In this post, we provide a quick overview of different roofing types that are included in our calculator for comparison. We also offer our opinions about these products, and an average lifespan of each one.
30 Year Architectural Asphalt Shingles – the most common type of residential roofing material. Mainly popular because of it’s relatively low cost and low installation prices, due to high competition in the market. The average life expectancy of a properly installed asphalt shingles system, over an adequately ventilated deck varies from 15-20 years, depending on the region and the location of the roof. For example, in wooded areas of New Hampshire, an asphalt shingles roof will last less than one somewhere in the suburb’s of New Jersey. Moss will damage shingles in the summer and ice dams will damage them in the winter, shortening the overall lifespan. This is general information and the results may greatly vary, due to numerous factors affecting the performance of each particular roof.
Read our complete asphalt roofing shingles guide, which covers 3-tab, architectural / laminated shingles, premium shingles, longevity, warranty, roof repair and environmental issues related to asphalt shingles.
The average installation price of an asphalt shingles roof: $320 per square (100 sq. ft.) on a 1-story, walkable gable roof, including tear-off, underlayment, nails, flashing and ridge-vent.
Metal Roofing Materials Guide – we include 3 most common types of metal roofs: Standing Seam, Aluminum and Steel Interlocking Shingles.
Standing Seam – vertical metal panels, usually coated with special Kynar 500 coating, and typically come in aluminum and steel. Optionally, you can get standing seam metal roofs in copper, zinc, and even lead. Standing seam panels are usually 16″ wide and are cut to the required length, when produced in a factory environment or on site, by a roll forming machine.
Standing seam panels MUST be installed over an even, clean deck with proper underlayment. Old asphalt shingles must be removed before the metal panels are installed, to prevent the “telegraphing” effect of shingles punching through the metal. Standing seam panels are attached using clips and screws (for 1.5-2″ lock panels) and with nails, when a “nailing strip” profile is used. The most common types of standing seam are Snap-Lock and Mechanical Lock architectural panels.
The most common metal used for standing seam roofing is galvanized steel – there are two major types of galvanization used in metal roofing industry: Galvalume and G-90 steel. Galvalume uses a zinc-aluminum coating as the galvanization method, while G-90 uses mainly zinc. Both are about the same when it comes to quality and should last a very long time, unless a metal panel has deep scratches, down to the bare steel.
Aluminum Standing Seam Roof
The second common metal used to make standing seam is aluminum. In my opinion, aluminum works much better than steel, as it will not rust even if a panel has deep scratches, which is very common occurrence during manufacturing and installation of standing seam materials. Aluminum is also best to use near the ocean / sea as, unlike steel, it will not be subject to salt corrosion in the coastal areas.
Do not confuse standing seam with corrugated metal roofing panels – these are not the same. Standing seam roofs utilize concealed fasteners, while corrugated steel ones are installed with exposed screws – right through the panel, which dramatically increases the possibility of a leak.
The average installation price of a standing seam metal roof: $1000-1200 per square (100 sq. ft.) of roof area on a 1-story, walkable gable roof, including tear-off, breathable synthetic underlayment such as GAF DeckArmor, clips+screws, Z-flashing, ridge-vent and snow-guards above doors (walkways) and used garage doors.
Interlocking Metal Shingles (Steel and Aluminum): – offer more flexibility when it comes to installation. Interlocking shingles are much better when it comes to flashing detail, as they have a low profile without ribs. Therefore, the difficulty level of skylight flashing moves to “easy”, as compared to “very difficult” for standing seam.
Interlocking shingles also will give you a different look and feel – for example you can choose a a Slate or Cedar shingle look. Your home will not look like a farm house or a barn. You can actually combine different colors and shades of shingles and trim / flashing metal to give you an even better, more alive look. For example, if you choose to install “green slate”, you can combine it with copper-colored flashing to make your metal roof resemble real slate even more.
In terms of cost, interlocking shingles are the least expensive metal roofs available. First, due to smaller physical size of the panel, metal does not need to be as thick as that used in long and wide standing seam panels. Therefore, material costs are lower. Also, with “easier” installation your labor costs go down. You can easily see a 20% price difference on a simpler roof, and as much as 35% difference on a really cut-up one.
In terms of performance and longevity, interlocking shingles will last just as long as standing seam – therefore the only difference is in the aesthetic look and price of the roof.
The average installation price of interlocking metal shingles: $900-1000 per square (100 sq. ft.), on a 1-story, walkable gable roof, including tear-off of 1 layer of old roofing, installation of breathable synthetic underlayment such as GAF DeckArmor, clips and nails (galvanized steel nails or ring-shank aluminum nails), ridge-vent and snow-guards above doors (walkways) and used garage doors.
Read on: Roofing Materials Guide part 2 – Flat Roofing Materials.
In the second part of this guide, we will discuss the materials designed specifically for low slope applications, where traditional roofing materials will fail, as flat and low slope roofs often have ponding water and snow on them, and water-shedding materials (such as shingles) will not work.
Roofing Materials Reference Info:
How long asphalt shingles REALLY last: Special report by CBC:
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