Today roofing systems are taking a swing towards going green. Instead of painting the town red, roofers are painting the town white, or at least the roofs. This is not only beneficial to the environment, but also it can make a big difference towards people’s pocket books. It is a trend that we want to support and encourage.
There has been an article that quotes Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, saying, “There’s a friend of mine, a colleague of mine, Art Rosenfeld, who’s pushing very hard for a geo-engineering we all believe will be completely benign, and that’s when you have a flat-top roof building, make it white. “Now, you smile, but he’s done a calculation, and if you take all the buildings and make their roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of color rather than a black type of color, and you do this uniformly . . . it’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years.” Eleven years! A NASA/Columbia study shows that New York rooftops are 40 degrees cooler when painted white. This is significant data for rural areas experiencing the heat island effect. Duro-Last is one company that has a highly reflective roofing systems.
The EPA website describes “‘heat island’ as built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.”
Another way, besides white roofs, that roofers can assist bigger cities with this economic situation is to encourage owners of buildings to create a “green roof” or a rooftop garden. It is said that on a hot summer day, a green roof’s surface temperature can be cooler than the temperature of the air. Roofers are well aware that this is not the case with other roof surface temperatures. These roofs absorb heat and act as insulators which reduces the energy needed for cooling and heating. This could be one of the most substantial sales points since it will benefit the place in the long run. Furthermore, some have gone the extra mile and their roofs are a very aesthetic and can allow employees to have a little place to go for respite during a hard workday. This could also improve quality of work within the workplace.
And yet another option that can be made available to customers are cool roofs that come in a few different colors. A cool roof helps reflect the sunlight and heat away from the building which can help reduce roofing temperatures making them up to 50-60 degrees cooler thank conventional roofing materials during the peak summer days. Roofers can utilize ENERGY STAR roofing materials to create cool roofs around our nation. The EPA says, “A California study found that cool roofs provide an average yearly net savings of almost 50 cents per square foot. This number includes the price premium for cool roofing products and increased heating costs in the winter as well as summertime energy savings, savings from downsizing cooling equipment, and reduced labor and material costs over time due to the longer life of cool roofs compared with conventional roof.
So, there you have it. White roofs, cool roofs, garden roofs, or maybe even cool looking garden roofs with white pathways. Whichever way, we ask that you consider going green…or was it white?!