Understanding Color on Your Metal Roof

Your Choice in Roof Color Matters

When you have an asphalt roof put on your home, you generally get a few choices.  They’re almost always browns, grays, or blacks.  There are some specialty colors like reddish, greenish, and blueish, but for the most part there aren’t too many options.  Metal roofing is not like that.

Colors of metal roofing in Billings

When you opt for a metal roof, you have a huge variety of colors that you can choose from.  While most people will choose on that compliments the color of their home, there is more to colors than just what looks good.  The right color can make a big difference in how comfortable your home is.

Choosing a Roof Based on Aesthetics

One of the biggest reasons to choose a particular color is based on how it will look with the rest of the house.  You can work with an architect or a design professional to determine what the right color is.  We will then order the metal in that particular color.  Essentially there are no limits as to what color metal we can order in (although if you choose a neon pink roof, your HOA might not be too happy with it).

One of the most important things to remember when you choose a color, is that heat reflectivity is a thing.

Understanding Color and Heat Reflectivity

Different colors reflect heat differently.  This is precisely why wearing a black shirt in the summer makes you get warm faster than wearing a white shirt (also why snow melts off the roads when the sun is shining but it’s only 25 degrees out).  When you’re putting a roof on your home, lighter colors will reflect more heat than darker colors.

If your home design calls for a green roof, you aren’t stuck with a dark color that’s going to get warmer.  There are many different shades of green, and there are different coatings that can be done to the metal in order to increase heat reflectivity.  Also, keep in mind that having a properly insulated attic will negate any problems with your roof absorbing more heat because it’s dark.

Heat Is Not All About Color

You want your roof to look good.  That means even though white is a high reflectivity color (around 65% depending on the metal); it might not be the necessary to keep your attic space cool.  It all depends on the thermal barrier between your roof and your attic.

How does that work?  Take a look at this study from Classic Metal Roofing Systems.  They did a multi-year study that looked at various roofing products and how they affected the temperature in the attic.  In 2001, when the outside air temperature was 87.8 degrees, the attic space was 119.7 degrees with black asphalt shingles, 102.2 degrees with a white standing seam roof, and 98.4 degrees with a brown aluminum shake.  So why was brown cooler than white?

It all comes down to how it’s installed.  Standing seam roofing lays flat against the roof deck.  There’s no air between the deck and the metal.  Aluminum shingles have gaps behind them creating a buffer for less heat transfer.  That small gap of air was enough to cause the attic space to be even cooler than the white roof with a higher heat reflectivity.  And of course the black asphalt shingles soaked up the sun, lay flat on the roof, and caused attic temps to be high.

lighter colors, better heat reflectivity, metal roofing in Billings

Beartooth Metal Roofing Your Metal Roofing Choice for Billings, Montana

Here at Beartooth Metal Roofing, we have 3 goals: provide a superior product, which looks better, and makes your home more comfortable.  By understanding how the different products will work on top of your home, we can offer the right solution to ensure you have a beautiful home that will last for decades.

Give us a call at 406-839-0084 to schedule a time to get a quote on your new, and better, roof.