While some homeowners view a new roof as simply an expense, it’s more pragmatic to view it as an investment that can save you money in many different ways. Since there are so many types of roofing material, there is a wide range of money-saving benefits to enjoy when you invest in a new roof. From long-term energy savings to improved weather protection, a roof upgrade has the potential to put hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars back into your pocket.
When you decide to make the investment of a new roof, be prepared to be faced with a staggering number of options for roofing materials. With so many different types of shingles to choose from, every possible roofing issue is covered, from improved ventilation to increased solar reflectivity and much more. Here are the top material specifications to consider when choosing the right energy-efficient roof for your home.
Energy Star Rating
An Energy Star endorsement is the trusted mark of authority that indicates the most energy-efficient roof materials on the market. Energy Star-rated shingles are proven to reflect solar energy away from the roof at a higher rate than non-Energy Star-rated materials. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that an Energy Star-rated roof can lower surface temperatures by as much as 50℉, which results in a cooler interior and less wear on your AC unit. Not only will you save money by not relying so heavily on AC (up to 40% annually, according to the Metal Roofing Alliance), but the unit itself will last longer.
In the case of a water-filled paint bubble, carefully puncture the bubble to release the accumulated water into a bucket. This is important because pooling water places excessive weight on the structural components of your home, placing your ceiling in danger of collapsing.
The optimal color of your roofing materials will vary depending on the climate in which you live. Homes in locales that experience cold seasons tend to benefit from the heat that dark shingles absorb, whereas here in south Florida, many homeowners opt for a lighter, more reflective color to bounce the heat away and keep the inside of the home cooler in the midst of hot Florida temperatures. This reduces the home’s reliance on HVAC systems, saving homeowners hundreds of dollars per year on energy costs. Some homes even produce enough extra solar energy to sell it back to the energy grid, further offsetting yearly energy costs.
A more recent development in the roofing shingle industry is the energy-generating shingle. These shingles use small solar panels (photovoltaic or PV cells) that are the same size as a single shingle. They blend in with the non-solar shingles on the roof and use the sun’s energy to produce energy that your home can use, effectively reducing your energy bills.
Roofs that are built to code typically have ventilation to allow sufficient airflow between the attic space and the weather outdoors. A roof without proper ventilation traps heat inside the attic space, creating an oven-like situation that puts an enormous burden on the HVAC system. This results in skyrocketing energy costs as well as exponentially faster wear on the HVAC unit.
Today’s roofing materials can greatly contribute to the strength and safety of your home’s roof to provide energy efficiency and long-term reduction in energy costs.
Roofing materials have come a long way, technologically speaking, in the past couple of decades. Decades-old shingles aren’t energy-efficient and have lower wind resistance ratings, meaning your home is at risk when the next heavy storm hits. Today’s shingles are typically rated for 120-130 mph hurricane-force winds. Furthermore, newer shingles are stronger, more durable, more flexible and fire-resistant, which means your new roof will last longer and provide better protection for your family, your home and your personal belongings.
The connection between the roof and the walls of the home has a huge impact on how uplift-resistant the roof is. Here in Florida, a popular option is to strengthen the connection by upgrading to metal hurricane straps that anchor the roof firmly to the home.
Older homes in the Sarasota-Bradenton area may have roofs attached by a simple set of nails through the truss, known as toenailing. This connection poses a problem due to the fact that the nails are driven into the truss at approximately the same angle that a strong wind would lift the roof. Upgrading to hurricane straps allow the roof to be attached to the truss via metal plates attached to the wall studs; today, every truss or rafter is anchored with a strap to ensure maximum resistance to wind uplift force. Most homes can be retrofitted with these hurricane straps without reroofing, but if you are getting a new roof, it’s a great time to upgrade your connections. Additionally, this upgrade may help you save money on your homeowners insurance.
The protective, moisture-resistant layer underneath shingles is called underlayment. This crucial component is an unseen but very important part of the roofing system. It provides waterproofing to ensure that the wood below is protected from moisture and rot. There are three common types of underlayment:
Synthetic: This non-bitumen option is quite popular due to its construction from hardy plastics, which give the material exceptional strength and durability as well as resistance to fungal growth, flexibility and excellent waterproofing.
Rubberized asphalt: Despite its name, this material contains little to no asphalt. Similar to flat roof membranes, this underlayment is adhered to the roof deck and provides improved waterproofing, noise absorption and added strength from its fiberglass reinforcement. Additionally, rubberized asphalt is extremely flexible, which makes it ideal for both hot and cold climates, and it can be patched in the event that it sustains any damage.
Asphalt-saturated felt: Also known as “roofing felt” or “felt paper,” this type of underlayment resembles tar paper, provides additional waterproofing protection, and adds durability and impact resistance against hail, tree limbs and falling debris.
A good underlayment can provide an extra level of protection and help you save money on your homeowner’s insurance.
If your roof is old, it could be out of code. Not only does this present a safety issue, but your homeowner’s insurance company may be charging higher premiums for it. Getting a new roof can bring your home up to the current building code, providing added safety and reducing your insurance rates.
Homeowners can earn a Residential Energy Credit incentive of up to $500 by installing certain types of energy-efficient roofing. To get the tax credit, homeowners must complete the IRS form #5695. Homeowners who installed a qualified energy-efficient roof within the past few years but did not submit this tax form can complete the form to possibly receive a retroactive credit. More information about the tax credit can be found on the IRS website.
The best way to get quality roofing that will save you money over the life of the roof, trust an experienced roofing company that has licensed and trained roofing experts, industry-leading warranties and transparency in pricing and value. A roof replacement or upgrade from AKVM Roofing can help you protect your home and your family, save money on energy costs, and receive tax and insurance incentives through qualified roofing.
Call us today for a free, no-obligation estimate: 941-727-3996.