painting roof shingles

Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

Thinking of painting your roof shingles? It’s possible as long as you use the right materials and techniques. Is it a good idea? That depends on several important factors. Read on to learn the pros and cons of painting your roof.

The Pros

A Fresh Look

Sometimes, homeowners choose to paint their roofs to improve their aesthetics. If your shingles don’t seem to match your siding color well, you might want to change their appearance. If you’ve noticed that your shingles look dingy despite your best efforts to clean them, paint can help with this too.

Improved Energy Efficiency

In some instances, painting may also improve your home’s energy efficiency, helping you save money in the short term and in the long run. Certain reflective paints repel sunlight and heat from your shingles, reducing the surface temperature to help keep your home’s interior cooler.

Extending Roof Life

Sometimes people choose to paint their roofs because they don’t want to pay for a new roof. Just as you might paint a fence to protect it from the elements, you can do the same for shingles, as long as you use the right paint and properly prepare the surface to promote adhesion. Bear in mind, however, that this doesn’t always work out. In many instances, paint will begin to chip or peel, forcing homeowners to pay for a new roof even after they’ve paid for a failed paint job.

The Cons

Extensive Maintenance

If you decide to paint your roof, you will be signing up for regular maintenance to maintain the finish. Be prepared to carefully examine your roof one to two times a year. If you notice any peeling or chipping, you will have to address this before it spreads. Sometimes, you will be able to simply sand down the failing finish and apply fresh paint. More often, you will have to refinish the entire surface.

No matter what, you will have to repaint every few years. How often depends on a few factors including the quality of the paint, the paint job and your climate. If you live in a region with intense sunshine or lots of snow and rain, you will have to repaint much more frequently than someone who lives in a more neutral climate.

Potential Damage

In perfect circumstances, a quality paint job could extend the life of your roof. Unfortunately, life rarely provides us with perfect circumstances. There are a lot of ways roof painting can go wrong. For one, you could easily suffer a serious or even deadly fall. You could also accidentally damage your shingles, resulting in unseen leaks.

If you fail to properly inspect your roof for leaks before you paint, the new finish could conceal the damage, allowing moisture to slowly migrate into your attic. If this occurs, you could end up with thousands of dollars worth of damage due to mold and rot.

If you use the wrong type of paint, your finish will begin to peel and flake after a short time. The wrong type of paint can also allow mildew and algae to get a foothold in your shingles. If you fail to properly kill any existing mildew and algae, it will inevitably bleed through over time.

Is it a Smart Move?

Should you paint your roof shingles? The answer to this question depends on your goals. If you have a relatively new roof but dislike the color, a fresh coat of paint makes sense, as long as you choose the right type of paint and properly prepare the surface. If you have an aging roof, on the other hand, you should reconsider.

More often than not, a fresh paint job will rejuvenate the look of an aging roof for only a short time. In a matter of months or a couple of years, you are likely to experience problems that will force you to have a new roof installed. With this in mind, it generally makes sense to go ahead and replace your roof instead of trying to paint over it. In the long run, you will end up saving money, especially since new roofs tend to last up to 30 years with proper installation.

Need a new roof for your home? A to Z is ready to help. Hoping for budget-friendly repairs for weather- or age-related damage? We can do that too. At A to Z, we’ve spent decades earning a widespread reputation as one of the state’s leading roofing contractors. How? By providing skilled workmanship and honest customer service. Contact us to learn more and get a free estimate on your next roofing project.

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