By Dymon Brady
If you are in the market for a cool roof to save yourself money in energy bills and do your part in helping the environment, there are many options out there for you. Here are just a few of the many products that are likely to grant you the best energy savings possible, while offering the greatest protection for your home or building.
If you own a flat roof, you are provided with convenient energy saving resources. Flat roofing membranes, unlike tar and gravel roofs, are reflective and are designed to save you energy and money. A flat roof membrane’s high reflectivity will help to reduce the amount of energy required to cool a building and keep it cool throughout the hottest points of the year. This decreased amount of energy consumption causes a lower amount of pollution to be generated back into the atmosphere and directly contributes to a cooler and cleaner environment, all while you save a little money. Just two roofing membranes that are energy efficient include:
TPO is an extremely reflective roofing membrane. Versico’s TPO membranes carry the Energy Star rating, and succeeded in exceeding the guidelines to meet that rating. TPO is solar reflective and has a thermal emittance level of .8 to .9, depending on the color. Versico’s TPO is also listed as a CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) certified product. This TPO is also 100% recyclable, as well as made from safe materials that do not harm the environment. If you are looking for a roof that will naturally cut down your energy bill, and also succeed in helping the environment, TPO is for you.
EPDM is a truly sustainable product. It is diverse enough to fit the needs of virtually all of the different climates and building structures. For example, if a membrane is not thick enough in a cold climate zone, it will almost immediately result in higher energy output and costs for the property owner. However, EPDM is able to work with different climates to create an energy efficient roof for you an any location. Though EPDM lacks the reflectivity of TPO, it makes up for it in thermal performance. In fact, a recent study performed by the Department of Energy and the EPDM Roofing Association showed that ballast and paver systems (such as EPDM roofing) can save as much energy as a reflective or “cool” roofs, especially in colder climates.
Even pitched roofs are following the global trend of installing energy efficient building products. Since most pitched roofs are residential, they have the potential to save your family from spending money on unnecessary energy bills, while still helping your house look good. They also qualify for a tax credit of up to $1500. Two examples of these cool shingles are:
Owens Corning has introduced the Duration Cool Series shingle in hopes of reducing attic temperatures, and thus reducing energy costs and usage. They are designed with a greater reflectance than traditional shingles that helps to minimize the amount of heat leaking from your roof into your home. What I really like about these shingles is that they are designed to look like traditional shingle colors, instead of an obvious grey or green. These qualify for a energy tax credit and will save you additional money throughout each year.
Certainteed Roofing has also come out with a ‘cool’ shingle: Landmark Solaris. This shingle contains advanced color granules that reflect the sun. This succeeds in reducing the overall roof temperature by up to 20% in the summer, saving you money and energy. Landmark Solaris is rated by the Cool Roof Rating Council, qualifies for credits and points in LEED, NAHB, and other green programs, and meets the ENERGY STAR standards for solar reflectance and thermal emission. However, perhaps the best feature of this shingle is it’s beauty. It doesn’t look like a cool shingle, but rather it is a beautiful architectural shingle that would look great on any home.