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Cool roofs are designed with you in mind
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A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. Nearly any type of building can benefit from a cool roof, but consider the climate and other factors before deciding to install one.
Just as wearing light-colored clothing can help keep you cool on a sunny day, cool roofs material that is designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles. Standard or dark roofs can reach temperatures of 150°F or more in the summer sun. A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50°F cooler and save energy and money by using less air conditioning.
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Benefits of cool roofs
A cool roof can benefit a building and its occupants by:
- Reducing energy bills by decreasing air conditioning needs
- Improving indoor comfort for spaces that are not air conditioned, such as garages or covered patios
- Decreasing roof temperature, which may extend roof service life.
Beyond the building itself, cool roofs can also benefit the environment, especially when many buildings in a community have them. Cool roofs can:
- Reduce local air temperatures (sometimes referred to as the urban heat island effect)
- Lower peak electricity demand, which can help prevent power outages
- Reduce power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings.
Low sloped roofing
Fabric Built-up roofs consist of a base sheet, fabric reinforcement layers, and (usually) a dark protective surface layer.
How they can be made cool: The surface layer can be made different ways, and each has cool options:
1.) Substitute reflective marble chips or gray slag for dark gravel in a flood coat of asphalt
2.) Use reflective mineral granules or a factory-applied coating rather than a dark coating on a mineral surfaced sheet
3.) Apply a cool coating directly on top of a dark asphaltic emulsion coating.
Modified bitumen sheet membranes have one or more layers of plastic or rubber material with reinforcing fabrics, and are surfaced with mineral granules or a smooth finish. These can also be used to surface a built-up roof—known as a "hybrid" roof.
How they can be made cool: Pre-coat with a cool roof coating at the factory.
Metal roofs are available with natural metallic finishes, oven-baked paint finishes, or granular coated surfaces.
How they can be made cool: Unpainted metals are typically good solar reflectors but poor thermal emitters, so they rarely satisfy low slope cool roof requirements. Painting a metal roof can increase its solar reflectance and thermal emittance, allowing it to achieve cool roof status. Alternatively, you can apply cool reflective coatings.
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