We want the roof of our house not just to work, but also to look good. They tie the outward appearance of our home together, after all. And one of the biggest ways a roof can be appealing is through its color. When deciding on the color for your metal roof, one of the main concerns is fading out of shade. What color of metal roof fades out the least, staying appealing the longest? Well, we here at Home Decor Bliss have researched the subject for you, down below.
Lighter colors of metal roofs tend to last longer than darker shades like reds and blues. This can be tied to several factors, including pigment concentration, whether the pigment is organic or inorganic, and matte versus glossy finishes. All these factors contribute to the speed at which certain colors fade compared to others.
As you can see, there are a lot more factors than you might expect at play here. Continue reading as we break down the science behind roof colors and fading in our article down below.
Color pigment and fading: the whys and hows
Even when exposed to similar elements, certain shades of metal roofs will begin to and continue to fade faster than others. This has a lot to do with the chemical makeup of the pigment creating the color in the first place.
What is fading when it comes to metal roofs?
When it comes to your metal roof, fading occurs when pollution, water, chemicals, and other similar substances in the atmosphere interact with the paint. This causes the pigments in the paint to react, breaking them down and causing visible change. Typically this change takes the form of lightning in the pigment, what we know as fading. There are instances where the roof's color can get darker or change completely, but generally speaking, fading will occur.
It's important to note that it's possible, and indeed even probable, that your roof won't fade uniformly. Factors like slope and orientation towards the sun will lead to different parts of your roof fading out differently. While you can protect yourself with paint warranties that offer good deals when replacing faded paint, there is no real way to prevent it. Fading is going to occur when it comes to an outside surface like the roof of your house.
What Color Metal Roof Lasts The Longest?
One of the major ways color pigment affects fading is in lighter, more natural colors versus darker, more vivid colors. Colors like tans, beiges, and sand shades are more resistant to fading than brighter, more concentrated shades like reds and dark blues.
This is largely due to reasons tied to the next section based on the composition of chemical compounds that make up the actual pigment. But the general rule of thumb that applies to clothing, for example, also applies to your metal roof. More concentrated, vibrant colors are more prone to fading quicker.
Inorganic vs. organic compounds
Fading comes from chemical reactions, so it stands to reason that the chemical makeup in a pigment plays a big role. There's a fair bit of science behind why this is, but it mostly comes down to the presence of carbon in organic pigments. Inorganic compounds are found in a lot of the lighter mentioned colors up above. These are inorganic because they are based on various metals, such as iron.
Organic compounds are made from things such as plant products and contain carbon chains. These carbon molecules, being organic, break down much quicker and easier when exposed to harsh elements. This is another reason why earth tones like browns and beiges last much longer than the brighter, vibrant colors, which tend to fall on opposite sides of the inorganic/organic divide.
Matte vs. glossy paint
Matte colors and paints are less prone to noticeable fading than glossy finish paints. Thankfully, matte paints have become a bigger trend in home decor as the years have gone on. This means that the color range available in matte paint is bigger than ever. Consider a matte finish for your metal roof if you live in an area susceptible to harsh elements or don't want to replace your roof paint often.
Read more: Can You Put A Metal Roof Over Wood Shingles?
What Color Metal Roof Is The Coolest?
Compared to darker colors, lighter tones like whites and tans better reflect the sun's heat rays. This means that roofs of these colors absorb significantly less heat into your home. This makes lighter colors a realistic choice for areas with lots of direct sunlight and heat.
How to protect your roof from fading
While metal roofs are unfortunately prone to fading much faster than any other kind of roofing, there are options for protection. A good warranty will cover paint fading, provided it's substantial enough. This is where you have to make sure your warranty covers your needs. Some warranties require quite extensive fading before covering the costs of repainting.
There are also extensive numbers of metal roof coatings that provide multiple benefits. These include general protection from damage and exposure to wicking away moisture off the roof. It also provides a solid sealant to keep your paint color lasting longer. This sealant extends the time between necessary paint jobs by blocking out a significant portion of UV rays from penetrating your paint pigments.
When choosing a metal roof coating to apply to your home, remember that cutting corners in the name of saving can come back to bite you. Cheaper coatings might not be crafted with quality in mind, and at best, might be inefficient. At worst, they might even do damage to your roof you otherwise wouldn't suffer from. Always select from a reputable brand, and don't feel afraid to contact an expert if need be.
How Long Does It Take For A Metal Roof To Fade?
There, unfortunately, is no precise answer to this question, given the variety of variables at play. As previously mentioned, everything from which direction your roof faces, northern-facing roofs statistically experience less direct sun exposure on average than southern-facing roofs, to the color to local weather will vary the process.
However, a good roof warranty can last for up to 40 to 70 years and include paint chalking and fading on your roof. Instead of waiting for a specific time frame in which your roof should fade out, it's best just to be prepared. The fading will eventually occur, but your warranty should be there to handle it.
How Long Does Paint On A Metal Roof Last?
It's recommended you get your roof looked over once a year for any potential issues, including paint. On average, metal roofs need to be repainted about every ten years. This is important for several reasons when it comes to metal roofs. Paint helps protect your metal roof and keeps it from absorbing too much heat. There are also the aesthetic benefits to fresh paint.
When applying paint to your metal roof, make sure you aren't just using excess leftover paint from your house. The composition of metal roof coating and paints from your house is quite different. Always use a sealant before starting a paint job on your roof. This will give it the added protective benefits.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions as clearly as possible. Not applying enough paint or misapplying it will diminish any benefits. If you feel unable to do this, hire professionals who can. The energy efficiency of properly applied paint will offset the costs in the long run.
Read more: What Color House Goes With A Green Roof?
Do Metal Roofs Get Mold?
Molds and algae can grow in shady dark parts of your metal roof, especially if you live in humid and coastal areas. Trapped moisture in various crooks can cause real problems for people living in damper environments.
Mold spores also travel quite easily, making one person's problem their neighbors problem as well. Thankfully, a metal roof is more resistant to this problem as water sloughs off much easier and isn't absorbed.
A simple way to fight mold if it's a persistent problem is installing copper or zinc strips on your roof. Installing these along the ridgeline of affected areas of your roof will keep mold from being able to grow. The molecules from the metal on the strips will attack any mold and mildew in their path before they can take root.
The paint on your metal roof offers many benefits, and keeping it in great shape is necessary. While you can make any color roof work with enough effort and knowledge, we hope these tips have informed you how paint color plays a role.