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Roof fading: What to expect from your materials

Roofing materials constantly face elements like UV radiation from sunlight, wind and moisture. Over time this causes roof fading, where color is slowly leached away. Here's what to expect from different materials as the years pass.

Asphalt shingles and how they fade

Asphalt shingles do indeed fade, but the rate at which they lose color can vary, especially when it comes to shade. Dark gray shingles will fade to lighter grays more easily than shingles that start out in lighter shades. If you want your shingle color to last, try to pick out lighter colors.

Shingles often fade in uniform degrees, but there's no guarantee. Spots of shade, weather variations and the position of your house can all cause uneven fading. You may also run into problems when you try to replace a portion of your roof and your new shingles are an obviously different color than your older, faded shingles. When you replace the roof tiles of your Douglasville home, try to match the current shade of your shingles as closely as possible.

Metal roofing over time

Metal rooftops come with coatings that give them more color while helping to protect them from dirt and rust. These coatings are directly related to how much resistance the metal has against roof fading, especially those that augment the color. Metal roof paints are warrantied to last anywhere from 10 to 40 years, depending on the type of paint that you use and how it is maintained.

However, metal rooftops may be subject to chalking if the paint is of poor quality or in a harsh environment, especially for brighter colors. So try to stick to lighter, more natural metallic colors when possible, and remember that you often get what you pay for.

Slate roof materials and weathering

Slate roof materials typically stick with their natural stone colors, which weather in different ways than paint or asphalt. If you have a slate roof, you can expect the new gray color to eventually move to an earth tone, according to the National Slate Association. If you buy slate, you may notice a number of options that allow you to control how much weathering you want, based on the type of slate and the finish that it comes with. Sometimes weathered slate looks great on a roof, but understand that the colors will shift over time.

Clay's color resists change

Clay tiles may be guaranteed against fading for up to 50 years, depending on the type. Clay resists roof fading because of the way the tiles are created. Typical red clay and pigment-based ceramic tiles both have their colors naturally mixed in with the clay, so there is no layer of paint or finish on top to be worn away. This helps the tiles resist the bleaching effects caused by the sun and corrosive elements. Of course, color softening will still occur, but the results will be relatively mild.

Image source: Flickr

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