What is the Most Energy Efficient Roof Color?
efficiency comes in a variety of colors. Lighter colors are usually the first choice. If you have a flat roof, like the Eichler homes in Marin and Sonoma counties, you can use a white roof coating to reflect the sun’s rays and reduce heat absorption. White works for a flat roof because from the curb, the color of your roof can’t be seen.
Earlier this year, we detailed various ideas for eco-friendly roofs that also offer energy efficiency. Choosing a lighter color was one option. As we noted, in a more recent post, the roofing industry is always looking for ways to make improvements in their roofing materials. Duro-Last for flat roofs in a great example.
What if My Roof is Sloped?
If your roof is sloped, not many people would choose white for a roof color. While it is a neutral color, it doesn’t add anything to curb appeal. You may decide composite shingles that contain reflective particles, are a better option. As technology improves, the processes used to create new materials are even allowing darker shades, like gray to be combined with highly reflective particles to ensure a cooler roof, even though the shingles themselves are not considered light in color.
How do Building Codes Impact Roof Material Choices?
Building codes do play a role in the type of materials you may choose. In California, Title 24 created standards for building energy efficiency. These standards were designed to make sure that new and even existing buildings reach energy and efficiency that preserves outdoor and indoor environmental quality. New construction must meet these standards.
Solar may not be a term you think of when you think roofing shingles, but technological advances make new options possible. Solar reflection shingles are defined as having surfaces that mainly reflect infrared radiation, much more than normal roof covering does. By reflecting these light rays, it prevents the roof from transferring heat to the interior of your home. By extension, this means your home stays cooler and cuts down on your energy bills, which is also better for the environment.
An added benefit may be the longevity of these coverings. By reflecting the most damaging solar rays, the materials do not suffer from the same heat intensity. Seasonal high temperatures bearing down on roof surfaces from the sun can be very damaging. Deflecting those rays has the capacity to cool your home and extend the life of your roof.
Green is another roof covering color to increase energy efficiency, as in an eco-friendly, living roof. This concept is gaining credibility and acceptance, even in big cities like New York, prodding planning departments to update their building codes.