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  • Writer's pictureRaim Yestayev

Debunking the Myth: Black Shingles and Roof Temperature

When homeowners embark on the journey of selecting shingle colors for a new roof, they often grapple with a common concern: the fear that black shingles will make their homes unbearably hot. This long-standing belief suggests that black roofing materials attract more sunlight and heat, leading to higher indoor temperatures. However, Take Charge Roofing is here to challenge this notion with a real-world experiment that explores whether black shingles genuinely contribute to significantly hotter roofs compared to their lighter counterparts.

Conducting the Experiment:

To put this prevalent misconception to the test, we set up a practical experiment on a sunny day with an outdoor temperature of approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit. We utilized two shingle samples from the same manufacturer, ensuring they were of the same thickness. One shingle was black (pewter), and the other was a lighter shade of gray. Our objective was to monitor their temperatures at different intervals throughout the day.

Initial Measurements:

Commencing our experiment around 11 a.m., we took baseline temperature readings for both shingles. The black shingle registered a temperature of 114 degrees Fahrenheit, while the gray shingle measured 109.5 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, any temperature difference was negligible.

One Hour Later:

An hour later, at noon, with the outdoor temperature rising to 81 degrees Fahrenheit, we rechecked the shingle temperatures. The black shingle had warmed up to 159 degrees Fahrenheit, while the gray shingle reached 156 degrees Fahrenheit. Although a slight difference was noticeable, it remained relatively inconsequential.

Two Hours Later (Final Assessment):

For the conclusive assessment at approximately 2 p.m., with the outdoor temperature at 84 degrees Fahrenheit, we revisited the shingle temperatures. The black shingle now registered at 152 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the gray shingle stood at 146 degrees Fahrenheit.

Key Insights:

- Throughout the duration of the experiment, the black shingle consistently displayed slightly higher temperatures than the gray shingle.

- Nevertheless, the temperature variance between the two shingles remained modest, even during peak sun exposure.

- The findings suggest that while black shingles may exhibit marginally warmer temperatures, the color selection alone should not be the predominant factor in determining roof temperature.

The Vital Role of Roof Ventilation:

Crucially, the most influential factor in shaping roof temperature and maintaining indoor comfort is effective roof ventilation. Adequate ventilation encompasses both exhaust mechanisms (e.g., ridge vents, solar attic fans) and intake components (e.g., soffit vents). Robust ventilation systems facilitate the release of hot air from the attic, effectively preventing it from heating the interior living spaces. Thus, Take Charge Roofing recommends homeowners prioritize the installation of high-quality ventilation systems when planning for a new roof. This holds true regardless of the chosen shingle color.


The results of our experiment challenge the conventional belief that black shingles lead to significantly elevated roof temperatures compared to their lighter counterparts. While a minor temperature discrepancy was consistently observed, the key takeaway is that shingle color selection should not be the primary concern when preparing for a new roof. Instead, homeowners should focus on implementing a comprehensive roof ventilation system to ensure a comfortable and energy-efficient home environment, irrespective of their chosen shingle color. Trust Take Charge Roofing to guide you in making the right roofing decisions for your home.

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