How Hot Can Your Commercial Roof Become In the Summer?
When you walk across a street, or even a sidewalk, you may notice a temperature difference. This is most obvious when you change from the street and walk on to your front lawn. This is something that most people notice, but they may not realize that this same concept will apply to a construction projects.
For example, when you are using shingles on a roof, the type that you choose can affect how warm or cold it is in your home. This has to do with the climate you are in, and also how the roof will absorb or reflect the sun. It can be difficult to make this choice when you have limited roofing materials that are available.
There are other choices, including a roof that is designed to stay as cool as possible, which is what many people are gravitating toward as weather conditions become more extreme.
What you want to do is use a roofing material that will keep everything in balance. It may cost you more money, but once it is done, you will definitely see a change in your utility bill. It doesn’t take much time to replace your roof if that’s what you would like to accomplish this year. You may even choose to do it yourself.
These are the types of temperatures that you would likely experience in the summer depending upon the surface you are standing on. It’s not your imagination – surface material has a lot to do with temperature. Move from the blacktop to the grass and you can instantly feel the difference.
It’s exactly the same with roofs. The darker that it is, the harder you will be inside. The lighter that it is, the cooler you will be in your building or home. What you want is a roof that stays about in the middle if possible. An environmentally friendly roof is the best choice when you are looking for new roofing materials.
The rooftop temperature will always be somewhat warm, but different materials will make a huge difference. There are ways of measuring how potentially hot your roof could be, as well as how low the temperatures might be even in direct sunlight.
Unpainted Metal Roof – 138-145
A Black Roof – 140-190
Vegetative Roof – 90
Aluminum Or Reflective Roof- About 70 degrees less
Gravel – 125-140
Painted Metal – 105-115
White – 102-120
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The differences between rooftops
As you can imagine, a black roof will be much harder than all of them. A roof is typically designed to last about two decades, sometimes longer, but a black roof may lead to a premature breakdown – in fact, it can detrimentally affect its longevity. This is very obvious when you see an aging roof.
If you have a metal roof, these will also get very hot. Sentry Roof materials utilize BASF paint when they are manufactured – this is going to minimize heat that is absorbed and emitted. It should be painted before hand, but it can still work if you decide to paint it later.
When you have a white roof, these are much cooler than a black roof, sometimes as much as 50° or more and 30° less than a roof made of gravel. If you have an elastomeric roof, or one that is made of aluminum, these are cooler than black roofing materials – technology used today makes it easy to use Pantone colors which will also help lessen the temperature. There is really nothing better than having a vegetative roof as it will keep temperatures consistent and comfortable.
Why so many people prefer a roof vegetative roof
The main reason is that on most days a vegetative roof, even when it’s hot, can be touched – that is because it is covered by vegetation. Going beyond the rooftop itself, a vegetative roof can not only reduce heat, but can also help the surrounding community by not contributing to the heat island effect.
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How temperature can affect the inside of your building
Is it possible that the interior of your building is hotter because of your roof? This is absolutely true. When the heat is absorbed, it is radiated from the roof surface down, and this is very common with an older roof that is not built with R30 or R20 installation. In recent years, this is changed. If you want to, adding a silver or white coating to the outside can also be very beneficial and require less air conditioner usage. Your energy costs will go down, and the grid for your city will benefit greatly.
You can save as much as 15% on your energy bill by installing a cool roof according to the Green Building Alliance.
This is a great benefit, but it is so important to repaint your roof at least every decade to maintain these results.
Should you get a new roof for this reason?
If you do have a hot roof, especially during the summer, you really need to get more control. Re-roofing might be an option, or if you are having a new one installed, you need to consider how beneficial it would be to have a cool roof instead. There are different technologies that are used to properly coat roofing materials, and there are others that are currently being developed. In Australia, studies have shown that the coatings on a roof may even make the surrounding air cooler which is a fantastic result.
The Cool Roof Rating Council at coolroof.org is a great place to visit to find product ratings and technical information (to access the ratings you do have to have a membership).