Asphalt shingles are the more affordable option for those considering upfront costs of a roof, but when it comes to energy efficiency, the most reflective (white) shingles are, at most, only about 30% reflective. They are, however, still frequently used for residential projects due to their lower cost and easier installation.
Certain Energy Star-rated reflective shingles – such as Owens Corning Duration Premium Cool – can qualify you for federal tax benefits. As an Owens Corning preferred contractor, AKVM roofers are certified in all things roofing and can help you decide which materials are right for you, as well as offer free inspections to determine whether your roof needs replacing and making sure your structure meets current building codes.
Available in panels, sheets or shingles, metal has become one of the most popular roofing materials used in residential construction in recent years. Depending on the specific options chosen, a metal roof can be 70% or more reflective; this means that the structure will be easier to cool and money can be saved on energy costs.
Note: Metal roofs have the added benefit of being hurricane-resistant, lightweight, and recyclable. They’re also much more durable than traditional materials, often carrying a lifespan of up to 50 years.
Reflective Roof Coatings (most reflective to least reflective):
White roof coatings
These coatings are opaque and contain polymeric materials and white pigment. Thicker layers of coating will make the roof that much more reflective. With the use of these coatings, roof surface temperatures can remain much closer to the ambient temperature than a non-coated roof.
An aluminum roof coating usually consists of an asphalt-like resin that contains aluminum flakes, which creates the appearance of an aluminum sheet without revealing the asphalt underlayer. Aluminum coatings can reduce indoor temperatures by as much as 20°F.
Made of fiberglass, felt or polyester, the membrane is attached with synthetic rubber, asphalt or plastic. Regardless of material, roofing membranes are strong and flexible, as well as waterproof, and can be topped with reflective pigments to increase energy efficiency.
Single-ply thermoplastic membranes are flexible sheets of plastic (such as PVC – polyvinyl chloride – or TPO – thermoplastic polyolefin) that are heated to mold the sheets together and close off the seams. These durable plastic membranes are generally white (most efficient), though colored pigments can be added to facilitate the target aesthetic.
Single-Ply EPDM EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), favored due to its ability to be easily repaired, is known for its multi-climate flexibility, and is usually either black or white in color.
Clay tiles are a popular cool roofing material in hotter climates for their high reflectivity (50%+) and thermal emittance (up to 86%). Tiles are exceptionally durable as well as 100% recyclable, and are available in an extensive range of colors, making them aesthetically ideal to many hot-climate homeowners.
Substantially less efficient than white coatings, these colored shades are commonly used in residential projects to create a desired aesthetic.
With many choices and considerations involved, upgrading your roof can seem like a daunting task, though it doesn’t have to be. Your roofers at AKVM are thoroughly versed in modern roofing options and can make excellent recommendations so that you end up with a roof that’s just right for you.
As this tech continues to evolve, we’ll see even more options and customizations that will make having a cool roof desirable and attainable for every homeowner. Ideally, more and more homes will adopt this energy-saving technology as it increases in popularity and affordability.
Call the experts at AKVM at 941-727-3996 for more information.