Dark vs. light shingles
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Opinion is mixed about color affecting shingle longevity, but unanimous about the importance of good ventilation under the shingles.
shingles reflect more light and stay
cooler in sunlight. And lighter-colored
roof shingles help keep attic temperatures—and your air conditioning
bill—down. But when it comes to
comparing the life spans of dark vs.
light, all bets are off. One major shingle
manufacturer I spoke with said
its tests showed no difference. Its
position is that a properly ventilated
attic provides enough cooling to offset
the increased heat retention of
But some studies dispute that.
They claim that since heat always
increases molecular activity, and
since dark shingles always run hotter,
the heat factor alone dictates a
shorter life for dark shingles. Yet
another study suggests that the sun's
UV rays play a much bigger role in
shingle degradation than heat.
Just about all the experts agree on
the importance of proper attic ventilation
for longer shingle life. So my
advice is to make sure you have
more than enough roof and soffit
vents and pick whatever color you
like. Unless you want to save money
on cooling—then you should choose
a lighter color.