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ROOFING INSPECTION & REPAIR
AMERICAN CEMWOOD ROOFING
BEST ROOFING PRACTICES
BUILT UP ROOFS
CATHEDRAL CEILING VENTILATION
CERTIFICATIONS for ROOFING CONTRACTORS
CHIMNEY FLASHING Mistakes & Leaks
COLD WEATHER ROOF TROUBLE
DECKS, ROOFTOP CONSTRUCTION
EPDM, RUBBER, PVC ROOFING
EXTRACTIVE BLEEDING on SHINGLES
FIRE RETARDANT PLYWOOD
FLASHING on BUILDINGS
FLASHING, ASPHALT SHINGLE VALLEYS
FLASHING, CHIMNEY Mistakes & Leaks
FLASHING, CLAY TILE ROOFS
FLASHING MEMBRANES PEEL & STICK
FLASHING for METAL ROOFS
FLASHING ROOF WALL DETAILS
FLASHING ROOF-WALL SNAFU
FLASHING SIDING DETAILS
FLASHING WALL DETAILS
FLASHING WINDOW DETAILS
FLASHING WOOD ROOF DETAILS
FLAT ROOF MOISTURE & CONDENSATION
Green House or Solarium Roof Leaks
HEAT TAPES & CABLES on Roofs for Ice Dams
ROOF ICE DAM LEAKS
MASONITE WOODRUF FIBERBOARD ROOFING
NOISE CONTROL for ROOFS
PLASTIC ROOFING TYPES
PVC, EPDM, RUBBER ROOFING
ROOF ARCHITECTURAL STYLES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF CLEANING RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF COLOR RECOMMENDATIONS
ROOF DORMER TYPES - PHOTO GUIDE
ROOF INSPECTION SAFETY & LIMITS
ROOF JOB PROBLEMS, RESOLVING
ROOF LEAK DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
ROOF NOISE TRANSMISSION
ROOF REPLACEMENT SNAFUs
ROOFING FELT UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS
ROOFING MATERIALS, Age, Types
ROOFING TILE SHAPES & PROFILES
ROOFING UNDERLAYMENT BEST PRACTICES
SADDLE CONSTRUCTION at CHIMNEYS
SNOW GUARDS & SNOW BRAKES
STANDARDS for ROOFING
STRESS SKIN INSULATED PANELS
TEST LABS - ROOF SHINGLE
TREES & SHRUBS, TRIM OFF BUILDING
TRUSSES, Floor & Roof
UNDERLAYMENT REQUIREMENTS on ROOFS
VENTILATION in BUILDINGS
WALK-ON ROOF SURFACES
WARRANTIES for ROOF SHINGLES
WORKMANSHIP & ROOF DAMAGE
This article describes the effect of roof color on shingle (or other roofing material) life and the effect of roof color on building cooling load. We provide a table of the effects of various roof colors on building cooling loads and costs.
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The question-and-answer article about the effects of roof color on building temperature and on roof life discussed here quotes-from, updates, and comments an original article from Solar Age Magazine and written by Steven Bliss.
Roof Shingle Color Advice for Northern Climates Compared with Hot High-Sun Climates
What is the best color for a building roof? In Iowa a well-insulated roof has snow on it for most of the winter, so using dark shingles to absorb solar energy won't work.
In the summer a light colored roof will stay cooler.
So in our hot Iowa summers, when we have to air-condition, is it not better to use light-colored roofs, despite the trend toward dark roofs? -- Victor Gibson, Waterloo IA
In the absence of specific research [back in 1985] on the subject, we polled several roofing experts.
They agreed that roof color alone has a minor effect on the overall energy balance of a well-insulated house in your area (Iowa), winter or summer.
The attic insulation level and under-roof ventilation rate are the most important factors. So for a house in your climate, choose whatever color strikes your fancy.
Our photo (left) shows heavy snow-cover on an asphalt shingle roof in Rhinebeck, NY.
Roof Color Suggestion for Hot Climates
Roof color choice also may affect shingle life in those climates.
For instance, an attic under a black-colored roof can be 30 degF. hotter than a white-roof attic in Florida, according to the Florida Solar Energy's Phil Fairey.
Light colors would be in order there.
Roofing Color Effect on Cooling Costs
-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.
Effects on Energy Costs of Highly-Reflective Low-Slope Roofs
The graphic shown here, [published by Oak Ridge National Laboratories at ornl.gov/sci/roofs+walls/roof/coatings.html] illustrates that a fresh-coated roof can reduce the annual cooling energy in a low-slope-roofed building by as much as 43% (uninsulated roof)
And remarkably, notice that the uninsulated but fresh-coated roof performed almost as well as a roof with two-inches of insulation. (Of course, two inches of insulation isn't much.).
The link to the original Q&A article in PDF form immediately below is expanded/updated by the preceding online version of this article.
Also see COOLING LOAD REDUCTION by ROOF VENTS where we describe the effects of various factors together such as roof venting, radiant barriers, and roof color. This website provides un-biased articles about many common roofing materials, installations, inspection, defects, roofing repairs, and products.
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