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Will Dark Roof Shingles Make My House Hotter?

Dark roof shingles look beautiful on many homes, but roofing decisions aren’t solely based on appearance. You should also consider how well each roofing material will insulate your home and how long it will last compared to other options. In this guide, we’ll explore how shingle color affects household temperature to determine if dark shingles are right for you.

How Roof Shingle Color Impacts Household Temperature

Dark colors absorb light and light colors reflect it. This is why you may feel hotter in a black shirt on a summer’s day than you would in a white shirt.

Based on this basic principle, you’d assume that dark roof shingles would make a house hotter. That isn’t always the case though. If the shingles have the right underlayment and insulation below them, the color won’t matter much at all. The shingles may absorb extra light, but that warmth won’t actually reach the home’s interior. If the home is not insulated properly or the roofing materials are worn, you may see a difference based on the color of your roof.

Other Factors That Affect Household Temperature

If you’re worried about how hot your home gets in the summer, you may need to check these other areas:

  • Attic Insulation: This is the next barrier between the temperatures hitting your roof and the inside of your home. Having the right attic insulation thickness will make a huge difference in how hot or cold your house is throughout the year. A staggering 90% of homes are under-insulated, so consider adding insulation to your roof replacement plan.
  • HVAC System: The age, efficiency and size of your HVAC system will impact household temps. Older or undersized units may not be powerful enough to fit today’s needs. At minimum, you should have your heating and air system cleaned, serviced and inspected once a year.
  • Windows and Caulking: If you can’t replace your old windows with energy efficient ones, you can replace the caulk. This will reseal the edge of the windows and minimize the air that escapes. Using blinds or room darkening curtains on the windows can block UV rays and reduce heat in the house. During the winter months, you can keep the window exposed to let warmth in.

Will Dark Shingles Melt Snow in Winter?

In theory, dark shingles can help melt snow in winter. The dark color holds onto heat more than light shingles would, thus creating a thermal layer to melt the snow.

However, that’s not how it usually works. Once the first round of snow hits the roof, it blocks the shingles’ ability to absorb sunlight. This effectively turns the dark shingles into light shingles and negates the heating benefit. You may get a little melting in the early or late days of winter, but during the major snow season, shingle color won’t make a difference.

Do Dark Shingles Fade in Color?

Asphalt shingles can fade in color over time, and darker shingles are more subject to fading than light shingles. There have been a number of manufacturing advancements over the last decade that make asphalt shingles less prone to sun fading. If fading happens, it will be extremely gradual. You may not even notice it until it’s time to replace your roof shingles. If you’re erring on the side of caution though, you may opt for a medium tone instead of a dark tone for your shingles.

How to Choose the Right Shingle Color for Your Home

If you’re part of a homeowners’ association, check with the HOA before selecting your shingle color. This may narrow your options.

Select a shingle color that complements your siding, trim and other accents around your home. If you have multicolored brick on your house, you could choose one shade from the bricks to highlight. You could also choose an accent color that makes your house pop, such as red, green, or even blue!

McLean Roofing and Siding has a convenient showroom where you can view roofing material samples and get inspired for your color selection. Our roofing experts can answer your questions and guide you through the selection process. The showroom is located at:

McLean Roofing and Siding
321 E Maple Rd
Troy, MI 48301

Contact us at (248) 524-1111 to schedule your free roof estimate, or stop by our showroom Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM.