10 Roofing Materials to Keep Your Home Cool
Pennsylvania’s warm climate can be expensive in the summer when cooling your home. But did you know that you could cool your home based on the type of material covering your roof? At Roof Cleaning Pros & Pressure Washing, we love helping you save money. So here are 10 great roofing materials for keeping your home cool.
Overlays and Radiant Barriers
In recent years there have been great advancements in cool-roof coatings. Elastomeric sealants, foam sprays, and ceramic-based paints cool existing roofs by applying coats of overlay which reflect heat from the building. Another method is using built-up roofing (BUR), a material designed to cool the roof.
Radiant barrier is a sub-roof system or underpinning designed for the same purpose of cooling a roof. It involves installing reflective materials like aluminum to reflect heat or a reflective spray treatment that can be installed in the attic or the space between the home’s interior and the roof. This acts as a barrier for keeping heat up and out of the home.
Slate tile is a light-colored and earth-toned slate that reduces the heat that is absorbed by the building. It’s natural reflective properties will help to keep the building cool while saving money on air conditioning.
The negatives of slate tile are that it’s more expensive than other types of roofing and is quite heavy. It’s also more difficult to transport than lighter materials.
Terra Cotta and Clay
Terra cotta and clay are popular in warm climates with little precipitation like Spain, Mexico, Italy, and the American Southwest. The basic clay roofing is a light color, which doesn’t retain as much heat as a darker roof would.
Modern clay tiles have paint treatments that can add weatherproofing and reflective capabilities. Using traditional rust or sienna-colored terra cotta tiles help to keep the building cool due to its shape as much as its composition. However, it’s less porous allowing less air in and cold or wet weather can make them snap.
Cool Color Concrete Tile
Concrete is a good material for cooling your roof because it’s heavy and takes a long time to heat. Even though it’s fireproof and solid, it’s porous enough to take in color when it’s dyed. Giving it light colors will increase its energy efficiency by reflecting more sunlight than dark colors.
It can also be incredibly long lasting. Some of these concrete style roofs in Europe have been up for 150 years and are still working as originally designed.
Green or living roofs incorporate a waterproof membrane filled with soil or vegetation, which is intended to cool naturally through soil temperature and growth of greenery. Since these plants are made of living plants, they release oxygen into the air making it less toxic and harmful. Another way to cool the building is by water runoff, a system that protects the base roofing underneath adding to its longevity.
Photovoltanic roof shingles, also known as PV shingles, capture the heat and redirect the solar power into electricity. These solar panels and shingles also come in traditional shingle shapes and sizes so you’re not losing anything aesthetically by installing them.
Rubber Membrane Roofing
While not technically rubber, this type of roofing material is made from a single-ply, white, rubber-like membrane. It’s made of either a strong, weather-resistant thermoplastic or a synthetic rubber called ethylene propylene diene monomer, better known as EPDM.
EPDM is a common roof coating in commercial buildings. It’s popular for its long wear, thermoset, and pre-molded or “set” rubber-like material.
These types of roofing are weather proof and wear resistant with white coating options, which reflect the sun’s rays and keep it cool. Both types of membrane roofing are lightweight, durable, and reflective keeping the sun from absorbing into the structure.
White Barrel “S” Tile
Tested by the Pennsylvania’s Power and Light Company, white barrel “s” tiles are great for Pennsylvania. They’re made from concrete so are very effective at keeping the heat from the sun out of homes. They reflect about 74 percent of the sun’s energy away from the roof. They resemble the traditional terra cotta designs of the southwest with the same raised arch design which allows for better air circulation. The tiles are also bright white reflecting more solar rays than the traditional terra cotta by about 40 percent.
White Flat Tile
This flat concrete tiling is available in cool colors, which helps to keep the roof cool. A lighter-weight version of the bright white flat tile is made of ceramic, elastomeric material, or a combination of fibers and cement. These ranked high in testing as they are heat reflective and long lasting.
The flat white cement tiles are the most effective as they can reflect as much as 77 percent of the sun’s rays. The white barrel type, made of white flat tiles, will keep the heat from filtering down into the building.
White Metal Roofing
White metal roofing can reflect about 66 percent of the sun’s energy. While it doesn’t reflect as much of the sun’s energy as others, it cools faster at night than the others do. It also holds less heat for shorter periods of time. It costs 20-30% more than traditional roofing but the energy savings, durability, and low maintenance make it a cost saver over time.
The summer months in Pennsylvania can wreak havoc on your power bill as you run your air conditioning for hours at a time. But by having a roof made of these materials, you can keep your home cool, be more environmentally friendly, and save money all at the same time.