Cooling your roof is your first line of defense against the extreme summer temperatures.
A roof that’s too hot is never a good thing. It raises the temperature in your home and increases your energy bills by straining your HVAC system.
And while many techniques, including shading your windows with awnings, can help lower the temperature in your home, the most effective way to stay cool in summer is to cool your roof. A cool roof can help reduce the temperature by reflecting light and releasing more heat.
But how do you cool down a roof?
This guide will explore the various roof cooling techniques you could employ to keep your roof cool in summer. We’ll also discuss the many benefits of a cool roof. Let’s dive in!
1. Install a Metal Roof
Metal roofs are a great option for regions where temperature can get extreme.
This energy-efficient roofing system reduces cooling costs in the summer by reflecting heat off buildings. An unpainted metal roof can be a cost-effective solution because it’s already reflective and requires no coating or other technologies to achieve cool roof status.
Aluminum roofing systems are preferred in hot climates where cooling expenses form the bulk of homeowner’s energy bills. These energy-efficient roofing systems include integral airspace between the decking and the air metal panels. This “dead space” acts as the thermal barrier that blocks heat from the roof to the interior, keeping the building cool.
2. Get the Right Roof Coating
You don’t have to replace the entire roof to benefit from roof cooling. Instead, you could just apply a roof coating on your existing one to get the same benefits.
Today, many roof coatings exist that can help reduce heat absorption and effectively cool your home. By applying one of these cool roof coatings, you can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s heat away and save on energy costs.
Elastomeric paint contains an elastomeric polymer that allows it to expand and contract along with the material to which it’s applied. Applying two coats of this paint will reduce heat absorption and increase reflectivity resulting in a cool building. This coating can shield your roof against extreme heat in the summer months.
PVC Membrane System
A PVC Membrane System should be applied to the entire roof system. The best PVC Membranes Systems are durable—lasting for up to 15 years—and can effectively withstand all weather conditions. Heat-welded seams prevent water leakage, and the smooth surface prevents wind damage.
Solar Photovoltaic Panels
Solar photovoltaic panels are ultra-thin and work best at reflecting away the sun’s light and heat. When placed over a PVC laminate, solar photovoltaic panels can keep your home cool all summer long. These panels also store energy that you can use later or send back to the power grid.
3. Install EPDM Roofing Membranes
EPDM roofing membrane is an extremely durable synthetic rubber used for roofing purposes worldwide. Also known as rubber roofing, EPDM’s composition makes it highly sturdy for use in harsh weather conditions.
This compound has been shown to withstand UV radiation without cracking or tearing and is always extolled on life-cycle analysis for its low-energy consumption during manufacturing. In roofing, EPDM is particularly effective at heat reduction when coated with titanium oxide, which gives it a lighter color.
The light color reflects light and heat, resulting in cooler homes and buildings. However, the use of EPDM roofing membrane isn’t without its downsides. A recent Arizona University Study found that rooftops with reflective paint contribute to a 4% decline in rainfall.
4. Install a Roof Misting System
If you don’t want to replace your existing roof, consider installing a roof mist system.
A roof misting system allows you to enjoy the benefits of a cool roof without adding any coating or extra surface to the roof system.
These systems have built-in sensors that monitor your roof’s temperature and moisture level. When the roof temperature increases beyond a certain level, the system sprays a small amount of moisture across the roof, allowing the water to cool the roof as it evaporates.
A roof mist system is akin to the way sweating cools our bodies. The same technique can be applied to effectively cool your wooden deck or a stone patio on a hot day.
Even though the roof misting system is better for commercial roofs, it can also be used on residential roofing systems.
5. Improve Ventilation
The best way to keep your home cool in summer is to improve ventilation.
Ridge vents, soffits, wind turbines, and radiant barriers are some of the practical ways to keep your roof and home cool.
A radiant barrier, for example, can lower the temperature of attic spaces by 20 degrees or more, making your home more efficient at cooling and reducing your energy costs.
6. Ventilate and Insulate the Attic
Did you know your attic plays a critical role in determining whether your home will be hot or cool in summer and comfortable in winter?
The attic can also control whether your house will have leaking, condensation, or molds. As such, it’s imperative to keep your attic ventilated and insulated throughout the year, especially if you want to stay cool in the summer months.
Due to its elevated location, it’s easier for the attic to get overheated, raising the temperature of the entire building. There are solutions you could employ to keep the attic temperature in check, such as installing a power vent to improve the cooling process.
You’ll also want to have the right number of intake and exhaust vents. These help to ensure proper airflow and ventilation in the attic.
Proper ventilation and insulation of the attic go beyond effective cooling during summer. The extra airflow also keeps the attic dry, which can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your roof.
7. Use Cool Roofs
A roofing system is deemed cool if it can deliver high reflectance and high thermal emittance
Today, 90% of the roofing systems in the world are dark-colored. When the temperatures are extremely high, the surface of the black roof can increase in temperature as much as 90oF, reaching temperatures of up to 1900F or 880C.
This heat can contribute to:
- Higher utility bills
- Reduced indoor comfort
- Fast deterioration of roofing materials
- More air pollution due to the increase in the “heat island effect.”
In contrast, cool roofs result in increased indoor comfort, low energy bills, reduced air pollution, and improved roof lifespan. Types of cool roof systems to use are vinyl roofs (reflect up to 80%), green roofs, and coated roofs.
Unlike the conventional cool roofs, green roofs require the addition of a vegetation layer rather than color. The vegetation can include anything from a basic plant cover to a garden.
8. Install Solar Panels
Alternatively, you can cover your roof with solar panels.
Solar panels comprise photovoltaic cells and can block the sun from hitting your roof. Instead of the heat rays being absorbed into your house, they are absorbed by the photovoltaic cells and converted into electrical energy.
Whether the building is a flat or an apartment complex, the whole roof can be covered with solar panels, and the energy saved for later use or the energy sent to the power grid. Not only does installing solar panels keep you cool, but it’s also good for the environment.
Benefits of Cool Roofing
A cool roof can benefit its occupants in many ways, including.
- Reducing energy costs by putting less strain on the air conditioner
- Making you eligible for money-saving rebates from government programs
- Improving room comfort by decreasing room temperature in summer
- Increasing the lifespan of your roof through controlled airflow and temperature
- Reduced peak electricity demands which can, in turn, reduce power outages
- Offsetting global warming effects by reflecting light
- Making it possible to downsize HVAC, saving money, and potentially increasing the heating efficiency
Keeping your building cool comes with a ton of benefits.
You get to enjoy more indoor comfort, reduce your energy costs, improve your roof’s lifespan, and save the planet.
Traditionally, you’d have to replace your entire roof to get the benefits of a cool roof. While replacing your entire roof for a cool roof is still an option today, technology has made it easier for anyone to enjoy these benefits without shopping for a new roof.
From applying cool roof coating to installing solar panels and cool roof misting systems, there are many options for those who want to keep their buildings cool.
Whether you want to put a new reflective coating on your roof or ventilate and insulate your attic, Advanced Consulting can help. Our expert roofing professionals will help you with the perfect roof cooling technique your building needs to stay cool in summer.
For commercial properties using products like EPDM, we apply acrylic primer and then silicon with bright white to reflect as much as possible. Contact us today and discover what we can do to keep your building cool in summer.