What’s Heavier: Metal Roofs or Shingles?


You probably thought to yourself: the answer is metal. But you would be incorrect! While it seems as though metal is the heavier material, despite its strength and durability, metal roofing is actually one of the lightest weight roofing types you can invest in. Steel (the heaviest type of metal roof material) weighs 1.5-pounds per square foot, while aluminum weighs less than a pound per square foot.

Now, asphalt shingles weigh between three and five pounds per square foot, so this tells you that metal roofs are lighter than asphalt shingles.

Metal: Lightweight Durability and Home Protection

It’s no surprise that metal roofs are optimal for lightweight durability and home protection. That’s because they are able to withstand extreme weather conditions such as:

  • Ice, rain, moisture – Water-related damage doesn’t affect metal roofing as much because metal is nonporous, meaning it won’t get saturated by rain or crack and split as part of freeze and thaw cycles.
  • High winds – Metal features strong interlocking components to guarantee their security even when faced with winds up to 120 mph or more.
  • Fire – Metal roofs are resistant to fire.
  • Hail – Metal can take the damaging effects of hail better than other roof types, which may surprise many homeowners.

As you can see, the lightweight durability and protective features of metal roofing can ensure this is a good choice for your home.

What is the Heaviest Roofing Material?

Concrete tiles weigh from 9.5 to 12 lbs. per square foot. Due to this big weight, this is why you don’t often see concrete roofs on typical residential homes. Usually, industrial or commercial buildings will fare better with this material. Concrete tiles weigh 40% more than tiles made of clay, which are quite heavy in their own right, weighing up to 650 pounds. In comparison, concrete weighs between 820 and 1,100 pounds per every 100 square feet.

The big winner in the heaviest roofing material contest is slate, clocking in at 1,500 pounds per 100 square feet.

Before you choose an alternative roofing material, it’s important to consult with a roofer or structural engineer first. They can determine if your existing home or other structure can withstand the added weight and stress of your chosen material. They can also determine if the existing supports are adequate enough to withstand the added weight or if more supports are necessary. If you have your heart set on a specific heavy roofing material, you may have to add extra supports to accommodate that weight.

In the end, the decision to install metal or asphalt shingle roofing is a personal one. But if you’re looking for longevity, metal can last between 40 and 70 years, while asphalt lasts between 15 and 20 years, says Home Advisor.

Contact Ferris Roofing in Fort Worth TX

Ferris Roofing Contractors is skilled in installation and repair of metal roofing in Fort Worth. To schedule an inspection or free quote, get in touch with us at 817-440-3767.