White roofs, also called cool roofs, are not only good for the environment but they can also help you save some money. So, next time when your roof needs a new layer of paint, think about all the benefits that a white roof will bring you.
How does a white roof work?
The light from the sun hits the rooftops, but if your roof is dark, the light will instantly convert to heat, which causes both internal and external temperature of your home to rise. However, if your roof is white, the light reflects back up to 85% and doesn't heat up your home in contrast to a black roof, where only 20% of the sunlight will be reflected. Roofs like these are common in Greece, where steamy climate demanded a clever solution for long, sunny days.
1. Saving up on the electricity bill
A black roof can cause the temperature to rise almost double when compared to the temperature of the outside air, while a white roof will cause the temperature only to rise very slightly in comparison to the temperature outside. That means you will turn on the air conditioner much less frequent than you used to, which could save up to 30% on your electricity bill.
Some critics say that in colder climates white roofs will do more damage than good but the research has shown that, during winter, dark roof benefits are minor due to short days and cloudy sky. In other words, savings that you would make during winter thanks to a dark roof are lower than savings you will make with a white roof in the summertime.
2. Reducing smog
It's also important to note that white roofs can add to overall lower temperatures in big cities, not allowing the heat to stay trapped. The heat that builds up in cities leads to smog, making it difficult to breathe.
3. Keeping the rain cool
The rain that falls on dark rooftops cools down the roof, but it becomes warmer, going into the sewers and waterways like rivers and lakes, which is very bad for the fish living there as they are used to colder water. Not only that – raised temperature in rivers and lakes can have negative effect on reproduction of living beings in them and create “dead zones” where life isn’t supported. Ultimately, it affects people too.
How to switch to a white roof?
Another big advantage of a white roof is that its installation is really cost-effective and pretty simple to perform. If you have decided to get new roofing, go from the very beginning - choose white material all the way. It doesn't cost any more than dark roofing.
Still, if you are not completely for a white roof, you can use white roof coating that will still contribute to cooling your home. It will also cut your energy bills but also extend your roof's life.
The type of paint you choose will also affect the overall success and increase the level of economizing. Many companies like Rooflines take strong sun into consideration when choosing the right paint - it needs to be resistant to UV light, and it needs to be able to reflect the light and slow down the color-fading process.
It's also important to mention that you may have one more way to save some money here - check with your local bylaws and building suppliers if you have the right to get tax breaks on this type of roof. Sometimes the law stimulates building an energy-efficient home, which means you could spend much less on the material than you expected.
This type of roof is gaining momentum in many countries. If you have been considering changing your roof, maybe this is the direction to go.