Armchair Builder

Cool Roof

Installing a Cool Roof (Tile)

When we talk about a cool roof, we aren’t suggesting your roof is hip, happening or full of bling.  A cool roof has been designed to absorb less heat by reflecting more sunlight than a typical roof.  So what are the benefits of a cool roof and how do you go about including one into your next project?

What are the benefits of a cool roof?  Dark colored, non-reflective roofs can reach really high temperatures in the summer sun.  In fact, surface temperatures of 150 degrees farenheit or more isn’t uncommon on a sunny summer day.  You’ve probably touched a black car on a sunny summer day…you can really burn yourself if you’re not careful.  If you touch the same car with a light, metallic color, it’s much cooler.  The same principles apply to roofs only the heat on the surface is transferred to the house below, increasing the load on the air conditioner.  A white roof can be as much as 50 degrees cooler on a sunny, summer day.  By adding a cool roof to your home, your air conditioner will run less often, which will prolong its life and lower your energy bills.

Have you ever gone up into your attic on a warm summer day?  If you have a traditional roof, it can get extremely hot even with the proper venting.  When your attic gets hot, the heat migrates down through the insulation and heats up your home.  Installing a cool roof will bring the temperature down in your attic space allowing you to decrease the size of your air conditioning equipment…which will save you money.

Another benefit of installing a cool roof is the increased life span.  By lowering the temperature of your roof, you lower the maintenance cost and increase its life span.  This not only saves you money, but it also has a positive affect on the environment by keeping material out of the landfill.  Another indirect benefit for the environment from a cool roof is the reduction in the heat island affect.  Dark roofs and asphalt roads can increase a city’s temperatures by up to 8 degrees fahrenheit.  So, a cool roof really helps transform your house into a green home.

When we talk about cool roof colors is white the only option?  No.  There are a lot of products on the market today that use highly reflective, dark colored pigments.  So your design options are still plentiful.  The most popular cool roof options for homes include asphalt shingles, tile and slate.  Metal roofing is another popular option for homes that can be shaped to look like shakes or shingles or can be applied in the typical standing seam configuration.  They come in a variety of colors including some darker, reflective cool colors.

The advantages of installing a cool roof can be significant so be sure to check them out before starting your next project.

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2 Comments for Cool Roof

Energy Tax Credit: Don’t Leave Money on The Table- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | March 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

[…] The rest must meet Energy Star requirements:  Windows, exterior doors (including storm doors), cool roofs, […]

New Roof: Builder Tips for Getting the Best Roof for Your Money- Armchair Builder :: Blog :: Build, renovate, & repair your own home. Save money as an owner-builder. | July 27, 2012 at 9:39 am

[…] Tile:  Clay and concrete tile are typically used in warmer climates.  The second most used roofing product, tile can be very durable even in harsh environments and helps keep your home cool because of the air flow underneath.  Tiles typically last longer than any other roofing material so even though they cost considerably more, the life cycle costs are relatively low.  If you are interested in energy efficiency, check out our previous article… Cool Roof. […]