Your home offers protection from the harsh elements of the outdoors. It’s a safe haven for you and your family. One of the most important features of your home is its roof, which acts as a barrier from any rain, snow, hail, high winds, or debris.
As a result, your roof requires special consideration. Not all roofing products and materials are made the same. Asphalt shingles have long been the go-to, due to their low cost and ease of roofing installation. However, they’ve increasingly been falling out of favor. In their place, metal roofing has been on the rise, due to its plethora of benefits.
If you’re a homeowner interested in installing a metal roof, you have two options. You can either remove your old shingles or install metal roofing over them. Let’s explore why you might consider installing metal roofing over your asphalt shingles.
What is Metal Roofing?
As its name suggests, metal roofing is simply roofing that uses metal as its primary material. Metal roofs can be made out of:
Each of these materials has strengths and weaknesses. However, steel is the most popular due to its lightness and durability. It comes in stainless, galvanized, and galvalume-coating varieties.
While metal roofs bring up visions of modern-style buildings, they actually come in a variety of styles and colors these days. For example, metal shingles can suit a more traditional aesthetic. If you prefer the modern look, metal roofing can also be designed into vertical roofing panels. Whatever your stylistic preference is, there’s a metal roofing option out there for you.
Why Choose A Metal Roof Over Shingles Installation?
Metal roofs offer a host of desirable benefits, including unparalleled durability, impressive longevity, enhanced energy-efficiency, and eco-friendliness. Let’s take a deeper look at each of these attractive advantages.
If you live somewhere that experiences harsh weather, metal roofing is a dream come true. It can stand up to elements better than any other type of roofing material. Metal roofing withstands:
- Intense winds
Due to this impressive level of durability, you’ll enjoy greater peace of mind during all seasons when you have a metal roof over your head.
In addition to durability, metal roofing boasts incredible longevity. Unlike asphalt shingles, which require regular maintenance and replacements every 20 to 25 years, your metal roof will last a lifetime. Learn more with our guide on How Long Do Metal Roofs Last.
Check out the average lifespans of these popular roofing materials:
- Wood shingles: 12 to 20 years
- Asphalt shingles: 20 to 30 years
- Metal shingles: 50 to 75 years
As you can see, metal roofing is the clear winner in terms of longevity. If you install a metal roof, you’ll enjoy the convenience of a one-time installation. Better yet, metal roofing is essentially maintenance-free once it’s installed.
Energy Efficiency Cost Savings
Metal roofs are also much more energy-efficient than traditional asphalt shingles. Why is this? Let’s examine how they absorb the sun’s heat and transfer solar radiation differently.
- Asphalt shingles: Traditional shingles are notorious for absorbing heat. This heat then seeps into your home, increasing its internal temperature in the hot summer months. To deal with this heat, you’ll end up racking up a hefty AC bill.
- Metal roofing: Metal roofs are much better at reflecting heat away. Studies show they prevent 45% more heat from entering your home, reducing cooling costs by 25% on average. Metal roofs also offer greater insulation during the colder months, especially when you install them over top of your old shingles.
The energy-related roof cost savings from metal roofing can really add up over time. If you’re tired of paying for expensive heating and cooling services, a metal roof is something to consider.
Lower Impact on the Environment
One final benefit of metal roofs is that they can be installed on top asphalt shingles, greatly reducing your contribution to landfills. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 20 billion pounds of asphalt shingles enter landfills each year! Any time you can keep your shingles on your roof and out of landfills, you should do so for the sake of the environment.
Can You Install Metal Roof Over Shingles?
With all of those desirable benefits, metal roofing is an appealing option. If your home currently has asphalt shingles, you may be wondering: “Is it possible to install metal roofing over old shingles?” In most cases, you absolutely can.
Since metal roofing is incredibly lightweight, placing it over shingles is not a problem. However, there are a few instances where you’ll want to remove your shingles before the installation:
- Your area’s building codes require you to: Check with your local building department before proceeding with any installations. Some departments require you to remove all roofing before installing a new metal roof.
- Your roof has more than one layer of shingles: Generally, you should only consider installing metal roofing over a single layer of shingles. Sometimes you can add metal over two layers, but it depends on their age and weight. If you have more than two layers of shingles, it’s not recommended.
- Your current roof is in bad shape: If your roof is leaking or rotting, you’ll need to address these issues before installing a new metal roof. You don’t want to screw your brand new metal roof into rotten wood or leaking shingles.
Why Install a Metal Roof Over Shingles?
As long as you don’t have any of those concerns, installing metal roof over shingles is a fantastic option for homeowners. In fact, going this route offers a few notable benefits:
- You’ll Save Money: Tearing down shingles is labor-intensive and costly.
- It’s More Eco-Friendly: As previously mentioned, keeping your shingles prevents them from ending up in landfills.
- Additional Insulation: Two layers of roof improve the overall insulation of your home. This can translate into cost savings during the winter months.
What Are the Different Types of Metal Roof Over Shingles Installations?
There are two main types of metal roof installations. Those are the shingle roofing system and the standing seam system:
- Steel Shingle System: Like asphalt shingles, steel shingles use small roofing panels that are installed in horizontal rows. If your asphalt shingles are in poor condition or have missing shingles, this metal roofing system is the preferable choice. Steel shingles are easier to install DIY. Finally, they’re more wind-resistant, withstanding winds up to 120 mph!
- Standing Seam System: The standing seam metal roof system places long vertical metal roof panels from the eave to the ridge. This option is more common and more expensive. This is partly because it requires the help of a professional roofer. This roofing system withstands winds of up to 80 mph.
Both of these metal roofing styles can fit a variety of home aesthetics. Based on your needs and budget, you can choose accordingly.
How to Install Metal Roof Over Shingles
Based on the type of metal roofing you choose for your roofing project, you can do a DIY installation or hire a professional contractor to take care of it.
The basic steps for a metal roof over shingles installation are as follows:
- Measure your roof’s surface and purchase the appropriate amount of metal roofing material.
- Lay down a barrier between the shingles and metal roofing. You can use either a synthetic underlayment or a set of purlins.
a. Synthetic underlayments can be placed directly over the shingles. They prevent condensation issues and corrosion.
b. Purlins should be screwed into the roof deck. They allow for an air gap between the metal roof and shingles, further reducing any heat transfer.
- Install your pre-measured metal roofing and fasten it into place. Ensure straightness and symmetry.
- Install closure strips where necessary.
- Place the ridge cap at the top of the roof.
While this process is fairly simple, the final outcome depends on your attention to detail and experience. That’s why a professional roofer is a great option.
How Much Does Metal Roofing Cost?
Upon initial investment, the average cost of metal roofs is generally more expensive than other types of roofing. However, over the course of their extensive lifespan, they actually end up being more cost-effective.
Here are just some of the ways that a metal roof ends up being cheaper over time:
- Longer lifespan, reducing the need for roof replacements.
- Increased durability, reducing the need for repairs.
- Enhanced energy-efficiency, reducing heating and cooling costs
- No required maintenance.
Enjoy the Benefits of Metal Roof Over Shingles Installation
In summary, installing a metal roof over shingles is a great investment for homeowners. Metal roofing offers unmatched protection against the elements. Despite the steeper upfront costs, metal roofing ends up providing a better return on investment than traditional asphalt shingles. Other notable benefits include its energy-efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Best of all, you don’t have to tear down your shingles to enjoy the perks of a metal roof. In fact, keeping them in place can save you money, save the environment, and give you added insulation.
To see how you can install your metal roof properly and cost-effectively, consult the roofing specialists at Preman Roofing.
Market Watch. Metal Roofing Market 2019.
Building Design + Construction. Why do metal roofs allow significant energy savings?