Can Roofs be Painted?

Although the classic neutral tones of wood, metal, and asphalt roof shingles have their own beauty, they are not suitable for every home or taste. Paint can liven up shingles that are a little too drab for your style. Some colors can even add to the coziness of your home.

 

While it is possible to paint roof shingles, there are some difficulties that may cause you to reconsider whether you really want to.

When it Makes Sense to Paint Shingles

Paint is a cost-effective way to improve the appearance of a roof that is structurally sound but has an off color.

 

Perhaps you’ve recently purchased a home with a relatively new roof in a color you don’t like. You can change the color of your roof with paint rather than having to spend money and time replacing a perfectly good roof. When you need to even out the color of your roof, such as when the shingles on your newly built addition don’t quite match the shade of the rest of the roof, paint works well.

 

If you don’t like shingles but live in a historic building with regulations that force you to use them, you might be able to paint them to achieve a look that better suits your tastes.

 

Paint, on the other hand, will not waterproof your roof or seal roof leaks, so it isn’t the best option for preventing or repairing damage. Damaged or deteriorating shingles should be replaced because they put your entire house at risk of moisture problems.

 

Painted Shingles Require More Upkeep

With only minor maintenance, unpainted shingles can last for 20 years or more. Painted shingles, on the other hand, show wear much more quickly and need to be repainted every five to seven years. The roof will have to be cleaned and repaired each time, then primed and painted.

 

Furthermore, because the paint on your roof is exposed to more sunlight, rain, wind, and snow than the paint on your exterior walls, it will fade faster. You may need to repaint your roof more frequently than usual if you want to maintain a certain amount of contrast between your walls and roof.

 

Paint can cause moisture problems on your roof.

If you decide to paint your roof shingles, make sure you use the right paint. Look for an acrylic (water-based) paint made specifically for roofs. This type of paint allows accumulated moisture on the shingles to escape. Avoid elastomeric (waterproofing) paint, which is known to trap moisture in shingles, encouraging mold and algae growth, which contributes to rot.

 

Even a metal or asphalt shingle roof is susceptible to rot. Even if the shingles themselves are in good shape, trapped moisture can damage the wooden sheathing beneath them and cause leaks.

 

It Might Be Difficult to Find a Contractor

While it is possible to paint shingles, it is not a common request for roofing contractors. Some people won’t even know what kind of paint to use or whether they can do it at all. Those who understand the fundamentals may lack the experience necessary to feel confident in their work.

 

It’s worth asking around, but if your area has a scarcity of roofers, you’ll almost certainly have to paint your shingles yourself.

 

Working on the roof poses a fall hazard, so you’ll need safety gear like water-resistant safety shoes and a safety harness. If you don’t already have this equipment, you’ll have to spend more money on your first roof painting job. Another reason to hire a professional whenever possible.

 

The Right Color Can Help You Save Money on Energy

If you decide to go ahead with your roof-painting plans despite the challenges, the color you choose could have a positive impact on the rest of your home.

 

If you live in a hot climate, you’re well aware of the importance of light colors in reflecting heat and keeping things cool. The same concept can be applied to your roof. When kept clean, a white roof reflects more than 80% of the sunlight that falls on it. As a result, your entire home will be cooler.

 

Improving the reflectivity of your roof by just 40 to 50 percent can save you up to 20% on your cooling bills. The effects are most pronounced in single-story structures. The upper floors of multi-story homes will benefit the most.

 

Look into cool roof coatings to get the most out of your roof’s cooling potential. White or reflective pigments reflect sunlight in these coatings, which are slightly thicker than paint.

 

If you live in a climate where heating takes precedence over cooling, however, you’ll be better off sticking with a dark color. In the spring and autumn, when the ground isn’t covered in snow, a dark roof will absorb the sun’s warmth.

 

Paint is a cost-effective and versatile way to improve the appearance of a shingle roof that is in good shape but could use a makeover.

 

Before you get started, make sure you’re comfortable with the upkeep that a painted shingle roof necessitates, as well as the fact that you may have to do some of the work yourself. If that isn’t enough to deter you, look for a paint that won’t cause moisture problems. If you do it right, you’ll be able to give your house a new look for a fraction of the cost of new shingles.

 

Do you need help looking for a Virginia Beach for a home roofing company, give us a call.

 

Smart Living Home Repair Services

(888) 758-9103

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