Cool Roof 101: Answers to Your Most Common Questions

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Cool Roof 101 Answers to Your Most Common Questions

In the last few years, there have been continued improvements to the roofing industry, especially when it comes to providing long-lasting solutions that are also eco-friendly. A cool roof is just one of those options.

Commonly added onto commercial buildings, cool roofs are an ideal long-term investment and also complements the addition of solar panels. However, this solution can also be incorporated on single-family homes.

Ready to learn more about the cool roof? Let’s dig into your burning questions and help determine if this is the best option for you.

What is a cool roof?
Engery.gov defines a cool roof as “one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof.” Materials can range from reflective sheet coverings to highly reflective types of paint, tiles, or shingles.

Aren’t cool roofs only good for places that are hot year-round?
The name may suggest that a cool roof is a great solution for warmer climates, but a cool roof can be a positive solution in most locations. A cool roof may help to reduce the carbon footprint as homes or buildings can contribute to reducing the local air temperature.

Cool Roof 101 Answers to Your Most Common Questions

How could a cool roof reduce carbon my footprint this summer?
If you are in a single-family home with a black tar roof, your roof is, in essence, absorbing the sun’s rays, making the interior of the home work harder to cool it down. A cool roof would provide for a lighter, reflective shell on your roof that works to divert the sun’s rays.

Studies compiled by Yale University report that these efforts are an important step toward lowering extreme temperatures.

Will I see monthly or annual savings with a cool roof?
Like any efficiency improvement in your home, you are working toward the end game of making your home a better place to live. This, of course, includes the target of savings. The installation of a cool roof membrane may be rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council. Additional cost-saving incentives may also be available in your area. Refer to your local government pages or search policies at DSIRE.

Is a cool roof only for single-family residential homes?
A cool roof can be a great solution not only for a single-family residential home, but also for multi-dwelling complexes and commercial businesses. A cool roof can lower the peak electricity delivered to one home unit and continue that advantage in a multi-unit dwelling location.

Additional benefits can include reduced power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, as a building uses less energy. Dr. Matei Georgescu, a sustainability scientist at Arizona State University, has research findings reporting that a large volume of cool roofs in one place could “completely offset warming due to urban expansion and even offset a percentage of future greenhouse warming over large regional scales.”

Can you get a cool roof by just painting the roof a lighter color?
If you don’t have the possibility of a reputable roofing contractor like us at Executive Roof Service in Vancouver, WA to install reflective sheet coverings, tiles or highly reflective paint, yes, some findings show a positive outcome from painting the roof white or grey. Initiatives in large cities like New York and Chicago, where the number of blacktop roofs surpasses those of many counties combined, there are regulations against black tar roofs or incentives to install reflective coatings.

I read that a black roof can be a cool roof in the Northwest; is that true?
If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, the benefits of a cool roof can be noted for a home with a black membrane. An effective membrane can have a reflective black coating and solve to retain heat in the winter months, yet reflect and continue to cool the home in summer months. Consult with your professional roofing contractors to see what might be best for your home and development.

Are cool roofs only for flat roofs?
No, cool roofs are not only for flat roofs. Different types of roofs will have varying installation needs, but whether your home has a flat roof, a low sloped roof, a steeply sloped roof, a combination roof, or a green roof, roofing contractors in Vancouver, WA, can advise a solution to give your home a cool roof.

How long does a cool roof installation take?
Depending upon the size and type of your roof, and the weather and climate your home is exposed to, the membrane may take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours to dry. Discuss installation plans and what it will mean to you with your roofing contractors in Vancouver, WA.

Is there a difference between cool roof products, or is it just about looks and roof pitch?
The Cool Roof Rating Council works to rate product materials to ensure they qualify, however, there is not a set minimum definition or what is considered ‘cool.’ The process includes annual random testing of materials to ensure quality and longevity of the product.

I’ve only just started hearing about cool roofs. Is this a new process?
Cool roofs have become more prominent and may even be a required process in environmentally forward communities, or where required such as in California, but they’re not new.

Testing began in the 1980s in California and Tennessee, mainly as a response to rolling blackouts caused by excessive heat. By 2001, the installation process became a leading solution to reducing costs and the effects of heat impact.

Are there other benefits to installing a cool roof?
Making an investment in a cool roof is just that, it’s an investment in your home. It can help with energy efficiencies for your home and community and make a difference on a larger scale. The care and expertise followed by your roofing contractors in Vancouver, WA also serve to further protect the roof of your home.

At the time of installation, your roof is inspected and the membrane will help to further protect your home from water damage—a top threat to the lifetime of your roof. Additionally, cool roofs reduce air pollutants to improve air quality.

How hard is it to install a cool roof?
As with any structural update to your home or business, working with certified professionals is always advised. They can review the project, submit qualified estimates, and build your trust with their expertise and client testimonials.

Executive Roof Services is a top-rated business with experienced roofing contractors in Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR. With accreditations from Home Advisor, Home Advisor Elite, Better Business Bureau and multiple home products companies, ERS is your partner from roof installation through any needs for roof repair, roof replacement, or gutter installation and servicing.