A close-up of black roofing.

A roof is arguably the most significant exterior element of any home, with the average roof accounting for one-third to 40% of the structure’s facade. When you’re replacing a new roof, then, it’s worth taking the time to consider which construction materials and colors will best complement the rest of your house. Black shingles are an extremely popular roofing material, especially here in Maricopa County, but their prevalence is not necessarily an indicator of their suitability for the hot Arizona climate. 

Before you make a final decision on the possibility of black roof shingles, consider that the common roofing system has both pros and cons that accompany installation. In this article, we’ll assess some of the greatest advantages and drawbacks that often come along with darker-colored shingles. For more information on how to choose the right kind of roofing for your home, please visit Express Roofing online or contact one of our local roof contractors today.

A Brief Overview of Shingles

It’s worth discussing the different types of shingles available for roof repairs and installations, from the materials that make up each unit to the spectrum of colors that they come in. The majority of modern roofing shingles are made of asphalt, a semi-solid form of petroleum. Also referred to as bitumen or modified bitumen roofing, asphalt shingles have garnered a relatively positive reputation amongst residential roofing contractors because of their affordability and ease of installation. Furthermore, this roofing material is produced in such large quantities that there is a color option available for virtually any architectural taste, from ivory to desert sand to classic black.

However, in certain climates like Phoenix, where temperatures rise to incredibly high levels, the heat-trapping properties of asphalt and bitumen shingles can have a negative impact on houses, from compromised insulation to inconsistent thermal regulation to skyrocketing utility bills. That being said, shingles of all kinds remain an industry standard for residential roofs. Whether you’re a resident of Gilbert, Mesa, or you’re reading from somewhere outside of Arizona, you’ll want to consider carefully the features of any roofing system before calling a local team of contractors.

Pros of Black Roof Shingles

As alluded to earlier, the asphalt and bitumen so commonly used to fabricate black roof shingles have a natural tendency to retain heat. When these roofing materials are tinted with darker colors like black, that absorption of warmth increases even more. Depending on where you live, this could be a boon or a drawback. Milder climates located in the northern U.S. may find greater value in black roof shingles because they can reduce energy costs in the colder days of fall and winter by retaining more heat. By contrast, dry and hot regions may be hesitant to increase their already significant monthly expenditures on air conditioning, water, and other essential utilities for the sake of an aesthetically pleasing roof.

Geographic location aside, virtually all homeowners would prefer to get a good deal, and black asphalt shingles are one of the most economical options for roof construction. In addition to their reasonable price point, these dark-hued house-toppers require little maintenance and have a considerable lifespan, with the average set of black shingles lasting anywhere from 15 to 30 years. 

Another benefit of black roofing is demonstrated by its waterproof qualities. While not all asphalt or bitumen roofs can defend against heavy snowfall of Colorado or the rainy downpour of an Arizona monsoon, an impressively large percentage of shingles perform almost as well as the feathers on a duck’s back. 

Last on our “pros” list, black roof shingles are an excellent roofing choice for those who have versatile or indecisive preferences on exterior design. Whether you choose to panel your home with cream-colored slats of wood or you find greater curb appeal in the sights of brick and masonry, it’s pretty difficult to clash with a black roof. 

If you’re considering black roof shingles for an upcoming home renovation project, be sure to work with a roofing company that is willing to give you a sample of shingles prior to installation. This allows you to see how the black shingles interact with external sunlight, surrounding residential structures, neighborhood design trends, and the overall facade of your home.

Cons of Black Roof Shingles

As we’ve already addressed the heat-trapping tendencies of asphalt and bitumen, it’s fair to see why homeowners in arid environments or deserts — like those found in Arizona — would be dissuaded from installing such an energy-hungry roofing system. Sunscreen may be effective for repelling the burn of overhead UV rays, but it’s not quite so simple for a dark-toned set of shingles to do the same. 

On the flip side of this construction “con”, some residents of northern and/or humid climates may find themselves struggling with thermal efficiency in the winter months. When snow falls in large amounts or builds up over the period of a few days, it’s not always feasible or affordable for homeowners to remove the cold and moisture from their roofs. Not only do black shingles lose some insulation capabilities under these circumstances, but the gradual accumulation of moisture on the roofing system can weaken its structural integrity and increase the likelihood of leaks, damage, and collapse. 


There are pros and cons to every style of roofing, but black shingles are an especially interesting construction material to look at. While some homeowners may veer away from black roof shingles, others may consider it the best option for their house. Ultimately, it’s up to you how you choose to protect your property, but the opinion of a qualified roofing professional can certainly point you in the right direction. 

Express Roofing has serviced Maricopa County for more than 40 years, providing unparalleled workmanship and competitive prices. Whether you’re considering a full shingle roof installation or you simply need some repairs done, our team of professional contractors has the experience and the Top-Rated Local reputation to get the job done with efficiency every time. Call us today for a free estimate!