If you are looking to spruce up the appearance of your home, try painting your roof shingles to give it a quick makeover! Learn more below.
Many homes can be found with shingled roofs, especially the older ones. Shingles are usually put for aesthetic reasons as they give a house a complete appearance.
But, what if you have moved into a house, and the roof shingles just don’t appeal to your aesthetic taste?
Instead of redoing a perfectly good roof, many people opt to just paint the shingles so they are more to their liking.This not only makes sense to suit your taste, it also gives the house a fresher and newer appearance. Here’s all you need to know about painting roof shingles:
Table of Contents
- What Are Roof Shingles?
- Can You Paint Roof Shingles?
- Pros and Cons of Painting Asphalt Shingles
- When to Paint Roof Shingles
- Challenges of Painting Roof Shingles
- Can You Paint Roof Shingles Black?
- What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Shingles?
- How Much Does It Cost to Paint Roof Shingles?
- How Long Does Roof Paint Last?
What Are Roof Shingles?
Roof shingles are a covering on the roof of your house that are laid out in a manner that they overlap each other.
They are often rectangular in shape, but size can vary. Shingles are laid from the bottom edge of the roof in rows, each row overlapping the one below it all the way to the top. Here is how to measure the quantity of shingles needed for a roof.
Shingles can be made of many different materials, such as wood, slate, metal, plastic, cement or even asphalt.
Roof shingles primarily exist for aesthetic reasons, but they are also there to create a barrier between your roof and the harsh external elements.
Though all the materials provide this protective layer, some materials work better depending on the weather conditions of your location.
The prices and cosmetic appeal of shingles also vary from material to material. To make roof shingles more aesthetically pleasing, people often get them in different colors, depending on their taste.
But what if your house is already constructed, and you don’t want to spend on changing the shingles, can you just paint them? Keep reading to find out.
Can You Paint Roof Shingles?
The short answer is yes. Painting roof shingles is a definite possibility for those who want to spruce up the appearance of their home or even want a little change.
Most materials that roof shingles are made out of can be painted. The one thing that you need to make sure of before starting your painting though is that your roof is completely clean and free of any debris or mold and in good condition.
This way, you will get a nice even coat on your shingles and you won’t face any problems during the process.
Though it is a possibility, there are certain challenges that you might face while painting your roof shingles, so you might want to take a few things into consideration when it is necessary to paint your roof shingles.
Pros and Cons of Painting Asphalt Shingles
Painting your asphalt shingles can provide some protection against wear and tear and update the appearance of your home. However, there are some situations where there are more drawbacks than positives.
- Asphalt’s appearance often clashes with the rest of the house, but you can fix that easily with a coat of paint.
- Painting an asphalt roof is easy and doesn’t require much prep work.
- Paint protects shingles from weather damage.
- Painting a roof is less expensive than replacing it.
- The right paint color can insulate your house better, so you can save on your energy bills.
- A light paint color can help to reflect heat and keep the house cool.
- Once you paint your roof, you will need to conduct regular maintenance like repainting the shingles every 6-7 years.
- You will probably need to pay for professional house painters. Moreover, finding professionals to paint your roof might be difficult.
- Paint can actually exacerbate heat damage, leading to asphalt shingles that warp during the summer.
- Paint can’t protect against more serious forms of roof damage, so sometimes your only option is to replace it.
When to Paint Roof Shingles
Improving the Look of Your Roof
If you are looking to improve the look of your roof, painting the shingles makes sense. You should note, however, that painting the shingles of a roof that is not structurally sound, or is damaged, will only fix the appearance and not the roof itself.
Moving into a New House
If you are moving into a new house, and you like everything about it except the way the roof shingles look, don’t spend extra money on replacing them, you can simply paint them to give your new home a new look!
This can be especially helpful in situations where the previous homeowner has painted the entire house, but forgone the roof tiles. They tend to look older and a bit drab; have them painted to give your whole house a new look!
Become More Energy-Efficient
Yes, painting your roof shingles a certain color can make your whole house more energy-efficient! If you live in a place where it can get hot, choose light colors to reflect the sun’s rays.
This will keep your house cooler, thus reducing your electricity bill. On the other hand, houses in colder temperatures should opt for darker colors for their shingles ; the dark colors will absorb the heat from the sun (as long as they are not covered with snow!).
Challenges of Painting Roof Shingles
Finding a Contractor
If you are choosing to have your roof shingles painted by a contractor, you might not have the easiest time finding one for the job. Painting shingles is not a common request, so many contractors are not familiar with the task, and hence they refuse the job.
Where an unpainted shingle can be left alone for many, many years, painted shingles require more maintenance. Once paint chips away because of the elements over time, the entire roof will need to be cleaned, primed and painted once again!
If you choose the wrong paint, you are putting your roof at the risk of molding and rotting over time. People assume that if they use waterproof paint, it will be better for their roof, but instead of protecting your shingles, it creates a barrier that traps moisture in, leaving your home at the risk of molding. Use paint specifically made for roofs to avoid any such problems.
Can You Paint Roof Shingles Black?
You can paint roof shingles any color that you want including black. However, the color will affect the insulation and temperature of your home, so keep that in mind when you choose your hue.
Black paint absorbs heat, while light paint reflects it. While you can paint your roof shingles black, if you live in a place that gets hot summers, you may not want to. A black roof will only add to your air conditioning bills and make your attic feel unlivable.
However, if you live in a colder climate, painting your roof shingles black can help your house retain heat.
What Kind of Paint Do You Use on Shingles?
Indoor paint or even ordinary exterior house paint will not work for roofing shingles. That is because those types of paint are less durable when it comes to extreme weather.
In particular, lower-quality forms of paint are vulnerable to heat, which can make your roof shingles warp and fall out of place.
Your roof is the part of your house that is most exposed to the sun’s rays and storms, so you want the most durable type of paint that you can find.
The best type of paint for roof shingles is exterior acrylic latex paint. Acrylic latex paint, sometimes just called exterior acrylic paint, is made of plastic resin and water base.
The paint needs to be a material that bonds to the shingles properly and resists weather conditions. Just getting waterproof paint is not enough because that traps moisture onto the roof.
For best results, use paint that is specifically made for roofing shingles. It’s usually labeled “Roof Paint.”
How Much Does It Cost to Paint Roof Shingles?
The cost of painting your roof shingles will depend on the paint that you buy, how big your roof is, and whether you are painting it yourself or hiring professional house painters.
One gallon of exterior roof paint usually costs between $25 and $30 and covers about 450 square feet. The number of gallons you need will depend on the surface area of your roof.
Besides the paint, you will need other supplies for painting your roof, including primer, rollers, and paint trays.
Don’t forget to buy safety equipment that will help you reach the roof and prevent you from falling, such as ladders and harnesses.
All the supplies for painting your roof may cost you $500, and that’s not even counting the hours of lost work spent painting your roof, or if you have to repair any mistakes later on.
If you hire professional painting contractors, it will be more expensive to paint your roof. They usually charge $2,500 to $4,500 per roof, depending on their price levels and the size of your roof.
Before committing such a large amount of money to your roof, ask a couple of different contractors in your area for quotes to find the best deal.
How Long Does Roof Paint Last?
If you use the right kind of roof paint, it can withstand several years of wear and tear. However, no matter how durable your roof paint is, you will probably have to repaint your roof after five to seven years. Nothing can withstand years of direct sunlight, rain, wind, and other weather attacks, after all.
However, there are steps that you can take to increase the life span of your roof. Regularly inspect your roof, either by yourself or by hiring a roofing contractor. You should do this every 12 to 18 months. During your roof inspection, keep an eye out for chipping paint or damaged shingles.
As soon as you notice a chip or other problem with the paint on your roof, touch it up immediately. Catching problems as soon as you see them can prevent larger damage to your roof and extend the time between paint jobs.
We hope this guide helps you decide if you should or should not paint your roof shingles!
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