Metal Shingles: The Other Metal Roof

by Grace Motley

When you think of metal roofing, what kinds of images come to mind? Many people either picture old-fashioned metal roofs covered in rust, or they picture modern sheet metal roofing. Sheet metal roofing is quite a common choice for homes these days. It's durable, easy to install, and comes in many colors. It has a distinct look as well. If you want the benefits of metal roofing but want something different than the sheet metal look, then you're in luck. There is, in fact, another type of metal roofing: metal shingles.

What are metal shingles?

Metal shingles are pretty much what they sound like. They are shingles — about the size of the ever-common asphalt shingles — but instead of being made from asphalt, they are made from metal. Most are made from stainless steel, although you can find copper shingles and aluminum shingles, too.

Each material has its advantages. Copper shingles will last a lifetime or more, and they have a distinct penny-like look; they develop a green patina with age. Aluminum shingles work well by the ocean where salt water would cause steel roofing to rust. But stainless steel shingles tend to offer the right balance of affordability, durability, and appearance for most homeowners who don't live seaside. Stainless steel shingles can be painted almost any color you wish. They can even be made to look like asphalt shingles if that's the look you prefer.

What are the benefits of metal shingle roofing?

Basically, metal shingle roofing offers all the same benefits as sheet metal roofing, but with a different appearance. Metal sheds snow very well, so you don't have to worry about heavy snow building up on your roof, melting, and forming ice dams. Metal shingles can also last 50 years or more — significantly longer than your average asphalt shingle.

Another benefit of metal shingles is that they can be eco-friendly. Most metal roofing these days are made from recycled metal, and when the roof is removed, it can be recycled again.

Metal shingles do tend to be a little easier to repair than sheet metal roofing, too. If something goes wrong, your roofing contractor often only has to replace a few small shingles, rather than one huge sheet.

If you like the idea of metal roofing, but want a more traditional look, then metal shingles are a great choice. Talk to a roofing contractor in your area to get an estimate, like Pacific Sheet Metal.