What is a Cool Roof and Why Would I Want One?
Have you ever wished your roof would block more summer heat than it does now? With less heat gain from the hot Georgia sun, your air conditioning costs would go down, right? What if you could attain even more benefits from a cool roof than just energy savings? By replacing your roof with a cool roof system, you can enjoy enough benefits to make the initial expense well worth it.
What is a Cool Roof?
According to Energy.gov, “A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof.” Not long ago, the only way to achieve a cool roof on your home was to install white or light gray shingles, metal or tile. Today, however, you can choose from any number of richer hues and still own a system that reflects the sun and its infrared radiation, keeping your home cool according to your style. Several of the most popular roofing material manufacturers offer products coated with a special reflective paint that appears invisible but works hard to return up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat back into space. Of course, you can always stick with uncoated white, too.
What Other Benefits Do Cool Roofs Offer?
Naturally, the less heat bearing down on your house, the cooler the interior remains. You can save 10 to 40 percent on your utility bill and notice a more even comfort level with fewer hot and cold cycles. But more than that, you can avoid these problems that come with hot roofs:
- Accelerated deterioration of asphalt shingles. Heat takes a toll on asphalt shingles, softening them and making them more susceptible to early delamination and hail damage.
- Delamination of decking (sheathing) boards. As heat penetrates your attic above your layer of insulation, it works together with the humidity to weaken the plywood or oriented strand board decking to which your roof covering is attached. Soft decking eventually gives up its grip on nails and screws.
- Need for more insulation. Good attic insulation goes a long way towards keeping the inside of your house cooler. You can benefit by either adding to your insulation or re-roofing with a cool roof, but the roof adds no weight to your ceiling drywall.
- Contributing to pollution caused by the heat island effect. Urban heat islands keep pollution trapped over your city. If everyone installed cool roofs, your region could become both cooler and cleaner.
When it’s time to replace your roof, consider the benefits of a cool roof. Although they do cost more to install initially, your energy and shingle savings will make them a good choice for your home and budget.