What Does It Take To Make Your Roof Cool?

Posted on: 31 May 2016


If you are in the process of replacing the roof on your home, there are a lot of decisions that you must make. Among them, you not only have to decide on how you want your roof to look, but also how you want it to perform. Making the right performance decisions will not only give you a roof you will be pleased with, but it will give you one that may save you money in the long run. Cool roofing is one of the options that you should consider. It will provide you with both a great look as well as a superior performance.

What Is Cool Roofing?

Cool roofing has received a lot of press in the past decade as the state of California passed Title 24 as a part of their Building Energy Efficiency Standards in 2005; the state has also updated these standards in 2008, and 2013. Other cities, such as Philadelphia, followed this move within the next few years. This standard required that all new construction use roofing materials that meet or exceed the Energy Star cool roofing standards. These laws and codes were installed as a means to reduce the amount of energy being used.

The coolness of your roofing materials is measured by two different factors. These factors are the following:

  • Solar reflectance - This is the percentage of sunlight that is reflected back into the atmosphere.
  • Thermal emittance -  This is how well the roofing uses thermal radiation to cool itself. 

Both of these factors generate a measurement that falls between 0 - 1, with the cooler materials coming in closest to 1. It is estimated that once installed, due to the amount of sun that it is able to reflect back, a cool roof can be approximately 50 degrees cooler than a standard roof under the same conditions.

What Materials Do You Need To Create A Cool Roof?

When many people think of cool roofing, they think of the areas that all have white roofing materials. While white roofing materials may be some of the more reflective materials on the market, cool roofing materials do not have to just come in white. Cool roofing materials come in a wide variety of choices. You can create cool roofs through the use of the following materials:

  • White roof coatings
  • Aluminum roof coatings
  • Reflective asphalt shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Roofing membranes
  • Tile roofing and more

How Will Cool Roofing Benefit You?

Not only do your roofing materials protect your home from the outside elements, but these materials also control the amount of heat that your home absorbs through your roof. When you install a cool roof, your roofing materials reflect more sunlight back into the atmosphere and absorb less heat than standard roofing materials. Less heat absorbed by your roof means less heat that is being allowed into your home below. Less heat will keep you and your family more comfortable while allowing you to reduce the amount of air conditioning you are using, which in turn will save you in energy costs.

Installing cool roofing will also make spaces in your home without air conditioning more comfortable. These spaces may include the following:

  • Your attic 
  • your garage
  • your porches and patios

By making these spaces cooler, you will get less transferred heat through shared walls and ceilings.

Because your roof is not absorbing as much heat, you may also see an increase in the life of the materials that your roof comprises. Through the extension of the life of these materials, you may not have to replace your roof as often as you would with other types of roofing materials.

If you would like to help save energy, consider cool roofing. Your roofing contractor will be glad to work with you to choose the right materials for your roofing project. You can even do research of the products that you are considering and find their ratings on the Energystar.gov's website.

For more information and options, talk with a local roofing contractor.