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How to Keep Your Roof Cool This Summer

When looking to get a new roof for your home, we tend to only think about the reason we’re getting it in the first place. If you’re looking to add curb appeal, repair damage causing leaks inside, or even problems with critters or rodents, those reasons are good enough to not think about how else you could benefit. It isn’t surprising then that most homeowners looking to purchase a new roof tend to ignore how their roof will stand up in the hot summer weather; simply because when has sunshine ever been a problem?

In summer, especially during those hot sticky months, we tend to underestimate how a good roof can actually cool off your home.  We might think about central air, windows and all the things inside to keep us cool, but in my years as a contractor, people always seem to forget the roof; where the sun hits the hottest.

Have you thought about updating your roof for the summer months?

Why Do it?

As mentioned, a roof made of materials that cool off your home will decrease the temperature inside. But not only does that mean a cooler inside, it means a longer lifespan on the shingles and your roof. Think about that hot sun beating down on your house. Now, think of how heat, partnered with rain, snow and hail throughout the year can start to take its toll. Anything you can do to keep the extremities of weather minimal is going to mean a happier roof and home. Keeping the shingles cool just means less strain, and less strain is good; in all aspects of life!

Don’t forget, if your home is being cooled down by the right roof, shingles or coating, that’s going to help with any home heating and cooling costs that tend to accumulate. Not only are you staying cooler, but you’re saving money, as well.

How to Do it?

It’s not a difficult solution, but it is one you should get done by the right person. The key is in the colour and coating. If you don’t want to replace your roof, and it’s in pretty good shape, we recommend a coat to seal what’s already installed. These coats tend to be mixed with materials that reflect the sun off the roof, and out of your home.

Also, much like a white finish can diminish the hotness of a car interior, or how wearing white can make a sweltering day a little more tolerable than if you were to wear darker colours or garments, the colour of your roof can make a difference. Choosing a lighter-coloured shingle for when you replace your roof not only makes your house stand out from the rest of the block, but it’s guaranteed to make your roof cooler.

For other types of ways your roof can cool off your home, think about shingles done in asphalt. Asphalt shingles can be coated with specks (or granules) that bounce back the rays of the sun, soaking up the beams so your home has a chance to cool down. While a white roof may seem a bit dramatic, even for adventure seekers, just think that in the US, lighter roofs have calculated to about $1 billion annually for the country in energy savings.

roof reflecting sun

Image Source: qualityroofsolutions.com.au

For Some Atypical Solutions…

I’m always impressed by the many advancements or methods we see to try and minimize energy costs. For one article published on the University of Technology in Sydney, a specific type of roofing material made of plastic and a thin layer of silver could be the future of smart roofing. The material is so incredible, that the roof doesn’t even heat up when exposed directly to the hot sun; only absorbing 3% of the sunlight that hits it!

For less plastic and more green alternatives — literally — join the many who are using plants, flowers and herbs as roofing alternative that soak up the UV rays. While a rooftop garden may be tricky for a traditional free-standing home, it’s an idea with results. Major cities like Chicago’s and their City Hall building have seen their roof temperature fall by 30° C and their energy bill fall close to 10%. Plus, for those desiring more space for their garden, things are looking up. Literally. A rooftop garden means more yard space, and more places for your petunias. All they need is a way to water them…

how a white roof can have an impact on the temperature of a home

Image Source: heatisland.lbl.gov

If You Want to Do it On Your Own

If you want to do this on your own home, and without a contractor, there are some coating products available at your local hardware store. Just be weary of products that may lack the correct materials or ingredients to be effective. Of course, I’d recommend a roofing contractor or professional to look into this for you. Just keep in mind 3 things:

How long will the job take: While this will only create value for your home, and you’ll see the benefit for years to come, summer can be a very busy time. Make sure you ask your roofing contractor how long until the job is done, and make sure it doesn’t affect your vacation, or possible time away. You want to enjoy your summer as much as possible.

Materials, longevity and appearance: When choosing a coat, or new shingles, ask all the questions. Will the coating dry a certain way? What shingle types are available? What is the typical lifespan of this style and material? Can we choose from different  colour options? Darker options with the same energy benefits? It’s always good to be informed when making important decisions such as this.

Cost: And of course, with summer also being a month that can have many expenses, ensure you discuss budget with your contractor. With savings in energy costs, a cooler inside and a happier family, it’s an investment that will come back to you, but no unpleasant surprises near the dollar total is much more satisfying.

Check out this video for other ways to help keep your house cool this summer:

We’d love to know any questions you might have. As the summer saunters on, and the temperature rises, the time is now to think about how you can bring the temperature down, all the while keeping your wallet full.  Please contact D’Angelo and Sons if you have any questions. We’re happy to help!