How Metal Roofs Can Keep Homes Comfortable In Extreme Heat
Theres a misconception that metals conductivity makes it a bad roofing choice. Properly installed and ventilated metal roofs can save you up to 25% on cooling costs in the summer depending on your homes construction.
Here are properties of metal roofs that make them an excellent material option in any climate.
It Will Help Keep Heat Out Of The Attic
A properly ventilated metal roof will keep hot air circulating out of the attic. Its also beneficial in the winter to help vent attic moisture out of your home so it doesnt settle in the attic space. This roofing option is great for areas that experience extremely hot weather. Choose products with integral airspace between the back of the metal panel and deck, and underlayment. This will block any potential heat transference from the metal to the underlying materials.
Will A Metal Roof Make My House Hotter
We received an inquiry the other day with a question in the comments form that essentially asked whether a metal roof “catches” more heat than a non-metal roof, making the home underneath warmer.
The answer involves two separate considerations: the roof covering material and the construction of the roof assembly.
When you ask the question about the heat absorbancy of metal, there are a number of variables to consider:
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Metal Roofing Is Impervious To Fire Rot And Insect Damage
One of the principal reasons metal roofing has exploded in popularity is that it is virtually fireproof. With the dangers of wildfire on the rise, metal roofing has become the roofing material of choice in many parts of the country. And not only that:
- Insects such as termites can never eat metal roofing.
- Metal roofing is impervious to rot and mildew.
- Since it conducts heat quickly from the sun, snow slides off more quickly than with conventional roofing.
Sun Exposure And Mass
The more direct sunlight a roof gets, the hotter it will become. As the sun goes down, your roof begins to cool until it reaches the same temperature as the air around it. However, heavier materials with more mass take longer to do so.
Lightweight materials lose heat the fastest, preventing that heat from transferring into your home. Luckily, metal roofing products are lighter than many other roofing material options.
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E Useful Life Of Cool Metal Roofing
Metal roofing has a very long history, with roofs dating back to the 1800s still in service. The durability of cool metal roofing provides property owners with a very low “per year” cost option in roofing. Metal roofing products being manufactured today carry manufacturers’ warranties lasting from 20 to 50 years. However, most products have been designed so that they can be refurbished on site for additional life once their original finish reaches its useful life. Metal roofing materials are 100% recyclable in the event that they are ever removed.
The high-quality, oven-cured paint systems used on pre-painted cool metal roofing are formulated to resist chalking and fading of their colors. In addition, these paint systems shed dirt and do not support the growth of algae or fungal matter.
Get More Information About Metal Roofs
Metal roofing is an excellent option for homeowners looking to improve the energy efficiency of their home. For more information about metal roofing, reach out to the experts at Long Roofing. Our qualified metal roofers have experience installing, inspecting and repairing a variety of types of metal roofs. If youre interested in scheduling a roofing inspection, call 866-270-7058 or visit us online today!
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Cooler Indoor Temperatures During The Summer
Metal roofing not only keeps your home warm during winter, but it also keeps your home cool during hot summers. Many manufacturers are now treating their metal roofs with a special paint that reflects the suns rays, called Cool Roofs. Typically, traditional roof temperatures can rise to as much as 150°F during the summer. But cool roofs are up to 50°F cooler, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. A home with a cool metal roof will stay cooler and the air conditioning will run less often. This translates into less wear and tear on the A/C and lower utility bills. Plus, spaces that are typically not air conditioned like the attic and garage, for example, will also stay cooler in the summer.
Why Do Metal Roofs Save Energy
As the demand for energy-saving building materials increases, metal roofs are installed more often. A study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory shows why metal roofs promote energy conservation in the home. The answer has to do partially with how the roof is installed.
In the study, the metal roofing was attached with a batten/counter-batten system that allows airflow underneath. Researches found a 45% decrease in the flow of heat with the metal roof, mostly attributable to the ventilation above the sheathing. Researchers also found up to 25% reduction in cooling costs.
When the roof is nailed directly to the roof deck, there is no air space below. This causes greater heat loss from the attic in the winter. Having an air gap acts almost like insulation, preventing heat transfer out of the home. Likewise, in the summer, an air gap prevents the heat of the sun from warming up the attic and the rest of the home.
Metal roofs can have solar reflective coatings applied, which reflect the suns radiation and are helpful in warmer climates. In contrast, asphalt shingles store and retain more heat in the summer.
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Advantages Of Metal Roofs
Metal roofs offer many benefits, including:
- Longevity. Metal roofs can last 40-70 years, depending on the material. Traditional asphalt roofing materials have an estimated life expectancy of roughly 12-20 years.
- Durability. If installed correctly, some metal roofs can sustain wind gusts up to 140 miles per hour, will not corrode or crack and may be impact-resistant . In addition, metal roofs don’t need the periodic costly maintenance that other roofing materials often require. However, they should be inspected periodically to make sure no repairs are required.
- Safety. Metal roofs will not spark and ignite into flames during a wildfire or lightning strike.
- Energy efficiency. Metal roofs reflect the suns UV and infrared light rays that contribute to roof surface radiant heat, which can result in a 10-25% reduction in cooling costs.
- Environmentally friendly. Metal roofs not only have 25-95% recycled content, depending on the material used, but are also 100% recyclable at the end of their life as a roof. In contrast, most shingle tear-off waste ends up as part of the building-related waste stream up to 20 billion pounds per year.
Is A Metal Roof Energy Efficient
While both asphalt and metal roofing do an excellent job when it comes to keeping your home protected from the elements, metal roofing outshines asphalt shingles in areas of energy efficiency and material durability.
If youre considering upgrading to a metal roof but are hesitant about the upfront investment, you might be surprised at how much you can save in the long run.
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Ways To Cool Your Roof
On a hot, sunny day, the temperature on the surface of a traditional black roof can be more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the surrounding air temperature . When you imagine that sweltering rooftop next to another, and another, and another, it’s no surprise that the air in a large city with block after block of dark, heat absorbing rooftops can often be 6 to 8 Fahrenheit degrees hotter than surrounding areas .
Even in rural and suburban neighborhoods, the heat absorbed by a traditional roof on a sunny day raises temperatures inside the house, contributing to higher air conditioning requirements, higher energy costs, and more discomfort on hot days for anyone without air conditioning. Fortunately, the remedy for all this extra heat is relatively low-tech, low-cost, and increasingly easy to find: it’s called a cool roof.
Ready to save money, conserve energy, and cool the planet by turning your old, hot roof into a cool roof? Read on to discover 10 ways to cool your roof!
Metal Roofing Can Work On Roofs With Low Slopes
It’s often believed that metal roofing is suitable only for roofs with a steep slope, but standing-seam metal roofing can work fine on gently pitched roofs. This type of roofing is installed in large sheets with seams that are raised and sealed tightly together to resist water. While some slope is necessary to ensure water run-off, most homes can accept metal roofing.
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Metal Roofs Are Reflective
Although metal can get hot in the sun, its also very reflective. This means that instead of absorbing light and heat from the sun, its reflecting them away instead. The metal on your roof might be hot to the touch, but the home underneath will actually be cooler because less of the heat is making its way into your home.
How Does Your Roof Affect Energy Costs
High energy expenses come from a variety of places in your home: drafty doors, loose windows, improperly insulated basements, and a roof thats outdated and in dire need of replacement. As your roof ages, it breaks down and becomes less effective at its job in a number of ways. Temperatures and humidity levels from the outdoors begin to seep in and affect your homes internal environment.
As a homeowner considering a new roof, its important to take into consideration what makes a roof energy efficient. After all, a replacement roof is bound to save some energy, but the amount you save may not be worth the price of a roof replacement.
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Green Or Living Roofs
A rooftop covered in moss and plants sounds like something straight out of The Hobbit, but oddly enough, it has a lot of practical value beyond its charm. Green roofs, which literally consist of plant life suspended over a waterproof membrane, have the benefit of both reducing heat loss and heat absorption, making them a suitable choice for both hot and cold climates. Additionally, they reduce what the scientific community refers to as the heat island effect: the temperature increase in urban areas resulting from the sun baking on asphalt and metal surfaces.
Likewise, they add necessary oxygen back into the environment, which makes them a vital asset for populated, congested areas. While certainly not the most popular roofing material, the idea is gaining ground among environmentally minded homeowners in hot-weather cities, so dont be surprised if one day you see neighbors out weeding their roofs. When it comes to protecting your home and keeping it cool, any material is fair game!
All images via Modernize unless otherwise stated
Save Money On Air Conditioning With Metal Roofing
Metal is one of the most energy efficient materials, when it comes to roof covering. It provides insulation during the winter but allow to lower demand for air conditioning during hot months as well. In parts of the country, where hot summers are a given, this may mean substantial savings on energy bills, while keeping your house comfortably cool. The secret lays not only in metal roofing inherent qualities but also in type of finish applied. Cool metal roofs rely on highly reflective and highly emissive coatings, which reflect or emit back most of the solar radiation and lower the temperature of the roof surface.
Its easy to see now, why metal roofing not only improves thermal comfort in the houses without additional cooling systems but also decreases electric energy consumption in the residential buildings, where there is air conditioning at work. Choice of this type of covering often comes with another financial incentive. However, it doesnt translate into the lower utility bills homeowners investing in approved metal roofing are rewarded with cool roof tax credit. Its a win-win situation. You get comfortable home environment no matter the weather outside and at the same time save money. Thats one of the many reasons for metal roof high ROI.
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How Metal Roofs Protect Against Extreme Weather
Many homeowners are considering moving from a traditional roof to metal and for good reason. Both reliable and strong, metal roofs give your home the best protection against extreme weather conditions, including 140-mile-an-hour hurricane-force winds, hail storms, heavy rain, and wildfires.
Metal roofs are nearly impenetrable to moisture, making them an ideal choice in areas that suffer heavy rainfall and downpours. Plus, they are low maintenance and have a Class A rating for fire resistance.
Metal roofs are a great value, because they last 50-plus years, more than two to three times longer than other materials. This will save you money with reduced replacement and repair cost.
And they are more sustainable. Many metal roofs are made from recycled materials and can be completely recycled at the end of their long life rather than ending up in the landfill.
In the summer months, a metal roof also helps save energy. Called cool roofs, metal roofs reflect more solar radiation than asphalt, which typically absorbs and holds heat. They also re-emit most of what solar radiation is absorbed, which helps reduce energy costs.
Which Metal Roof Colors Are The Coolest
Lighter colors tend to be more reflective and are typically the right choice when it comes to picking an energy efficient color for your metal roof. Colors such as pale blue, light green, white, beige and lighter bronze are especially good options if you live in a region that has lots of direct sunlight and a hotter year-round climate.
Additionally, the EPA has an entire list of Energy Star-certified roofing products and information available at
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Select The Perfect Shingle
For the steep-sloped roofs found on most U.S. homes, standard fiberglass asphalt shingles can be replaced with cool asphalt shingles containing specially coated reflective granules to help them better reflect sunlight. Shingles made from wood, polymer, and metal can also be coated to improve their solar reflectance .
Shingles are generally not as reflective as any of the cool roof options available for low-sloping roofs, but their familiar appearance and traditional style make them a popular choice for residential construction. A cool shingle with white granules costs about the same as one with the old, standard dark asphalt granules, while a shingle with its specially coated granules colored to match the desired color of the roof can cost from about 35 to75 cents more per square foot .
Are Metal Roofs Hotter Than Shingles
No, metal roofs are not hotter than dark shingle roofs made from asphalt or other standard materials such as slate, for example.
That said, metal roofs, just like any other roofing material, will heat up in direct sunlight. But due to the reflective nature of metal, especially in lighter colors, any heat absorption is much more quickly dissipated than in asphalt, slate or ceramic shingles all of which retain heat over a longer span of time.
Additionally, most metal roofs are treated with Energy Star finishes which, when coupled with paler colors, can result in surface temperatures up to 50 degrees cooler than shingles.
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Finding Cool Roofing Products
Cool roof qualifications, such as minimum values of solar reflectance and thermal emittance, vary by standard or program, location, building type, and roof slope. Therefore, there is no single definition of a cool roof. However, the Rated Products Directory of the Cool Roof Rating Council reports the solar reflectance and thermal emittance of thousands of roofing products.
What Other Factors Should I Consider To Keep My House Cool
How hot your home gets from heat hitting your roof has a lot more to do with factors besides just color, finish and material. If your metal roof sits directly over a non temperature controlled room such as an attic, then insulation and ventilation will be an extra important step to ensure that heat is not gathering in a contained space.
Another benefit of proper insulation is that it will prevent your metal roof from becoming too noisy during heavy rain, hail or other inclement weather.
Lower cooling costs are just one of the benefits of choosing to invest in a quality metal roof over shingles and other older material. Head over to our FAQs page for additional questions related to metal roofing or comment below for answers from our team. We will also use your questions and requests for future posts.
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Solar Reflectance: Definition & Uses
Solar reflectance is the ability of a material to reflect solar energy from its surface back into the atmosphere. Solar reflectance is measured in decimals on a scale from 0 to 1, where 0 would be considered the truest black and 1 would be considered the truest white.
For a roof system to be considered to be ENERGY STAR® compliant, which is a common requirement for most buildings and structures, there are specific solar reflectance ratings that the metal coil must fall into. Side note: As it applies to designing a metal roof, measuring the solar reflectance is divided up into two categories: Low-slope roofing and steep-slope roofing applications.
ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements for Roof Products:
|Solar Reflectance After 3 Years|
|Low Slope Roofing||Greater than or equal to 0.65||Greater than or equal to 0.50|
|Steep Slope Roofing||Greater than or equal to 0.25||Greater than or equal to 0.15|