While metal shingle technology and design options have advanced over the past decade, asphalt roof shingle quality has fallen due to the reduction of the oil (asphalt) content that roofing manufacturers are using. To save money, these companies replace petroleum products with fillers and binders. Simply stated, the lower the asphalt content, the poorer the quality of the shingles. Modern day asphalt shingles are susceptible to premature deterioration and may often cup, curl, and shed granules in as little as a year after installation. You won’t experience that with the permanent nature of metal shingles.
Metal shingles and other metal roofing designs are popular alternatives to asphalt roofing shingles due to the many benefits that metal shingles provide. Although the price of asphalt shingles may seem attractive to many Delmarva homeowners, asphalt roofing quickly loses value and is a poor investment over the long-term.
Metal shingles are permanent. Period. Because metal is strong, beautiful, energy-efficient and won’t break down over time, homeowners can enjoy the “one and done” peace of mind that metal shingles deliver. On the other hand, today’s asphalt roofs are more vulnerable than ever to damage from harsh weather and they don’t last long in areas like Delmarva where temperatures range from cold to hot or wet to dry.
There is more grim news for homeowners with asphalt shingles. Manufacturers have also changed the content of the base mat. Standard shingles consist of small granules glued to a base mat. Moisture seeps into the base mat when adhesive agents break down or dry out, causing the base mat to deteriorate. Leaks begin to occur when the base mat is exposed to moisture, and shingles start to crack, curl, and become loose. This is why even a moderate storm can cause significant damage to an asphalt shingle roof, while a metal shingle roof stands up to the harshest weather conditions imaginable.
Another advantage of metal shingles is that they’re impervious to biological growth. The binders and fillers added in asphalt shingles encourages biological growth. As algae grows, it spreads. Algae growth results in staining and streaking. A once beautiful roof now appears worn and old-looking. As your asphalt roof starts to age, the value quickly diminishes.
Weight is also a huge advantage for metal shingles. Due to their heavier weight, asphalt shingle roofs absorb and hold heat. This means in warmer weather, your house stays hotter, your air conditioner works harder, and your energy bills literally go through the roof.
Misleading warranties and the premature decline of the roofs has homeowners battling asphalt shingle companies. It is no surprise that many of these companies are involved in class action lawsuits due to the growing number of outraged consumers.
Metal shingles deliver a permanent roof that you’ll never have to replace. The fact is, the lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 10-15 years, no matter what the warranty tells you, and it can be far less in areas with harsher weather. We regularly replace roofs that are less than twenty years old and sometimes fewer than ten!
When it comes to shingles, the drawbacks center on service life. While asphalt shingles come with warranties ranging from 20 to as long as 45 years, roofers and builders remain skeptical of those warranties. Since warranties are a marketing device, they are not a reliable predictor of lifespan. In the past decade, there have been many complaints of asphalt shingle failure long before warranties expired. Many homeowners have been dissatisfied with warranty payouts that didn’t cover all the costs of repair or replacement as wells.
- Bob Vila, Home Industry Celebrity and Home Show Host
The pressures placed on large, public companies to maintain profitability brought forward good old American ingenuity, reduce fiberglass mat weight (fibers were expensive) and increase filler content (asphalt was also expensive)...
- Dwain Bouton, President, Certified Roofing Consultant
Failed shingles that we have tested contain approximately 30% asphalt by weight. New shingles contain less than 25%. This asphalt is mixed with sand and fine mineral matter and then has granules embedded in it. There is no separate asphalt binder for the filler. What coating exists on the back of the shingle appears to have bled through the mat from the top side during manufacturing. No wonder shingles ``weep`` water after only a few years.
- Richard Tippet, Applied Roofing Technology, Laboratory Testing Facility
Metal shingles deliver benefits over not only asphalt, but also other inexpensive roofing materials that begin to deteriorate soon after installation. Temporary roofs are initially less expensive than installing a permanent metal roofing system, but they are certainly not the best investment. The risk of weather damage, loss of energy efficiency and cost of periodic roof repair or replacement, all add up to astronomical expenses and headaches over the long-term.
For these reasons, informed consumers are choosing metal shingles over asphalt, wood shake, clay, slate, concrete, and other inferior roofing materials.
For centuries wood shake shingles adorned roofs throughout the United States. Wood, being readily available and inexpensive became a good option as a roofing material. The downside was the short life span, fire dangers and intense maintenance required.
Metal shingles are manmade and impervious to weather. The organic nature of wood makes it susceptible to the unsightly growth of algae and mold. The water retained in these growths leads to shingle rot, resulting in leaking. Eventually the damage to the battens and decking requires the roof to be torn off and replaced.
Metal shingles are lightweight compared to clay tiles and slate. While these are popular roofing materials in many parts of the country, the heavy weight of these materials causes excessive strain on the structure of homes. Clay and concrete tiles have additional problems. Their highly porous nature allows water to seep in, often causing them to crack and break. The issue is exacerbated during freeze-thaw weather cycles. That won’t happen with metal shingles.
Metal shingles stand up to high winds. But high winds may leave holes in a clay and concrete or slate roof, posing a more dangerous risk to the interior of the home. The shear weight of these roofs also makes them prone to structural collapse in the event of seismic activity or fire.
Slate may be more indestructible than man-made tile, but the nails that attach them are not. These nails often rust away leaving only gravity to keep them from falling. Falling slate can be extremely dangerous and may cause costly property damage.
There are several other roofing materials such as rubber and composite materials being tested in the market, but many do not have a proven track record. These materials are expensive and susceptible to fade and chalk in the heat of the sun. Investing in an untested material is risky at best.
Investment grade metal shingles, on the other hand, are impervious to the elements that often destroy asphalt and many other roofing materials. Homeowners, who make an investment in a permanent metal roofing system, enjoy the benefits of long-lasting durability, energy savings and eye-catching beauty.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of having a metal roof installed, please contact Delmarva Metal Roofing. We will answer all of your questions and provide you with several options to protect and beautify your home.