Metal Roofing vs. Asphalt Roofing In
Savannah, Hilton Head Island & Beaufort
Let’s Dive Deep Into The Metal vs. Asphalt Battle To See
Which Can Claim The Title Of “Best Roofing Material.”
“They don’t make ’em like they used to.”
It’s every grandpa’s favorite catchphrase when something new breaks or doesn’t work right. And when it comes to asphalt shingles in the Savannah, Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort areas, it’s 100% TRUE: Today’s asphalt shingles are more poorly made than asphalt shingles from a few decades ago.
Asphalt shingle manufacturers use less asphalt content than ever to make their shingles. They load up the shingles with junk filler to—you guessed it—cut manufacturing costs. While this saves the manufacturer money, it costs you BIG TIME. The quality of asphalt shingles has declined so much that new shingles can start curling, cupping and shedding granules in as little as a YEAR.
This is why we at Legacy Metal Roofs call asphalt shingles temporary roofing. It’s a quick-fix solution that’s cheap on the front end, but will wind up costing you piles of cash in the long run.
On the other end of the spectrum are metal roofs—what we call permanent roofing or investment-grade roofing. Unlike asphalt roofing, metal roofing is a lifetime-lasting solution. The type of solution for homeowners who never want to worry about their roof again… and don’t mind investing more up front to save a ton of money later.
It’s true—industry analysts have reported that metal roofing costs as much as four times LESS than asphalt roofing within a 30-year span. This is because metal roofing is more durable (so you won’t have to pay for repairs or replacement), more energy efficient, does more to boost your home’s value, and provides a much higher ROI (up to 95%!).
Like we said—metal roofing is true investment-grade roofing.
Let’s now take an up-close look at asphalt shingles and how they perform.
Why Asphalt Roofs Don’t Last
Asphalt roofing in the Savannah, Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort areas lasts an average of five to 15 years. In terms of a home-improvement project, that’s basically a blink of an eye.
And, let’s be honest: Does paying for a new roof as little as every five years sound practical or cost effective?
Like we mentioned a minute ago, asphalt roofing’s short lifespan is simply in the nature of the material. Asphalt composition shingles are made of felt or fiberglass with small stones glued to the surface. As soon as asphalt shingles are installed, the outdoor elements (wind, rain, heat) pummel the shingles. This causes the shingles—and the glue holding everything in place—to break down in as little as ONE YEAR. Once that happens, the shingles are susceptible to curling, leaking, cracking, and streaking.
The asphalt roofing industry says asphalt roofs last about 17 to 20 years. This might be true in areas with mild climates. But we don’t have to tell you the climate in the Savannah, Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort areas can be downright ruthless. From hurricanes to hailstorms to winds that reach NASCAR speeds, the weather conditions in these parts are not ideal for roofing materials more on the brittle side. That 17- to 20-year life expectancy gets cut substantially in this neck of the woods. (And don’t think for a second that the warranty will cover weather-caused problems!)
Asphalt Roofing Energy Efficiency
Asphalt shingles soak up the sun’s heat like a sponge. Solar heat gets sucked in and filtered straight into your attic. That heat gets trapped, which forces your air conditioner to kick into overdrive to keep your home cool.
The result? Sky-high energy bills and a more uncomfortable home during the hot months.
Asphalt shingles are also a burden on the environment. When replacing an old asphalt-shingle roof with a new asphalt-shingle roof, the contractor must tear off the old shingles. Over 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles are dumped into US landfills every year. While some types of asphalt shingle can be recycled, others can’t. The petroleum-soaked shingles get thrown in landfills, where their oils and chemicals seep into the ground.
Metal roofing, on the other hand, is the one of the “greenest” roofing materials on the market. It can be installed directly over an existing shingle roof, so there is no need to dispose of the shingles. Metal roofs last forever, so it will never end up in a landfill. And if a metal roof ever is discarded, it can easily be recycled.
Not only that, but metal roofing is an excellent way to cut your energy costs. Metal roofing comes in a variety of finishes designed to insulate your home during the winter and block heat during the summer. Metal roofing can even re-emit up to 90% of absorbed solar radiation! Industry studies show homeowners in eastern states can save as much as 30% to 40% on energy bills with a metal roof.
Metal vs. Other Roofing Materials
Wood shake has been used as a roofing material for hundreds of years. Why it’s still used today, we don’t know!
Improved materials and technology have made once-innovative products like payphones and videotapes obsolete. It’s the same with wood shake roofing—roofing manufacturers have developed materials that are light years ahead of wood shake in every conceivable category. Yet for some reason, wood shake still hangs around as a viable residential roofing option.
Make no mistake: You can squeeze five to 15 years out of a wood shake roof. And when compared to asphalt shingles, they are relatively durable.
But wood shake requires a monumental amount of maintenance. Wood is susceptible to mold, rot, algae, and insect infestation. It can also absorb moisture, which can cause huge problems. You must constantly care for and replace wood shakes to keep your roof looking good and in working order.
In addition, wood is the LAST roofing material you want on your home if you’re concerned about fire safety. Unlike metal—which is Class-A fire resistant—wood shake is perfect fuel for a fire spreading to other areas of the home.
Clay Tile Roofing
Clay roofing can last a long time—well over 50 years. Clay is fire and insect resistant, and it can withstand some pretty rough weather conditions.
The biggest drawback of clay is how heavy it is. Clay tiles are so heavy that you may need to install extra support for your roof before installation. Otherwise, you’re looking at potential structural problems that can cost an arm and a leg to fix. Clay can also crack if it’s walked on, so take precaution if you’re planning on taking a stroll on a clay roof.
Also: Clay is one of the most expensive roofing materials out there—about two to four times more expensive than metal roofing in Savannah, Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort!
Concrete Tile Roofing
Concrete roofing can last about 30 to 50 years. It’s also less substantially less expensive than clay and about on par with metal roofing.
Similar to clay, concrete is a very heavy material. You may have to install extra support for your roof before installing concrete tile. Since concrete is so heavy, a tile that falls or blows off can cause serious destruction.
Concrete is also a porous material, which means it’s susceptible to moisture. Concrete roofing needs to be coated in a waterproof sealant to block water from penetrating the concrete’s pores.
Slate is a great-looking natural stone product that can last over 100 years. It’s also fire resistant, water resistant, and environmentally friendly.
But—just like concrete and clay—slate is HEAVY. You may need to install additional roof support before installing a slate roof. (Do we sound like a broken record yet?) Much like clay, slate roofing isn’t ideal for being walked on—the fragile nature of the product can cause cracks if stepped on. To aggravate the problem, slate is a natural stone—finding the exact match for a broken tile can be extremely difficult.
Price-wise, slate is on the higher end, depending on the thickness and grade you choose.