metal roof over shingled roof background

Metal Roof VS Traditional Roof: Which One Wins?

Roofing is essential in every property – it is your home’s first barrier against harsh weather and other external elements. Roofs come in varying materials, and although they all serve the same purpose, they each have varying benefits and shortcomings. Metal and traditional shingles are the most popular roofing materials, and they, too, have their strengths and weaknesses. So, which is better? Here is a brief comparison of metal roofs versus traditional roofs. 

How Do Metal & Traditional Shingle Roofs Compare? 

Metal and shingle roofs each have unique pros and cons. Here is an overview of how metal roofing vs. shingle roofs compare based on five essential factors: 

Strength & Durability 

Metal roofs win when considering strength and durability. They have an average lifespan of 40 to 70 years, depending on the quality of the materials used (steel is the strongest material) and exposure to destructive elements such as harsh weather. They are strong and can withstand the weight and impact of external factors such as snow, hail, rain, and flying debris such as tree branches. Most manufacturers are so confident in metal roofs that they offer warranties valid for up to 50 years. 

In contrast, shingle roofs have lifespans of 20 to 30 years, about half the lifespan of metal roofs. They are less resistant to harsh weather elements – for example, moisture can cause algae and fungi growth, and snow and ice dams can cause cracks. Flying debris and hail can also crack or break the shingles. 


Traditional shingle roofs win when considering installation costs. They are cheaper than metal roofs to buy and install. Overall, the price difference can range by hundreds of dollars, depending on each type’s quality and other factors, such as the roofing company’s fees. 

Metal roofs cost more to buy and install. The exact cost depends on the quality of the material used – for example, steel metal roofs are more expensive than zinc metal roofs. However, it is worth noting that metal roofs save you considerable amounts of money in long-term maintenance, repair, and replacement costs because they are stronger and more durable than shingles. 


Metal roofs win when considering maintenance tasks and costs – maintenance mainly involves regular cleaning. They are stronger and more durable than shingles, so they are less prone to damages that necessitate repairs and replacements. They are also easy to clean, but this usually depends on the roof’s slope and your location (whether or not your roof gets a lot of debris and other elements, such as snow). However, repairs are complicated because of the metal’s rigid nature. 

Shingles are also generally easy and cheap to maintain, but they require more maintenance than metal roofs. For example, they require more frequent cleaning. Flying debris may also occasionally dislodge, crack, or break one or several tiles, necessitating repairs. Fortunately, they are easier and cheaper to repair than metal roofs. 

Energy Efficiency & Eco-Friendliness 

Metal roofs win when considering energy efficiency and eco-friendliness. On the one hand, they are energy efficient because their shiny surface reflects heat and sunlight away, keeping your house cooler during summer and reducing your cooling needs and costs. On the other hand, they are eco-friendly because they are recyclable and usually made using recycled metal – they also last longer than shingles, necessitating fewer replacements. However, 

Shingles are also energy efficient, but usually, during summers – they retain heat better than metal roofs. However, they don’t reflect heat and sunlight like metal roofs do, making them inconvenient in hot weather. Unfortunately, they are less eco-friendly than metal roofs – asphalt cannot be recycled as efficiently as metal. 


Shingles and metal roofs both perform well when considering aesthetics. Their designs are distinctly different, but they come in varying styles and colors to suit any finish. 

Shingle roofs add depth and dimension to your roofing, giving it an elegant appearance. They also come in varying colors, including uniform and multiple colors. The tiles also come in varying designs and are customizable in other aspects. 

Metal roofs are also aesthetically appealing. Color diversity is their greatest asset – you can paint your roof in any color you desire. They also come in varying styles and designs, and aspects such as texture are customizable. It is worth noting that metal roofs were not always popular, but they are catching up to shingle roofs thanks to the many styles and options available. 


Overall, metal roofs are better than shingle roofs in most aspects, including durability and maintenance. However, shingles also have their strengths, including aesthetic and installation costs. Ultimately, your choice should depend on your unique needs and preferences. Whatever your choice, it is vital to work with a professional roofing contractor. 

Moore & Sons Roofing is one of the best roofing contractors in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We have more than 70 years of cumulative experience and only work with the best talent and roofing materials to give a flawless, good-looking, and long-lasting roof. Get in touch today to learn more about our roofing materials and services.

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