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Everything You Need to Know About Cool Roofs

Did you know that in the heat of the sun, the surface of your dark colored shingle roof can increase in temperature up to 190 degrees? Prolonged exposure to the sun can decrease the life of your traditional shingle roof and leave your roof vulnerable to leaks. Additionally, even if your home has adequate attic ventilation, this can cause an increase in cooling energy use and higher utility costs. If you live in an area with a warmer climate, such as Texas, a cool roof may be the perfect choice for your home.

What Is a Cool Roof?

CertainTeed, one of the leading shingle manufacturers in the industry, defines a cool roof as, “a roofing system that delivers higher solar reflectance (the ability to reflect the visible, infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, reducing heat transfer to the building) and higher thermal emittance (the ability to radiate absorbed, or non-reflected solar energy) than standard designed roofing products.” Shingle manufacturers create cool asphalt shingles with specially coated granules that reflect solar rays, and in turn, absorb less heat.

Solar reflectivity and thermal emittance are measured on a scale of 0 to 1 (or 0% to 100%.) Cool roofs reflect more than 65% of solar energy away from the building, while traditional shingle roofs typically reflect between 5-15%.

Why Should I Invest in a Cool Roof?

Lower Indoor Temperatures and Reduced Energy Use: During Spring and Summer months, the indoor temperature of your home will stay cooler than that of a home with a traditional shingle roof system. Because of this, less air conditioning is needed and energy bills are lowered. It is estimated that buildings with cool roofs use up to 40% less cooling energy than buildings with dark-colored traditional shingle roofs.

Reduced Maintenance: Cool roofs require less maintenance than traditional shingle roofs and tend to have a longer lifespan. Cool roofs are less prone to shingle blistering in warmer months.

Reduced Air Pollutant Emissions and Improved Air Quality: By lowering your overall energy usage, less pollutants are released into the atmosphere. Cool roofs also decrease urban air temperature, slowing the formation of ground level ozone–the primary component of smog.

Utility Rebates and Energy Star: Energy Star is a certification given to buildings and materials that are up to a certain standard of energy efficiency. Homeowners with this certification may qualify for rebates through their utilities and insurance.

Resources & More Information

https://www.certainteed.com/residential-roofing-commercial-roofing/what-cool-roof-0/
https://heatisland.lbl.gov/coolscience/cool-roofs
https://www.go-gba.org/resources/green-building-methods/cool-roofs/

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