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Which is the most energy efficient roof material and color?

Roof material and color are important aspects which can keep your home naturally cool or hot beyond belief. If you look around, you would see different colors on the roofs of homes near you. Have you ever wondered why those particular colors were chosen? Choosing the roof color and material should be more than just for aesthetic consideration. Here are some tips on the most energy efficient roof material as well as the best colors for roofs.

Tips for choosing the most energy efficient roof material and color

What exactly are cool roofs?

The color of the roof affects the internal temperature of the home – it can make a home hotter or cooler. The roof material too makes a huge difference. There are materials which reflect the sun of the heat, making the building cooler, whereas some materials absorb heat which is transferred to the rooms. For example, asphalt shingles allow more heat into the home than metal roofs.

Whenever you buy any kind of roofing material, you should look for the Energy Star rating which certifies that the material is energy efficient.

Cool roofs are roofs which reduce the temperature of your home and reduce your cooling costs. Cool roofs will reflect upto 65% of sunrays, while conventional roofs will reflect only 5-15% of sunrays. You should also insulate the space beneath the roof which would increase the functionality of the cool roof.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt-shingles

One of the energy efficient roof material, asphalt is a low maintenance material too. You can choose from numerous designs and colors to give a unique look to the roof. However, a downside to asphalt roofing is that it can get damaged in storms and strong wind conditions. Algae can grow on asphalt, but it can be avoided with the help of preventative coating.

Thermoplastic Olefin/Polyolefin

This is also a coating which is applied to roofs, but it is a rubber coating which is durable and flexible as well as energy efficient. The advantage of TPO is that it can survive all types of weather and pollution, resists algae as well as tears.

Shake roofing

Shake-roofing

Another cool roofing material is shake roofing. Solar emittance and reflectance are the key factors to energy efficient roofing. So whether you buy asphalt, shake or metal roofing, check the rating of these factors. Shake shingles are preferred by many homeowners as they can withstand strong winds as well as storms.

They allow for better air circulation in homes, which keeps the home cool. When the wood matures, they give a very beautiful look. Though shake roofing is durable, it requires quite a bit of maintenance. Mildew and woodrot are some problems with shake, in humid conditions or in areas which have a lot of precipitation.

Green roofing

Green roofs are also known as living roofs. The roof is cooled by covering the roof with greenery, such as grass or plants. The home is proctected by covering sheets which allow irrigation/watering of the plants. Flat roofs are the best style for green roofs, which are functional as well as aesthetically pleasing. The green roofs can make energy efficient roof material even better by improving the insulation. Besides, a roof garden can be a very pleasant outdoor space you can enjoy.

Metal roofing

Metal-roofing-

Metal roofing, which is certified as energy efficient roof material, is a great option for roofing. It is available in a range of prices, which suits different budgets, and is easy to install. Metal is durable, energy efficient and needs less maintenance than asphalt and shake. You could select either metal panels or metal tiles. Panels are large roofing sheets and metal tiles are designed to look like slate or shake or other roofing styles.

Metal roofing has other advantages such as fire resistance, reflectivity (which keeps cooling cost down), lightweightness and longetivity. The drawback is that it can get dented on impact, and it is hard to replace individual sections of the roof.

Polyurethane foam

Another way to improve the insulation of your roof is to spray the roofing material with SPF or Sprayed Polyurethane Foam, which is a synthetic product. But this spray protects the house from heat, and saves energy costs by upto 58 percent. The SPF has to be sprayed on the roof which solidifies after your apply it.

Clay and slate roofing

slate-roofing

Clay and slate roofing could also be good for your home. Slate looks beautiful and insulates homes easily, making it an eco friendly choice. Clay roofing is best for warm climates as it has the tendency for moisture absorption, though it reflects sunlight. It is best not to use clay roofing if your region sees hailstorms, which might damage the roof. Clay roofing can also be repurposed or recycled once it has served its purpose.

What is the best color for your roof?

Metal-roofing

Color plays an important role in the roofing. What is the best color to reflect heat away from the roof? You may have bought the most energy efficient roof material, but it will not be as effective if you paint the roof with the wrong color.

Typically, lighter colors reflect sunlight much better, rather than darker colors, which absorb sunlight and the heat seeps inside the house and makes the house warmer. Choosing the color depends on the climate you live in. If you live in a climate which is warm for most part of the year, then you should paint the roof a lighter color, such as white. And spray SPF or have a rubber coating on the roof for extra cooling.

However, if you live in a climate which is cold for the better part of the year, you should paint the roof in a dark color, such as dark brown or red or maroon or black. This will trap the sunrays and reduce your heating costs. But then again, snow covered roofs will reflect light away, so the dark color may not play a big role in heating the house if there is snowfall on the roof!

Choose the color and energy efficient roofing material which will suit your budget and heating/cooling requirements – you may consult your local roofing companies to know the best roofing material for your area.

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Dr Prem Jagyasi (c)

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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