What are the Benefits of Reflective Roofing Material?
These days, everyone is trying to save money on their energy bills, and they’re willing to go to great lengths to do so. Advanced new heating and cooling methods coupled with huge amounts of money spent on resealing every window and insulating every inch of the home are all the rage these days as everyone attempts to pinch every penny when it comes to energy costs.
The reality, though, is that cost savings start at the top: on the roof of your home. If your roof is constructed from the right material, it can save you a small fortune on your energy bill over the course of the year. By covering your roof with a reflective material, you can not only render your energy usage far more efficient, but you can generate a wide array of other benefits as well.
What Is Reflective Roofing Material?
On a hot day, you wouldn’t wear the darkest clothing you own because you know that the darker your clothes are, the more heat they’ll absorb. Your roof is much the same: the darker it is, the more heat energy it will absorb. That heat energy will be transferred directly into your home and ultimately force your air conditioner to work harder on the hottest days of the year.
Reflective roofing material helps to solve this issue by reflecting much of the sunlight away from your home. In doing so, it causes the heat energy that would normally be absorbed to dissipate harmlessly. This effect can be achieved with highly reflective paint or reflective tiles or shingles. Roof coverings are sometimes utilized as well. These reflective roofs can potentially reduce the temperature of the roof by up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite significant. This can lead directly to dramatic energy savings elsewhere in the house.
How Is It Installed?
The type of reflective roofing material you choose to utilize for your home will depend upon the type of roof you have. If, for example, your roof is mostly flat, you can contact a company like Interstate Roofing to fasten a single-ply roofing membrane into place. Ask your contractor for a membrane that has been coated with a reflective material so that you can reap the benefits on your energy bill.
Of course, this membrane material won’t work to cover the shingles that are used on steeper roofs. However, the roofing shingles that you utilize can themselves be coated with a reflective material, helping to achieve the same effect.
Some of the Benefits
As we mentioned above, the ability of these reflective materials to prevent your roof from absorbing an excessive amount of sunlight has a variety of benefits. Primarily, the reduced temperature of the roof will directly translate to a reduced air temperature in the home. This means your air conditioner will have to work much less hard and thereby use much less energy to cool the house down. These cost savings are only the beginning, though. There are a number of other benefits as well that you’ll be able to reap.
Using less energy means that you’ll also be less susceptible to blackouts that can occur during the summertime. The last thing you want is for your air conditioning to fail you on a sweltering day.
The temperature in residential areas is often up to seven degrees higher than it is elsewhere, due to the “heat island effect.” This effect is caused when the home itself absorbs heat energy and then pushes it to an area surrounding the house. A house with reflective roofing materials, however, can reduce this effect. This means that not only will it be more comfortable to stay inside your home during the hottest days of the year, but it will actually be cooler and more comfortable outside as well.
Saving on Maintenance
Another key benefit of utilizing reflective roofing materials is the savings you’ll reap on maintenance costs. There are several reasons for this. The primary one is the fact that the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is responsible for a great deal of the wear and tear that shortens the life span of a roof. Reflect a lot of the sunlight away, and you’ll reduce the ultraviolet radiation that beats down onto your roof. This will directly correlate to a reduction in maintenance costs.
A reduction in the temperature of your roof may, depending upon the climate in which you live, also help to reduce the growth of mildew and mold in your attic. This will have several beneficial effects, including a reduction in the cost of maintenance in and around the beams of the attic. It will also improve the air quality in the home in general and potentially lead to a boost in the health of the inhabitants of the home. The reduction in mold spores and other pollutants can go a long way toward making everyone who lives in the home healthier, all because of a simple reflective coating placed upon the roof.
Nowadays, everyone has to consider their environmental impact, and reducing energy usage is a major factor in that. That’s why using a few tricks to keep your house cool that doesn’t require a lot of energy usage is one of the best things you can do to minimize your carbon footprint and help to protect the environment.
These environmental benefits will have a few perks of their own too. Often, you can earn a few tax credits and other rebates when you take energy-saving steps, which include opting for reflective material on your roof.
It’s important to note that, while a reflective roof will save you a great deal on energy costs during the summer, during the winter, it will also reflect heat away, which will also have an effect upon your energy usage. Contact your roofing contractor to ask if reflective roofing material is right for your home.