Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cool Roofs are Affordable and Long-Lasting

The initial cost of a cool roof varies with the type of product specified. For a membrane that is naturally light-colored such as TPO or PVC, there would be no additional cost. But if a membrane is added to make a dark-colored roof reflective, the cost would be higher because it would need to be coated with a reflective roof coating like the ones from Conklin. You may also be eligible to take advantage of one of the rebate or incentive programs that are in place in some areas to encourage the use of cool roofs.

There is a lot of support from utility companies for the increased use of cool roofs, because they are an effective way to decrease peak demand. Offering incentives is a lot cheaper for the utility companies than building a new plant to accommodate everyone’s peak usage.

Emerging evidence points to the possibility that cool roofs actually last longer than standard roofs. Because a cool roof doesn’t heat up as much, it doesn’t go through as much expansion and contraction, which means less wear and tear. RoofPal has data to support the existance of thermal shock, which is caused by rapid and ranging temperatures of the roof surface. Cool roofs do not experience nearly as much thermal shock, which could lead to a 20 percent longer roof life - another savings benefit.

If a roof is well insulated, the effect of a cool roof on energy consumption is reduced because heat from the roof does not penetrate the facility as easily. Insulation does not affect thermal shock or roof life though. There is a “winter penalty” that results when a cool roof reflects solar heat that could reduce heating costs by warming a home or building during winter months, but experts say this penalty is small — perhaps a difference of only about 5 percent.

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