Metal Roofing Pros and Cons vs. other Types of Roofing Materials

Planning on installing metal roofing or any other roofing material? We compiled a list of some of the major considerations you should take into account before making a decision, by creating a metal roofing comparison chart that reviews other metal roofing alternatives. Furthermore, the following comparison chart would allow you as well to better understand the pros and cons of metal roofing.

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Metal Roofing vs. Roof Shingles vs. Roof Tiles vs. Slate Roof

Comparison Chart: Metal Roofing vs. Roof Shingles vs. Roof Tiles vs. Slate Roof:

  Metal Roofing Roof Shingles Roof Tiles Slate Roof
Durability Any Type of Metal roof is designed to withstand extreme weather conditions, this makes it possible to last for about 30 to 50 years. Metal roof can be said to be fairly durable with high longevity, although it dependss on the exact material. Shingle (whether three-tab shingle or architectural shingles) are not very durable, though algae resistant shingles are common in humid climates to prevent staining, which makes the material last for about 15 - 20 years. Either concrete or clay roof tile tends to last longer with little or no maintenance involved, although brittle can break if not handled with utmost care. Tile roofing can stay up perfect for as long as 50 years. Slate happens to be among the most durable of all the roofing materials, not all slate is the same, some are made from quarries in Vermont, some from Pennsylvania and other states, but the best of it will last longer that the fasteners that hold it in place. Even a hundred year slate can still be recycled for reinstallation.
What is it made of Metal roofs are mostly made from steel or aluminum. They can also be made from zinc, titanium or copper (which has the ability to last up to 100 years). They are usually available in standing seam form or as corrugated metal panels. Shingle generally is made of either an organic paper mat (because of its ability to withstand cold weather and wind resistance), or fiberglass (due to its high resistance to fire and moisture) and packed in asphalt and coated with mineral granules. It can also be reinforced with organic material, wood fibers or fiber glass. The concrete tile is made from a mixture of Portland cement and sand, while the clay tile is made from natural clay fired in a kiln, and sometimes can be made from rubber. Slate is basically made from natural slate rock. They are dense, fine grained, metamorphic rocks cut in to pieces, and they come in many sizes, thickness and finishes.
Areas commonly used Common with bungalow, ranch, contemporary and cottage roofs. More than 75% of American roofs make use of asphalt shingles considering the cost, also can be used for any architectural style. Around Mediterranean, European area, mission and some contemporary and ranch-style homes. Majorly around colonial areas, French and chateau.
Cost (material prices) Cost of metal roof ranges from moderate to very expensive, that is, making use of steel is far less expensive while copper is a bit higher. For coated steel, the cost is about $250-$450 per "square" (1 square is an area of 10*10′ or 100 sq. ft.) Asphalt is somewhat expensive with $75-$125 cost/square. The cost of clay tile ranges from $800-$1000 cost/square, while the cost of concrete tile ranges from $300-$500. Slate is the most expensive of all the roofing materials listed, as it requires the involvement of specially trained installers. The cost of slate ranges from $1,100 - $2,000 cost/square.
Total Cost (with Installaion) Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate Click for Cost Estimate
Ease of Installation Installation difficulty can be said to be in a medium state for metal roofing. The Installation of shingles is not very difficult compared to metal. Installation difficulty for tile is quite low. High difficulty, as high skilled professionals are required for slate roof installation.
Care and Maintenance Metal roof maintenance cost can be high if painting is required, or when it is required to check for loose fasteners. Maintenance cost is low for both three-tab shingle and architectural shingle. Required maintenance varies from moderate to high since there might be occurrences which would involve replacing broken tiles. Moderate to high due to the cost and the need to check for loose or broken slates.
Warranty Standing seam metals can last as much as 50 years and can be installed based on high wind requirements. Paint or finish however is covered for a much shorter period of time. Three-tab shingles usually come with about 10-year limited warranty, available up to 110mph winds, while architectural shingles are usually covered by a ~25-year limited warranty, available to up to 130mph winds. Concrete or clay tile are usually covered for up to 25-50-year limited warranty, with most wind warranties up to 110mph winds. Natural slate is usually covered with up to 25 to 50-year limited warranty, with most wind warranties up to 130mph, While synthetic slate is usually covered by up to 50-year limited warranty and up to 110mph winds.
Weight 1- 1.5 lbs/Sq. ft for the standing seam type and 0.5 lbs/Sq.ft for agricultural panels/corrugated metals. 2 - 4 lbs/Sq. ft for three-day shingles and architectural shingles. 6 - 15 lbs/Sq. ft for both concrete and clay tile. 7 - 20 lbs/Sq. ft for slate generally, but about 1- 1.5 lbs/Sq.ft for synthetic slate.
Environment friendly Since metals may be made from recycled materials, they can also be recycled when replaced. Metals tend to absorb heat three times less than asphalt. Roof shingles are recyclable since they are often made from petroleum based product, and most US states now have asphalt shingle recycling programs. They are not eco-friendly due to the products that are made from. Both natural and concrete tiles require significant energy to produce, although they are made mostly from natural products, which makes them highly recyclable. Slates are made from natural materials also, hence can be recycled and quite eco-friendly.
Green Factor Metals are very green because they are highly energy efficient and friendly to the environment. Shingles are the least green roofing option. If a local source is present, clay tiles are definitely one of the greenest roofing options or choices. Concrete tile is highly energy efficient. Excellent and sustainable roofing choice, quarrying and splitting slate tile has little to no environmental impact in comparison to the production of other roofing materials.
Other points to consider Metal roofs that are made from lower-grade aluminum may tend quickly. Fasteners need to inspected on a regular basis because of expansion and contraction that the panels may encounter. Asphalt shingle has the lowest cost with the shortest life span, and is the most common shingle type. Tile might require the use of reinforced roof framing, but as the same time it is highly resistant to fire. Although slates are lightweight, synthetic slate is strong and flexible. It also requires reinforced roof framing.

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Please note: The above data is provided for general information purposes only. Even though the best efforts were made to ensure its accuracy, such general information can never take into account differences between different products from different manufacturers, nor your unique personal circumstances and needs. It is therefore always recommended to seek advice from a qualified professional and carefully follow the relevant manufacturer's instructions.
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