A Hot Roof = A Hot House!
If you’ve ever been up on or near your roof on a sunny summer’s day, you know it gets hot up there. And while roofing materials are designed to handle the heat, prolonged hotter temperatures will likely shorten the lifespan of your roof.And here’s another sober truth to consider: the hotter your roof gets, the hotter your attic will get. The hotter your attic gets, the hotter your interior living space will get, too! What that means is that your air conditioning system will have to run longer, for more often. The result? You’ll spend more in energy costs, and you’ll probably have to replace your air conditioning system sooner than you’d like, too!
So, what can you do to help cool things down? When considering your next roof installation or replacement, you need to be mindful of the color and materials you choose for your roof!
Roof Colors and Heat Retention
What does color have to do with heat? Plenty. Darker colors absorb more wavelengths of light and heat, while lighter colors reflect more of that radiation away. If you’ve ever worn a black t-shirt on a sunny day, you’ve probably experienced the effects of heat retention first hand! So, how does this principle translate to your roof?
Black & Dark-Colored Roofs
Generally speaking, darker-colored roofing materials will absorb more light & heat. This causes your attic to heat up more, which in turn makes your home’s interior warmer, too.
Light colors are more reflective of light & heat. This is one reason why light-colored roofing is traditionally popular in warm climate areas like Greece, North Africa, and the Southwestern U.S.
Roofing Materials Matter Even More
While color is certainly a factor when it comes to heat retention, the material covering your roof itself is an even bigger factor than just color alone. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the summer temperature of your attic can vary by 50°F or more based on which material you choose! Because this is true, it pays for you to understand which popular roofing materials are actually cooler than others:
- Asphalt Shingles – Traditional asphalt shingles have relatively low reflective properties (meaning more heat retention), regardless of color. Why? The asphalt granules diffuse light in multiple directions, much of which ends up being absorbed by the shingles. The good news is that, thanks to improvements in engineering and technology, there are now some much more energy-efficient options available when it comes to shingle products. Owens Corning Duration Premium COOL Shingles, for example, are designed with reflective granules that send more solar energy back into the atmosphere, thus keeping your roof cooler. Unlike traditional shingles, these Owens Corning COOL Shingles are actually ENERGY STAR-qualified and CRRC-rated!
- Metal Roofing – Besides the fact that metal is durable & long-lasting,there’s something else to like about metal roofing, too – it’s naturally reflective.A properly-coated metal roof (even in a darker color!) will reflect the vast majority of solar radiation which shines upon it. While metal initially costs more than shingles, it’s an investment that really pays for itself over time, saving you up to 40% in home energy costs!
- Natural Tile – Slate and clay tiles are produced with natural materials, and they offer significant built-in thermal resistance and reflectivity. They’re also designed for air to be able to flow around the tile, helping to remove moisture and further moderate roof temperatures.Concrete tiles are also a good material option to consider. Concrete is weather-resistant, doesn’t accumulate much heat, and is actually one of the longer-lasting roofing materials available on the market.
- Wood Shakes – Wood shakes (or wood shingles) are a very eco-friendly choice. They are produced with renewable resources, and wood is a good, natural insulator.What this means in terms of roofing is that less heat gets transferred to your attic below. And if you go with cedar as your wood of choice, you get added moisture control benefits for your roof and home, as well.
- Synthetic Roofing– Sturdy synthetics or composites can be made to mimic the look of wood, asphalt, or natural tile, and they also boast some highly reflective properties. DaVinci Cool Roof tiles, for example, are made with virgin resins fortified with enhanced UV stabilizers. They’ve earned the ENERGY STAR designation, and here’s another reason to consider DaVinci tiles – they offer a 50-year warranty!
Two More Ways to Help Keep Your Roof Cooler: Ventilation & Insulation
In addition to considering the proper color and material for your roof covering, there are a couple of other things you can do. Proper attic ventilation is essential if you really want a cooler roof.Let your roof breath through a well-designed ventilation plan. Make sure your roof has a proper balance of intake vents for fresh air to enter, along with exhaust vents so hot air can exit.
People typically think of insulation as being something you need to keep a home warm in the winter, but insulation is also equally important for keeping your home cool in the summer. You probably already have some type of insulation in your attic and roof, but it honestly may not be enough to optimally handle the heat and humidity of North Carolina or Virginia. Adding some blown insulation is a smart way to help make your home as energy-efficient as possible for every season of the year!
Ready for a Cooler Roof and a Cooler Home? Call Skywalker Roofing!
Choosing the right roof color, roofing materials, ventilation, and insulation strategies are incredibly important. But even selecting the best materials won’t make much of a difference if they aren’t properly installed in the first place! Looking for the highest-rated, most-trusted local roofing company serving both NC and VA? Then look no farther than Skywalker Roofing!
We’re proud to serve the NC Piedmont Triad, Triangle, Charlotte Metro, and Roanoke, VA areas, and we can take care of all your residential or commercial roofing needs. But don’t just take our word for it – check out what our satisfied customer shave to say about us on Guild Quality! And then go ahead and give us a call at (336) 338-8620, and let us show you the Skywalker Roofing difference!