What is a Cool Roof? Should You Install One?

You may have heard about cool roofs. You may know they’re good for the environment, but did you know they can save you cash too? Essentially, a cool roof reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat than a standard roof, constructed of a highly-reflective kind of paint, a sheet cover, and tiles or shingles, according to the Department of Energy. Cool roofs can be installed on a residential home or commercial business, but there are many things you should think about before deciding on this type of roofing system in Dallas and surrounding areas.

A simple way to put it? It works the same as donning light-colored clothing on a hot, sunny day. Cool roofs can stay more than 50°F cooler than dark roofs that can hit temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer. Bottom line is, you can save energy and money with cool roofs because you rely less on air conditioning.

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Benefits

Buildings of all kinds and sizes can benefit from the installation of a cool roof. A cool roof can:

  • Reduce energy bills by decreasing the need for air conditioning.
  • Improve indoor comfort for places that are not air-conditioned, like garages or covered patios.
  • Decrease the roof temperature, which can prolong the life of your roof.
  • Cut down on air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Provide an average yearly savings of about 50 cents per square foot.
  • Reduce local air temperatures, also known as the urban heat island effect.
  • Lower peak electricity demand, preventing power outages.
  • Reduce power plant emissions like mercury, carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxides.

You may be wondering if you have to install a whole new roof in order to make it energy efficient. The good news is, you can modify your existing roof provided you have a lot of exposure to the sun and choose an appropriate surface. Cool roof coatings are basically white or other special pigments that reflect sunlight. They resemble very thick paints that protect the roof surface from UV light and damage from chemicals. Some even guard against water damage. Speak with your roofing professional before deciding on a cool roof coating.

Cool roofs are most advantageous in hot, sunny climates like Texas. A high solar reflectance, also known as albedo, is the most important factor of a cool roof. That’s because it helps to reflect sunlight and heat away from a building, working to reduce temperatures on your roof, says the EPA. A high thermal emittance also contributes to this effect. Therefore, both thermal emittance and albedo can help your roof take in less heat and maintain temperatures between 50 and 60°F cooler than standard materials.

Cool roofs are really nothing new. In fact, they’ve been around for about 20 years now. However, they are gaining popularity as more becomes known about their energy-saving and eco-friendly effects. Used on residential, commercial and industrial buildings, they can be installed on low-slope roofs or steep-sloped roofs.

Contact Ferris Roofing Contractors in Fort Worth

If you’re interested to know more about cool roofs and if your home is a good candidate, contact us at 817-310-8057. Ferris Roofing Contractors, serving Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin, can provide you with a free, no-obligation estimate on cool roof coatings for your residential or commercial roofing system.