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Will Mismatched Shingles Eventually Fade to the Same Color?

At some point, many homeowners will face the need to replace some of their roof's shingles due to weather damage or general wear and tear. A common observation is that once new shingles are laid, it is difficult, if not impossible to achieve an identical color match between the new and the old.

Fading

The primary purpose of a roof is to protect your home from elements such as sun and moisture. Both of these variables can change the coloring of shingles over time. Sun exposure is the more common culprit for color fading. The rate at which shingles fade will depend largely on the intensity and exposure of sunlight. The quality of the material may also impact the rate at which the color fades. While newer shingles will experience more immediate fading than older shingles, it is difficult, or impossible, to predict whether new shingles will fade to become an exact match with existing shingles.

Blending

When replacing shingles individually, it is optimal to utilize replacement materials from the same lot number. Often, homeowners have extra, unused shingles once a roof is laid. These shingles are best stored indoors to avoid uneven and premature fading. If you do not have access to the original shingles, try contacting the company that originally installed the roof. They may be able to provide helpful information for matching the materials, down to the original lot number, or may recommend a suitable replacement. Also, next time you do a full roof replacement, be sure to ask about keeping the leftovers.

You may also discuss ways of integrating the new and existing shingles with the roofing contractor hired for the repair. These professionals may have helpful tips for repositioning existing shingles to create a more aesthetic, quilt-like appearance.

Painting

When all else fails, it is possible to paint shingles. Experts remain divided as to whether this strategy offers a viable solution. Supporters say that painting is effective for matching singles, while achieving a newer looking roof. In addition, some believe that the paint may extend the life of the roof by adding an extra layer of protection against the elements. Those opposed to painting believe that painting asphalt shingles is not a cost-effective solution, and advise reroofing instead.

Specialized paints and sealants are available on the market today. Somay and Behr both offer paint lines specific to this use. Elastrometric paint has been cited for trapping moisture, which can cause long-term damage to the roof.

Insurance Claims

Most insurance companies are only required to repair and replace shingles with the same quality of material. One strategy is to consider paying a little extra to go with an upgraded material that offers more color choices and may have a better match available.

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