If you are looking to go green when it comes to your roof, a white roof, also referred to as a cool roof, may be ideal for you. White roofs have been around for about 15 years but have become more popular as more and more people learn about them. If you have never heard about them, or have only briefly heard about them, you may have many questions. What is a white roof? What makes it so great for the environment? Read on to get answers to the questions you may have about these roofs and learn why white may be right for you!
What Exactly Is a White Roof?
A white roof does not refer to a traditional roof that is simply painted white. A white roof refers to a reflective material, typically white or silver in color, that reflects sunlight to keep a building cooler. Typically, this is a paint that lays on the roof and forms its own membrane, much like rubber roofing. However, it can also be a reflective sheet covering, reflective tiles or reflective shingles.
How Is a White Roof Environmentally-Friendly?
A cool roof can reflect up to 90 percent of sunlight, compared to traditional black roofs that can reflect only up to 20 percent of sunlight. This is important for two reasons. First, reflecting this sunlight can help you save 10 to 40 percent on your energy bill during the summer months. It helps your home or building stay cooler. This means that your energy consumption is lower, which helps put less stress on power grids, decreases pollution and makes for better air quality.
The second reason white roofs are environmentally-friendly is because it decreases the urban heat island effect. Urban areas are hotter than suburban areas. This is because there are more black roofs, black roads and other black surfaces that retain heat. This may be part of the reason behind global warming. It is believed that if enough people got white roofs, the temperatures could decrease by one to two degrees during the warm season. This could have a huge effect on the overall well-being of a city, it's natural resources, and even the Earth itself.
Are There Any Downsides to White Roofs?
There are a couple of major downsides to white roofs that you should know about if you are considering this type of roof. The first is cost. White or cool roofs are generally more expensive than traditional roofing materials. As such, they may not be ideal for those who are on a tight roofing budget. Secondly, white roofs may be more prone to algae growth in wet or humid climates. There are products that can keep this growth to a minimum, but it must be sprayed often. And of course, that comes at a price.
Will a White Roof Make Your Home Colder in the Winter?
Another question you may have about white roofs is whether they will make your home colder in the winter months. Black attracts and holds on to heat. This may make you think that it will help to keep your home warmer during the cooler months. As such, you may think that changing to a white roof will keep your energy usage lower in summer, but you will need to increase your energy usage to stay warm in the winter. Fortunately, this is not the case. The energy used to cool a building is usually considerably more than the energy needed to heat a building. As such, your cost savings is better by cutting your air conditioning needs. Additionally, heat rises. As such, any heat retained by a black roof won't really warm your home, as it won't fall downward into your home. As such, a white roof has little to no affect on your heating bills in the winter.
If you are looking to have a positive impact on the environment with your roof, consider a white or cool roof. Getting answers to the questions you have about this type of roof will help you make an informed decision as to whether this roof is right for your home or building. For more information, contact a local roofing company.Share