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any downside to a white shingle roof?

Posted by jeffw_00 (My Page) on
Sun, May 16, 10 at 13:27

I live in New England. We're having 1/2 our roof re-done. It's hard to see from the street, and is most then 50% in shade. Nevertheless, we can reduce the job cost by > 10% (federal tax credit) by going with white (architectural) shingles.
I believe they will reduce ice-jacking a bit (less heat conduction), and maybe make our house cooler (some of roof isn't in shade).

But are there any negatives (other than roof looking dirty after a while?) Could they dry out more slowly after a storm, generating more mold, etc?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: any downside to a white shingle roof?

Streaking is the worst problem with a white asphalt shingle roof. You may get it worse than average because of the shade factor you have identified.
White roofs get plenty warm in the sun, probably not as hot as fast as a black roof, but it will dry satisfactorily in the sun.

RE: any downside to a white shingle roof?

You really should look at some white roofs before deciding. They aren't the most attractive look with most houses. It takes the right house to pull it off. Not worth the 10% "incentive" to me to make my house look wrong.

With proper attic insulation (R60) and ventilation such as a ridgevent and vented soffits, even a black roof will not radiate heat into your home via the attic. It won't be shorter lived either. Put your money into insulation and venting. And replace the whole roof, not just half. You'll never get the shingles to match otherwise.

RE: any downside to a white shingle roof?

The tax credit is for asphalt roofing shingles that have reflective "cooling granules" and meet Energy Star requirements. Since the infra-red light reflectance of the granules is largely independent of the color, it is not necessary to use white granules. Typical colors vary from light gray to medium dark brown.

A light color and/or an Energy Star rating does not necessarily mean that a material qualifies for a tax credit so you will need to get a "Manufacturer Certification Statement" to be sure.

Try CertainTeed Landmark Solaris asphalt shingles.

IR reflective roofing materials will provide the most benefit in hot sunny climates where air conditioning is more critical for comfort than heating. That is not the case in New England and your roof is shaded so I find it strange that there would be a net energy savings or that a tax credit would be offered. If the additional cost of the shingles is greater than the tax credit, I can see no reason to consider reflective shingles.

There will certainly be no change in the heat conducted through the roof structure from inside to outside and therefore no effect on roof ice dams.

White roofs are so easily stained that they usually contain additives to inhibit biological growth. Light colored shingles will usually last a bit longer than dark colored shingles in a sunny climate.

Here is a link that might be useful: Energy Star list

RE: any downside to a white shingle roof?

i tried to find white singles and the closest was shasta white, and still has a grey overtone...we had a shade darker grey and yes it does show streaking, and don't know if i'd go that route again. but our house is half brick and alum siding painted a med grey...

it's interesting in your area, "white" is what they classify a cedar shingle, too...

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