What is the coolest roofing material?
In The Lone Star State, commercial building owners are all about making their buildings cooler during the summer in ways that will reduce the energy expenses. A cool roof in summer weather does just like it sounds: it is a cool roof that makes the building cool inside.
When considering cool roofing for a commercial building, it is important to realize that all buildings are different. So, to that end, the types of cool roof materials are varied to suit each building and its structure. From a low-sloped to a steep-sloped, cool roofs and materials and techniques will be different for each building and its cool roof.
The Low-Sloped Roof, many refer to as a flat roof, has a slight incline so the roof can drain is common on commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. The large surface area of the roof makes them ideal for installing a cool roof. For any structure, commercial or residential, the roof is the main entry for the sun’s heat during the summer. A cool roof can significantly lower that heat gain and lower the energy costs. The following are the materials typical of a commercial style building’s low-sloped roof.
- A Coated Roof is coated with a finish that is paint like that enhances the adhesion, durability, and the longevity, while reducing bacterial growth. Existing buildings with a low-sloped roof are the best candidate for cool roof coating regardless what material is on the roof: asphalt, gravel, metal, or other single-ply materials. Most coatings are now ENERGY STAR-rated, making this the best choice for a cool roof.
- A Foam Roof is a cool roof coating made from foam-like material that provides insulation and has been around for more than 40 years. It is affordable, dependable, and has a long lifespan. This roofing technique is typically made with two liquid chemicals that form a flexible, but solid, lightweight material when mixed. It is seamlessly attached and has proven to be a sustainable material because of the minimal maintenance and minimal waste.
- A Built-Up Roof is a roof with multiple layers of different materials and minerals. When these layers are together, they avert solar heat from going into the building. The common materials for these layers are a base sheet, fabric reinforcement, and a protective surface. The cool roof strategies vary for built-up roofs. One technique entrenches reflective materials into asphalt to reflect the sunlight. The other technique is to add a layer of mineral-surfaced sheets on top of the built-up roof that comprises applied coating or reflective mineral granules.
- A Modified Bitumen Roof is a roofing system with an asphalt-base and holds in temperature in cold or hot weather. It is like BUR roof system but with more elasticity and has four ways to be installed: cold-applied; hot-mopped; self-adhesive; torch-applied.
- A Single-Ply Membrane Roof is ideal for low-sloped roofs where extensive repair is expected because they are prefabricated sheets that can be individually applied. There are two primary types: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer and single-ply thermoplastics.
What color roof is most energy efficient?
As the owner or manager of a commercial property it doesn’t take long to realize the expense of commercial property maintenance. After the mortgage payments and insurance, there are maintenance, repairs, upkeep, and utility bills, it is staggering to the bank account.
So, you do what you can to cut expenses, and that often begins with the utilities. Because dark colors are known to absorb the sun’s heat, it would make sense that for an energy efficient roof, a lighter color would be the best choice.
A light-colored roof will be like a cool roof and will minimize the sun rays it absorbs, which will cut back on the cost of cooling the building. Experts say a light-colored roof can lower the temperature of your roof by up to 50 degrees, and that means less heat coming into your commercial building.
How can I keep my roof cool in summer?
So, we know that a lighter-colored roof is cooler than a darker-colored roof, but the color isn’t the best way to save on those hot summer energy bills. Insulation makes the most difference in minimizing the amount of heat that enters the building.
All insulation isn’t the same though. To choose the right insulation to make a cool roof cooler and lower energy bills twelve months of the year, take into consideration the climate and the property type. The types of insulation material to choose from are:
- Cotton batting
The roofing type and insulation type you choose, ventilation may be required to keep mildew and mold to grow.
Do Cool Roofs work?
Yes, cool roofs work by reflecting and emitting the heat and UV rays back out to the environment and away from your building. Experts confirmed that there are two properties that express the coolness of a roof and they are independent of each other:
- Solar Reflectance: the fraction of solar energy that is reflected by the roof.
- Thermal Emittance: is the comparative ability that radiates the absorbed heat.
Closing Words On A Hot Topic
The first question most ask when considering a cool roof, “Is a cool roof worth it?”, and to answer this question, let’s compare cool roof vs green roof:
- A green roof absorbs the heat and sunlight before it enters the building.
- A green roof stabilizes the air above the roof so that it becomes an ambient temperature.
- A green roof reduces pollution and runoff from storm water.
- A green roof reduces gas emissions and improves air quality.
- A green roof plant absorb most of the sun’s energy.
- A green roof requires a drainage system, a waterproof membrane, a thin layer of soil before the planting.
- A cool roof is made from materials reflects the sun’s energy.
- A cool roof reflects the heat and sunlight back out into the atmosphere.
- A cool roof is ideal for low-sloped roof.
- A cool roof has a lower temperature by 50 degrees, requiring less energy to cool the building inside.
- A cool roof does not reduce runoff from storm water.
- A cool roof in a cold climate will require more heat energy inside the building.
Looking for cool roofing installation in Spring, TX? Hellenic Roofing & Construction is the one to call. Reach out to our professionals today for installation when you dial 832-704-2817.