When it comes to choosing the right roofing material for a barn, there are several factors to consider. Your roof plays a crucial role in protecting the structure, equipment, and livestock inside the barn. Two popular options for barn roofing are metal and asphalt shingles.

Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each material can help you make an informed decision. At AIC Roofing and Construction, we’ve helped property owners replace the roofs on their livestock and horse barns quickly and efficiently. It’s important to carefully consider your options before investing in a new roof. To help you make informed, confident decisions about your property, we have barn specific resources answering all of your questions in our Learning Center.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at barn roofing and analyze the pros and cons of metal roofs and asphalt shingles.

Roofing Materials for Your Barn

Before we dive into the details of metal and asphalt shingles, let’s explore the importance of choosing the right material for barn roofing. Barns are unique structures that often require specialized roofing solutions. The roof must be able to withstand harsh weather conditions, provide insulation, and resist damage from external elements. The choice of roofing material can have a significant impact on the durability, maintenance requirements, and overall performance of the barn roof.

When it comes to barn roofing, there are several factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of the key factors is cost. Different roofing materials come with different price tags. Metal roofing, for example, tends to be more expensive upfront compared to asphalt shingles. However, it is important to note that metal roofs have a longer lifespan and require less maintenance, which can offset the initial cost over time.

Another important factor to consider is the lifespan of the roofing material. Barns are often long-term investments, and the roof is no exception. Metal roofs are known for their exceptional durability and longevity, with some standing seam metal roofs lasting up to 50 years or more. On the other hand, asphalt shingles typically have a lifespan of around 20-30 years. Understanding the lifespan of the roofing material can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your long-term goals for the barn.

Maintenance is yet another aspect that cannot be overlooked when choosing a barn roofing material. Barns are subject to various environmental factors such as rain, snow, wind, and even animal activity. Metal roofs are highly resistant to these elements and require minimal maintenance. Although, different types of metal roofs will have varying maintenance requirements. For example, standing seam metal roofs are virtually maintenance free and incredibly long lasting. Exposed fastener metal roofs will require more maintenance. Be sure to ask your roofing contractor about the different types of metal roofs.

Ultimately, the choice between metal and asphalt shingles for barn roofing depends on your specific needs and requirements. It is important to evaluate factors such as cost, lifespan and maintenance to make an informed decision. Consulting with a roofing company who is experienced with horse barns can also provide valuable insights and help you choose the best roofing material for your barn.

An Overview of Metal Roofs

Metal roofs have gained popularity in recent years due to their durability and longevity. They are typically made from steel, aluminum, or copper, and offer several benefits for barn roofing. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of metal roofing:

Pros of Metal Roofing

  • Long Lifespan: Metal roofs have an average lifespan of 50 years or more, outlasting most other roofing materials.
  • Durability: Metal roofs are highly resistant to fire, wind, hail, and other external elements, offering excellent protection for a barn.
  • Low Maintenance: Metal roofs require minimal maintenance and are easy to clean.

Metal roofs are known for their exceptional longevity. With an average lifespan of 50 years or more, they outlast most other roofing materials. This durability makes them an excellent choice for barn roofing, where protection from the elements is crucial. Metal roofs are highly resistant to fire, wind, hail, and other external elements, providing peace of mind for barn owners. Additionally, their low maintenance requirements make them a convenient option for those looking for a long-term solution.

Cons of Metal Roofing

  • Higher Cost: Metal roofs tend to have a higher initial cost compared to asphalt shingles, although their long lifespan can offset this expense. Cost is largely dependent on the type of metal roofing you choose. There are options that range greatly in price.
  • Noise: Metal roofs can be noisy during heavy rain or hailstorms, which may not be ideal for barns with livestock. Depending on the construction and insulation of your barn, this may be something to consider before selecting a material.
  • Expansion and Contraction: Metal expands and contracts with temperature fluctuations, which can lead to potential issues if not installed and maintained properly.

While metal roofs offer numerous advantages, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. One of the main drawbacks is the higher initial cost compared to traditional asphalt shingles. However, it’s important to note that the long lifespan of metal roofs can offset this expense over time. Another factor to consider is the potential for noise during heavy rain or hailstorms. This may not be ideal for barns housing livestock, as it can cause stress and discomfort to the animals. Lastly, metal roofs have a tendency to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. Proper installation is crucial to ensure that this natural movement does not lead to any issues down the line.

An Overview of Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are one of the most commonly used roofing materials for residential and commercial buildings. They are made from a composite mixture of fiberglass or organic materials, coated with asphalt for weather resistance. Here are the pros and cons of using asphalt shingles for barn roofing:

Pros of Asphalt Shingles

  • Affordability: One of the key benefits of asphalt shingles is their affordability. Compared to other roofing materials like metal, asphalt shingles are generally more budget-friendly, making them a cost-effective option for barns.
  • Easy Installation: Another advantage of asphalt shingles is their ease of installation. Unlike some roofing materials that require specialized skills or equipment, asphalt shingles can be easily installed by roofing professionals. We always recommend hiring a reputable Lexington roofing contractor who has experience working on barns.
  • Wide Range of Styles: Asphalt shingles come in a wide variety of colors and styles, offering barn owners the opportunity to customize their roofs to match the overall aesthetic of the barn. Whether you prefer a traditional look or a more modern design, there is a style of asphalt shingle that can complement your barn’s appearance.

While asphalt shingles have many advantages, it’s important to consider the potential drawbacks before making a decision. Let’s explore the cons of using asphalt shingles for barn roofing:

Cons of Asphalt Shingles

  • Shorter Lifespan: Compared to other roofing materials like metal, asphalt shingles have a relatively shorter lifespan. On average, asphalt shingles can last around 20 to 30 years. This means that barn owners may need to plan for more frequent roof replacements or repairs compared to other roofing options.
  • Lower Durability: While asphalt shingles provide adequate protection for barns in normal weather conditions, they may be less resistant to extreme weather events. Harsh winds, heavy rain, and hailstorms can potentially damage asphalt shingles, leading to the need for repairs or replacements.
  • Environmental Impact: Another factor to consider is the environmental impact of asphalt shingles. Unlike some roofing materials that can be easily recycled, asphalt shingles contribute to landfill waste. This is because they are not easily recyclable due to the mixture of materials used in their composition. Barn owners who prioritize sustainability and eco-friendliness may want to explore alternative roofing options that have a lower environmental impact.

When deciding on the roofing material for your barn, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option. While asphalt shingles offer affordability, easy installation, and a wide range of styles, they also have a shorter lifespan, lower durability in extreme weather, and contribute to landfill waste. Consider your budget, location, and environmental concerns before making a final decision.

Final Thoughts: Metal or Asphalt Shingles for Your Horse Barn

The right roofing material horse barn truly depends on your unique structure and project goals. Once you’ve researched roofing materials, the next step is to contact 2-3 roofing contractors for a consultation and estimate. This ensures you’re getting a fair assessment and price.

AIC Roofing and Construction has served homeowners in Central Kentucky since 2003. We are in the top 2% of roofing contractors in North America to obtain the GAF MasterElite certification.

We would love to see if we would be a good fit for your project. If you’re ready to get a free estimate on your roof repair or replacement, contact us today!

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