Environmentally Friendly Roofing: What To Know

Now more than ever, Americans are turning to environmentally friendly roofing options to reduce the impact of waste on our world. Years ago, choosing a “greener” option would have cost significantly more than a regular roofing system, but today there are reasonably priced systems for commercial buildings that can be better for the environment as well as more beneficial for a building owner.

The Cool Roof: A Front-runner in Environmentally Friendly Roofing

When it comes to getting a new roof, an enormous amount of waste can be created when discarding components of the old system. However, if a building’s system qualifies for an overlay, a white or cool roof can be an excellent option. This not only eliminates the creation of mass amounts of waste that would go to a local landfill, but it also has the potential to benefit the building in other ways.

For buildings that may not qualify for an overlay due to trapped moisture or other damage, there may still be other commercial cool roof options that will work for their structure.

The best way to determine what type of commercial cool roof system will be best for your structure is to partner with a reputable professional roofing company who has experience with installing environmentally friendly roofing systems.

What Types of Cool Roofs Are There?

A cool roof does not refer to a singular type of roofing system. In fact, there are several options for building owners to choose from. To be considered a cool roof, the system must meet minimum standards for thermal emittance and solar reflectance. They can be used on a variety of building types and roof slopes.

To learn more about what cool roof option would be the best for your specific building, it is recommended to reach out for a consultation with an experienced and trustworthy roofing company. After evaluating the age and state of your current roof as well as other factors, they will be able to more accurately make a recommendation that caters to your specific needs.

Which Climates Do Cool Roofing Systems Work Best In?

While most cool roofing systems will work in either hot or cold temperatures, there may be more benefits for those living in warmer climates.

In a warm or hot climate, energy costs can skyrocket for building owners when temperatures go up. A white or cool roof helps minimize some of those costs over the long term by reflecting the heat off of the roof. This prevents undue stress on air conditioning systems for commercial buildings as they don’t have to work as hard to keep the building comfortable. This may in turn help extend the life of an HVAC system.

In geographic areas which experience cool to cold temperatures year-round and rarely rely on an air conditioning system, a cool roof may not be the best choice.

Benefits of Environmentally Friendly Roofing Systems like the Cool Roof

In addition to the overall advantage of a cool roof being more environmentally friendly than some other options, there are a number of other benefits to commercial building owners who choose them, including:

  • Enabling thoughtful energy use. A simple change in the color of the roofing materials used can make a significant impact on energy use. Darker colored roofing materials will absorb the heat of the sun which in turn can raise the temperature in the interior of a building. However, cool roofs make use of white and reflective roofing materials to limit heat absorption and instead reflect the heat away. This can be effective in keeping temperatures from rising inside the building and may require less energy use for a building’s air conditioning system.
  • Saving money. The ability to limit the need of an air conditioning system with the help of a reflective cool roof can save building owners money in energy costs over the long term. Cooler temperatures inside the building means there is not as much of a need for the air conditioning system to kick on which can help save money on costly monthly energy bills.
  • Offering climate comfort. People who live in traditionally warm climates such as in New Mexico have an excellent understanding of just how hard it can be to cool off in the heat of the summer…even when sitting inside a building with air conditioning. HVAC units can only work so hard and do so much when it is ninety plus degrees outside. A reflective roof that yields cooler temperatures in the interior of the building can make the atmosphere more comfortable for the people inside.
  • Extending the life of the roof. In most cases, installing a cool roof on a commercial building can be instrumental in making the roof last longer. A system that absorbs heat can succumb to cracking from drying out and may require repairs or a replacement sooner. A cool roof that reflects heat deters heat-related cracking and drying out, which can extend the life of the roof.

Cool Roofs and the Heat Island Effect

In heavily urban areas, characterized by massive amounts of concrete and where buildings are packed closer together, the heat island effect may take place. This means that the temperature can be even warmer here than in areas that are more spread out and feature more vegetation and air flow.

Darker colored roofing materials help trap that heat, essentially making it even warmer inside of buildings in these already warm areas. A cool roof system will be more effective in reflecting some of that heat rather than absorbing it, which can make a building cooler inside despite its heavily urban location.

Environmentally friendly roofing is no longer a wave of the future. This roofing option is available now, and more commercial building owners are turning to this modern roofing system because it is a “greener” option and offers additional benefits such as money savings and an extension on the life of a roof. Contact a professional roofing company today to see how you can start reaping the benefits of environmentally friendly roofing options.

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