The Differences Between Metal and Asphalt Roofs

When it comes time to repair or replace your existing roof, you may feel a sense of being overwhelmed. With all of the different roofing options available now, including composite & synthetic, asphalt, and metal, you are sure to find one that fits your needs and budget. To help you determine which roof will be the best fit for your situation, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of the two most popular roof replacement choices – metal and asphalt shingles.

What you need to know about metal roofing

Metal roofing does not just mean one type of roofing material. One of the biggest differences between the types of metal roofing is the type of metal used. Some of the most common ones include steel, aluminum, copper, corrugated metal, and metal slate roofing. Secondly, metal roofing is more common than you may think. This is especially true because of the harsh winters of southeastern Wisconsin.

Advantages of metal roofing


Metal roofs tend to be more durable compared to other roofing materials. They are great at standing up to Mother Nature. This means metal roofs are better at protecting against heavy rain, strong winds, and extreme cold. Additionally, they have a longer lifespan, 40-70 years in many cases. 


Another benefit of metal roofing is the material is very lightweight. First, during the installation process of a new metal roof, our installers have stated it is much easier to handle or carry up. Compared to other roofing materials, this is among the lighter sides. Furthermore, the lightness of the metal means you are not putting extra strain on the home’s frame. As a result, this may help preserve the integrity of the building.

Many Choices for Looks

You won’t find a shortage of styles and colors when it comes to metal roofs. The metal used in these roofs can be panels, tiles or even shingles. Compared to asphalt shingles, you can customize your roof components to match the look of wood.

What you need to know about asphalt roofing

When you think of a new roof, the first thing you probably think of is an asphalt roof. It’s the traditional choice for many homeowners. Easy to find, easy to install and easy to maintain are the big selling points. 

Advantages of asphalt roofing

Quicker Installation

Compared to the complicated nature of metal roofs, asphalt roofing is much easier to install. In some cases, shingles can be installed in one day or two. Paired with the fact metal roofing has to be more precise, the installation of asphalt roofing is faster.

Easier to Replace

As mentioned above, metal roofs are labor-intensive. Many shingles come pre-packed meaning they only need to be nailed to the deck. Ultimately, if Mother Nature strikes and one of your shingles comes loose, it is much easier to affix a new shingle on your existing roof.


Asphalt roofs can cost about half of the total of metal roofs. This roof type is a crowd favorite for homeowners. Similarly, it is widely available meaning it is cheaper to install. In addition, many contractors, such as ourselves, know how to install. This drives down the cost of asphalt roofing.

Disadvantages of metal roofing


Occasionally, during a hail session, you can expect to hear the sound tapping on your new metal roof. Options exist to fix this including adding extra insulation. A good quality about metal roofs is they seal out water very well.

Drawbacks of Insurance

Some qualified homeowners could get a break on their insurance premiums for having a metal roof. On the other hand, your insurance could also increase. The reason being, the roof is worth more and this would make the cost of replacements higher for the insurance company. 

Labor Intensive

Metal roofs have a much smaller margin for error. Compared to installing an asphalt roof, the room to make mistakes with a metal roof is much smaller. Our expertly trained craftsmen are trained to install metal roofs with the most attention to detail.

Disadvantages of asphalt roofing

Heavier Weight

Asphalt roof shingles carry a heavy weight. Even though debatable “advances” in technology have led to a reduction in the total weight, asphalt shingles are heavier compared to metal panels. This weight can add additional stress to the home’s foundation which may cause issues over time.

Fire Resistance

A variety of asphalt shingle manufacturers have their shingles rated Class A for fire safety. That being said, asphalt is still a flammable material. This means if a flame comes in contact with your roof, it could possibly catch on fire.

Environment Safety

It’s no surprise that asphalt shingles last much shorter than metal roofs. The nature of asphalt roofing can pollute the air. This is because asphalt shingles are petroleum-based meaning they depend on fossil fuels. 

Which One is Better?

Asphalt roofs aren’t better than metal roofs, and metal roofs aren’t better than asphalt roofs. Both are great options. The choice of your new roof depends on your specific situation. To learn more or ask questions about our roofing services, contact the experts at Semper Fi Roofing & Exteriors.

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