Metal Roof vs. Shingles – Pros and Cons of Each System

While many homeowners choose to install asphalt shingles roofs on their homes, often lured-in by the attractive low prices of asphalt, many quickly learn that sometimes, with a low price there can also be a whole slew of unexpected and often costly problems. A metal roof can in some cases provide a far better alternative.

Although a metal roof normally costs significantly more compared to asphalt, its longevity, curb appeal, and energy efficiency can make it a most cost-efficient and sustainable choice.

In this article you’ll be able to compare asphalt with metal in terms of longevity, durability, energy efficiency and pros and cons of each system.

Disadvantages of Composition Shingle Roofs

asphalt-shingles-roof-before-installation

Temperature Sensitive Installation

One important factor to be aware of is that asphalt shingles installation is temperature sensitive. Asphalt shingles should not be installed when temperatures are below freezing.

For greatest durability and longevity shingles need to adhere to each other, and this process is hampered in cold temperature.

Unfortunately, many inexperienced roofers are not aware of this issue, and proceed with the installation when it is too cold outside. This means homeowners could end up having roofing problems right from the get-go.

Attic Ventilation Issues

Composition shingles roofs may suffer damage as a result of problems with your attic ventilation. If the attic is poorly vented, the infrared heat from the sun can lead to a drastic increase in temperature inside the attic. This heat coming from below can cause a problem known as “cupping” when the shingle tabs curl under.

Lack of Substantial Durability in the Face of Storms, Hail, and Exposure to Elements

While asphalt shingles will keep your home safe and protected under average weather conditions, they tend to falter when it comes to inclement weather. Generally, asphalt shingles perform better in cooler climates than in hotter ones.

Problems can be compounded if the roof is low pitched and does not have adequate sloping to encourage water drainage. As a rule of thumb, thicker asphalt roofing shingles (laminated or premium style) are more durable, so they are worth paying more money for.

Sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage the ceramic granules embedded in the asphalt coating, which causes cracks and loss of color. Extreme heat may cause asphalt shingles to curl at the edges. Sudden and drastic temperature changes (thermal shock) cause shingles to contract and expand thereby leading to cracks which can lead to roof leaks. Strong winds may lift up shingles off the roof. If your asphalt roof gets exposed to a major hail storm, then it’s veryl likely you will need to replace the entire roof due to the damage that hail can do to shingles.

Finally, asphalt shingles are susceptible to mildew and moss growth, especially when there are large trees towering over the roof. Thus, an asphalt roof may require periodic cleaning and maintenance.

To make sure your composition shingles roof lasts and functions properly, you should inspect it every year. Asphalt shingles tend to get easily damaged, and if they are not properly maintained and repaired in due time, the damaged area can lead to roof leaks.

It is best to repair any damaged asphalt shingles before it rains or snows, so that moisture does not further exacerbate the existing damage.

Environmental Concerns

For homeowners looking to use “green” roofing materials, asphalt shingles will not be the first choice. They are a petroleum-based product, and require a lot of energy to manufacture. At the end of their service life, asphalt composition shingles typically do not get recycled, and have to go the landfill, where they decompose very slowly, emitting methane gas. In fact, a large percentage of post-construction waste in our landfills is asphalt shingles! 🙁

While it is technically possible to recycle asphalt shingles to be used as pavement patching material, the process is often too complicated and costly to undertake, and the easier landfill option is chosen instead. One way you can make your asphalt roofing shingles more “green” is to install the premium quality laminated shingles which can last as long as 30 to 40 years. For comparison, a low-end 3-tab shingles will only last about 15 to 20 years, provided it was installed properly.

Metal vs. Asphalt

standing-seam-installation

Metal’s inherent features make it a significantly better roofing material compared to asphalt composition shingles. When it comes to durability, longevity, maintenance, energy efficiency and recyclability, metal greatly outperforms asphalt shingles on all fronts.

Durability: Metal roofing will offer your home exceptional protection. It meets the toughest wind, hail, fire, and impact codes in the country. Also, metal roofs are covered by cutting edge paint that contains inorganic pigments for maximum protection against harmful UV rays. Metal roofs are also impervious to moisture, and easily shed snow and ice. Steel roofs are highly resistant to algae, mold and mildew and will not ever be affected by termites and other insects.

Longevity: In comparison to asphalt roofing, metal roof will easily last three times longer. A properly installed metal roof can last 35 to 50 years or longer, depending upon the type of system, metal type, thickness of the panels, and the quality of installation. Today’s metal roofs can be made of Galvalume, G-90 galvanized steel, or aluminum, which in most cases, should help to eliminate all worries about rust or corrosion.

Maintenance-free: unlike asphalt shingles, once installed a metal roof requires no maintenance or repairs. This feature lends itself to significant savings throughout the long service life of a metal roof. Also, metal roofs will remain looking like new for years to come and will not susceptible to ugly black stains caused by mildew and algae build-up.

Green: While asphalt shingles are harmful to the environment, a metal roof is a rare environmentally – friendly roofing product. Independent studies show that a metal roof’s cool reflective properties allow homeowners to save up to 40% on energy bills and reduce wasteful energy consumption. Your metal roof will never end up in the landfill, as metal is 50-100% recyclable.

Top 15 Green Home Improvements and their Costs 2020

Home energy efficiency is both a journey and an objective. The objective is as simple as going Green. You optimize the resources of your home while saving money. Those savings are part of the journey.

Green living is smart living. Truly, the journey is never ending. There are steps you can take today to achieve greater resource efficiency in your home. It’s important to remember that energy efficiency is for everyone and not just those with ‘best practices’ in mind, or those who can afford the right technology.

Think strategy

We list 15 green home improvements or major renovation projects popular today. More importantly, these are considerations for truly increasing your home’s energy efficiency and reducing its environmental footprint.

A Few Things First

home-energy-audit

There is one tip we cannot ignore. A Home Energy Audit is the first step of our journey. This puts the strategy in proper perspective for you. Usually, a non-profit or professional specialist comes to your home, and spends 2 to 4 hours assessing your energy consumption, evaluates all issues contributing to your home’s energy loss and recommends steps to achieve greater efficiency. They are a great third party resource that curtails all possible steps you might take to your home’s specific needs. They too can provide tips for you to integrate into your daily living.

Additionally, it helps to understand your home’s structure as a thermal envelope. The envelope is all that shields your house from the outer elements and keeps energy within your walls, windows, doors, etc.

So first consideration is to seal the gaps. Wherever the envelop is leaking energy, that needs to be addressed. That’s what the Home Auditor will be looking for.

Next, you address the resources of your home producing energy. Assessing condition of existing technology in the home shifts focus to greater efficiency.

Upgrades are likely needed in some cases, and we’ll help you identify what’s available. With technology comes understanding EnergyStar products which label goods known to optimize energy efficiency.

Sealing the Envelope

caulking-and-weatherproofing

Walls, windows, doors and the roof all help retain energy within your home. And all are susceptible to leaking energy. In this section we list three home improvement projects that address gaps in the home.

In our ‘Major Renovations” section below, there are two more. Tips like caulking windows and weather stripping doors are items you can do do it yourself style.

caulking-to-stop-air-leaks

Continue reading “Top 15 Green Home Improvements and their Costs 2020”

PVC vs. TPO Single-Ply Membrane for Flat Roofs of Residential Homes

PVC roofs have been installed in the US since 1970’s and have a long proven track record of success. While somewhat more expensive than their direct competitors; EPDM Rubber and TPO, PVC roofs offer a far better quality, longevity, durability and protection.

Energy Efficient PVC membrane on a flat roof

When it comes to cost-efficiency, durability, long service lifespan and environmental considerations in the single-ply roofing market, a PVC membrane is by far the most economical, longest lasting, and Eco-friendly option for flat and low-slope roofs on residential homes, condominiums, and commercial rooftops.

Learn more about what PVC roof is, as well as all the advantages you can enjoy by installing one to protect your home or business.

PVC Membrane Basics

In a nutshell, PVC, better known as vinyl, is one of the most common plastics in the world. The two main reasons why PVC is in such wide use is because it is considerably cheaper and more durable than other plastics.

Essentially, PVC is made of two components; ethylene and chlorine. Etheline is obtained via processing of either petroleum or natural gas, while chlorine is derived from salt. In the manufacturing process, plasticizers, stabilizers and pigments can be added to achieve flexibility, durability and various color options.

What Goes Into PVC Membrane?

A PVC roof is a single-ply membrane that is made up of two layers of PVC material with a polyester reinforcement scrim in between. The top ply is manufactured with special additives to make the membrane resistant to UV rays and to prevent curling.

Plasticizers are added for greater flexibility and different pigments are used to achieve various color options. The bottom ply of the roofing membrane is a black PVC with plasticizers for additional flexibility. Typically, no other additives or fillers are added to the bottom ply.

Both PVC and TPO membranes are hot-air welded, not glued. Did you know? Hot-air welding (fusion welding) of seams, creates a permanent physical bond between the two separate sheets of PVC membrane, thus allowing it to remain water-tight and pliable for decades after the initial installation! 😉

Continue reading “PVC vs. TPO Single-Ply Membrane for Flat Roofs of Residential Homes”