Energy-efficient roofing reflects the sun's energy and releases it into the surrounding environment, keeping a home cool during the day. The roofing reduces a home's reliance on air conditioning, which reduces annual cooling costs. When you're replacing an old roof, it's essential to make the new structure more efficient. Below are four effective measures to improve the energy efficiency of your new roof.
Ditch Traditional Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing materials in residential homes due to their low cost and ease of installation. Most older homes use asphalt shingles as the preferred roofing material. Unfortunately, despite its popularity, this material isn't energy efficient. On their own, asphalt shingles absorb a substantial amount of heat during the day. They can make your attic and upper rooms warmer, which calls for heavy reliance on air conditioning.
The first step to achieving an efficient roof is choosing energy-efficient materials. Some of the best options on the market are metal and tile. Although metal roofs get hot during the day, they have a highly reflective surface that redirects heat away from the house. Metal roofing is affordable and easy to install, making it a great choice for most residential homes.
Tile roofing materials such as clay, slate, and concrete can be treated with reflective coatings to improve their energy efficiency. Modern asphalt shingles come with granules that reduce heat absorption and enhance the material's energy efficiency. The only downside is that these asphalt shingles are slightly more expensive than traditional ones.
Go for Cool Roof Coatings
Cool roof coatings are special paints that are applied to the surface of a roof to improve its reflective properties. Besides reflecting solar energy, cool roofs also protect the roof's surface from destructive UV rays. Some coatings come with additional capabilities, such as water protection. Applying these protective coatings can enhance a roof's performance and increase its lifespan.
Some cool roofing products qualify for roofing rebates. However, for this to happen, the products should meet Energy Star efficiency requirements. These products not only have a high solar reflectance, but they can also endure the reflectance over a long period. Therefore, you don't have to worry about regularly re-coating your roof to maintain its efficiency rate.
Insulate Your Roof
Roof insulation acts as a protective barrier between the roof's surface and deck. It limits heat transfer between the roof and upper rooms, reducing the energy required to cool or heat the home. When paired with a cool roof, insulation can significantly lower your energy costs throughout the year. However, to achieve this, you need quality insulating materials for the structure.
The effectiveness of insulation is measured through its thermal resistance value or R-value. The higher the R-value, the better the material is. The best R-value depends on factors such as the climate of your area. However, typical recommendations for roofs and attics are R-38 and higher. When choosing insulation, opt for quality, stay-in-place materials with a high tolerance to temperature changes and moisture.
Invest in Adequate Ventilation
A roof replacement project presents the opportunity of redesigning the structure's ventilation system. Inadequate ventilation allows moisture to get trapped within the roof deck and attic. Over time, the humidity degrades the roof decking and makes it saggy. A compromised deck leaves the roof susceptible to damage. Any equipment installed on the roof may exert pressure on the already-weakened deck and cause further damage.
Inadequate roof ventilation can put pressure on your HVAC system. Thus, before installing the new roof, rethink the existing ventilation. You need at least one square foot of ventilation for every 300 square feet of attic space. A roofing contractor can help you calculate the required ventilation depending on your attic's square footage.
As you plan your roof replacement project, pay attention to the above steps, as they can help increase your roof's energy efficiency. Increased efficiency translates into better performance and lower repair costs. Contact a residential roofing contractor for professional roofing replacement services.