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Roofs – What is the Science?

by in Home Maintenance
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Roofs – What is the Science?

How much do you really know about your roof? Hopefully, these points will give you the information you need the next time you are shopping for one.


If you have been on a roof in the summer, you know there is a mass of heat coming from the surface.  On a hot summer day, the rooftop temperature on a black roof could climb to nearly 90 degrees (194F). Warmer temperatures shorten your roof’s lifespan and hike temperatures inside the building.


Cool roofs use materials that reflect solar energy and reduce the transfer of heat to interior spaces.  As a result, the roof stays cooler and so does the house.  This means the A/C does not have to work as hard and the electric bill is lower.


Two characteristics determine the coolness of a roof.  One is the solar reflection that I mentioned above.  The other is called “thermal emittance”. It is the percentage of energy a material can radiate.


In residential buildings, cool materials include clay tiles, metal and composite shingles.  The cost is about 20 cents more per square foot.  The other option is to install light coloured shingles.  Of course the idea of vegetation on the roof is the “green” solution, but that works best in the urban setting with apartments and flat roofs and is not usually an option for the traditional family home.


Check out the rated lifespan of any roof you install. Pick the longest you can afford. 25 year roofs don’t last 25 years. Your best bet is to speak with a professional roofing company to choose the most efficient and durable roof for your climate and style of home. At all times avoid anyone that knocks at your front door with a roofing deal. The majority of the time door-to-door roofing companies do not use quality materials and often they are not insured.


Contributed By: Jim McLachlin





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