Why now is the best time to invest in eco-friendly, energy efficient roofing

Interest in energy efficiency is high on every homeowner’s agenda, considering the escalating costs of electricity and fuel. Many roofing systems now have cool options available to help reduce the heat of a roof’s surface by reflecting much of the sun’s energy, which in turn decreases the amount of heat transferred into a home or building. There are a variety of “cool roof” products offering a great advantage to builders looking to distinguish their properties and increase their sales potential. They are particularly beneficial to homeowners as they can help reduce the money spent on air conditioning and may even result in rebates from local utility companies.

What is a “Cool Roof”?

A cool roof is defined as a roof surface that has both high reflectivity and high emissivity. High reflectivity requires the surfacing material to reflect solar energy away from the surface. High emissivity requires radiating heat energy away from the surface. Among other things, a reflective roof can reduce the thermal shock that occurs on the roof surface and in return makes the roof last longer.

Cool roofs and eco-friendly roofing systems come in a plethora of colors and styles. These “solar safe tiles” are actually designed to perform as a roofing product rather than a traditional solar panel. The solar tiles are durable and provide reliable power generation, which reduces pollution and green house gas emissions while delivering safe sustainable energy.

GAF/Elk roofing manufacturer has developed a “Cool Color” series for asphalt shingles. The unique shingles slow heat build-up to make your home more energy efficient. They feature highly reflective roofing granules that bounce back the sun’s rays and more effectively release absorbed heat. They are rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council and meet initial Energy Star Performance levels.

Have a low-slope or flat roof?

For low-slope or flat roofs, self-adhered or hot welded reflective membranes are the fastest growing trend in the single-ply roofing industry. Most of the membranes that qualify as Energy Star Cool Roofs are white in color and more commonly used on commercial buildings.

When to recoat your roof

For retrofitting existing low-slope roofs, property owners may consider recoating. Certain elastomeric roof coatings offer an energy- saving, reflective topcoat and may also enhance the fire resistance of some in-place roofing membranes. Some coatings may be used over metal, hot cap sheet, bitumen roofs.

Homeowners may consider other energy saving roofing products; solar powered attic fans that cool your attic. The fans work like the electric attic fans, but run on solar energy and are easy to install.

Radiant Barrier insulation, which is a two-sided aluminum low-E insulation reflects UV Rays and cools the attic. Sun tunnels and skylights brighten up dark areas, bring in natural light, and save plenty of energy.

Green is NOT a trend, but the wave of the future.

~ Pamela Garcia
Affordable Roofing, Morgan Hill
Published July 2008, Out and About Magazine