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Asphalt Shingles vs. Metal Roofing: Which is Best for Your Orlando Roof Replacement?

When it comes time for a roof replacement on your Orlando home, one of the biggest decisions you’ll face is what material to use. Two of the most popular options are asphalt shingles and metal roofing. Each has its own pros and cons that are important to consider. In this blog, we’ll dive into the key differences between asphalt shingles and metal roofing to help you decide which is the best choice for your Orlando roof replacement project.

Asphalt Shingles: The Traditional Choice Asphalt shingles are by far the most common roofing material in the United States, and for good reason. They offer an excellent combination of affordability, durability, and aesthetic appeal. Asphalt shingles are made of a fiberglass or organic mat base that is coated with asphalt and topped with ceramic granules. This multi-layered design provides good protection against the elements.

Asphalt Shingles last

Pros of Asphalt Shingles:

  • Affordable – Asphalt shingles are one of the most budget-friendly options for roof replacement. The material itself is inexpensive compared to alternatives like metal or tile. Installation is also relatively quick and easy, which helps keep labor costs down.
  • Easy to install and repair – Most roofing contractors have extensive experience working with asphalt shingles. This widespread familiarity makes installation efficient. If a section of an asphalt roof gets damaged, repairs are usually simple and inexpensive as well. Even a roof patch for minor damage is straightforward with asphalt.
  • Wide range of styles – Asphalt shingles come in a huge variety of colors and styles. Whether you want a classic look or something more modern and architectural, you can find asphalt shingles to suit almost any home style and personal taste. Many premium asphalt shingles convincingly mimic the look of wood shake, tile, or slate.
  • Good fire and wind resistance – Fiberglass-based asphalt shingles have a Class A fire rating, the highest available. Many asphalt shingles are also rated to withstand winds up to 110 mph or even 130 mph, making them suitable for Florida’s hurricane-prone climate.

Cons of Asphalt Shingles:

  • Shorter lifespan than metal – With proper care and maintenance, asphalt shingle roofs typically last 20-30 years. This is a shorter lifespan than metal roofing, which can last 40-70 years.
  • Potential for heat absorption – Asphalt shingles, especially in darker colors, absorb a fair amount of heat. This can contribute to higher cooling bills unless you choose shingles with reflective granules.
  • Cracking and blistering – While durable, asphalt shingles can develop cracks, blisters, and curling over time with extensive sun exposure common in Orlando. Proper attic ventilation is important to minimize these issues.
  • Susceptible to algae growth – Asphalt shingles, especially in humid climates, are prone to developing streaks of algae growth. While mostly a cosmetic concern, this can be unattractive. Algae-resistant shingles are available to combat this problem.

Metal Roofing: A Durable, Eco-Friendly Alternative While less common than asphalt, metal roofing has been gaining popularity in recent years as an attractive, long-lasting choice. Metal roofs can be made from various materials including steel, aluminum, copper, and alloys. They can be installed as large panels or smaller shingles, and come in both painted and natural finishes.

Pros of Metal Roofing:

  • Exceptional durability and lifespan – Metal roofs are incredibly strong and can last 40-70 years depending on the material – 2-3 times longer than asphalt shingles. They stand up well to intense sun exposure, heavy rains, high winds, hail, and even fire.
  • Energy efficient – Metal roofs reflect a large amount of solar heat rather than absorbing it. This helps keep your home cooler in summer and can lead to energy savings on air conditioning. Some metal roofs can also be installed over existing asphalt shingles, adding an extra layer of insulation.
  • Lightweight – Most metal roofing materials are significantly lighter than asphalt shingles or tiles. This puts less stress on your home’s structure and can be especially advantageous for older homes.
  • Eco-friendly – Metal roofing contains a high percentage of recycled content and is 100% recyclable at the end of its life. This makes it an environmentally sustainable choice, especially compared to asphalt shingles which end up in landfills.
  • Low maintenance – Metal roofs require very little upkeep. They resist cracking, algae growth, and damage from pests like termites or rodents. Occasional cleaning to remove debris is usually sufficient to keep a metal roof in top shape.
  • Excellent for rainwater harvesting – Metal roofs are ideal for collecting clean rainwater for irrigation or other uses. The smooth surface allows for efficient water runoff into a house gutter or other catchment system.

Cons of Metal Roofing:

  • Higher upfront cost – The biggest drawback of metal roofing is the initial price tag. It costs significantly more than asphalt shingles, both for the materials and the more specialized labor required for installation. However, the longevity of metal roofs can make them a better value in the long run.
  • Potential for noise – Metal roofs can be noisier than other materials during heavy rain or hailstorms. This can be minimized with proper insulation and solid sheathing, but it may still be a consideration for some homeowners.
  • Susceptible to denting – While durable, some metal roofing is prone to denting from heavy hail or falling branches. Choosing a textured finish or opting for harder metals like steel can help reduce this risk.
  • More complex installation – Installing a metal roof requires specialized skills and equipment. It’s crucial to find an experienced contractor who knows the proper techniques for waterproofing and allowing for thermal movement to avoid leaks and warping. Fewer roofing companies have this expertise compared to asphalt shingle installation.
  • Inconsistent color matching for repairs – If a section of a metal roof gets damaged and needs replacement, it can be challenging to find an exact color match since fading occurs over time. Mismatched patches may be visible on a monochromatic metal roof.

Choosing the Right Option for Your Orlando Home Both asphalt shingles and metal roofing can be excellent choices for an Orlando roof replacement, but the right choice for your home depends on your specific priorities and situation. If budget is your top concern and you want a classic look, asphalt shingles are a reliable, affordable option. With a wide array of styles available, you’re likely to find something that suits your aesthetic preferences. Proper installation and maintenance can help asphalt shingles withstand Florida’s climate challenges.

On the other hand, if you’re looking to maximize durability and energy efficiency, metal roofing is hard to beat. While the upfront cost is higher, a metal roof can potentially last as long as your house, making it a one-and-done investment. It’s also an eco-friendly choice that can reduce your cooling bills. For Orlando homes prone to strong winds and tropical storms, metal’s strength is a significant advantage for preventing storm damage and avoiding emergency roofing services.

Regardless of the material you choose, proper installation is critical to get the best performance from your new roof. Look for a reputable local roofing contractor with experience in the specific type of roof you want. Make sure they are licensed and insured, and check their references and reviews. A quality contractor will be able to assess your home’s unique needs and recommend the best roofing solution.

At Top Builder Roofing, we have the expertise to guide you through the roof replacement process from start to finish. Our team is skilled in installing both asphalt shingle and metal roofing systems to the highest standards. We’ll work with you to choose the optimal material for your home’s style, location, and budget. With our commitment to quality craftsmanship and exceptional customer service, you can trust us for all your Orlando roofing needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and estimate for your roof replacement project.

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