Cool roofing is sweeping the industry, and with good reason. The advantages to building owners and supervisors are significant. The single greatest benefit is in energy cost savings, which can be substantial. For new construction and replacement, many new products are manufactured to be “cool.” But facilities with existing old-technology roof systems are not left out. There are retrofits – using roof coatings – that enable a cost effective update.
The phrase “cool roofing” is a description of what happens when a surface is designed to be more reflective and less heat absorbent. On the top of a building, a surface that has reflectivity is usually white or very light in color. This will deflect the rays of the sun off of the surface and back into the atmosphere. Only UV rays that remain on the surface convert to heat. The conversion to heat raises the temperature at the surface, causing heat transference. That means heat passes through building materials and insulation and to the interior.
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With cool roofing, anywhere from 85% to 90% of UV rays (depending on the product used) are reflected away from the surface. The ENERGY STAR product rating program has found that reflectivity can result in a drop in surface temperatures of up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In a temperature controlled building, this can reduce HVAC cooling equipment load by an average of 10% to 30%. Building supervisors have reported energy cost savings of as much as 40%.
Cool Roofing Lasts Longer Than Traditional Roofing
The benefit of UV ray reflection does not end with energy savings. Solar rays cause building materials to degrade over time. A dark surface that broils in the sun will degrade – or rot – because heat is destructive and also because of a reaction with UV that changes the surface’s chemical properties. Dark materials absorb UV rays, and so the degradation that is caused can extend well below the surface.
Cool Roofing Extends the Life of Your Commercial Roof
A Roofing Manufacturers Association study found that heat build-up will significantly decrease the service life of asphalt roofing systems in particular, although both synthetic polymers and rubber also experience degradation. With a reflective surface a substrate will last longer.
Cool Roofing Benefits Your Community
Much has been written recently about “heat islands” and the effect of building materials that absorb UV rays, only to release that heat later on. In urban areas this is raising evening temperatures. As the use of reflective surfaces has increased, heat island phenomena has been reduced. Do a small part to improve your community by upgrading your roof to a cool roof.
It’s Easy To Install & Cost Effective
A generation of new products is enabling existing surfaces to be converted into reflective roofing. Roof coatings involve the direct application of a silicone liquid onto the surface. These coatings are specifically manufactured in white or very light gray colors that give them excellent reflectivity. There is a coating for almost any kind of material – asphalt, built up, concrete, gravel, and metal.
Reduce Energy Costs While Eliminating Waste in Landfills
A retrofit is considered environmentally sound, and not only because of the drop in energy usage that results. Chief among the benefits is the fact that it eliminates tear off of existing building materials. This material is usually disposed of in landfills, and currently makes up four percent of all the waste in landfills. Fuel costs to transport waste are also eliminated.
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