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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Six

Black Shingles Won't Make Your House (that much) Hotter

When the summer Texas heat is blazing, is the difference between 90 degrees and 98 degrees really that much? That's about all the difference black shingles will make to the heat in your attic. There's a popular myth that black shingles will make your home hotter, therefore making your home electric bill higher.

While there is a nugget of truth in the myth that black shingles make your home hotter, the reality is that black shingles only raise the temperature a minute amount. It's somewhere between 8-10 degrees on even the hottest of days. Because the black absorbs the sun's light and heat, it can cause the temperature in the attic to raise slightly. That doesn't mean the temperature of your home will rise that much--just the attic temperature.

The key to ward off the heat in an attic is proper ventilation and insulation. If the attic is ventilated correctly, then the heat is able to escape the attic. With proper insulation, the heat will not be able to make its way into the home itself.

There are several common types of ventilation systems you can have on your roof. Sometimes, homes will have a combination of two or more types. Most people are more familiar with the Whirlybird vent and the Gable vent.

As you can see in the above diagram, most ventilation systems are only at one contact point on the roof. While most roofs will have more than one vent, you can see that the hot, humid air must find that contact point in order to escape. Not only do vent systems like whirlybirds, static and dormer vents make it difficult for air to escape, they can make an otherwise beautiful home look cheaper than it is.

At Evoke, we suggest upgrading to a ridge vent system. Ridge vents are the most efficient and cost-effective ventilation system. A ridge vent is installed at the peak of the roof. An air slot is cut out of the decking, and then that slot is covered by the air vent itself. Ridge cap shingles are then installed over the vent to protect it, and it gives the home a clean aesthetic. We all know that heat rises, and if the air is allowed to leave across the entire peak of your home, then you can see how it is much more efficient that the other vents, where the hot, humid air must find the small opening to escape.

The opening for the ridge vent. The decking is cut away to allow the ridge vent on the peak of the roof.

Ridge vent installation. There is room for the air to escape, but it won't allow water or critters in.

Completed ridge vent system. You can see the ridge vent cap shingles on top of the ridge vent. This gives the entire roof a smooth, clean finish.

While a ridge vent system may not be in your budget. making sure you have an adequate number of vents, as well as ensuring your vents are properly installed can cut your energy bills more than it would ever cost to have black shingles on your home.

So go for the bold statement on your home--put on those black shingles and let your home stand out in your neighborhood.

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