Should You Install Black Roof Shingles? Black Shingles FAQ

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If you are looking for all the answers about black shingles, you’ve come to the right place.

Black shingles can make a home pop when matched up with the right colored brick or siding, but like most homeowners you probably have a few questions about black roofs.

Some of the most common questions we hear include (click to scroll):

Do Black Shingles Make A House Hotter?

The obvious answer is yes, black shingles do absorb more heat than a lighter shingle. However, advancements in technology and materials are far more efficient than they once were and installing a black roof is still a completely viable option. In fact, black is one of the most common shingle colors we install.

Using synthetic underlayment, proper ventilation, ice guards, and dimensional shingles all help with the performance and temperature of dark shingles. But how?

How Black Shingles Can Stay Cool

There’s nothing worse than a boiling second floor in the middle of the night during a hot summer, but have no fear. You can still have the dark roof you wanted and keep your home cool. Roofers use a number of methods they’ve learned over the years to achieve this.

Synthetic Roof Underlayment

Nowadays, roofers use synthetic underlayment beneath shingles to help keep the roof cool, resist water, and withstand strong winds and debris. 

Back in the day, roofers installed paper underlayment such as tarpaper or felt paper. This would cause darker shingled homes to attract heat and cause other issues like shingle and water damage. If you have an older roof, there’s a good chance your underlayment isn’t up to today’s standards.

Charcoal roof install

Ventilation

Proper roof ventilation is critical to your home’s health, especially when using black shingles. Your roof needs an inflow and outflow source to help circulate air and keep things cool. Some ventilation tools we like to use are pod vents, ridge vents, soffit ventilation, baffles and solar fans. Neglecting your roofs ventilation can lead to issues like:

  • Increased humidity and moisture in the attic
  • Damaged wood, structure and mold
  • Increased energy bills
  • Ice dams

Shingle Type & Quality

Quality matters. The better the shingle, the more efficient and durable your roof will be. There are two types of shingles most commonly used: 3-tab and dimensional. Using a dimensional shingle is almost always recommended as it helps keep your roof cool, last longer and is far more durable than 3-tab shingles. Some quality manufacturers we like to use at Craig Roofing include CertainTeed, GAF and Owens-Corning.

Do Black Shingles Increase Energy Bills?

Believe it or not, depending on the climate you live in, black shingles can actually improve your energy efficiency. During cold winters, like the ones we have in Northeast Ohio, direct sunlight on black shingles can help keep your home warm. Allowing you to save on your energy bill each month. 

On the flip-side, if you live in a climate that is hot and humid year-round, black shingles may not be the best option for you. Consult with your local roofing contractor on their recommendations. As mentioned above, there are a number of ways to help keep your roof cool even with darker shingles in the midst of summer.

roof on white house in cleveland

So, Are Black Shingles Right for You?

Keeping in mind the items we discussed, black shingles are a great option for homeowners living in seasonal climates, but might not be the best choice for warm weather year round. Nevertheless, black shingles still remain one of the most popular choices by homeowners. When installed properly using a high quality shingle, black shingles provide affordability, durability, positive aesthetics, and energy saving benefits, making them a great option for many homeowners.