The Roof and the Temperatures in Your Home: Where’s the Link?

Posted by Roofco May 28, 2019

According to Global news reports, in the summer months of 2018, Manitoba experienced record-breaking temperatures of as high as 102.38°F. Now that is what we call really hot!  With temperatures predicted to reach well over 86.0 °F in the coming summer seasons, it’s important to understand how the roof affects a home’s indoor temperatures. While your roof may seem like an expanse inanimate structure, it’s more like a living organism. Its materials, color, and structure significantly influence the temperatures in your house. A reputable Winnipeg roofing company walks you through how your roof influences indoor temperatures.

The Color

Let’s start with the most obvious component of the roof ― the color.  Generally, a dark-colored roof is like a heat sponge, soaking up the sun’s rays and transferring all that heat to the attic and the rooms below. Light colors do the opposite; they reflect the sun’s rays away from the roof which helps keep the rooms below cooler in hot weather. There have been several studies that have documented the essence of lightening roofs to save on cooling bills. They call it the ‟albedo effect.” But where does this leave homeowners whose roofing colors are dark. Yet they live in areas with extreme weathers wherein one season, mother nature blesses the roofs with ice and in another, wrecks it with heat?  

You see, much as reflecting light in hot weather is important, dark roofs have a reputation of helping snow melt in winter weather. This is made possible by the fact that dark roofs retain heat as aforementioned. Ultimately, so long as you choose the best materials available and get proper installation, the best roof color is the color you like most. Regardless of the choice of roof color, proper insulation and ventilation helps keep indoor temperatures comfortable both in summer and winter.

Roofing Material

Your choice of roofing material will also have an effect on the temperature in your house. The roofing material affects how much light a house absorbs which in turn affects indoor temperatures. For example, asphalt shingles, regardless of whether they are dark or light colored only reflect an estimated 30% of the light that hits your home. Metal roofs, on the other hand, are very reflective regardless of their color. Tiles and concrete roofing also have different cooling and heat absorption properties. If you’re concerned about the energy efficiency of your favorite roofing materials, opt for cool roof version of that material.

The Attic

Regardless of your choice of roofing color and material, the attic is part of your roofing system. It also plays a major role in keeping your home at comfortable temperatures. An improperly vented attic can cause a tremendous increase in the house’s temperatures. Your attic needs the right amount of insulation and ventilation to allow excess heat to escape. Any well-experienced roofer will tell you that where proper insulation keeps excess heating from reaching past the attic, proper attic ventilation provides cooling properties to the roof materials. This means that although insulating the ceiling can and does help reduce transfer of heat to the house, eliminating excess heat from the attic is even more beneficial and cost-effective.

In conclusion, although the roof color, materials used and the state of the attic do have an effect on your home’s temperatures, don’t hesitate to choose a roof of your preference. A skilled roofing contractor can always find ways to work around your selection to ensure your home’s temperature is comfortable whether in summer or winter.