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Choosing the Right Midwestern Roof: A Comprehensive Comparison of Asphalt Shingles and Metal Roofs

Posted on January 10, 2024

Choosing the Right Midwestern Roof: A Comprehensive Comparison of Asphalt Shingles and Metal Roofs

When it comes to selecting the best roofing materials for your home, particularly in the Midwest where the climate can be harsh, the debate between choosing asphalt shingles vs. a metal roof often arises. Both are great options, but one will typically suit a different set of needs than the other. That’s what makes understanding this debate, and the factors that go into the decision-making process, crucial to making the right choice for your home.  

In this blog post, we’ll be comparing metal roofs vs. asphalt shingles based on several factors, including their cost, how they handle the local climate, and much more. After reading, you’ll have a better understanding of what roofing material works for you, and feel confident that you’re getting a roof that will last for years to come. 

Factors That Affect Your Choice: Comparing Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofs 

For those seeking roof installation services in Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Missouri, choosing the right roofing material is not just a matter of cost, but also of performance and longevity. The best roofing material for your home will depend on various factors, including the local climate, your aesthetic preferences, and your budget.

Local Climate: Best Roofing Materials for the Midwest Climate

Metal Roofs

When battling the elements in the Midwest, it’s imperative to choose roofing materials that can endure the diverse and often severe weather conditions. This may be one of the most crucial factors in the debate between asphalt shingles vs. metal roofs, as you consider their performance under harsh weather. Metal roofing is praised for its strength and ability to withstand the rigors of the Midwest’s severe weather, including heavy snow, hail, and high winds. The inherent properties of metal roofing materials mean they are less likely to crack, erode, or succumb to the pressures of freeze-thaw cycles, which are common in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri.

However, the durability of metal roofs comes with considerations that homeowners should be aware of. While the longevity of metal is significant, it can be prone to denting from hail or falling debris.

Asphalt Shingles 

Meanwhile, asphalt shingle longevity in cold weather remains a concern. In the Midwest, where the climate is known for its unforgiving cold spells, selecting a roofing material that can withstand such conditions is paramount. Asphalt shingles, while more affordable upfront, may require more maintenance and quicker replacement in regions with harsh weather patterns. The impact of relentless snow, ice, and the freeze-thaw cycle can take a toll on shingle integrity, leading to potential damage and reduced lifespan.

For those living in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri, understanding how asphalt shingles fare against metal roofs in extreme weather is critical to making an informed decision. Metal roofs can offer a sense of security with their impressive resilience, but asphalt shingles have their own set of advantages, including better insulation properties and a more traditional aesthetic that many homeowners appreciate. While the longevity of asphalt shingles may be challenged by the cold, advancements in roofing technology have led to improved shingle quality, with some modern asphalt shingles designed to better resist the rigors of the Midwest’s climate.

Aesthetic Impact: How Roofing Materials Shape Your Home’s Appearance

The aesthetic appeal of your home is significantly influenced by your choice of roofing materials, with the asphalt shingles vs. metal roof comparison playing a pivotal role in this. Asphalt shingles offer a classic look that blends seamlessly with various architectural styles, making them a favorite among homeowners. Their wide array of colors and textures allows for a customized appearance that can enhance the curb appeal of any residence.

On the other hand, metal roofs provide a modern and sleek aesthetic, often associated with contemporary home designs. The clean lines and variety of finishes, including matte and metallic, can offer a distinctive look that sets your home apart. Metal roofs also come in a vast selection of colors. Beyond individual taste, the visual impact of your roof can also influence property value, so keep that in mind if you plan on selling your home in the future.

While the best roofing materials for the Midwest climate are often considered in terms of durability and cost, the visual component should not be overlooked. A well-chosen roof enhances the overall appearance and character of your home, making it a statement piece that reflects your personal style. Whether you lean towards the traditional charm of asphalt shingles or the bold statement of a metal roof, the material you choose will shape the aesthetic look of your home for years to come. 

Cost: The Asphalt Shingle vs. Metal Roof Investment

When analyzing the initial investment of metal roofs vs. shingles, it’s pretty clear right away that asphalt shingles typically come with a lower upfront price tag. This affordability makes asphalt shingles a go-to choice for many homeowners. However, it’s essential to look beyond the immediate cost and consider long-term value. 

Considering Long Term Costs

When evaluating the long-term financial implications of choosing between metal roofs and asphalt shingles, homeowners should not only consider the initial price of the materials but also the potential savings over time. Metal roofs are often perceived as a premium option due to their higher upfront costs, with a lifespan that can exceed 40 years with proper maintenance, compared to the 20-year average for asphalt shingles. Over the years, the reduced need for repairs and the infrequency of replacement make metal roofs an economically sound choice for the future.

Metal roofs also tend to provide you savings in other areas as well, such as with energy costs. Over time, you may see a decrease in your energy bills as the long-term benefit of a metal roof includes the reflection of UV rays, reducing the chance of heat transmission between the roof and the interior of your home.  

Conversely, asphalt shingles are affordable at the start, but they may incur additional expenses due to their shorter lifespan and vulnerability to the Midwest’s severe weather conditions. The cost of periodic replacements, repairs, and maintenance can accumulate, potentially surpassing the initial savings. It’s advisable for homeowners to consult with experienced roof installation services to fully understand the long-term economic benefits and make an informed decision that aligns with their financial planning.

Handling Maintenance and Repairs: Comparing Asphalt Shingle vs. Metal Roof Maintenance

Regardless of the material, roof maintenance is an important way to make sure your roof lasts a long time and that any damage is taken care of quickly. Depending on the level of maintenance you’re willing to undertake, you’ll prefer one roofing material over the other. 

Here is a breakdown of the type of maintenance you should expect to take on depending on the roofing material:

Metal Roofs 

Regular Inspections: A fundamental aspect of maintaining a metal roof is regular inspections. Homeowners should inspect their metal roofs at least once or twice a year. These inspections are essential to identify loose or damaged panels, seams, or fasteners. Addressing issues promptly is crucial to prevent further damage.

Cleaning: Over time, metal roofs can accumulate dirt, leaves, or debris. Cleaning the surface of the roof is essential to maintain its appearance and functionality. A soft-bristle brush or a low-pressure power washer can be used for cleaning while being mindful not to damage the roof’s finish.

Coating and Painting: To preserve the protective finish and aesthetics of metal roofs, periodic recoating or repainting may be necessary. Consultation with a roofing professional can provide guidance on when to undertake these maintenance tasks.

Sealing Seams and Fasteners: Regularly check for loose or missing screws or fasteners and seal them to prevent leaks. Seams should also be inspected and resealed as needed.

Snow and Ice Removal: In snowy regions, snow tends to slide off metal roofs in large sheets, so consider installing snow guards or heat cables to prevent snow accumulation and ice dam formation, both of which can cause damage to the roof.

Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Regular Inspections: Annual inspections of asphalt shingle roofs are recommended, especially after severe weather events. The objective is to identify issues such as missing, cracked, or curling shingles, as well as damaged flashing.

Cleaning: Keeping the roof clean of leaves, branches, and debris is crucial. This can be achieved through the use of a leaf blower or a soft-bristle brush to remove loose debris.

Algae and Moss Removal: In regions where algae or moss growth is prevalent, mildew or algae removers can be used to clean the shingles. Trimming overhanging tree branches can also help reduce shade and moisture on the roof.

Repair or Replace Shingles: Prompt replacement of damaged or missing shingles is vital to prevent water infiltration. Flashing around roof penetrations should also be repaired or replaced when damaged.

Ice Dam Prevention: Ensuring proper attic insulation and ventilation is critical to prevent ice dams that can lead to leaks. The use of an ice and water shield in vulnerable areas is recommended.

As you may have noticed, some maintenance practices such as inspections, are required for both types of roofing materials, but they differ slightly, so factor in what maintenance efforts you’re willing to take on when making your choice to ensure your home remains protected year after year.

Installation: The Difference Between Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roof Installation 

While there are some similarities in the installation processes of asphalt shingles and metal roofs, their differences are significant and notable, making it crucial for homeowners to understand the distinctions between these two roofing materials.

Material Complexity:

  • Asphalt Shingles: The installation of asphalt shingles is relatively straightforward, involving layering shingles over an underlayment.
  • Metal Roofs: Metal roof installation is more complex due to the unique nature of metal panels, which require precise attachment methods.

Underlayment and Insulation:

  • Asphalt Shingles: The primary focus of asphalt shingles is on the underlayment, which acts as an additional moisture barrier.
  • Metal Roofs: Metal roofs often require both underlayment and insulation for added protection, noise reduction, and temperature control.

Fastening Techniques:

  • Asphalt Shingles: Shingles are secured with nails in overlapping rows.
  • Metal Roofs: Metal panels are fastened using screws or clips, and seam sealing is essential for water protection.

Flashing and Seam Work:

  • Asphalt Shingles: Flashing is essential but relatively straightforward, especially around roof penetrations.
  • Metal Roofs: Proper flashing and seam sealing are intricate processes due to the metal’s unique properties and it demands meticulous attention to detail.

Gutter and Trim Considerations:

  • Asphalt Shingles: The installation process primarily focuses on the shingle layer, with less emphasis on gutter and trim components.
  • Metal Roofs: Gutter and trim pieces are crucial for drainage and aesthetics, adding complexity to the installation.

These notable distinctions highlight that while both roofing materials have common installation aspects, the intricacies of installing a metal roof, from material handling to sealing, require a higher level of expertise and attention to detail. Homeowners should carefully evaluate these differences and consider their specific needs and long-term objectives when choosing between asphalt shingles and metal roofing for their homes. 

Get A New Roof Installation With The Best Roofing Company In The Midwest

If you’ve made a final decision on the asphalt shingles vs. metal roof debate, and know which one you want for your home, don’t skip out on hiring the best roofing contractor in the Midwest. Our expert team at ReNew Roofing specializes in installing high-quality roofing materials, tailored to withstand the unique weather conditions in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Missouri. Whether you’re leaning towards the durability of metal roofs or the traditional appeal of asphalt shingles, our professional installation services ensure a long-lasting and reliable solution for your home. Contact ReNew Roofing today at (833) 715-7663 to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a resilient and aesthetically pleasing roofing solution tailored to your specific needs.

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