how’s a metal roof compare to a shingle roof in a cold weather climate?

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Shingle Roofs vs Metal Roofs

Composition Asphalt Shingles or Long Lasting Steel?

© Kelly Smith

Sep 28, 2007

Pros and cons of composition asphalt shingles and steel (metal) roofs. Consider lifetime, roof durability, cost, protection from the elements, and fire resistance.

Shingle Roofs VS Metal Roofs

A home’s roof is arguably the most important component. After all, the roof protects the house from the elements: rain, snow, sleet, and hail. The two most common residential roofing materials are composition shingles (or asphalt shingles), and steel (also known as a metal roof). When the homeowner is installing the original roof on a new home or when the time has come to replace the old roof, the homeowner needs to consider metal roofs vs. shingle roofs. This article will discuss the pros and cons of each.

Composition Shingle Roofs

Composition shingle roofs are the most popular because of their economy and the number of options available. The composition shingle has a fiberglass mat core. The fiberglass gives the shingle flexibility and provides some fire resistance. The exterior of the composition shingle has a weather resistant asphalt coating embedded with crushed rock. The lifetime of the composition shingle is 15 to 30 years.

The price of composition shingles varies widely depending on a number of factors. On the low end of the price scale are the plain, flat shingles. For a more appealing appearance, many homeowners opt for a slightly more expensive shingle; one that incorporates a three dimensional look. One manufacturer calls this the “shadow”. These composition shingles have more of a beefy look, reminiscent of the cedar shake shingles of old.

Composition shingle roofs are susceptible to algae growth. This is the stain-looking light streak seen on many roofs. Shingles with an anti-algae coating are more expensive but worth it if curb appeal is an issue.

The most popular attic venting systems today are ridge vents, which have largely replaced whirlybirds. Cooling can be further enhanced with radiant barrier paint on the underside of the roof sheathing.

Metal Roofs or Steel Roofs

The homeowners can expect to pay about 30 percent more for a metal roof compared to a composition shingle roof. It all depends on the weather conditions, the time the homeowner expects to stay in the home, and of course, whether the homeowners association will permit it.

Benefits of a Metal Roof

Steel roofs are a good choice for areas that experience high winds. They withstand far higher mile per hour winds than composition shingles. The metal roofing material only weighs approximately one seventh what a shingle roof does, putting less stress on the house’s structure.

Steel roofs are fire proof which is not only safer but may result in a lower insurance premium. A brick house with a metal roof stands a better chance of surviving a fire coming from outside the home.

Roof longevity is a factor for the homeowner planning to stay in the home. Although a metal roof costs more initially, in the long run it’s cheaper. Most metal roof manufacturers will give a guarantee of around fifty years but experts believe this is a conservative estimate.

Metal roofs need not look commercial. Other styles are available. Some look like conventional shingles and others look like cedar shake shingles.


When it comes to choosing between a composition shingle roof or a metal roof, the homeowner needs to weigh several factors. How long will she stay in the home? Can she afford to spend the additional amount to install a steel roof? When choosing, it must be kept in mind that the roof protects the occupants and their possessions.

Over the years, one of the most popular roofing materials has been the asphalt shingle-a piece of felt or fiberglass that is covered in tar and then tiny small stones are literally glued onto the surface.

However, over time your roof loses all its protection due to worn off stones and causes ongoing deterioration of the shingles, leading to leaks and eventual structural damage.


Another type of roofing material that wears out and has to be repeatedly replaced is cedar shakes or shingles. A roof made from wood requires a tremendous amount of maintenance, upkeep, time, and costly expenses. Over time, the roof becomes unsightly and the decay will be accelerated which leads to premature roof failure.


In many parts of the country, clay or concrete roofing tiles are used. Because of their composition, they have their own unique set of problems, which include water intrusion due to their extremely porous make-up. The roofing tiles become cracked by moisture seeping through the pores of the tile and going through the freeze/thaw cycle. Once the tile is cracked, water will easily get through and great damage can be done before the homeowner even realizes it.

Metal Roofing For Your Home

At Classic, we understand that you are constantly looking for innovative ways to enhance the value and beauty of your home. After all, your home is your most valued asset, and maintaining that investment is a top priority.

Classic has a total solution! Discriminating homeowners that are tired of the short lives and ordinary looks of other residential roofing materials select Classic for its distinctive beauty, durability, and energy efficiency. Our specialty metal roofing systems adorn thousands of homes nationwide, and that number is growing every day.

Save On Your Energy Bills

Our Kynar 500®/Hylar 5000® coating incorporates the advanced HI-R Heat Barrier coating, which creates a cooler, more efficient home due to the special reflective pigments embedded in the finish. The complex chemical structure of these pigments reflects away the infrared portion of the sun’s rays most responsible for heat. A Classic roof coated with HI-R reflects away the sun’s heat leaving the attic space and the entire building much cooler in the summer. In the winter, reflected heat from the sun helps the roof shed snow and ice build up evenly and quickly. Homeowners with a Classic roof report saving up to 20% or more on their energy costs.

o Classic reduces attic heat gain by up to 34%

o Classic reflects the sun’s radiant energy

o Classic is an approved U.S. Energy Star Partner

Read what our customers are saying about energy savings

High-Tech Metal Roofing

As the technology of the industry constantly improves, we are committed to improving with it in order to make sure that we are always producing only the highest quality metal roofing systems possible. This commitment to quality often involves updating certain aspects of our product design.

As a result, Classic introduces HI-R, a new reflective pigment technology.

HI-R is a superior quality coating system that incorporates specially formulated infrared reflective pigments that will keep your home much cooler, lower your bills, and turn your home into one of the most energy-efficient homes on the planet.

Read Dramatic HI-R Test Results from the Florida Energy Center

Classic Metal Roofing Can Withstand The Elements

A unique four-way interlock and nail clip system assures a weather-tight, wind-resistant hold on all four sides of a Classic metal roof. This interlock system has been proven in laboratory tests to remain watertight even during wind-driven rain of over 110 miles per hour. Classic roofing systems withstood the ravages of Andrew and Hugo, two of the worst of the century, without blowing off or leaking, saving homeowners costly repairs.


o Sheds snow buildup

o Saves money-no old roof to remove

Your home provides shelter from the storms of life. To protect what is important to you, Classic Metal Roofing Systems has crafted a roof that is technologically innovative, durable, beautiful, and lasts a lifetime

Classic Metal Roofs are Technologically Innovative

At Classic Metal Roofing Systems, we put our materials and designs to the test every day. From the exacting standards with which we test our raw materials, to the intricate inspection performed before our roofing systems ship, Classic strives to make sure the roof on your home lasts a lifetime.

Classic Metal Roofing has a proven history of staying on the leading edge of residential metal roofing. Our intricately detailed products are well respected as leading the industry in terms of beauty. Our focus on aluminum allows homeowners to choose a metal roof which never has a risk of rusting.

Over the years, Classic Metal Roofing has also stayed on the leading edge of coating technology. We were the first roofing manufacturer of residential metal shingles to use Kynar 500®/Hylar 5000® paint systems, providing the ultimate in fade and chalk resistance. We were also the first company to introduce heat-reflective coatings to the residential metal roofing industry, helping our customers create energy-efficient homes to maximize energy savings while meeting the goals of today’s local, state, and federal energy efficiency initiatives. And, most recently, Classic Metal Roofing developed and began offering the first Kynar 500®/Hylar 5000® powder coating ever used in the metal roofing industry.

Classic Metal Roofs are Durable

Classic Metal Roofing Systems have passed wind and uplift tests including UL 580: a rigorously demanding test of roofing materials that simulates wind speeds over 120 miles per hour. Thanks to our four-way interlocking system, we passed the performance requirements of areas like Dade County Florida and other hurricane prone regions.

Classic Metal Roofing Systems have passed the UL 2218 Impact Resistance Test at its most severe level, Class IV. With this type of protection, homeowners with Classic Metal Roofing Systems in states prone to severe hail ar

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