Roof Shingle Colors
Innovators are having a field day in the roofing space. The industry has become a veritable rainbow of colored surfaces. Fabricators have added a host of different coatings to the marketplace, including pre-painted steel, rich silicone, and ultra-matte products.
Shingles have never been this gorgeous. Even slate, which is notoriously difficult to coat, is now offered in a technicolor array of hues, even variegated green and mottled red.
The market is more dynamic than ever before, not just because trendy homeowners insist on making their design dreams a reality, but also because cool roofing systems have become a crucial way to shrink carbon footprints. You might think of your roof color as little more than a part of your curb appeal, but it’s more powerful than you might think.
Coloring your way to energy efficiency
The word “albedo” refers to your roof color’s ability to reflect light, and every shade has its own talents. White roofs are at the front of the race. They can keep your home almost 7% cooler and increase your albedo to 60%. This highly-reflective hue can reduce the temperature around your air conditioning system while decreasing your cooling energy by 13% to 48%.
Roof coatings are so crucial to your energy efficiency that the EPA has created strict guidelines for products that reduce air pollution and lessen the heat island effect. Light roofing colors are so potent they can even reduce smog formation, so think of your palette as an opportunity for public service.
Of course, white isn’t for everyone, but if you choose a lighter shade, you can prevent solar radiation from permeating your roof. The solar reflectance index (SRI) will make your choices a little easier.
- Standard black has an SRI of 0.
- Tan and beige achieve an SRI of 75 to 85.
- Light gray and reflective gray coatings offer a rating of 50 to 90.
- Bright white can achieve an SRI of 95 to 110.
- Solar reflective white tops the scale at 115.
Dark roofs can raise urban peak electricity demand by as much as 10% and generate a heat island effect of up to 7K, so this isn’t a decision to take lightly.
Coatings aren’t the only materials at your disposal in your cool roofing pursuits. White membranes, cementitious coatings, and gravel can all raise your solar reflectance and emissivity levels. Roof coatings are offered in membranes, granules, and paint. Each option has its own unique blend of characteristics:
- Polyurethane can now coat a huge array of roof materials. Its base can be covered in a UV-stable coating to create a more durable hue.
- Fluid-applied rubber membranes are manufactured in a variety of color options. Their flexibility lets your roofing expand and contract with the weather, so they’re a durable choice. They also add to your R-value by improving your insulation.
- Silicone adds extra ultraviolet protection to your color choices. It’s highly reflective and emissive. It offers extreme color saturation, so it’s one of the lushest options at your disposal.
- Acrylic coatings are used for single-ply membranes and metal systems. They can decrease your roof’s surface temperature by 20 degrees under 85-degree sunlight.
Today’s coatings and materials make roofing incredibly fun—and they do so masterfully. Whether you’re choosing from a thousand neutrals or are adventurously exploring a brighter hue, modern palettes are sure to excite you.
Coatings are as practical as they are beautiful, so those perfect burnt umber shingles you’ve been eyeing could add years to your roof’s lifespan. Have fun, but don’t forget to cater to your home’s practical needs.
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