The more urban areas that develop, the more changes that take place in our landscape. As areas that were once open land, trees or plants are now replaced with houses, large buildings and roads, surfaces that were at one time absorptive and damp are now dry and barren.
Although it may be hard to fathom, over time these changes can actually cause urban areas to become much warmer than their natural surroundings creating what is known as a “heat island” or isolated temperature in the environment.
These heat islands can take place on the surface and in the atmosphere and are a direct result from reduced vegetation replaced with increased black or dark-colored pavement and roofing. On a hot sunny day, the sunlight can actually heat dry dark roofing surfaces causing temperatures to skyrocket fifty to ninety degrees hotter than the actual air itself.
So why is this so significant?
Because it takes enormous amounts of energy and electricity to cool these spaces which result in hundreds to thousands of dollars each year in air conditioning costs along with a higher amount of air pollution and increased production of ozone. And it keeps getting worse…Today, with increased development of buildings and facilities, roof areas make up more than forty percent of spaces that were once open or forested. These increased developments cause elevated temperatures which can affect an entire community’s environment and quality of life.
So what can we do to help?
Studies show that if urban areas were to install a roof system known as “cool roofs” we could save critical amounts of energy which would cut cooling costs and greatly improve the air quality.
What is a Cool Roof?
A cool roof is a roofing system that is made up of materials that are highly reflective of the sun’s heat. They also have a high emittance level. Emittance is how much of the sun’s energy is “emitted” into the atmosphere which as a result keeps surfaces cooler. Since cool roofs have such a high solar reflective value, sixty-five percent of the sun’s total energy can be reflected back into the atmosphere. In other words, a cool roof transfers less heating to the actual facility it covers so that the building stays cooler and uses less energy for air conditioning. By lowering air conditioning usage, cool roofs decrease air pollution helping to prevent health-related illnesses and death.
Since cool roofs result in less energy usage, they increase energy savings which can be extremely advantageous- especially in an area where electricity prices can be rather high.
By installing a cool roof, you save energy and save money. So what do you have to lose?
For more information or to receive your free estimate on a cool roof contact JRS today!