Can You Paint Roof Shingles? Benefits, Tips, & Disadvantages
The answer is yes, it is possible to paint roof shingles. Damaged shingles must be repaired, but those without pits or cracks can be painted. However, there are some challenges involved that you will want to consider when deciding if painting your shingles is practical for your home.
Benefits of Painting Roof Shingles
Practical and Cost-Effective
Painting your shingles is an affordable and flexible alternative to replacing them entirely if you are simply looking to improve the appearance of an otherwise structurally sound roof. If the primary reason you want to paint your roof is to change the color, then painting it is the way to go.
Extended Roof Lifespan
Painting your shingles provides a coating that protects them from the elements and falling debris and will generally wear them down over time.
Lower Energy Bills
If you live in a consistently warm climate, painting your shingles in a color that reflects sunlight will drastically lower your energy bills. Black asphalt shingles absorb sunlight, much like roadways do, and will warm your home and result in large air conditioning bills.
Disadvantages of Painting Roof Shingles
You should be aware that painting your roof shingles will require regular maintenance and re-painting once every 5 to 7 years. Each re-painting job will requires cleaning, repairing, and priming before adding paint.
Painting is Not a Substitute for Repairs
Painting your shingles is not an effective way to seal roof leaks or repair damaged shingles. If your roof shows signs of damage, it should be properly repaired before you paint.
Painting Your Roof is Tough Work
Painting your roof yourself is hard work and will require the proper safety equipment. If you are inexperienced, it makes sense to hire a skilled professional, although this can get costly.
What Kind of Paint to Use
Using the correct paint on your shingles is critical. Water-based acrylic paint that is specially designed for roofs should be applied. This allows for any potential moisture to escape from the shingles. It is important to avoid waterproofing paint, which will trap any excess moisture and likely result in the growth of mold and rot.
How Much Will It Cost
Regardless of whether you are painting or hiring a contractor, the cost will depend on the overall surface area, required cleaning and repairs, and roof pitch. A DIY project will also require purchasing the equipment needed to get the job done. Keep in mind that a gallon of roof paint generally costs between $30 to $40 and covers approximately 400 square feet. Paying a contractor will vary, but you can expect to spend at least $2,000 to $5,000.
How Long Does Roof Paint Last?
Unfortunately, the longest that roof paint generally lasts is approximately 8 years. It is a good idea to inspect your roof every 1 to 2 years to check for broken shingles or damage that may have occurred from severe weather.
Tips for Painting Your Roof Shingles
- First things first: inspect your roof or have it inspected by a professional. If your roof isn’t brand new, it will likely have experienced wear and tear. Once your roof is painted, it will be much more difficult to fix any damages, and painting over bad shingles is a waste if they eventually fall off.
- Repair or replace any shingles that are too damaged to paint over. Be sure also to replace any that are showing signs of mold or mildew as well.
- Remove any dirt build-up and algae, ideally using a pressure washer. The cleaner your roof is, the better the paint will stick and the longer it will last.
- Seal the shingles by rolling on a coat of water-based primer and allow them to dry completely before you begin painting.
- Start from the bottom and work your way to the top in small sections. From there, paint vertically. Working your way up from the bottom helps to manage the paint dripping and will result in an even coat.
- Painting in thin layers is extremely important. If the coats of paint that you roll on are too thick, all of the shingles will stick together, and the paint will be much more likely to chip. Your shingles should move around slightly with the wind. You will need to remove individual shingles that are damaged, and this will be difficult if the paint is too thick .
- Apply at leasttwo coats or three if you its necessary. Ensure that the paint has dried thoroughly between each application.
Hiring a Contractor
Painting your roof shingles is not an easy or quick task, and you may want to consider hiring a contractor to get the job done for you. Besides saving you time and effort, a contractor can use elastomeric spray paint. This paint coats evenly and will last longer than the products sold in home hardware stores. Contractors are equipped with the required safety equipment, which will be costly to purchase yourself.
Featured Image Credit: Barni1, Pixabay