During the summer, we avoid dark shirts and choose to wear lightly colored ones instead, because we know that dark colors get hotter, faster. Should you avoid dark colored shingles to keep your Atlanta home cooler?
"Yes" seems like an obvious answer, but when it comes to your Atlanta roof, there are more pieces to the color vs. temperature puzzle.
It's Black and White - Darker Shingles Are Hotter
Although we intuitively know that dark colors get hotter in the sun, the question that we would like to answer is: "How much hotter?"
When it comes to roof shingles, manufacturers have been as eager as the rest of us to answer this question, because they want to know if certain colors may last longer and make for a better product. So, they have conducted tests to find out just how much difference color can make on shingle temperature.
If you review the test data from various manufacturers, you will see a broad range of results. In general, the data suggests that black shingles reach temperatures that are 20 - 40 degrees F higher than those measured on white shingles under the same amount of sunlight.
Does this mean it's time for everyone in Atlanta to stock up on white shingles? Not really.
While it's true that a temperature difference of 40 degrees F is significant, we have to keep the number in perspective. When a manufacturer performs testing, it is often done with a small number of specimens under a very specific set of conditions. The test results are a useful point of reference, but they don't necessarily reflect what will happen on your roof over the course of time.
Roof Ventilation Is More Important Than Shingle Color
When it comes to the effect of shingle color on roof temperatures, the things that we experience in the real world are a better measuring stick than the data collected from a lab test. And what the real world has shown is that roof ventilation is much more critical in controlling shingle temperatures than color.
Professional roofing contractors will agree that proper roof ventilation is significantly more important than shingle color if you are concerned about keeping your Atlanta roof and attic temperatures low in the summer. Roof ventilation can be achieved through the combined use of ridge vents, soffit vents and other features. A good Atlanta roofing company can size and install the ventilation needed to keep your roof nice and cool, regardless of the shingle color that you select.
What About The Temperature Inside My Home?
Proper roof ventilation combined with attic insulation is the recipe for a cool house in the summer. With these two things in place, you don't need to worry about the heating effects of shingle colors. The roof ventilation provides cooling for the shingles while the insulation blocks the remaining attic heat from transferring into your home.
By working with your roofing contractor to make sure your roof is properly ventilated, you will have shingles that stay cool and reach their maximum life, whether they are black, white or any color in between. At the same time, you will have a cool attic and even cooler home for summers on end.
If you still have questions about roof temperatures, shingle colors or roof ventilation, we invite you to contact us today. We are always happy to answer questions about your roof and home, and look forward to helping you in any way that we can.