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As the world and technology changes, we find ourselves re-evaluating things that we’ve been comfortable with for a long time. Take our roofs for example, for a long time most of us have just accepted that they are there to keep us dry and sheltered from the wind and sun. The truth is that the roofing industry has improved greatly over time. This means that roofs can be so much more than just barriers against the elements; they can be functional components to a modern building that help improve our lives. One example is cool roofs.
What Are Cool Roofs?
If you ask most people what cool roofs are, they’ll probably tell you it is a roof that looks cool. When people in the roofing industry talk about cool roofs however, they mean roofs that reflect sunlight (although they can also look really cool). The heat is then radiated to the areas surrounding the roof meaning it absorbs less heat and emits more heat than a standard roof.
So, My Cool Roof Will Reflect Sunlight, But Why?
This is the next logical question people ask. What is the point of having a roof that reflects sunlight? Well there is not one point, there are many.
By making use of cool roofs, we can do something that is important to most of us – save money. It has been estimated that cool roofs save up to 15% in energy savings on cooling costs. This is because with cool roofs sunlight is being reflected and the buildings don’t get as hot. If your home or building is not getting so hot then the AC unit doesn’t have to work as hard and that can save you money on your monthly energy bill as well as extend the lifespan of your AC unit.
Another benefit of having a cool roof is that it will increase the longevity of your roofing materials and therefore potentially increase the lifespan of your roof. For example, cool roof materials are less likely to crack or fade from sunlight exposure.
Cool roofs reduce temperature fluctuations which makes the building more comfortable for the people inside them. A final benefit of having a cool roof is that they help reduce our footprint on the environment. By using cool roofs, we are less reliant on fossil fuels and also decrease our emissions. Having a cool roof helps you be more environmentally conscious.
They Really Are Cool Roofs! How Do They Work?
Solar reflectance (SR) and thermal emittance (TE) are two properties that show how cool a roof is. SR is the fraction of solar energy that is reflected whereas TE is the ability of the roof surface to emit heat. They are rated from 0 to 1 where an SR or TE of 1 is the most reflective
It is important to always choose high quality roofing materials for their longevity and proven functionality. When selecting materials, consider using roofing materials that have high TE and SR ratings. These materials will be better at preventing heat from the sun entering the building. Avoid materials like metal, which are not particularly good at emitting heat.
Roofs can be made cool in various ways depending on the type of roof you have. For example, roofs may have a highly reflective paint or a sheet covering or the tiles or shingles may be reflective themselves.
Another important factor to consider is the color. Lighter colors are more reflective than darker colors but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go out and purchase a white roof. There are many products (like reflective paints) which use colored pigments that are reflective.
If you are interested in learning more about cool roofs or you would like to talk to a qualified roofing professionals about what roofing materials, colors, etc are best for you, contact ABC Roofing Corp at (954) 344-4622 for all your residential and commercial roofing needs.