Do Cool Roofs work?

material for a cool roof

What is a cool roof?

Before we get into how a cool roof works, do you know what that means? A cool roof system has a high solar reflectance and thermal emittance, higher than a standard roof. That means that the application of a cool roof coating can reflect the sun’s infrared, ultraviolet wavelengths, and visible rays, reducing its heat transfer while radiate absorbed solar energy.

In the past, cool roofs have always been a light color, usually white, but with the changes developed over recent years, a cool roof coating is available in dark, rich colors now that are just as solar reflective. So, today, a commercial building owner can reap cool roof benefits like reducing their cooling energy expenses and reducing the effect of urban heat, while keeping the durability of a cool roof, in a variety of colors.

With that explanation, we are going to discuss the benefits between cool roof vs regular roof and cool roof and waterproofing systems in this piece. We’ll answer some common concerns and frequently asked questions that commercial building owners have expressed about having a cool roof.

What is the coolest roof material?

With 90% of the rooftops in American built with materials that are dark, heat-absorbing, and non-reflective, they have become the big contributor to disproportionate heat issues. Rooftops today can reach 90 degrees above the main air temperature, contributing to the “heat islands” in cities that are densely populated. Thus, the drive to create cool roof materials.

Fortunately, manufacturers have created cool roofing materials for different roofing types to combat this, or at least minimize the effect we’re all experiencing.  The EPA has produced a list of over 3,000 cool roof materials that are Energy Star rated. They base each upon the building type and roof type and the location. 

  • Asphalt Shingles have a relatively low SRI with the composition of fiberglass and organic felts. White asphalt shingles are approximately 30% reflective and colored asphalt shingles are even less. 
  • Metal roofs are known to reflect UV rays by over 70%, one reason it has become more popular. Metal roofing is durable, lightweight, weather-resistant, is 100% recyclable.

With that information, it is easy to see that metal roofing is the cooler roofing material between the two. The durability and weather resistance, along with being 100% recyclable, finding why not to choose metal for a cool roof choice would be challenging.

How much energy does a cool roof save?

A cool roof will save you money in several ways. Starting with rebates and incentives to have a cool roof installed. The bigger and longer-lasting is the energy savings to come for years. A cool roof can allow you to downsize your HVAC system, which saves on energy costs, and it will extend the lifespan of the roof as well. Energy costs vary from city to city, region to region. There are online tools that can tell you more precisely how much energy and money a cool roof will save.

Does cool roof paint work?

Cool paint, aka Heat Reflective Paint, absorbs less head while reflecting the sun’s UV rays. Applying this coating has been shown to reduce the temperature on rooftops, which drops the temperature inside the building. It is common for commercial roofing to have a cool roof coating applied. A certified, experienced roofing contractor will guide you to the roof coating, aka roof paint, to choose.

What color roof is the coolest?

Commercial buildings are typically flat-roofed and either silver or white. Studies have proved that dark roof surfaces absorb heat while light, white roofs are the cool roofs. Within the cool roof colors, weathered white can reduce the energy used for cooling up to 55% while the dark grey color will reduce energy use by only 20%.

In residential roof use, color is more desired by homeowners, yet they desire to save on energy costs too. Manufacturers are finding ways to give homeowners both color and energy savers with colorants or pigments that replicate invisible, near-infrared radiation. It is only time before that extends on to the rooftop of commercial structures.

flat white roof

Will the new roof keep house cooler?

The sun’s UV rays are constantly bombarding rooftops every day. That makes it more important to use energy-efficient materials that will protect businesses and homes from the elements and keep the inside cool during the summer and warm in the winter. This is all an easy decision, right?  

We also know that high R-value rated insulation materials help keep heat inside the roof during the winter will lower heating costs for homeowners. A roof that is a low-efficient and poorly insulated will give homeowners large air conditioning bills and heating bills. So, yes, a new roof can keep your home cooler in the summer, warmer in the winter, and save you money in the long run. 

Utility costs are the biggest benefit of a cool roof, anywhere from 7% to 15%. There are many other benefits to be had from a cool roof too:

  • Lower building temperature during the hot months.
  • Reduced maintenance expense because a cool roof will extend a roof’s lifespan.
  • Energy costs are reduced because the building needs less air conditioning.  
  • Lessened heat island index in urban areas.
  • Air pollutant emissions are reduced because less air conditioning is used.
  • Air quality is improved because of those reduced emissions.  
  • Utility rebates are available in many areas.

 Building maintenance is all about being proactive. From drain cleaning to cool roof coating, the preventive things a commercial building owner does today will be reflected tomorrow and into the future. Dial 832-246-7884 today for cool roofing from The Woodlands Premier Roofing in The Woodlands, TX.