Hey Vern, 

I’m having a new roof installed! I’m so excited but I still need to choose a color. I was originally thinking of getting a dark gray shingle- but asking for ‘gray’ didn’t narrow down my choices!

Then a friend of mine chose a light beige color for their new roof- saying it’ll keep the roof cool. Is a light roof the right call? Do you have any tips to make the decision easier? And will different color shingles save money in the long run?


Mary from Pottsville, PA

Mary, you’re not the first homeowner to ask this question- and definitely not the last! After choosing the right installer, most homeowners breeze through choosing what quality of product they want for their home. But color choice? That’s the most difficult part for homeowners selecting a new roof. 

With current asphalt shingle supply? It’s only gotten trickier. I’m glad to hear you’re open to options. Right now? It’s best to have a few in mind when making a selection with any contractor!

Our roofing manufacturer, GAF, carries hundreds of different colors and styles of asphalt shingles. Sometimes just choosing between Sandalwood and Shakewood is overwhelming. 

Your roof makes up 40% of your home’s exterior. When done well? Your roof will boost your home’s curb appeal and increase your home’s value. But when selected without an eye toward your home’s existing exterior? You’ve just made a 25 year commitment to a roof that doesn’t help your investment hold. 

You mentioned both color and weather. Since you’re open to color, let’s take a look at how weather affects your choice. 

The Albedo Effect

Grey color roof

Somewhere back in the fifth grade I remember learning about how light colors reflect sunlight and darker colors absorb light (and heat up). This is known as the Albedo effect. 

The same reason you don’t wear black on a hot summer day is the same reason why black isn’t the best choice for a roof in Arizona: It heats up fast and holds that heat!

Roof temperature is important to us. At Martin, we always make sure our roofing installations take into account right-sized ventilation to regulate attic and interior home temperatures. Good ventilation keeps your roof safe from summer heat and protects against ice dams in winter. 

The color of your roof protects your home (and energy bill!) in the same way.

If you’ve read our past articles on roof colors, you know location matters. Pennsylvania doesn’t have the friendliest climate. Did you know we receive an average of 38 inches of snowfall a year? That’s 10 inches more than the national average! 

Because of this, I have two recommendations for your new installation: 

  1. Choose a darker color to combat the winter weather
  2. Let a professional examine your attic ventilation to guarantee your roof is safe in the summer as well. 

A dark colored roof paired with proper ventilation will guarantee your new roof will last for decades. 

I know you’re now thinking “What about my friend with the light tan roof?” 

Let’s talk about that next…

“Can My Roof Color Save Money?” 

Home with dark color shingles

Yes… and no. 

Light tan might have been the most beautiful color for your friend’s architecture and exterior style. The summer energy savings may have just been the icing on the top they were chatting about when you brought up your own new roof project. 

Lighter color roofs can decrease your energy bill in the summer. But what you save for the summer? You make up for in the winter. 

If you’re looking for a way to save money on your new roof, attic ventilation is always the answer. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proper attic ventilation saves an average of 11% of energy costs. 

Another great way to save money with your new roof? Work with a certified and insured contractor. 

Did you know when you work with a GAF certified contractor, you have access to additional warranties? When you work with our team, you have access to: 

  • 50 year protection period (compare this to 10 years with uncertified contractors) 
  • Complete disposal coverage for tear-off, including our clean lawn guarantee 
  • Our personal extended warranty on our teams professional workmanship 

Martin Roofing and Siding not only keeps up on GAF certification but personally guarantees our workmanship. We want to create lifelong partnerships with our clients!

Ready for Your New Roof?

Mary, I’m so glad you reached out and I hope you found this guidance helpful. 

Still unsure of the right choice? We can help. Ana, our in-house architect, can upload photos of your home and show you how your top selection look in real life. I like it because it takes the guesswork out of the decision. 

I’d love to find time to chat about potential roof colors. If you have idea books or Pinterest boards dedicated to your project? Show them off! The more inspiration, the better. 

Give me a call at 570-345-0436 and we’ll help make the best decision for your home. 

Until next time, 

Vern Martin