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Asbestos in asphalt shingles? Why you need a metal roof

Are you in the market for a new roof? If you’re considering purchasing an asphalt roof, you’re not alone. Ontarians are more likely to purchase asphalt over any other material. Max Guerra, general manager of New Steel Roofers, tells us why homeowners should consider the alternative: a metal roof.

Asphalt is most common, but not the best product on the market

Asphalt shingles are the first product consumers consider because it’s the most common, and therefore homeowners think it’s the most effective, says Guerra. “It’s the least expensive option out there,” he says. “The problem is these products come with a 25, 30 or 40-year warranties, but usually last between 8 to 12 years.” That’s because asphalt shingles were made with asbestos, which gave it the strength and durability it needed to last over 20 years. When the Canadian government banned asbestos in all building products in the late 80s, the shingles lost their strength. Homeowners found their roofs failing within 10 years of installation.

How does a metal roof compare?

Guerra recommends homeowners have a metal roof installed. They come with a 50-year warranty, but are built to last anywhere from 80 to 90 years. The average cost of an asphalt roof is $7,800 and a metal roof can cost twice as much. “The initial cost [is higher] than an asphalt shingle, but in the long run, you are saving,” says Guerra. Homeowners who purchase a metal roof won’t have to worry about replacing it in a short period of time. Guerra says another added benefit to a metal roof is the easy installation process. “When you put an asphalt shingle up, you have to remove the old shingles to put the new ones on. With a metal roof, we can go right over the existing shingles.” This prevents the old material from ending up in landfills and polluting the environment. New Steel Roofers uses metal shingles made with 59 percent recycled material, making them an eco-friendly and longer-lasting choice for a roof.

How much do metal roofs cost?

As with most roofing cost and pricing options, installation is a large percentage of the total metal roof cost, and this metal roofing cost varies widely depending on your specific geographic area and the complexity of your metal roof. Depending on the metal roof purchased and your roof contractor, the total installed metal roofing cost could vary from $125 to $1100 per square. A square is equal to 100 square feet and is the measurement that is used to determine the size of your roof coverage area for quoting metal roofing prices. Since metal is a premium upgrade, you can expect metal roofs to cost more up-front than a quality asphalt shingle roof. However, over the life of the roof, a metal roof can save you over 60% in total installation and maintenance costs. To make an informed decision, make sure your metal roof dealer or contractor quotes the prices and the costs of the full range of metal roofing paint grades and gauges available. Stepping up to a premium grade typically adds very little to the overall metal roofing cost since installation is such a large component of the metal roofing cost. In many cases, a few hundred dollars of metal roofing installation cost can mean the difference between getting an unwarranted low-end grade or a premium grade metal roof with a Lifetime transferable warranty.

Let’s examine the cost difference between both materials using an average size home that would require a 1,500 square foot roof:

  • Metal roofs can cost anywhere from $7 to $10 per square foot.
  • That translates to a replacement cost of $10,500 to $15,000.
  • Asphalt shingles can cost anywhere from $3 to $5 per square foot.
  • The total cost of an asphalt roof could cost $4,500 to $7,500.
*These are simply estimated material costs. Speak with a professional roofer to determine how much a roof replacement on your home would cost.

There’s a style for every house

Guerra says from a design perspective, people imagine a barn when they think about metal shingles, but there are stylish options available. “We have stone coated that mimics clay, tile, cedar and slate,” he says. They come in a wide variety of colours and styles to suit every individual home.


If you’re thinking about replacing your roof, or have no choice because the shingles are lifting and falling apart, consider a metal roof. Visit New Steel Roofers on our website for more information and a gallery of photos so you can finally start picturing a metal roof on your house!

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