Do your shingles look different than when they were installed years ago? Are they darker or lighter than they used to be? It’s not unusual for asphalt shingles to change colors over the years, but it’s also not a great sign for your roof. Faded or darkening shingles are both signs of an aging roof. It means the materials are aging, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a sign of a damaged roof. 

Why do asphalt shingles change color over time? What does it mean? Find out more about why your shingles become lighter or darker as they age. 

Why Roofing Shingles Fade in Color

Asphalt shingles are made of (as their name implies) asphalt. While the material is designed to withstand the elements, it is susceptible to color fading. This is due to prolonged exposure to UV light (sunlight). The drier the climate, the quicker the colors will fade over time. 

Some shingles will also face more quickly than others. In general, the darker the shingles, the more you will notice the change in color over time. If you are choosing a shingle color for your home, it’s best to consider the colors based on how much your roof is exposed to sunlight. This will depend on where your home is located and how shaded the roof is. If you have more mature trees on your property, they may provide some shade at certain times of the day. 

While color fading in shingles is not inherently bad, it does mean that the shingles are getting older, on top of being aesthetically unpleasant. Keep in mind that older asphalt shingles are more susceptible to cracking, warping, and storm damage. 

Why Roofing Shingles Become Darker

While most asphalt shingles tend to lighten as they age, it’s not uncommon for some of them to become darker over time, as well. Darkening roof shingles is a sign of algae growth. Algae spores are especially common in humid environments. They are spread through the air and can take up residence in your home, cultivating within the minuscule pores on the asphalt shingles on your roof. 

While the darkened shingles may seem unsightly (especially when they are alongside particularly faded shingles), the algae is not likely to damage your roof. What it does do is create an uneven coloring that is not very pleasing to look at. While you can clean the algae off your roof, it’s not recommended to do so on your own. Also, keep in mind that harsh cleaners can harm your roofing shingles and even void the manufactures warranty on the singles. Always check with the manufacturer to see if they have recommended cleaners. Otherwise, it’s best to leave them as they are. 

Getting Rid of Discolored Shingles

It’s understandable that having discolored patches on your roof can be unsightly. While it’s not bad in terms of how well it protects your home, it can lower its value if you try to sell. It’s also a sign that your roof is getting on in years. If you feel that your roof is getting old, have one of our roofing experts come out for an inspection. We can provide you with a free quote on a roofing replacement job for your home. 



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