If you want your house to be comfortable inside, start with the roof
In the old days, builders couldn’t care less about solar reflectivity,heat-island effect or energy star rating. That why they would choose dark roofs,which reach such high temperatures that buyers felt uncomfortable in their homes.
Today, we know better. Roofs made from light colored products and cool coatings can reduce the heat of the roof deck and result in better performance.”Traditional dark roofs can reach temperatures of 150 degrees F or more in the summer sun” the Department of Energy’s Efficiency and Renewable Energy division writes n the 2010 document, ” Guidelines for Selecting Cool Roofs”. ” A cool roof under the same conditions could stay more than 50 degrees F cooler.
The demand for cool roofs is growing and as a result so is the breadth of products. One of the coolest roofing options literally and figuratively speaking is metal. An unpainted roof reflects solar radiation, deflecting heat that would otherwise reach the home’s attic, saving homeowners up to 40 percent in annual energy cost. But the Washington, D.C.- based Metal Alliance says the product is even better today because manufacturers offer pre-painted or granular coated products that reflect solar energy.
Some manufacturers provide roofing panels that utilize Kynar 500 reflective pigment, which helps the roof surface reflect u to 70 percent of the sun’s energy and saves up to 20 percent on cooling cost. A variety of styles and more then two dozen Cool Roof color choices are available.
Another way to “green” your roof is to use a sod product,which is exactly what it sounds like-a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop. Ideal for low and no slope homes, ” green roofs provide shad and remove heat fro the air through evapotranspiration, reducing temperatures of the roof surface and surrounding air,” the EPA says.
Live Roof is a flexible and easy to install green roof system that allows the builders to complete an installation in one day. Unlike most green roofs, plants are pre-grown to maturity in modules filled with a lightweight medium, and installers set them on the roof. But it offers all the benefits of a typical sod roof, such as added insulation and stormwater management.
Though a sod roof might not work in every case, there are many other options that can help the roof deck stay cooler, which saves money for home buyers in utility cost but also extends the life of the roof.
Article from “Builders Magazine” writer, Nigel F. Maynard.