Performance Roofing, Co

Asphalt Shingle and a Standing Seam Metal Roof? What’s Better?

What is the Difference Between an Asphalt Shingle and a Standing Seam Metal Roof?

When it comes to choosing a roofing material for your home or commercial property, two popular options often come to mind: asphalt shingles and standing seam metal roofs. Each has its unique advantages and characteristics, making it essential to understand their differences to make an informed decision. In this blog, we’ll explore these differences, focusing on preparation, roof replacement, and benefits.

Preparation and Installation of a Standing Seam Metal Roof vs Asphalt Shingles

Regardless of whether you’re installing asphalt shingles or a standing seam metal roof, the initial preparation is quite similar. The process begins with tearing off the old roofing material and hauling away the debris. Ensuring that the decking is in good condition is crucial, as any necessary replacements need to be made at this stage. Both roofing systems also require the application of a synthetic underlayment, which provides a durable base for the roofing material.

Additionally, an ice and water barrier, a self-adhering membrane, is applied in all valleys, around roof-to-wall transitions, and penetration points to add an extra layer of protection against water infiltration.

Differences in Installation between Asphalt Shingles and Standing Seam Metal Roof

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the nation. Their installation is relatively straightforward and quick. The shingles are layered in an overlapping fashion, starting from the bottom edge of the roof and working upwards. This method ensures that water runs off the roof efficiently. While asphalt shingles are easier and faster to install, they typically need to be replaced more frequently than metal roofing.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

Standing seam metal roofs, on the other hand, involve a more intricate installation process. The panels for a standing seam metal roof are custom-fabricated based on the measurements of the roof. These panels are then brought on-site and installed, with custom cuts made to ensure a perfect fit. Each panel runs seamlessly from the rake to the eave, with all fasteners hidden behind the panels. The panels snap-lock over one another, creating a watertight system that hides all fasteners and enhances the roof’s durability and aesthetic appeal.

The valleys in a standing seam metal roof utilize an open valley system, which includes an ice and water membrane underneath and sheet metal on both sides of the valley to ensure a watertight seal. The roof is capped off with a custom-fabricated ridge cap that matches the color of the roof, adding to the roof’s cohesive look.

Benefits of installing a Standing Seam Roof Over Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt Shingles

  • Cost-Effective: Asphalt shingles are generally less expensive upfront compared to metal roofing.
  • Ease of Installation: The installation process is quicker and simpler, reducing labor costs.
  • Wide Availability: Asphalt shingles are readily available and come in various styles and colors.

Standing Seam Metal Roof

  • Durability: Metal roofs are known for their exceptional durability and can last significantly longer than asphalt shingles.
  • Reflectivity: Metal roofs reflect solar radiant heat, which can reduce cooling costs in the summer.
  • Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require less maintenance and are resistant to many common roofing issues, such as mold and mildew.
  • Aesthetics: The sleek, modern look of standing seam metal roofs can enhance the overall appearance of your property.


When deciding between asphalt shingles and a standing seam metal roof, consider the long-term benefits and your specific needs. Asphalt shingles offer a cost-effective and straightforward solution while standing seam metal roofs provide superior durability, energy efficiency, and a modern aesthetic. Both options have their place in residential and commercial roofing, and the best choice depends on your priorities and budget.

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