A cool roof is designed to reflect heat, which keeps your home naturally cooler during the hot summer months. This can drastically help lower your cooling costs, especially if you live in a hot or humid climate. If you think your roof is causing a lot of energy gain, check out these tips you can follow to get a cool roof.
1. Choose Cooler Materials
Some roofing materials are simply better at reflecting heat/sunlight than others. On low sloped roofs, a built-up roof is a common option. It's made with various fabric reinforcement layers. It works by using reflecting mineral granules, which help redirect light. Modified bitumen sheet membranes are another popular option, as well as spray polyurethane foam roofs.
If you have a steeper slope, shingle, tile and metal are great options to consider. Asphalt shingles have small granules that help reflect sunlight. It's best to choose a lighter colored shingle to further reflect light and heat. Clay tiles are excellent in hot climates because they allow for small airflow between the tiles. Last painted metal roofs are also a great choice for reflecting light.
2. Add a Reflective Material to Existing Roofs
If your roof is new and/or still in great condition, you probably don't want to pay for a new one with more reflective materials. Luckily, you can boost the energy-efficiency of nearly any existing roof by retrofitting your roof. Retrofitting simply means adding a coating to your roof that has reflective properties.
This material can be added to many types of roofs, including asphalt and metal. If you are getting a new roof, ask your roofer about adding a reflective coating to further boost energy-efficiency properties.
3. Build a Green Roof
If you are an extremely eco-friendly person and you want to reduce cooling costs, consider a green roof. For the most part, when plant matter, like moss, starts to grow on your roof, you want to remove it as soon as possible to prevent damage. However, a green roof takes advantages of plants by using them as the roofing material.
This is particularly good on flat roofs, but it can work on low sloped roofs too. It's up to you how much you want to add: a few plants or a full plant covering. The plants absorb much of the sunlight before it reaches you. Plus, when it rains, the plants will also absorb that, helping prevent water damage inside the home.
4. Add Some Insulation to the Attic
Once you're sure your roof is reflective, it's time to boost insulation inside the attic. Without much insulation, any heat that does pass through the roof goes right into your living space. By adding more insulation, you can keep the heat outside or in the attic, so you don't have to use as much energy to cool the home.
Spray foam insulation is one of the most popular options because it is extremely effective. The foam expands as it dries, which allows it to fill every nook and cranny to fully envelope your attic. Of course, adding any type of insulation should help and you don't have to choose the same insulation. If you already have fiberglass batt insulation, you can add loose fibers or spray foam to boost the insulation value.
When choosing your next roof, it is best to get one perfect for your climate, so if you live in an area with heat or humidity, a reflective, well-insulated roof is the best option to help keep energy bills low. Luckily, there are many options for keeping your roof cool. For more information about roof installation or repairs, contact us at Whittle's Roofing Co. Inc. today.