Light Vs. Dark: Which Is The Ideal Roof Color For Your Building?

Light Vs. Dark: Which Is The Ideal Roof Color For Your Building?

Most building and even homeowners choose their roof color based on aesthetics—which color looks best with the rest of their building’s color scheme. However, this choice also affects your building’s energy efficiency and durability.

Light Versus Dark

Basic physics tells us that light colors reflect light while dark colors absorb it. This basic concept is commonly applied to clothing and interiors, but it applies to commercial roofs, too.

Lighter roofs reflect light, and therefore also heat. As a result, lighter roofs help keep your building’s temperature cooler in the hotter months. This is one of the reasons why most roofs in warmer or tropical regions usually have lighter roofs.

Darker-colored roofs absorb heat. This means that they tend to keep the building at higher temperatures than lighter-colored roofs. Darker roofs are thus better for colder climates.

When Does Roof Color Matter?

Commercial roofing materials dominate the discussion on roof durability and energy efficiency. However, roof color also plays a part in these aspects. Here is how roof color may affect your building’s roofing material.

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Roof

TPO membranes are a popular commercial roof material because of their lightweight, flexibility, durability, and energy efficiency. TPO membranes come in black, white, and light gray colors. For this material, white TPO membranes add an extra reflective property to your commercial roof. However, the difference is probably minuscule because this material is already UV resistant.

Ethylene Polypropylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) Roof

EPDM or rubber roofs are a common option for flat roofs. This material comes only in black and white, and these colors make a lot of difference. The color of your EPDM roof depends on the material added to it, according to the EPDM Roofing Association. On the one hand, black EPDM roofs contain carbon black which converts the sun’s rays into heat that it, then, absorbs. Heat absorption, however, does not affect EPDM’s durability since it is weather-proof. On the other hand, white EPDM roofs contain titanium oxide which reflects the sun’s rays.

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen’s selling factor is its UV resistance. It is also available in a wide range of colors. However, if energy efficiency is your reason for installing Modified Bitumen, opt for lighter colors. Lighter colors enhance the material’s UV resistance by making it more reflective.

Metal Roof

Color is a major factor in metal roofs. Metal roofs naturally have high reflectivity, which can be enhanced by lighter colors. In contrast, darker colors can make metal roofs absorb and retain heat from the sun. In addition, more non-standard and highly pigmented colors tend to fade more on metal roofs than standard colors like gray and black.

Choosing A Roof Color For Your Building

The ideal commercial roof color, thus, ultimately depends on the type of roofing material and the climate. Lighter colors enhance the most energy-efficient roofing materials’ ability to reflect light and thus lower your utility bill during hotter seasons, while darker colors can help keep your building warmer during the winter. Gulf-Tex Roof will help you get the best commercial roofing system for your building. Contact Gulf-Tex Roof today.