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Metal vs. Slate Roofing: Which One Is Best For Your Home?

Posted on July 22, 2023

Estimated Reading Time : 7 Min.

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Metal vs. Slate Roofing: Which One Is Best For Your Home?

Metal and slate are both excellent options for roof replacements due to their durability and long lifespan. These contemporary materials each have a unique appearance that can enhance your home’s curb appeal. But when it comes to metal vs. slate roofing, which one is better for your home?

Choosing the right roof material depends on various factors, including your aesthetic preferences and the weather conditions in your local area. Let’s explore the comparison of metal vs. slate roofing to discover which one is better suited for your property.

Factors to Consider When Deciding Between Metal vs. Slate Roofing

When deciding between metal and slate roofing, it’s important to consider the following characteristics:

Roof Weight

Slate is significantly heavier than metal, so it’s crucial to ensure that your house can handle the additional weight. The extra burden of slate can put additional pressure on the home’s structural framing, potentially causing compression cracks in the drywall. To determine if your property can accommodate a slate roof, it’s advisable to consult a professional in the roofing industry who can inspect the area and recommend any necessary upgrades. In comparison, metal roofing is lightweight, puts less strain on your home’s structure, and likely does not need any additional reinforcements. 

Architectural Style

Consider your home’s architectural style to determine whether a slate or metal roof is more suitable. The roof should complement your property’s overall design. Metal roofing tends to be popular in modern styles such as updated cottages, bungalows, and contemporary houses. Slate, on the other hand, typically suits historical or traditional aesthetics found on chateaus, colonial homes, and French-style houses. Take inspiration from the homes in your neighborhood to find ideas for your house’s design.

Project Budget

Think about the financial aspect and how much you are willing to spend on your roof replacement. Metal roofing is generally less expensive and easier to install, resulting in lower initial installation costs. However, it’s also important to consider the long-term savings that each material offers. Since slate roofing lasts nearly twice as long as metal roofing, it can save you money over time by reducing the need for future replacements.

Both materials are energy efficient and low maintenance, which can help you lower your utility expenses. Consult with a roofing professional to review your financing options for your roof replacement and gain a better understanding of which material fits your short-term and long-term budget.

Future Plans

If you plan on selling your house in the next few years, it’s essential to consider the preferences of potential buyers. While a slate roof may be aesthetically pleasing and attractive to buyers, it may not be worth the significant investment unless you plan on enjoying it yourself. On the other hand, a metal roof may be less expensive, but it might lack the unique visual appeal that makes slate so desirable.

You should also consider whether you are putting a roof on an existing structure, an addition to your property, or a brand-new house. Installing a roof on a new home gives you more flexibility since you can tailor the framing to accommodate the weight and shape of the roof. Metal roofs offer various colors and forms, making them suitable for both existing structures and new construction.

Aesthetic Preferences

If you plan on living in your house for an extended period, you can prioritize your own aesthetic preferences when choosing a roofing material. Both slate and metal offer unique qualities that can enhance your home’s design. Consider whether you prefer the modern and sleek appearance of metal or the timeless and authentic beauty of slate. It’s also important to evaluate the color and texture options provided by each material to determine which one offers more design flexibility.

Local Weather Conditions

The climate and weather conditions in your area can significantly impact the lifespan of your roof. Metal roofs are vulnerable to corrosion, making them less suitable for coastal areas with salty air. Consider the presence of nearby trees and the humidity levels in your region, as they can contribute to wear and tear on your roof. While both slate and metal are durable and can withstand most weather conditions, consulting with a roofing professional will help you determine which material is better suited to your region’s environment.

Roof Pitch and Underlayment

Your roofing material should be able to accommodate your roof’s pitch and effectively channel water away from the top of your home. Slate roofs are particularly suitable for steep slopes as water can easily drain off, preventing accumulation. Metal roofs can also work well on high-pitched homes, and they are excellent for low-pitched or flat roofs due to their water resistance and ability to reflect sunlight away from the house.

Both metal and slate roofs are generally resistant to water damage, but it’s important to consider the roof’s underlayment and framing materials. Moisture can seep into your roof and damage the components underneath. If you live in a humid or rainy area, consult a roofing professional to explore water-resistant underlayment options.

Maintenance Requirements

When investing in a new roof, it’s important to consider long-term maintenance requirements to avoid frequent replacements. Both metal and slate roofs are low maintenance due to their durability and resistance to most weather conditions. However, slate roofing requires more care as its shingles can become loose or break. Additionally, proper installation is crucial to ensure the roof is watertight. Improper installation can result in gaps and leaks. Hiring a professional roofing team will ensure that the roofing material is applied correctly, ensuring its longevity.

Reasons to Choose Slate Roofing

Slate Roofing

Slate is a dense, fine-grained metamorphic rock that is cut into slabs for use as roofing material. These slabs come in various finishes, sizes, and thicknesses to suit your home. Here are some of the benefits of slate roofing:

Strong and Durable

Slate roofing is highly durable and tends to last longer than any other roofing material. Under the right conditions, it can remain on your property for over a century. When installed and sealed correctly, the high density and low moisture absorption of slate make it nearly waterproof. It is also resistant to ice formation during freezing temperatures. Slate roofing is non-combustible, so it can withstand high temperatures without sustaining damage, changing appearance, or catching fire. Additionally, slate roofs maintain their luxurious look for decades, as they do not fade or become discolored from sunlight exposure.

Slate’s durability makes it relatively easy to maintain throughout its lifespan. With proper installation, you will only need to periodically check for loose or broken tiles or slabs. Regular gutter maintenance and replacement, when necessary, will help maintain the roof’s integrity.

Environmentally Friendly

Slate roofs are free of VOCs and other toxic substances that could harm the environment. Compared to other roofing materials, the manufacturing process of slate has a minimal environmental impact. Additionally, since slate doesn’t degrade, it doesn’t release harmful substances into the atmosphere over time.

Slate roofs consist of all-natural materials that don’t end up in landfills and given the long lifespan of slate roofing, replacement is rarely required. However, should the need arise due to storm damage or future remodeling, you can reuse the existing slate roofing, thus reducing waste generated by manufacturing new roofs.

The density of the slate helps regulate your home’s interior temperature throughout the year. This energy-efficient roofing material allows you to save on energy bills, extend the lifespan of your HVAC system, and create a comfortable indoor living space for your family.

Attractive to Homeowners and Potential Buyers

Slate roofing comes in a variety of colors, thicknesses, and sizes to complement your property’s design. Its unique appearance enhances your home’s curb appeal and provides an excellent return on investment. While slate roofing has a significant upfront cost, it typically comes with a warranty that can last up to a century, saving you money on future replacements if necessary.

Slate roofing also makes your home more appealing to potential buyers if you plan on selling it. Its unique appearance and low-maintenance, long-lasting characteristics are attractive selling points, as buyers recognize the cost savings associated with this roofing material.

Why Choose Metal Roofing?

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a durable material available in various options such as aluminum, steel, copper, or zinc. It can come in the form of standing seam panels or corrugated sheets. Here are some reasons why metal roofing can add value to your property:

Durable and Weather Resistant

Metal roofing is highly resistant to most weather conditions and impacts. Its durability ensures that it won’t chip, break, or crack easily, even when walked upon. Metal roofs do not absorb water, making them resistant to issues like mildew, mold, and rust. Furthermore, their ability to shed snow reduces the likelihood of ice dams forming on your roof.

Metal roofs have excellent wind resistance due to their interlocking panels. They can also be reinforced for added strength. Additionally, when installed with the correct type of underlayment, metal roofs achieve a Class A fire rating, providing protection against forest or brush fires.

Versatile Design

Metal roofing offers a wide range of unique colors to enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal and blend with the surrounding environment. Consider your home’s architectural style and your design preferences to select the right metal roofing profile. While metal is commonly associated with modern homes, you can find metal roofing that resembles traditional materials such as slate, tile, or cedar. The flexibility of metal allows it to adapt to various shapes and forms, ensuring a proper fit for your roof’s configuration.


Metal roofing costs less per square foot compared to slate roofing. Its lightweight nature and ease of installation also contribute to lower labor costs when professionally installed. With different metal options available, you can find a type that fits your budget.

Apart from the initial savings, metal roofing offers long-term financial benefits. Its durability and resistance to weather conditions often result in lower homeowners insurance premiums, as there is less of a need for claims related to repair or replacement. Metal roofing is also relatively easy to maintain, reducing the need for expensive treatments or sealants over time. With proper care, a metal roof can last up to 50 years, resulting in additional long-term savings.

Environmentally Conscious

Metal roofing incorporates recycled materials, making it a more environmentally friendly option. Its manufacturing process produces less waste, and the ability to recycle metal roofs further reduces environmental impact. In some cases, metal roofs can be installed directly over existing roofing systems, eliminating disposal waste.

Besides its manufacturing and installation benefits, metal roofs contribute to energy conservation within your home. By reflecting heat instead of absorbing it like other materials, metal roofs keep your home cooler during the summer months. The insulative qualities of metal roofing also help maintain warmth during winter. Consequently, metal roofing helps lower energy bills and ensures year-round comfort for your family.

Contact BRH Enterprises for Your New Roof

At BRH Enterprises, our experienced team can assist you in determining whether a slate or metal roof is better suited for your house. We specialize in metal roof replacement in Mayville and surrounding areas of Wisconsin. Our services extend beyond installation, as we offer maintenance and repair to ensure your roof remains in top condition and continues to enhance your home’s aesthetic appeal. Contact us online, or give us a call at (920) 249-4228, to schedule a free roof inspection.

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