Debunking Some Myths About Cool Roofs

cool roofs

Cool roofing is becoming popular because of numerous benefits that it offers, including substantial savings in electric bills to cool the interior of a building. Cool roofs are made up of roofing materials with a high degree of reflectance that reduce the absorption of heat on the structure. The use of cool roofs could reduce the temperature of a building by up to 60° Fahrenheit.

While the concept of a cool roof has been around for years, misconception still exists about its features. Here are some of them:

1. Reflective Roofs Must Use Only the White Color

While white is the most reflective color, it is not correct to state that all reflective roofs can only be white. Cool roofs are available in different colors, each one presenting different degree of reflectivity against sunlight. In fact, darker colors could be treated with pigments that reflect sunlight in the near-infrared spectrum. Since 50 percent of the sun’s energy is in the near-infrared spectrum, the reflectance of pigment-treated colored roofs becomes significant.

2. Phthalates are Dangerous to Our Health

Many cool roofs use PVC products that reflect sunlight and absorb less heat. To make PVC products flexible, phthalates are mixed in during the production process. Roofing membranes, tarps and tubing are flexible because of phthalates. Based on studies and use of phthalates for more than 50 years, the substance has not been shown to be harmful to humans if it is used as intended.

3. The Energy-Saving Feature of a White Roof is Ineffective During Winter

The idea is based on a seemingly-logical reasoning that materials that can keep buildings cool during summer would also do the same in winter. The fact is not that simple. For instance, a dark roof that absorbs heat during summer does so considerably less during winter.

For reflective roofs, environmental factors mitigate its cooling effects in winter. Take, for example, the angle of the sun during winter. The low angle poses very minimal heating potential during this period. The mostly overcast skies and shorter days significantly reduce the time during which the roof absorbs heat from the sun.

Most commercial buildings demand less energy for heating compared to the higher demand for cooling to counter heat created from equipment use and human activity. The energy cost to heat a structure in order to achieve a fixed comfort level is significantly lower than the energy cost needed to attain a comfort level for cooling.

4. Cool Roofs Cost More than Conventional Roofs

Making a roof cool incurs very minimal costs. In fact, cool roofs translate to substantial savings in the long run.

Factors to Consider in Selecting a Cool Roofing in Denver

cool roofing denver

The concept of a cool roof in Denver may be new to some people, although it has been around for decades. With talks about global warming and climate change dominating the headlines today, cool roof systems received renewed interest from owners and contractors.

Cool roofing Denver offer several distinct advantages that conventional roofs do not have. These are lower building temperatures, reduced energy needs for cooling, lesser electric bills and extended roof life.

Before deciding on the type of cool roofing to install on your roof, consider these important factors we listed below to assist you in your selection of the best cool roof system for your needs.

1. Integrated System

Ideally, the major components of the cool roofing system must be supplied by a single supplier to minimize if not completely eliminate incompatibility. The highest performance and lowest chance of incompatibility of the system are attained if only a single supplier is involved in the project.

2. Prefabrication

The construction industry today is experiencing skilled labor shortage. To promote efficiency through the reduction of installation errors and use of manpower, the system must be installed correctly. The capacity of the supplier to customize and pre-manufacture roofing materials and accessories will go a long way towards achieving this end. The more roofing materials and accessories that your supplier can prefabricate, the more you will attain efficiency.

3. Flashings

Find out the method and materials used for waterproofing the roof. The workmanship of the flashings is important because this is one area where most roofing failures exist due to movement, contraction and expansion of roofing materials. Flashings that are prefabricated in the factory with its controlled setting are preferred over those fabricated on worksites where more errors could occur. Flashings closely integrated with the system are better than those that are not. Ensure that flashings are included in the warranty.

4. Membrane Materials

The raw material components of the membrane and how they are manufactured are important factors to consider. Various materials result to different durability, benefits, carbon footprint and weight impact on the roofing.

5. Warranty Coverage

According to homeowners, this is one aspect of the construction that is often unmet by manufacturers. This is, in fact, one of the most controversial issues hounding construction projects. Examine the fine print closely as it indicates the weakness of the system. Look also for the exclusions in the warranty and provisions on extra costs. Pay particular attention to the maintenance guidelines of the manufacturers, which could void any warranties if you fail to strictly observe them.

Advantages of Cool and Green Designs in Roofing Birmingham Al

Increase in global temperature is an inevitable and direct effect of climate change. However, it is not the only cause of temperature increases; cities create their own heat islands because of rapid urban development. The increase in temperature results to various negative consequences, including poor air quality, increase of heat-related illnesses, increase energy use and increase water consumption.

To combat these undesirable effects of elevated temperature, the construction industry came up with the concepts of cool roofs and green roofs. If you are interested in knowing the positive contributions of these designs in improving the quality of roofing Birmingham Al, we listed them out for you.

What are Green Roofs?

green roofing in denver

Green roofs are roofs that are either partially or fully covered with living plants. A basic green roof design incorporates a waterproof membrane to keep rainwater out of the building, drainage system for proper water disposal, a layer of soil where plants thrive and the plants themselves that make the roofs green.

This type of roof may be installed in just about every structure, including government, commercial, residential and educational buildings.

Green roofs may be extensive or intensive. Extensive roofs have a thin layer of soil or other medium with hardy, drought-tolerant plants that require minimal maintenance, no pesticides or fertilizers, and minimal human intervention. Intensive roofs act like the traditional park or garden with a wide variety of plants installed.

Benefits of a Green Roof:

  • Prolongs the roof service life
  • Reduces energy costs to keep the structure cool
  • Enhances the aesthetics of the building
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduces urban heat island effect
  • Improves the quality of air by reducing pollutants and temperatures

What are Cool Roofs?

cool roofs

Cool roofs are made of different materials – such as roof tiles, shingles, coatings and paints – that reflect the sun’s energy instead of absorbing it. They are designed to reflect sunlight and therefore, absorb less heat than a conventional roof. The roof is characterized by high degree of solar reflectance that decreases heat gain into the structure. A building with a cool roof can have up to 50° to 60°F less temperature than conventional structures. Energy savings are, in fact, one of the direct benefits of a cool roof since the building temperature is lower and requires less energy to cool.

Benefits of a Cool Roof:

  • Reduces energy demands and lower building temperatures
  • Improves heat management in non-air-conditioned rooms
  • Prolongs the duration of roof lifespan by reducing roof temperatures
  • Saves energy bills by cutting down on the use of air-conditioners