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Choose the Right Color for Your New Roof

Different colors of roofOne of the first decisions you need to make when selecting a new roof is the color. Your color decision can be used to guide all other decisions, including which shingle material to use. There is no exact science to roof color selection, but there are a variety of different considerations to keep in mind so that you pick a color you can live with.

Color Balance
You can begin narrowing down your color choices right away by realistically assessing the options in contrast to the dominant colors on the rest of your home.

House Color
The first decision is the general shingle color, then you can narrow down to a more specific hue or hues. Use the idea of contrast as a basic rule of thumb. If you have light siding, then a darker color on the roof will make your house pop and seem less washed out. On the other hand, if you have dark siding, then a lighter roof color will help avoid the dark and foreboding look.

Further, a color on the roof, like terracotta, works well for homes with neutral siding. If your siding or trim features bolder colors, though, it is better to opt for a neutral tone roof.

Siding Type
Siding materials also affect roof color choices, whether you have wood or vinyl siding or architectural brick or stone. Some siding types, like certain styles of brick, appear busy because they are actually made up of several shades or colors. In this case, opt for a single color of shingle. For homes with solid colored siding, architectural shingles that feature several shades of the same color can provide more visual interest.

Climate Concerns
Your climate also affects shingle choice, especially if temperatures can really soar in your area.

Heat Sink
A dark roof in a warm climate can become a heat sink, which makes your home environment warmer. A light colored roof on a sunny day can be 50 degrees cooler than a dark colored roof. If your main goal is to keep your home cooler in the summer months, then a lighter colored roof is the best option. Lighter gray and beige shingles work well.

Snow Melt
If your main concern is snow in the winter and not heat in the summer, then a darker colored roof may be a better option. When the winter sun shines on a dark roof, it absorbs the heat and the snow may melt more quickly.

Maintenance Plan
Color can affect maintenance needs on the roof, or at least the frequency of certain types of maintenance — like cleaning.

Moss Issues
Moss grows on shaded roofs when moisture is present. It’s usually more common on the north side, but can grow on any roof face if the conditions are right. If your home has a history with moss and algae growth on the roof, you may want to avoid light colored roofs that easily show these stains.

You will still need to have the roof washed periodically to kill and remove moss and algae, but at least the stains won’t be visible between deep cleanings if the shingles are dark enough to camouflage the issue.

Replacement Ease
Damage can occur, especially if you live in an area where windy weather is common. Make sure that future repairs can match the color you choose. Avoid close-out colors that may not be available in future. If you are unsure whether you can find shingles to repair damage, request an extra bundle at the time of roof replacement and store them away so that you have a color match for any future repairs.

When you consider that a fiberglass reinforced shingle, for example, can last more than 50 years, the need for the right color choice becomes more imperative. Contact Ray’s Harford Home Improvement Contractors Inc. for more help.

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