What is a cool roof?
Cool roofs are highly reflective and emissive materials that stay 50 to 60 degrees F cooler in the summer sun, thereby reducing energy costs, improving occupant comfort, cutting maintenance costs, increasing the life cycle of the roof, and contributing to the reduction of urban heat islands and associated smog.
What kind of roofing products are available for commercial and residential applications?
Products for low-slope roofs, found on commercial and industrial buildings, fall into two categories – single-ply materials and coatings. Single-ply materials are large sheets of pre-made roofing that are mechanically fastened over the existing roof and sealed at the Seams. Coatings are applied using rollers, sprays, or brushes, over an existing clean, leak-free roof surface.
Products for sloped roofs, usually found on residences, are currently available in clay, or concrete tiles. These products stay cooler by the use of special pigments that reflect the sun’s infrared heat. Lower priced shingles or coated metal roofing products are not yet available in “cool” versions.
Visit the ENERGY STAR® Website for a list of cool roof products and manufacturers. www.energystar.gov
How cool is a cool roof?
During the summer, a typical dark roof is 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit at peak, while cool roofs peak at 100 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Do cool roofs cost more than conventional roofs?
Initial material costs are comparable with traditional roofing materials – some cool products cost less than traditional materials, some cost up to 20% more. Cool protective coatings can be reapplied repeatedly every 10 to 15 years and reduce, if not eliminate the need for expensive roof tear-offs. Combining these maintenance savings with an average 20 percent savings on air conditioning costs make cool roofing a better bargain over the long term.
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