Asphalt shingles have been popular for years, but the developments in metal roofing create some competition. There are still many more homeowners in Pittsburgh who have asphalt shingle roofing than those with metal roofing. When thinking about a decision like a new roof, it helps to know all the pros and cons.
Pros. Asphalt shingles are cheap and popular. They are also one of the best roofing options for keeping a home warm in the winter.
Cons. Asphalt may be cheap to install, but the costs come with repairs and maintenance over the years. An asphalt roof will usually come with a 20- to 25-year warranty, meaning this is not the last roof a homeowner will buy. Asphalt absorbs heat from the sun, driving up energy bills by forcing the air conditioning to work harder. Asphalt roofs are combustible, so if a nearby house or tree is on fire, an asphalt roof will not prevent its house from catching fire as well. Asphalt shingles are susceptible to wind damage, and extreme weather can blow them, or the entire roof, off a house. When the house needs a new roof, the old asphalt roof must come off first and will end up in the landfill because asphalt shingles are petroleum-based and cannot be recycled.
Pros. The government offers tax credits and insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners with metal roofing. There is very little maintenance, so once the roof installation is complete, there are virtually no other payments to make. The warranty will last for 50 years, and this is likely the last roof a homeowner will buy. In fact, a metal roof may outlast the house. Metal roofing keeps the house cool in the summer by reflecting heat from the sun instead of absorbing it. It’s energy efficient and reduces the cost of electricity, especially in the summer. Metal roofs are flame resistant and will not catch fire. They are also able to withstand winds over 100 mph and many forms of extreme weather, such as snow. A new metal roof installs on top of the old asphalt roof with no need to send more debris to a landfill. Once the metal roof reaches the end of its lifetime it can be completely recycled.
Cons. Metal roofing comes with a higher upfront cost. It can cost twice as much as asphalt shingles to install. Metal roofs are only OK at keeping in heat during harsh Western Pennsylvania winters– unless they’re properly insulated like the ones installed by Erie Home!