the scoop on the “Hot” Emerging Trend of Cool Roof Construction
The hot, summer sun of Georgia beating down on a traditional asphalt shingle roof can turn an air-conditioned living room into an inferno. The same is true for commercial buildings, which often have high ceilings that let the heat build up.
So what’s the solution? One idea is to install a cool roof, one of a number of sustainable roofing options. According to the industry magazine Roofing Contractor, eco-friendly cool roofs are one of the biggest emerging trends of 2022. Cool roofs are designed to reflect the sun’s rays away from the building instead of absorbing them, reducing temperatures inside by up to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cool roofs start out just like regular roofs, but they typically include light-colored paints or coatings that bounce sunlight away from the building and also help keep it cooler by blocking infrared radiation from escaping. We’re going to talk about how cool roofs work and why they are so important for our planet.
What Are Cool Roofs?
Cool roofs are designed to reflect the sun’s rays away from the building instead of absorbing them. They start out just like regular roofs, but they typically include light-colored paints or coatings that bounce sunlight away from the building and also help keep it cooler by blocking infrared radiation from escaping. Some of the top roofing material manufacturing companies like CertainTeed are leveraging cool roof technology to meet the growing demand for this style of roof.
How Do Cool Roofs Work?
Cool roofs work because they are designed to reflect the sun’s rays away from the building instead of absorbing them. Cool roofs are actually an established technology going back to the 1980s, though it has progressed since its humble beginnings with the US Department of Energy. The ability to reflect means that buildings with cool roofs will have lower temperatures inside, which can reduce air conditioning costs, as well as make it more comfortable for people to be in the building.
There are a few different ways that cool roofs work. One way is by using light-colored paints or coatings, which bounce sunlight away from the building and also help keep it cooler by blocking infrared radiation from escaping. Another way is by installing a material called a white roof membrane on the roof. This membrane is made of PVC and has white insulation sandwiched between two sheets of plastic. It blocks infrared radiation just like the light coating does, but it also reflects some solar rays and provides an insulating barrier against heat transfer from below.
A third option is to use an electric cooling system on top of your roof to release cold air into your attic space when temperatures rise above 85 degrees Fahrenheit inside your home or office. These electric cooling systems use a fan or compressor that pumps refrigerant through coils in order to release cooled air into your attic space when needed.
Why Are Cool Roofs Important?
Cool roofs make a big difference in the comfort of your home or business in large part by saving energy. But they also have an impact on the environment that goes beyond your roof. Cool roofs are made of materials that reflect the sun away from the building and keep it cooler inside. This has the side effect of reducing the amount of heat that is absorbed by the Earth’s surface, which helps keep our planet cool.
The Future of Cool Roofs and Green Industry
Cool roofing is a design decision that’s typically made when a building or structure is first being built. It can be retrofitted onto existing roofs, but it’s best to make the choice before construction begins. When cool roofs are a part of the initial design, they can help save on HVAC costs by as much as 20 percent each year.
Cool roofs also offer an opportunity to go green and are changing the roofing industry. Green buildings make up just 2 percent of all buildings today, but the numbers are expected to increase rapidly over the next decade. Construction projects are already incorporating sustainable materials and technologies into their designs in order to meet LEED standards for energy efficiency and sustainability. If you have a choice between two similar building designs and one has a cool roof while the other doesn’t, it’s likely that the one with the more sustainable design will get LEED points because of its cool roofing system.
Cooler Home and a Greener Future?
Cool roofs are a great way to cool your home, save on air conditioning costs, and feel good above doing your part to support planet health. Cool roofs are not just a good idea for homeowners — they are also good for the environment. Cool roofs help minimize greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the urban heat island effect. It’s easy to see that cool roofs are a win-win for everyone!
If you’re interested in learning more about cool roof technology and if it’s right for you, contact us today!