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What is The Life Expectancy of a Metal Roof Vs Shingle Roof?

 metal roofing

When investing in a replacement roof, there are a few things homeowners should consider, such as: appearance, energy efficiency, cost, return on investment and most importantly, life expectancy. The roof of your home can make a huge difference between a simple house that provides basic shelter, and a safe and secure home. For this very reason, it is important homeowners choose a replacement roof that will not only offer safety from the elements, but also a roof that is highly durable and will go the distance. In this article, we will be comparing two different roofing materials, metal and shingle, to help you determine which is the best fit for you and your home. We will cover the life expectancy of each roofing material, as well as other key features.

Style and Appearance

When it comes to style and appearance, shingle roofs are more popular among homeowners. In fact, most homes across the United States have asphalt shingle roofs. Shingle roofing comes in a variety of colors, materials and styles, including: fiberglass (asphalt), tiles, wood and slate. However, the most popular style is asphalt shingles.

Metal roofs are not as common in suburban or urban areas, and are seen more often in rural settings. That is not to say that you cannot install metal roofing if you live in a suburban area, you most certainly can. Metal roofing comes in a variety of colors and styles, including: aluminum, steel, copper, zinc, stainless steel and titanium.


While it does depend on the size of your home, in terms of costs, asphalt shingle roofing is much less expensive than metal roofing. However, while a metal roof can cost twice as much in its first year, it can cost around a third of asphalt shingle roofs over the course of 60 years, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. This means that while metal roofing is more expensive upfront, in the long-run, this cost is mostly negated.

Energy Efficiency

Metal roofing is one of the most energy efficient roofing materials available, and can lower your air conditioning costs by as much as 40 per cent. It is also a highly effective insulator during winter.

Shingles, on the other hand, absorb the heat of the sun and transfer it through the roof and into your home, which in turn makes your cooling system work a lot harder. In winter, however, shingle roofs shine thanks to their heat-absorbing features. And, these days, many modern shingle roofs are actually designed as cool roofs and carry a high Energy Star rating for energy efficiency.

Life Expectancy

While metal roofing does cost more upfront, this cost is offset by its longer life expectancy and durability. Metal roofs can last for 60 years or more, with little to no maintenance required. Many roofing suppliers offer a 50-year warranty on metal roofs as they can stand strong against the elements, and are resistant to mold, mildew and insects. 

While it does depend on the type of shingle roof you choose, on average, shingle roofs need to be replaced around two or three times within a 60-year period. Shingle roofs are also highly vulnerable to hail and wind damage, and are not the ideal choice for homes in regions that experience inclement weather. 

Return on Investment

Thanks to metal roofing’s durability and high energy efficiency, homeowners are likely to see a better return on investment over shingle roofs. However, the appearance of metal roofing might not be to the taste of many homeowners, which could also affect the resale value.


While in general metal roofing requires little to no maintenance over its lifespan, when problems do arise, they are much harder to fix because a metal roof is made in sheets and must be replaced in the same way.

If there is damage to a shingle roof, it is much easier and less expensive to repair or replace. However, overall, metal roofs require much less maintenance due to its durability, and they do not need to be repaired as frequently as shingle roofing might.

So … Which Roof is Best?

In terms of life expectancy, metal roofing is far superior to shingle roofing. However, the cost of a metal roof can be off-putting for some homeowners. Shingle roofing still remains one of the most popular roofing materials across the United States, so it really does come down to personal preference and your specific roofing needs.

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Topics: Roofing, Summer