GAF Timberline HD Reflector Series "Charcoal" color: Good choice in So Cal or too hot? PLEASE HELP!

Please talk to me about GAF Timberline HD Reflector Series in the dark gray “Charcoal” color. Is it going to make our attic, and eventually the inside of our not-so-well insulated house, too hot? This roofing and color has an 8 digit cool roof code but it still isn’t totally clear to me what that decimal in the rating means or how to interpret that number. Not sure if it ends up being a negligible difference in roof temperature compared to, say, the same GAF Timberline Reflector Series in a lighter color. We just think the dark will look the best on our house which we recently painted a cream/ivory color.

The color of the shingle will have a negligible impact on the temperature in your attic. If you wish to lower the temperature in your attic, choose the right insulation and/or install a reflective shingle. I wouldn’t recommend the latter as they are much more expensive and unproven long term for reliability.

More importantly, make sure your roof is vented correctly. That would include making sure you have the appropriate amount of intake with soffit vents. Also, make sure the air flow from these soffit vents hasn’t been compromised by blown insulation being installed without also installing baffles. It’s a lot more important to ventilate your roof to constantly be moving the air inside, to avoid mold and other problems, than it is to worry about the temperature.

Many people who have two story houses with upstairs rooms that are hotter think this problem is the result of a hot attic and can be resolved by lowering the temperature inside the attic. The reality is, most often, those upstairs rooms are hot because the AC unit and the duct work wasn’t done correctly to properly heat and cool those rooms.

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Thank you so much for your feedback! So, our house is old (built in 1910) and only has the original wooden gable vent with a solar powered fan right behind it. From everything I’ve read, the original cedar roof was self-ventilating and no venting (besides that fan) has been added since. Now that we’ve finished sheathing over the skip sheathing we need to figure out the best ventilation possible for our scenario. Our scenario: hot and pretty dry climate in summer (not dealing with much humidity here in Escondido–inland in San Diego county also not a lot of rain), small home (very steep pitched roof with lots of open attic space which covers 864 sq ft of the house’s interior). My dad (also my contractor) did some blocking in the attic to make the house more structurally sound, so he says a ridge vent isn’t an option at this point (I think he also thinks they’re a pain in the ass). Also, because our house is a registered historical home and we are going to be applying for the Mills Act this month, I don’t think we should be doing a bunch of holes (soffit vents) on the top piece of wood siding of the house right under the eaves because it would be changing the look of the home. What would the next best scenario be? Do you think putting 2 low profile Ohangen vents on the top and bottom of each side of the roof is sufficient (for a total of 8 altogether, if that makes sense)? I think the code here is 1 sq ft of venting for each 150 as ft? I want to ventilated the best we can because A. It gets HOT here in summer and B. we are doing a dark charcoal GAF Timberline reflector series roof which is considered a cool roof, but I’m still worried about how hot it will get since it’s much darker than the lighter gray roof we had on our house (granted that was laid over another layer of asphalt shingles and over the original cedar shingles. My husband is way less concerned about all this and is deferring to my dad, but I am deferring to you! Thanks in advance!

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Hi Morgan - How is your GAF roof performing? I am also considering GAF Timberline, although I’m doubtful of the Reflector series, might go with plain HD. I wonder if you have any thoughts to share.

Gaf makes substandard material at a premium price point.

When the salesmen start with thier speel ask them how long the warranty covers granule loss.

Look at Certainteed, Owens Corning, or Malarkey.

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Second question is how much do they weigh?

I do the odd Timberline job because their popular here and people want to match, darn things feel lighter than 3 tab these days.

They defiantly are, we may use once A year and swear they are lighter every time. The starters feel like 30# with granuals and have one inch of head lap if you are luckey.

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Ditto again on the quality of GAF. No granules on the nail line and even worse than IKO, which says a lot.
Corporate sales meeting: Let’s get away from worrying about all that ‘quality material’ BS. Sell people on a crazy ass 50 year warranty and see how many bites we get. Oh and don’t forget to issue cool sounding certifications, MASTER ELITE!!!