One time, a Lake in the Hills IL homeowner called to ask an interesting question. It went like this: “Can you paint asphalt shingles?” Clearly, the homeowner was thinking of a painting job maybe because his roof looked old or he needed something new this year.
Whatever the reason, we answered him with a yes. If you’re wondering about the same thing, yes, you can paint over shingles.
However, it’s not as easy as going to the home improvement store and buying any paint you like. It’s going to be a tricky job which requires the expertise of a licensed roofing contractor.
In today’s guide, Contemporary Exteriors will discuss the following aspects of shingle painting. We’ll address these questions, and more:
- Can you change the color of asphalt shingles?
- The pros and cons of painting over roof shingles
- How to choose roof shingle colors
Let’s dig in.
Can You Change the Color of Asphalt Shingles?
We already answered the question, “Can you paint asphalt shingles?” with a yes.
While roof painting jobs are rare, some homeowners consider them for personal reasons. Perhaps their shingles look dull or unappealing. It’s also possible that a homeowner wants to change the exterior appeal of his home. With that, he needs to shift his roof color as well.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Painting Asphalt Shingles
Here are a few reasons why you’d want or wouldn’t want to paint your shingle roof. We explore five pros and cons.
1. More affordable than replacing your entire roof
This may sound crazy but yes, some people want to replace their roof even before it reaches the end of its service life.
The reason? They just want a change in color! If you have a 3-tab shingle roof that lasts 30 years, it’s possible that you may no longer be satisfied with it before it hits the 20-year mark. This is especially true if you bought your home and dislike the color choice of the previous owner.
A roof painting job costs much lower than a replacement. If color is your primary issue, painting the roof will save you money.
2. Deal with asphalt shingles fading
Don’t get us wrong, asphalt shingles exhibit durability and resistance to the sun. But like most things, asphalt shingles deteriorate over time. The first sign of deterioration is fading. Constant heat exposure, also temperature changes, affect roofing appearance.
Please remember that just because asphalt shingles fading occurs, doesn’t mean you need an immediate replacement. If other problems like leaking and expensive energy bills are absent, your roof is fine. In that case, a roof painting project is possible.
3. Colors can be used to improve energy efficiency
It makes sense to paint asphalt shingles for the purpose of achieving an energy efficient home. Some roofs are too dark that they absorb heat instead of reflecting it. Lighter, reflective paint colors help reduce energy usage. You enjoy lower energy bills.
1. Extra maintenance on your part
While you’re happy with the answer to the question, “Can you paint asphalt shingles?” you should know that this project translates to more maintenance down the road. If you paint your shingle roof now, you’ll need to repaint it in a few years. Once again, the elements make your newly painted roof fade over time.
2. Finding an experienced roofing contractor
Here’s the thing. Not many roofing contractors know how to paint shingles on a house. Only a selected few actually have the skill and experience. Because shingle painting is an uncommon request, you can’t expect the next roofer you find to say yes.
Also, you can be at risk of hiring unscrupulous people. Many people claim that they know how to perform a roofing job when in fact, they don’t. Previously, we prepared a general guide on choosing a roofer. Be sure to check it out.
3. Possible moisture problems
Nobody wants moisture to occur — especially on roofs. The paint on your roof can trap moisture underneath. Moisture seeps deeper into your roof and affects the deck and support. Before anything else, you must ask expert recommendations regarding the best roof paints. If not, you’d probably deal with early roof moisture issues and a fast aging roof.
How to Choose the Best Asphalt Shingle Roof Color
Now that we’re done tackling the question, “Can you paint asphalt shingles?” let’s explore the ways to pick the right roof shade. We introduce three considerations below.
1. Other exterior home features
Before deciding on a paint color, make sure that it complements your siding, brick wall, and other exterior elements. You want your roof and these elements to harmonize with one another. Use proven color combinations. For example, colors that sit opposite to each other in the color wheel. Colors that are adjacent to one another also look amazing.
2. Home resale value
Did you know that colors can affect the resale value of your property? If you plan to sell your home in the future, choose colors that most people agree with. Bluish and soft tones are known to increase resale value. If you’ll live in your home until you grow old, feel free to pick colors according to your tastes.
3. Property size
Play with colors to make your house look bigger. Lighter roof colors create an illusion of more space. Examples are off-white and light brown. The other benefit of lighter colors is that they reflect sunlight. Remember what we mentioned earlier about energy-efficiency.
We hope we satisfied your need to know whether you can paint asphalt shingles and some considerations. At the end of the day, you make the final choice. You certainly should know that this project is rare but possible. You need to find a roofing contractor that actually offers this service.
Most importantly, the contractor should guarantee quality. Make sure you ask for work samples, such as painted shingles before and after pictures.
Here at Contemporary Exteriors, we help homeowners in Lake in the Hills get a good roof. While we don’t paint roofs, we inspect them for signs of damage and aging. Rather than painting a very old asphalt shingle roof, why not get a new one instead? This is a better option because you avoid the risks and dangers of a damaged roof.