitch installations.

Valleys and Flashings

In a snow belt region, metal roofing is not recommended where the building has valleys. Ice can form under the metal roofing edges and tear the steel up from its fasteners and cause leaks. Shingles are superior where valleys are present.

Metal is Lighter than Shingles

Metal roofing is lighter than shingles per square foot, so it can be applied over an existing shingled roof. This is not as leak proof as a strip and re-roof using water and ice membrane and shingles, however.

Parts and Pieces

There are many more components to a metal roofing installation than the same in shingles. Ridge cap, side wall flashings, rake trim, fascia, skylight kits, and fasteners are all particular to a metal roof. Shingles don't need specialized manufacturer specific components, and are readily available.

Ease of Installation

Metal is easily installed on steeper roofs with no valleys and few penetrations. Shingles are more easily applied on a variety of residential roofs and give a more leak protection in the long run.

Comparing Warranties

Many shingle manufacturers are offering warranty lengths comparable to metal roofing manufacturers, but the fine print with metal often reveals many caveats, so read the warranty before assuming it will outlast a quality shingle. My experience is that it won't.

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