White metal vs. white shingles: What you need to know

Radius Mechanical Seam Metal RoofMany people are appreciating the energy savings that come from having a white roof installed. The light color will reflect much more solar radiation than darker tones, and in some cases, it will re-emit the solar radiation that is absorbed initially. Which may bring up the question: Why can’t I just have my asphalt shingles painted white and reap the same benefits?

While it’s definitely true that white-painted shingles will save more energy than the traditional darker variety, there are other facts that you may want to consider regarding the differences between white metal and white shingles:

  • Longevity: Shingles will generally last about 15 years, while a metal roof will conservatively last 50 years. (Some have held up for more than a century.) A metal roof, therefore, is simply a better investment when it comes to your roof’s life span.
  • Quality of the coating: When a white coating is used on asphalt shingles, it will initially reflect the solar radiation by as much as 80 percent, according to studies. This means that just 20 percent of the sun’s energy is absorbed into the roof. But this success rate drops considerably after a few years, when the reflectance goes down to about 50 percent. Metal, on the other hand, never suffers from this issue — and with a highly reflective coating, it can re-emit up to 90 percent of solar radiation for the life of the roof.
  • Environmental impact: Most metal roofing is made of recycled material, and it can also be placed directly on top of an existing roof. This reduces what ends up in the landfills.
  • Temperature differences: When comparing the temperature of the roof over air temperature, a white metal roof will be about 25 to 36 degrees hotter. A premium white shingle will be 60 degrees hotter, while a generic white shingle will be 70 degrees above. These findings come from a study conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Florida Solar Energy Center.
  • Resale value: A metal roof, simply put, is an appealing selling point. Not only will buyers know that the roof will last a long time, but the overall maintenance costs will be lower. And these days, it’s easy to choose a white metal roof that can be made to look like shingles, slate or other materials.

If you’d like to talk more about white metal roofing versus white shingles, call us at 386-227-5011. We’re here to answer any questions you may have!