You probably already know that black absorbs the heat, right? So does a black roof make your house hotter? Is this something you want to avoid, or encourage? If you want to know about some of the issues associated with darker roofs along with the heat characteristics of a roof, then you’re in the right place.
A lot of things can have an effect on the heat of your roof, and this can have implications for the heating of the rest of your home. One of these things is color and other materials used to make the roof.
So does a black roof make your house hotter?
How can roof color affect the heat of your home?
Generally, lighter colored roofers will reflect heat away from your roof and darker roofs will absorb the heat and transfer it into the house below. As black is obviously the darkest roof you can get, this color will absorb the most heat and warm your home the most.
It’s important to remember that just having a black roof won’t necessarily keep your home warm by itself. There are a number of different factors that come into play here, especially how much heat the roof is under in the first place. A dark roof won’t necessarily get that hot if you don’t live somewhere that gets a lot of heat in the first place.
However, the color of your roof could make a difference to things like energy bills and how much heating the rest of your home needs. If you live somewhere that’s generally hot and you want to keep your home as cool as possible, a lighter color roof might be a better idea. Alternatively, you could help lock in any heat you do get with a dark roof if you want to save on heating bills or live in a colder climate.
How roof material can play a role too
While roof color can affect heat characteristics a fair bit, it’s not the only factor. The actual material your roof is made out of is also important. Shingles made of asphalt will absorb more and reflect less heat than roofs with a rubber coating. This could actually mean that lighter colored shingles could be more absorbing than a dark roof made of a different material. It’s worth keeping this in mind when you look to get a new roof installed, as both color and material are important in either reflecting or absorbing heat into your roof.
It’s not just a dark, absorbing roof that could save on bills, though. This depends on how much cooling you need to do in warmer months as well. A darker roof might make your home warmer, but what if you generally need to spend more on cooling your home than heating it? For example, if you use a lot of air conditioning, you might actually want a lighter-colored roof to help save on those bills.
Evaluate your climate and energy bills and see what’s more important to you, saving money on heating, or cooling a home.
Generally, these sorts of calculations will lead you to the conclusion that a dark roof is good for colder climates and a lighter one is good for warm locations. The tricky part could be deciding what works best for your home if you live somewhere with both warm and cold months and similar energy bills in all seasons. In those locations, you might like to compromise on a brown roof.
People are paying a lot more attention to energy efficiency when they build or refurbish homes these days. While things like solar paneling, thermal insulation and underfloor heating are all important, so is the color of your roof (and the material used).
What else can roof color affect?
Aside from absorbing heat (or reflecting it) roof color can also have a role in a few other things to do with your roof. Most notably is how your roof responds to snow in the winter. Dark roofs absorb and retain heat, so could actually help snow melt.
However, this isn’t an efficient way of melting snow and shouldn’t be the only thing you rely on. it might only make a small difference in some instances. That’s mainly because during the winter, even a black roof won’t actually be that warm, so when it snows, there won’t be too much heat in the roof to melt the snow. There still might be enough for very small amounts of snow, but not a large flurry.
There’s another thing to remember with black roofs in the winter. if they’re covered in snow, even a light dusting, they won’t actually behave like black roofs—they’ll be like light ones. That means they won’t continue to absorb heat in the same way. This makes it an important consideration when looking at roofing colors, as if you like somewhere that gets a lot of snow, it’ll basically be a light-colored roof for the part of the year you wanted to make the most of a darker heat-absorbing one.
That means that in really snowy areas, a black roof won’t matter. It’s in those slightly colder places that aren’t so cold they get completely snowy winters where you could make the real savings thanks to a more heat-absorbing roof.
If you’re worried about whether a black roof will make your home too hot, then don’t be. It can play a role and affect energy cost, but it won’t make a cold house hot and vice versa. If you find there’s a bit too much heat in your home, there are a few steps to follow to help get things in order.
A darker roof needs to be installed by a good roofer and finished to a professional level. That’s because insulation and air flows are even more important when trying to make sure your home stays cool enough. Good ventilation is incredibly important when it’s hot if you’ve got a darker roof.
Hopefully, you’ve seen a few of the issues associated with having a black roof. In the right location, it could be the best choice for you.