In Part One of this series, we talked about how a cool roof can reduce your household’s cooling needs by up to 15 percent and slash a hefty bit off of your monthly energy bills. Today, we’ll show you how a cool roof can help you enjoy even more cost savings.
You see, choosing a cool roof also means that you’ll be spending less time and money on maintenance and replacements. Research has shown that cool roof products can extend the life and functionality of residential and commercial roof systems by slowing down their degradation.
Daily doses of ultraviolet and infrared radiation—not to mention exposure to the elements—can prematurely wear out the components of your roof. Because cool roofs reflect back most of the radiation they receive and achieve thermal equilibrium faster than traditional roofs, the harmful effects of heat-induced expansion and contraction on your roof are reduced.
How to Make Your Existing Roof Cool
Much of what makes a roof cool depends upon the surface that receives the most exposure to the sun. There are more than 500 roofing products available on the market today, each of which is best suited to specific applications. This means that property owners who want to maximize their buildings’ energy efficiency via cool roofs are nowhere near limited in terms of material choices.
- Single-ply membranes. Available in TPC, PVO, or EPDM formats, single-ply membranes are pre-fabricated sheets that are rolled onto a roof and attached using mechanical fasteners. TPC and PVO membranes are usually white, while EPDM is black. To boost these membranes’ solar reflectivity and infrared emittance, white acrylic coatings may be applied.
- Modified bitumen sheet membranes. These products combine plastic and rubber membranes with other reinforcing fabrics. They are pre-coated at the factory and/or covered with mineralized granules to increase their reflectance and emittance capacities.
- Shingle roofs. Shingle roofs are made from a wide variety of materials, including fiberglass, wood, polymers, and metals. They use specially coated granules to boost their reflective and emittive properties.
- Tile roofs. Certain types of tile roofs have natural cooling properties. Those that don’t perform as well can be improved with the help of glazing and/or special reflective coatings.
- Metal roofs. Metal roofs are a cool roof mainstay. While standing seam is the configuration most often used, metal roofs also come in other profiles such as shingles and shakes. White metal roofs are the poster child of cool roofs; however, paints with special additives have been developed to allow more color choices without compromising reflectance.
Okay, so by now you’re probably already sold on the idea of installing a cool roof. The next question is, how hard is it to sell a home with a cool roof? In Part Three, we’ll find out whether or not cool roofs make for hot sellers on the real estate market.