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Metal roofing vs composite roofing: a comparison review

Metal roofing vs composite roofing: Both materials have their pros and cons, with the weight of each varying by a homeowner's specific roofing needs.

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Metal roofing vs composite roofing by Andrew Deci on FlickrWith roofing prices shooting sky high, it's no surprise that homeowners want to make the most informed decision before investing. While many roofing materials exist, a common debate in residential roofing is that of metal roofing vs. composite roofing.

Homeowners should be delighted to know that both materials can be installed easily over existing roofs.

Composite roofing

Most people are familiar with composite roofing, one made up of an arrangement of composite shingles. Easy to install and available in various brands, materials and colors, composite shingles are a very popular choice for home builders. The low prices and maintenance of these shingles make them a favorite for roofing projects as well.

While durable and offering a bit of fire protection, composite shingles can blow off in high winds and may be damaged by heat. Despite this, the cost of roof repair is much less with composite, since most contractors are familiar with its installation.

Made a decision on metal roofing vs composite roofing, or need help deciding? Receive free estimates and connect with local contractors now!

Metal roofing

Metal roofs are coming back into style in the world of home design with more and more homeowners making the switch. Durable and fire retardant, metal roofing is stronger than composite roofing and more expensive. Because they need very little maintenance, these roofs are convenient to use.

Though it is stronger than composite roofing, most metal roofing is made of lightweight metals to remain affordable, making them sensitive to damage from wind and hail. Durable, more expensive metal roofing materials are available, but these will drive up roofing costs significantly.

Another major drawback of installing or repairing a metal roof is that these are jobs that not every roofing contractor can do. Dealing with a metal roof takes a certain level of expertise and skill that isn't very common in the world of roofing construction. This expertise comes at a price, making metal roofs more expensive to install and maintain. Be sure to ask your contractor for a past job reference, in which they successfully completed a metal roof for a client.

Many would be surprised to know that despite the high price, sometimes a metal roof can lower a home's value or its chance for resale. Often homeowners do not like the noisiness of these roofs when rain hits, though this can be lessened with proper underlayment.

Despite these few drawbacks, metal roofs are popular with environmentally friendly consumers. Metal roofs are energy-efficient. They block heat transfer into the attic of homes and saves on energy bills.

There are couple of considerations that might push you toward a metal roof:

Local ordinance - Local and state laws might encourage fire retardant roofing materials. There might be a tax credit for choosing a roof that won’t catch on fire.

Overlay - Metal roofing can often be overlaid right on top of an existing composite roof. This can reduce noise and save money. It is also possible that you can put shingles over your existing roof as well. A roofing professional can discuss your options.

Insurance - Your homeowner’s insurance company might reward you for using a safer material in wildfire prone areas. It’s worth making a call to them to find out. 

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When choosing between metal roofing and composite roofing, it's important for homeowners to take their time before making a decision about the option that best suits their needs and budget. By getting the proper estimates and exploring a roofing warranty, making a choice between metal roofing vs. composite roofing doesn't have to be an ongoing battle if a homeowner is armed with the right information.

Get your 4 free roofing estimates!

Photo credit: Andrew Deci via Compfight CC.