Asphalt Vs. Metal Roofs

Which Is Right For Your Home?

Angie Lewis, Writer
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A new roof is one of the largest purchases you can make as a homeowner. It can also increase your resale value. But which material is best for your roof — asphalt or metal?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular option for residential roofs. They come in a variety of styles and textures, including 3-tab (fiberglass) and architectural (laminate), as well as countless colors. Some architectural shingles can even mimic other more expensive materials such as cedar shake or slate tiles.

Also available in numerous styles and colors, metal roofs are gaining popularity in some areas of the country. However, their appearance tends to be agricultural, which can look out of place in suburban neighborhoods.

In addition to their contrasting aesthetics, asphalt and metal differ in many other ways.

Cost Comparison

Most roofing comes in squares, which measure 100 square feet, and are priced accordingly.

According to Home Advisor, metal averages $100 to $200 per square and asphalt shingles average $60 to $90 per square — or $4,500 to $11,500 and $2,000 to $10,000, respectively, including installation.

Diverse Durability

The typical lifespan of asphalt shingles is estimated between 15 and 20 years, although differing environmental conditions and other factors can affect their lifespan. And while metal roofs can last two to three times as long, they’re not always as durable as asphalt shingles in wind and hail.

Thinner, lighter metals such as aluminum are prone to lifting off the roof in high winds. Compare that performance to heavier architectural shingles, such as Atlas Roofing’s StormMaster® Shake, which are made to withstand winds up to 150 mph.

Likewise, because metal goes through extreme expansion and contraction during temperature changes, known as thermal shock, it can lose its ability to remain watertight. Atlas StormMaster Shake and StormMaster Slate asphalt shingles are built with Core4™ Technology, which includes ThermalCore™ Technology that mitigates the effects of thermal shock.

Because metal roof components typically come in solid sheets, leaks may be more difficult to repair. Plus, metal doesn’t have the grip that asphalt does, so navigating the roof can be slippery, dangerous work.

Softer metals, such as copper, are also more susceptible to denting from falling debris and hail. However, many asphalt products, such as StormMaster shingles, are UL2218 Class 4 Impact Resistant — the highest impact rating available. In fact, third-party testing by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) ranked Atlas StormMaster Shake shingles No. 1 for impact resistance among all shingle brands tested. The Class 4 rating may entitle you to a discount on your homeowner’s insurance too.

Additionally, metal roofs can rust — especially in areas near saltwater — and asphalt shingles can develop stains over the years. But Atlas StormMaster shingles feature the power of 3M Scotchgard™ Protector and offer a lifetime warranty against the ugly black streaks caused by algae, keeping your roof looking newer longer.

Go Asphalt!

Ready to give your roof the makeover it deserves? Check out the Atlas RoofSwap! app, where you can compare different shingle styles and colors and discover which best complements your home.

For more information about Atlas Roofing’s products, visit