Flat and low slope roofs present their own unique challenges and decisions when compared to traditional residential roofing materials. One decision that may not occur to you right away but is an important decision nonetheless is choosing a color for your flat roofing system. Let’s look at what kind of options you have for choosing colors for flat roofing systems and how to narrow down your choices.
Determining the Color of Your Flat or Low Slope Roof
First of all, color choice and variety will more than likely be much more narrow than the array of colors found on traditional residential roofing materials like asphalt shingle but that doesn’t mean you don’t have any choice.
If you’re going with a single ply roofing membrane such as TPO or EPDM you can usually choose from either black or white but some manufacturers can produce these materials in shades of brown, greens, off whites and more.
Other materials like built up roofing systems may not have as many choices, as the main color that comes through will simply be the substrate, pea gravel or similar materials.
What Will Different Color Materials Mean for My Roof?
Let’s suppose your only color options are black and white. Choosing either color will have a direct impact on multiple aspects of your roof but one of the main areas will be in energy efficiency. You may remember in elementary school that light colors tend to reflect solar energy and heat while darker colors will absorb that energy. So what does this mean for your roof?
If you live in a climate with high average temperatures you probably have higher cooling bills than heating bills. This means that you want a white roof to reflect this solar energy and help keep the building cooler. Likewise, if you need to warm your building more often than cool it you may want to go with black to help keep the building warm.
There will be more factors in deciding on your roof color than energy efficiency depending on your building and materials chosen. Discuss the color with your roofing consultant to make sure you get the best color match for your next project.