Just as our light-colored clothes help keep us cool by reflecting heat and sunlight, the newest trend in roofing keeps homes comfortable using the same principle.
T-24 roofing systems, better known as “cool-roofs,” are a hot trend for homeowners here. These house toppers come in white and light hues that keep their cool much more effectively than their darker counterparts.
With this type of roofing system, a homeowner can cut maintenance costs, increase the life of the roof, and save on energy expenditures because less heat is allowed in, reducing the need for air conditioning.
According to the California Energy Commission, cool-roofs help minimize the “urban heat island effect,” which is making cities hotter and producing more smog.
In 2005, cool-roofs became part of California’s energy code, called the “Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards,” hence the name T-24 roofs. Since then, roofing-material manufacturers have developed a wide array of popular colors—in addition to plain white—that effectively reflect the sun’s blazing energy.
“Often there are tax incentives for installing a cool-roof,” says Jack Bohm, local roofer and president of Jack The Roofer Inc. Designer tiles that weigh half as much as standard tiles are also available. “It’s like removing a car from your roof,” says Bohm. In earthquake country, this weight-saving is important.
Cool-roofs, which are highly reflective, can reduce surface temperature by up to 100 degrees, which in turn keeps attics and ducts cooler.
More good news: The initial cost for a cool-roof is comparable to the cost of a traditional roof and, in some cases, less expensive. Over the long haul, maintenance savings combined with an average 20 percent savings on air conditioning costs makes cool-roofing a great bargain.
People often devote a great deal of time, energy and resources to decorating, renovating or updating the inside of their homes, but many forget to pay heed to what hangs overhead. Regardless of the type of roof they choose, Bohm reminds homeowners to protect their investment.
The simplest solution is to have your roof inspected annually. Yearly inspections will uncover problems that may be brewing overhead before they become obvious. Once water is spotted on a ceiling or wall, the homeowner is already in for costly repairs or even removal and replacement of the roof.
“Drywall and mold are best friends,” he says, so any roof leak can lead to devastating results. That wet spot on the ceiling will appear only after the attic insulation, untreated lumber and drywall have become saturated with moisture. And although the process might take years to become visible below, it takes just 24 hours for deadly mold to creep into these wet materials.
“It’s like never having the oil checked on a car,” Bohm says. By the time what he calls the “idiot lights” come on, it usually means the vehicle is in trouble. So homeowners would be wise to stay on top of their roofs, figuratively speaking, by getting annual inspections by reputable roofing experts.