Metal vs. Asphalt Roofs: Which Is Right for Me?

Metal vs. Asphalt Roofs: Which Is Right for Me?

If you’re considering replacing your roof, you might be asking yourself “What are the real differences between metal vs. asphalt roofs?” or “How do I know which is better for me?” as well as “Do I have to do this again in 10 years?” We’ve got the answers to your questions and more that you hadn’t even thought to ask.

The Rundown: Metal vs. Asphalt Roofs

To give you a basic idea of the metal vs. asphalt roofs breakdown, asphalt roofs are the most popular choice for a few reasons: they’re cheaper, provide relatively good protection and come in a variety of styles that match every home type. Asphalt is not as durable as other roofing options, so it requires slightly more maintenance and replacing after a certain period of time. 

Metal roofs, on the other hand, last much longer. They provide exceptional protection for your home and are also available in many colors. However, they don’t have the traditional shingled look and instead add a much more unique element to your home’s appearance. Metal roofs are generally more expensive than asphalt, but they require much less maintenance, so they could actually save you money down the road.

Metal Roofs

As we said, metal roofs are favored because of their durability and specialized style. Let’s take a closer look at the advantages and drawbacks of metal vs. asphalt roofs.

Advantages of a Metal Roof

Metal roofs are built to last. The material is strong and resistant to damage. They require very little work to maintain and don’t require replacing until 40-70 years after installation — that’s two or three times longer than the average lifetime of an asphalt roof. 

Metal roofs are also very lightweight. This makes them easier to ship and install, and puts less stress on your home’s structure. Not only will your roof last longer, your house will benefit from a metal roof, too.

The biggest advantage of a metal roof is its energy efficiency. Metal naturally reflects most of the sun’s rays instead of absorbing them like asphalt. It keeps your home much cooler in the summer and saves you money on your energy bills. Additionally, metal roofs can be made from recycled materials, so they don’t contribute to the consumption of oil and petroleum like asphalt. When the roof does eventually need to be replaced, the metal can be 100%  recycled.

Metal roofs are available in a wide variety of colors. If metal is the look you choose for your home, there’s a shade out there that will fit it perfectly.  

Disadvantages of a Metal Roof

Because of the higher cost of materials and skilled labor to install them, metal roofs require a larger investment up front. If you want a high-quality metal roof that will allow you reap the energy-saving benefits, it’s important to hire a certified installer who is qualified and comfortable using metal as a roofing material. If you can handle the initial investment, your metal roof will last you a long time and require minimal maintenance. If you plan on being in your home for a long time, a metal roof will save you money over time.

Metal roofs are visually unique. They have a specific look that might not work with every home’s design, and it’s not always desirable to stand out in your neighborhood. Look at other homes in your area for reference to determine what roofs are the most attractive and provide the highest return on investment. 

Sometimes, metal roofs can be noisier than asphalt roofs, in that you can hear heavy rain or hail hitting the surface. While some enjoy the sound of the rain on a metal roof, many would prefer to be shielded from the elements audibly as well as physically. Don’t let this deter you, qualified roofers can find solutions to insulate the roof and minimize noise. 

Asphalt Roofs

Asphalt is a popular roofing choice because of its low cost and aesthetic options. Let’s see what other reasons there might be behind choosing asphalt vs. a metal roof.

Advantages of an Asphalt Roof

Asphalt shingles are much cheaper up front, both in materials and installation cost. For the price, they offer moderate protection and can last from 10-15 years. Many think that this length of time for the price point makes asphalt the best value — particularly if they don’t plan on staying in their home forever and can delay the replacement for a new owner. 

Asphalt is an economic material and, thanks to advances in shingle design, can be very attractive. Asphalt shingles are highly customizable with endless combinations of colors and textures. Architectural shingles are a more expensive option that offer more dimension through additional layers. An asphalt roof will blend well with other homes in your area and can be made to match any home’s desired look and design.

During the winter, asphalt is naturally insulating, and will help retain your home’s heat. It absorbs the sun’s rays and could save you money on your heating bill.

Disadvantages of an Asphalt Roof 

Just like an asphalt driveway or parking lot, an asphalt roof can get very hot and cause your home to heat up as well. This means you could spend more on your monthly energy bills for air conditioning, though most quality asphalt roofing products these days offer cool roofing options to mitigate that factor. 

Asphalt also doesn’t handle temperature fluctuations well. Too many quick changes in air temperature can cause it to crack. UV rays from the sun can also cause damage to asphalt shingles, meaning your roof will need continual maintenance year after year, especially if you live in a place with a variable climate. 

Asphalt roofs usually need to be completely replaced after a decade or so. If your roof is in need of repair it can lower your resale value. Having a more durable roof is more attractive to buyers and could increase your return on investment.

Asphalt is also not an eco-friendly roofing option. Asphalt is made from petroleum which is a refined form of crude oil. Its cost depends on the fluctuations of the oil market, which is not kind to our environment.  It’s also difficult to dispose of when individual shingles or an entire roof need to be replaced. As most of its elements cannot be reused or recycled, they end up in landfills. 

Metal vs. Asphalt Roofs: Which is better for my home?

When weighing the difference between metal vs. asphalt roofs, you’ll want to consider things like cost, durability, and customization. Your roof has to work for you, but also complement your home’s style. Asphalt roofs are probably the most common choice in your neighborhood, because of their low cost. If you choose to use asphalt shingles, your home will blend in with the rest on your street. If you install a metal roof, your home might stand out. You can also watch your neighbors replace their roofs while yours stands strong, as metal roofs are much more durable than asphalt. 

It’s up to you if you’d rather choose the popular asphalt or unique metal look. Whether you’ve decided on a metal or asphalt shingle roof, Werner Roofing is at your service for the installation. We proudly install both GAF asphalt shingle roofs and Sheffield Metals standing seam roofs. No matter what you love most, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to talk about roofing options for your home.

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

When hiring a roofing contractor, you’ve probably noticed that there’s a lot of competition to choose from. It’s important to select the right contractor from the masses who will do flawless work on your home for the best value. Your contractor should meet all the necessary requirements to perform the installation or repairs for your roof. To hire the perfect contractor, refer to this checklist.

Your roofing contractor should be:

  • Local
  • Licensed in your state
  • Certified to work with the materials for your project
  • Reviewed positively by customers
  • Insured with workman’s and general liability insurance
  • Able to guarantee their work
  • Willing to provide written estimates

Hiring a Roofing Contractor Checklist

Here’s a breakdown of the checklist for hiring a roofing contractor outlining why each item is important to you and your roofing job:

They’re local

Your roofing contractor should already work in your area. Not only should you support local businesses, but you also want a contractor that won’t have to travel far to the job site and can easily transport materials and tools over a short distance. This will lower the cost of the job and will make it more likely for your roof to be completed on time with no hassle.

Also, hiring a local contractor means you’ll know who to call for repairs or updates. The person who installed your roof will be most qualified to fix it, and you won’t want to bring on other contractors who aren’t familiar with the work done by a different company.

They’re licensed in your state

Each state has specific standards and requirements for roofs. A contractor who is properly licensed will be well-versed in these requirements. They will also bring particular knowledge of weather and climate concerns of your area. All of these will affect the choices they make in working conditions, materials and staffing. Not all states have the same licensing requirements for contractors, so double-check that they are qualified to work on your home. 

They’re certified for your project 

Has your roofing contractor done projects like yours before? Are they certified to work with the materials you want to use? Your contractor should have all the necessary certifications for your roofing job. A GAF factory qualified roofing installer, for example, is knowledgeable about GAF products and procedures, has the customer approval rating to back it up and is committed to ongoing professional training. 

They have a good reputation

Before hiring a roofing contractor, compare roofing companies in your area to see which rank best with local customers. Be sure to check all the references they provide and ask if clients are still happy with the work their contractor performed years later. Remember, if your contractor is already GAF certified, they have high customer satisfaction to have earned the title.

They are covered by insurance

Insurance is crucial. If the roofing company you want to hire doesn’t have insurance, there might be a reason. Insurance is an extra cost for roofing companies, but it provides their customers with peace of mind that they won’t have to foot the bill if something goes wrong on the job. There are two types of insurance your roofing contractor should have: Workman’s Compensation Insurance and General Liability Insurance.

  • Workman’s Compensation Insurance covers the crew installing your roof. If one of them gets injured and there is no insurance to cover it, you might be liable for their medical expenses.
  • General Liability Insurance covers any accidents on your property. If something were to happen to your home as a result of the company’s work — such as fire, flood or other damage — you will not have to go into debt to pay for it. 

Insurance is there to protect both parties from having to worry about tragic accidents. You can ask to view a company’s certificates of insurance to confirm that a plan exists, rather than take them at their word.

Their work is guaranteed

Any good roofing contractor will be willing to stand behind the quality of their work. Some will have this in writing as a warranty for the products they recommend. They should hold themselves accountable for any mistakes or repairs that are needed because of their work. You want to hire a roofing contractor who will hold themselves accountable so you aren’t the one to foot the bill if something is done incorrectly. 

They provide written estimates

A written estimate is a general costs agreement that provides a clear understanding between you and your roofer. It is used as a guide throughout the roofing installation process to assess and track costs of removing and disposal of the old roof, materials and labor for installing the new one. Written estimates function as a tacit agreement and help keep expectations in line. A contractor who provides this service is going to be upfront with their quote and manage your expectations.

 

If you follow this checklist for hiring a roofing contractor, you’ll find someone who is reputable, licensed and insured and qualified for your project. They will do their best work the first time, so you can have your roofing project completed to your specifications and at a great value.

If you’re looking for a qualified and insured roofing contractor who is factory certified, look no further than Werner Roofing. We’re a GAF factory-certified roofing installer, and we’re able to install GAF’s top-of-the-line unique Timberline roofing system. For more information, or to request a free quote, give us a call at (616) 833-5382 or contact us online.

Why Choose a GAF Certified Factory Roofing Installer?

Why Choose a GAF Certified Factory Roofing Installer?

If you’ve heard of the GAF certification before, you might know that it’s a significantly rare distinction between highly skilled roofers and the rest of the contractor crowd. Maybe what you don’t know is why you should choose a GAF certified factory roofing installer over any other roofing company. The answer depends on you. 

 

Chances are, you’ve committed to the decision of installing a new roof on your home. You know that the right materials matter, as well as the tools, the time it takes to complete the job correctly, and the price required to be satisfied with your new roof. You likely want the best job done the first time and you don’t want to mess around with roof installers who have shady reputations or aren’t endorsed by reliable sources. 

 

If that is the case, you are in need of a GAF certified factory roofing installer, a company that can exceed your expectations for your new roof and offers the extra protection that comes with the prestigious certification.

What does GAF certified mean?

GAF is the biggest name in the roofing industry, the leading roofing manufacturer on this continent. Established in 1886, they are known for superior roofing and waterproofing work through their products and training. 

 

A contractor that is trained to install GAF products and has agreed to continue professional training throughout their career might be certified by the company to be able to carry out the installation of their products and keep up to date with the newest in GAF technology and practices.

The GAF Master Elite certification is the highest certification a roofer can hold in the country, and only 3 percent of roofing companies can claim this honor. In order to be eligible, a roofer must pass rigorous standards including a minimum of 7 years as a business with at least one in their program, good credit and banking records, good compensation of workers and a 99 percent or higher approval from customers based on surveys GAF conducts independently. 

If a company can pass the extreme screening process, they must still meet with a GAF manager to provide justification for why they should be granted the prestigious status. The manager will then conduct interviews and review previous jobs to verify the information. It’s no wonder most companies don’t qualify because it is extremely difficult to receive this certification.

Why do I need a certified factory roofing installer?

Unfortunately in Michigan, there are few professional requirements to be a roofer. While this offers customers more choices and competitive prices, it is up to the homeowner to do the research on the available contractors so they can trust they will receive quality work on their home. Only GAF Master Elite certified factory roofing installers can make this promise, which is known as the Golden Pledge Warranty.

What’s the difference between the Golden Pledge and any other warranty from an uncertified installer? The Golden Pledge offers more comprehensive coverage that protects you if anything goes wrong. This certified factory warranty means a GAF warranty provider will come out to double-check the work and surrounding systems worked on by the certified roofers, so if something goes wrong you have zero percent liability.

How do I find the right one?

GAF provides a find-a-contractor tool on their website where you can search for certified factory roofing installers in your area as well as browse resources, help guides and product lines. If you’re accepting bids for your roofing work, be sure to do your homework on the contractors to check if they are backed up with this certification. 

 

Odds are the lowest bids aren’t put forth by reputable contractors who can’t keep the golden promises that come with the GAF certification. Building a new roof is not a lighthearted project or expense so you want to make sure you won’t have to worry about being liable for any mistakes or, in the worst case, needing to have the entire project redone.

 

Once you find a GAF certified factory roofing installer, you can relax. Because it’s a GAF Master Elite certification, you’ll know the roofer is reliable, endorsed and has a great reputation and approval rating from customers. You won’t have to doubt that your roof will be installed by professionals who will do the job right the first time.

In addition to being a GAF certified factory roofing installer, Werner Roofing has received four consecutive GAF President’s Club Awards, one of the company’s most distinct awards. Give us a call at 616-844-5382 to set up your free home inspection today.

New Roof 101: What to Look for In New Shingles

New Roof 101: What to Look for In New Shingles

When it comes to choosing new roofing shingles, the number of options is overwhelming. Fortunately, roofing material technology has advanced to the point where there are hundreds of types to choose from, all of which can offer you decent quality and coverage for a reasonable price point. They all make various promises to do their job, but how can you know which one is right for you?

Let’s break down the different types of shingles available today and help you understand what to look for when you pick out which shingles will best serve you and your home.

Different shingle types suit different needs of your home, and probably your budget, too. Before choosing a shingle type, consider what your new roof needs. This will vary depending on the climate where you live and the type of weather conditions your roof has to withstand, as well as the look you want to achieve for your home. It’s important to choose shingles that will protect your home from the elements, without sacrificing style and curb appeal. 

Types of Roofing Shingles

The main difference between shingle types is the material from which they’re made. That will determine how your roof looks, how it stands up to the weather, how much it costs, how easy it is to install, and how long it lasts before it needs replacing. The main types of roofing shingles are:

  • Asphalt shingles: best in tough climates, either organic or fiberglass 
  • Wood shingles or shakes: classic look, but requires constant maintenance
  • Metal shingles or panels: extremely durable with a particular look 
  • Clay, cement or fiber cement tiles: very lightweight, best in warm climates 
  • Plastic or composite: can be made to look like wood shingles, but longer-lasting 
  • Natural slate: longest lasting and luxurious but extremely expensive

What to Look For in Shingles for your New Roof:

    Each shingle type has particular qualities that make them better for certain roof types than others. Depending on the particularities of your specific roof and the area in which you live, certain qualities are more important for you. If you live in the northern part of the country that receives more rain and snow, you wouldn’t select a shingle that can’t handle moisture and humidity. Similarly, if you live in a warm climate that receives a lot of sunlight, you wouldn’t want a roof that absorbs and traps heat during the warm months. 

    All shingles will vary, but here are some of the most important qualities to consider when looking for new shingles: 

    Durability

    No matter where you live, you want to find shingles for your new roof that are going to last a long time. Pick out shingles that best suit the climate where you live. Ice and snow, high winds and rain, or extreme conditions like wildfires or hurricanes will all produce wear or damage to your roof, so you need to provide it with the best defense possible. 

    For example, in the Midwest, asphalt shingles are most popular because they protect homes from the icy and cold winters as well as the hot and humid summers. This type of shingle uses a grit or stone that is held in place by an asphalt covering. There are two types of asphalt shingles that differ by the material used as backing to hold the shingle together, which can influence its weight, durability and protective capability:

    • Organic: contain more asphalt, are used more often in cold climates because they can withstand cooler temperatures. Organic asphalt shingles are a heavier option that can tolerate higher winds but will put more stress on a roof if it is not structurally sound.

    • Fiberglass: lighter weight and less expensive, but also less durable. They also struggle with colder temperatures and are better suited for warm weather. Fiberglass asphalt shingles have a higher fire rating than organic asphalt shingles.

    Color and appearance

    Another important consideration when choosing new roofing shingles is their appearance. The color, texture and thickness of the shingles affects how it will look on your home. Generally, the more you spend, the more material you’re working with that will add depth and shadowing, increasing the visual appeal of your roof. 

    Wood shakes are classic and traditional, but more expensive than asphalt shingles. While they may be visually appealing, they don’t handle moisture well and may require more repairs. Natural slate is the most durable and extravagant type of shingle, but also the most expensive. It might not have the right look for your home or a positive impact on your budget. 

    Look at homes similar to yours in your area or on the web. Compare looks that you love and see how they hold up over time. You want to choose a style that will add to your home’s value. If one day you decide to sell, you’ll be glad you chose a style that is pleasing to potential buyers.

    Ease of installation

    Depending on the type of shingles you choose, you may need special help to install them. Not all contractors are created equal. Find a reputable roofer that is certified in the material you choose and can guarantee its flawless installation. GAF, a reputable roofing manufacturer, has its own standards and certification programs for classifying roofing contractors. They give out Master Elite certifications to those who demonstrate the skill and attention required to install their products perfectly. To find a GAF certified roofing installer near you, visit their website. 

    If you choose a specific roofing material that not many contractors can handle, chances are you will have to pay more to find a highly specific installation specialist. The advantage of choosing products like asphalt or metal roofing is that it won’t be hard to find extremely qualified help to install them, and you can enjoy your new roof sooner, with more assurances. 

    Price 

    Finally, and possibly most importantly, you will need to weigh the price of new roofing shingles. The price will vary greatly depending on the type shingle and the size of your roof. To help you understand the cost difference per shingle type, we found the average price per 100 square feet of material:

    • Asphalt shingles: $350-$750
    • Wood shingles and shakes: $750-$1,250
    • Metal roofing: $750-$1,500
    • Clay or cement tiles: $800-$1,800
    • Plastic/composite shingles: $800-$1,250
    • Natural slate: $1,200-$2,000

    Ultimately, you want the best value for your new roofing shingles, so you can have a roof that’s going to last you a long time and look great, without being too costly. Fortunately, roofing technology is improving the quality, durability and price of shingles as we test out new products and practices. 

    If you’re ready for a new roof, but are still unsure which shingles are right for you, talk to the experts at Werner Roofing. We can provide a free roof inspection and would be happy to show you the options that would best compliment your home.

    How Your Roof Affects the Temperature of Your Home

    How Your Roof Affects the Temperature of Your Home

    As we get closer to the hottest part of summer, everyone wants to know how they can keep their home the coolest without spending too much on those energy bills. What if we told you that your roof could actually have an effect on the temperature of your home?

     

    Believe it or not, it’s true. There are a number of different roofing factors that can change the amount of heat that’s either absorbed into your home or reflected off. It’s important to note that these factors don’t change in the winter, either. Roofs that absorb more heat in the summer will also absorb more heat in the winter, which can actually be a wonderful positive when it comes to melting snow and keeping your home toasty warm in the winter. Let’s look at the four most important roofing factors that affect the temperature of your home:

    Color of your roof

    As you’ve probably heard from many, the color of your roof does affect how much heat is absorbed into your attic. A federal study has shown that the plywood under dark roofs in direct sunlight is consistently 10 to 15°F hotter than the plywood boards under light colored roofs. If you think back to your elementary science class, it’s pretty easy to figure out why—darker colors tend to absorb more light, trapping heat in the roof, and allowing it to flow into your attic. Lighter colors, on the other hand, are reflective and cause much of the heat to from light rays to bounce off, meaning they hold much less heat than a darker roof.

     

    At this point you might be thinking, then why do I see so many dark colored roofs? And the answer is because they’re still practical in a lot of areas around the country, especially in places like Michigan. In colder areas that get a lot of snow, it can often be beneficial to have a darker roof, because the heat they absorb helps melt off snow before it gets too heavy. While the color of your roof does change the amount of heat that’s absorbed into your home, there are so many other factors that can change your home’s interior temperature that you shouldn’t shy away from a darker roof color if that’s what your prefer.

    Roofing material

    The material of your roof can also have a big impact on how much heat is absorbed into your home. For example, an asphalt roof only reflects an estimated 30% of light that hits your home, regardless of if you have dark or light shingles. Conversely, a metal roof is very reflective, which means that a majority of light rays are reflected away from your home, keeping your home and attic at an even temperature year round. Though these are the top two most common types of roofing material, every option, from tile roofs to concrete flat roofs, offer a different rate of light and heat absorption. If you have a favorite roofing material that you’d really like to install in your new home, but are worried about its energy efficiency, it’s good to know that most materials do have a cool roof option.

    Roofing technology

    Cool roofs are a great way to get the roofing color and material that you wanted, at a better energy efficiency rate. A cool roof is a roof that has been designed to absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight than a standard roof. Some roofing materials come in “cool roof” options, and others can be altered with a highly reflective type of paint or coating to absorb less heat. In most cases, a cool roof will stay at least 50°F cooler than a non-cool roof of the same color and construction. Though these materials often cost a bit more upfront, if you’re looking for energy savings, that’s what you’ll get. These types of roofs are sure to keep your home nice and cool, even on the hottest days of summer. They’re a great way to reduce air conditioning needs and save a bit of money on your energy bill.

    Roof and attic construction

    It’s important to note that regardless of what type of roofing material you end up with, roofing construction and attic ventilation are the two most important factors that go into keeping your home a comfortable temperature. Any quality roofer will tell you that proper roof ventilation is the best way to ensure that your home stays cool in the summer. If your home is well-built, and your attic has the right amount of insulation, and ventilation so that excess heat can escape, then the heat coming in from the roof really shouldn’t have a major impact on the temperature of the rest of your home. Proper ventilation should provide cooling properties for your roof’s shingles, while insulation will keep any excess heat from reaching past your attic.

     

    In the end, it’s important to choose a roof that works best for your home first. While shingle color, roofing material, and technology all can have an impact on the temperature of your home, a good roofer should be able to mitigate those temperature differences with quality construction. If you’re looking for a local roofer you know you can trust to build you a high-quality West Michigan roof, then give the experts at Werner Roofing a call. We’ve been in the business for decades and would be happy to install your new roof, whether you prefer dark shingles, light shingles, or a standing seam metal roof.

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    OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

    How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

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