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Will Lighter Color Shingle on My Roof Make My Roof and Attic Cooler in the Summer?

Will Lighter Color Shingle on My Roof Make My Roof and Attic Cooler in the Summer

Today’s question is coming from Stephanie, from Falls Church Virginia- it’s an important question about roof shingles. Stephanie asks:

Someone told me that if I put a lighter color shingle on my roof, it will make my roof and attic cooler in the summer and therefore make my home more comfortable, especially upstairs?

 

Home heating and cooling costs are on the rise, and many homeowners wonder if there are ways they can help, such as by installing a lighter colored shingle on their roofs. Before you opt for a bright white roof, however, consider a few other factors that go into how hot your home gets.
As I mentioned in the video, the color of your roof is far less important to your home than your attic. Yes, the sun baking down on your roof is going to heat it up, particularly if you have a darker colored shingle, which will absorb heat, rather than reflect it. You need to consider what’s going on below the shingles, though, as the main cause of heat in this area.

Attic Ventilation and Insulation

If your attic were to become super heated, that excess heat is going to be absorbed into the roof deck and therefore into the shingles from below. So your shingles are going to get overheated and possibly even deteriorate faster, no matter what the color of your roof is.
Your attic can become super heated in ways that have little to do with your roof. First, heat rises. This is a fact, so when heat builds up in the rooms below, this heat will rise to your attic where it will become trapped. Having a well-insulated attic will help prevent some of this heat transfer from occurring, which will stop your attic from becoming overheated. It will also help prevent some of the super heated air in your attic from seeping back down into your living area.

 

The second biggest component to how cool your attic, roof, and home remain on hot and sunny days is attic ventilation. Attic ventilation is designed to keep air moving through your attic, removing a great deal of the stored heat there and preventing moisture and humidity from building up as well. This can lower your attic temperature by a significant amount, further stopping that heat transfer both to your roof deck and to your living area.

White Roofs vs. Black Roofs

Studies have been conducted on homes that have white and light colored roofs, and those that have black or dark colored roofs. They found that in homes that had adequate attic insulation and ventilation, those roofs had only a 2 degree difference in temperature between the light and the dark. 2 degrees – that isn’t going to be felt or have much of an impact on your cooling bill this summer.

Get the Right Roof for Your Home

So if you’re concerned about keeping your home cool, and it’s time to get a new roof, choose the shingle that best complements your home’s exterior to get the best curb appeal and resale value. Then, while your roofer is up there, speak to him about getting adequate attic ventilation installed as well to help keep your cooling costs down and ensure that your new roof doesn’t become super heated no matter color of shingles you’re planning on having installed there.

 

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