Aside from your exterior walls and garden, your roof is the most prominent component of your home. As a result, your roof’s material type, condition, and color can significantly impact your property’s appearance.
Black shingles are an attractive roofing material option, growing in popularity throughout the United States. Still, you may be apprehensive about choosing black shingles due to their heat absorption. In this guide, we at Wegner Roofing & Solar explore the black roof shingles pros and cons.
Black Roof Shingles Pros
Black roof shingles offer plenty of value as a roofing material and can even be a practical option, depending on your location and property type. Let’s take a look at the benefits of a black shingle roof:
Black shingle roofs tend to look great in any residential or commercial setting. An asphalt shingle roof has a striking appearance that blends well with the natural environment.
Imperfections are also not visible on black shingles, a benefit you’ll appreciate once your roof reaches the end of its functional life expectancy. Black shingle roofs with granule loss, dents, cracks, and grime build-up often appear in decent shape.
Compatibility With All Design Styles
Another benefit of a black shingle roof is that it matches any architectural style and opens the door for various exciting exterior design opportunities. Black roofs are popular in Greek Revival, Victorian, Cape Cod, and modern architecture.
Black shingle roofs work well with various colors, including:
- Cool stone tones, such as gray, blue, and off-white
- Orange, yellow, and red brick colors
- Cool colors, like white, blue, gray, and snowscape
After installing a black shingle roof, you can choose from various color palettes to give your home a cohesive and fresh appearance.
Indoor Comfort During Winter
Why do black shingles make a house hotter? Black shingles absorb all light wavelengths and convert them into heat. As a result, these roofing materials heat up quickly. While this heat build-up can be problematic, it does have benefits.
Notably, a black shingle roof is warmer in winter, especially when the sun is out. Even though warm air moves upwards, some heat transfers into the interior, contributing to a comfortable indoor temperature. The load on your boiler or furnace will also decrease, saving energy costs.
Snow accumulation on a roof is problematic for various reasons. The weight of snow can cause structural damage to your roofing materials, underlayment, or even trusses. Too much snow on your roof can also be a safety hazard. However, snow accumulation is less likely because a black roof heats up as soon as the sun starts shining.
Another benefit of a black roof is that it is less susceptible to ice dams. When a ventilation leak heats a roof near the ridgeline, the snow in this area melts and flows down the roof. When the snowmelt reaches the cold eaves of the roof, it freezes again, forming ice dams that trap moisture and cause leaks.
Because a black roof warms up in its entirety, the snowmelt doesn’t freeze near the eaves, and you have a lower risk of leaks.
Black Roof Shingles Cons
When are black roof shingles a bad idea? Even though a black shingle roof’s heat build-up can be beneficial, this is not always the case. Before installing black shingles, you need to consider the potential drawbacks carefully.
Vulnerability to Harsh Elements
Roofs must withstand harsh elements, including a high ultraviolet (UV) index. When UV radiation beats down on your roof, it alters the chemical compounds of your shingles and breaks down their top layers.
Once the shingles’ coating deteriorates, the inner layers become exposed to radiation and heat. Signs of UV damage include shingle discoloration, fading, cracking, blistering, and buckling. Extensive UV damage can give your roof (and property) a run-down appearance.
Dark colors absorb more UV rays than light colors. As a result, a black roof is highly susceptible to UV damage in sunny states such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. However, the risk of UV damage to black roofs is relatively low in states with a relatively low UV index, such as Iowa, North Dakota, or New Hampshire.
Black shingle roofs tend to transfer heat into attic spaces, rendering them unusable as a home office or spare bedroom. Even with proper insulation, the attic underneath a black shingle roof can be hot and sweaty. If your roof leaks into the attic, the heat can create a humid environment, increasing your risk for mold growth.
Proper attic ventilation and an HVAC installation can prevent heat build-up in your attic. However, the aesthetic appeal of a black roof may not warrant these upgrades.
Higher Utility Bills in Summer
The heat radiating from black shingles can increase your home’s indoor temperature during the summer. As a result, your air conditioning system must work harder, which results in higher energy bills. Over time, the higher load on your AC may also result in more frequent system repairs or premature replacement.
Some roofing materials may also absorb more heat and increase your indoor temperature. If you live in a warmer climate and want a black roof, consider a more reflective shingle material, such as rubber or slate.
Which Roofing Materials Are Best for Your Home?
Whether you should install black roof shingles depends entirely on your location and preferences. A black roof is worth considering if you live in an area with a relatively low UV index and believe black shingles will enhance your property’s visual appeal.
On the other hand, if you want to save on cooling costs and turn your attic into a functional space, consider a roofing material that reflects more light.
At Wegner Roofing & Solar, we offer professional roofing services and can help you decide about installing black shingles. We have a wide range of roofing materials available and can recommend an option that fits all your requirements.
To learn more about our services and find the perfect roofing material for your home, call us and request a free, no-obligation estimate.