Home energy efficiency is assessed based on cumulative heat loss via windows, doors, siding, and any foundational perforations. Now, roof manufacturers are taking a closer look at their role in reducing heat transference in and out of their customers’ homes, specifically by looking at the vulnerabilities of popular roofing materials, like asphalt shingles.
By contrast, most property owners are not as mindful of their roof’s energy efficiency, and that oversight often leads to increased energy and maintenance costs. For example, darker roofs are often a popular choice, particularly among residential homeowners, because of their aesthetic, but during the warmer months, these roofs conduct more heat. As a result, the surface temperature of the entire system rises, leading to quicker discoloration and depreciation.
Cool Roof Systems Help You Save in the Summer
To reduce the harsh heating effects of prolonged sun exposure, many new roofs are coated with a layer of reflective pigments that improve solar emittance and reflectance. These “cool roof” systems come in numerous styles, include low and steep-sloped designs, and are often white or lightly shaded to reduce heat conduction. This reduction in surface temperature prevents heat from permeating into the home and driving up air conditioning costs.
Cold Weather Challenges and Cool Roof Customization
It is important to note, though, that cool roofs have several design-induced flaws. These systems are not equipped to optimize your home’s heat retention during the colder months since they’re engineered to deflect visible, ultraviolent, and infrared heat signatures. Before you install a cool roof, make sure you’re prepared to spend more to heat your home. As cool roofing technology has advanced, some manufacturers have started creating energy-efficient systems with dark shingles installed over the reflective coating layer, so be sure to ask your roofer about customization options during the initial consultation.
Green Roofing Growing More Popular
If you’re looking for a cool roofing solution that is less reliant on synthetic coating, another popular alternative is a green roof. These systems have a top layer of vegetation that shades the roof’s surface, which reduces heat retention, air pollutants, and greenhouse gas emissions.
You can find many grand examples of green roofs complete with full gardens and rows of towering trees. Those are typically found atop large commercial properties, but a green roof can be as simple or ornate as you wish; at a minimum, all you need is a two or three-inch ground layer. Green roofs are excellent options for residential and commercial properties in urban areas, often subject to the heat island effect, or hotter conditions brought on by a lack of moisture and shade due to heavy industrialization.
Consult Professional Contractors to Stay on the Cutting Edge of Roofing
Cool, green, and other energy-efficient roofing systems present the latest front in an ongoing push for home service innovation. Roofing technology is evolving every year, so it’s important to work with a roofing contractor that will keep you in the know during your renovation. Whether you’re looking for high-quality Denver roofing, or you simply want to reinforce your current system because you live on the coast, the best way to get the most precise appraisal of your home’s energy efficiency and thermal control needs is to consult a professional remodeler. Taking this step will bring you a little closer to answering the all-important question: Is your roof cool?