Shingles or Metal for your Commercial Roof


Roofing is a complex industry – and many managers or owners of commercial facilities are initially surprised to learn of the variety of roofing options available to them.  Of course, the kind of facility you operate, the style of the building, and factors such as climate and budget will inform which materials you use for your commercial roof.  Given the range of materials used in commercial roofing, it is important to work closely with a roofing contractor to choose the best fit for you and your business.  Nevertheless, let’s take a closer look at shingles and metal roofing and some of the pros and cons for each in commercial roofing.

Shingles are probably the most common material used for commercial and residential roofs.  Generally speaking, shingle roofing is an affordable option for commercial buildings.  They are easy to install and repair; and given the ubiquity of asphalt shingles in the roofing industry, they are also predictable materials and many roofers have the knowledge and expertise to work with this material.  However, asphalt shingles are more likely to be damaged in inclement weather such as high winds, hail, and ice and snow.  Similarly, without proper exposure to sunlight, shingled roofs are more likely to develop moss, mildew, and algae which damage the shingles.

Still, given the cost, shingle roofs are quite durable, though they are also considerably heavier than metal roofs.  Another factor environmentally conscious business owners may consider is the fact that asphalt shingles are not easily recycled.  In fact, shingles are one of the leading materials contributing to construction waste.  In today’s environmentally-conscious society, it is increasingly common for consumers to choose more sustainable options, and this is as true in the roofing industry as other industries.

So then, what do you need to know about metal roofing?  Typically, metal roofs are strong and durable – known to withstand high winds, metal roofs make a great choice for commercial buildings in hurricane zones.  Indeed, metal roofs tend to have longer lifespans that most other roofing materials, particularly compared to asphalt shingles.  Metal roofs offer exceptional fire protection, and because they retain heat they make a great choice for cooler climates.  On the other hand, metal roofs may also be susceptible to rusting which means they may not be ideal for locations that get a lot of precipitation or those near the sea.

Ultimately, choosing between metal and shingle roofs will come down to your needs and preference in most cases.  There are certainly pros and cons to both types of roofing materials.  By working with a professional roofer, you can carefully consider all the factors that influence your choice between these materials including your geographic location, budget, and commercial needs.