What Is a Cool Roof?

What Is a Cool Roof?

At Paradigm Roofing, we’ve been in the roofing business in Texas for over 30 years, and we know that there are a variety of options available for your roofing project. The type and style of a roof depend on the design of the building, the project scope, the budget, and the timeline. Whether you’re diving into a new build, a renovation, or even a repair will affect these decisions as well.

Like with any industry, roofing materials and product options are constantly updating and improving to maximize energy efficiency in the building or home and to minimize the environmental impact. Some of the most energy-efficient roofing types are under the category of a “cool” roof, and we’re going to take some time to focus on this environmentally conscious technology.

What’s Cool About It?

Texas is hot.

In a state where the summer temperatures can exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the Mercury is typically above 70 degrees from April through November, residents and business owners in the Lone Star State understand the importance of keeping a home and building cool. Cool roofs are designed to do just that. They include an outermost layer that reflects more sunlight when compared to other roofing materials, thus absorbing less solar energy. This means residential houses and commercial buildings with cool roofs stay cooler, just like the name says.

A cooler building means less air-conditioning is needed to make the space comfortable. Less air-conditioning means less money spent on electricity. So what’s also super cool is that home and business owners with cool roofs should expect to see savings on their utility bills and might even be eligible for tax credits. Using less electricity makes cool roofs a greener option, and they have a lesser effect on the greater electrical grid in an area too (which can help in preventing power outages, which we know we’d all like to avoid).

Note: Even if you’re reading this article in a state other than Texas, keeping a building cooler is relevant for air-conditioning use across the United States, and these cool roofs are available to manufacturers and contractors around the country.

Types of Cool Roofs

There is not just one type of cool roof. Cool roofs are any roof that is made of a material that is specifically designed to reflect heat and thus be more energy-efficient compared to other roofing materials. Because of the variety of options, it’s important to discuss with a roofing manufacturer or contractor which materials are available and appropriate for your home or building’s roof structure and design (e.g., sloped roof vs. flat roof), as well as your budget and priorities.

For example, traditional roof shingle manufacturers have now designed cool roof asphalt shingles for residential sloped roofs. Another cool example for sloped roofs is metal roofing sheets. For commercial roofs, cool asphalt shingles and metal sheets are both options, but many businesses have flat roofs. For these buildings, membrane-style material options like TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) and PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) have extremely reflective surfaces.

Many cool roofs like TPO and PVC commercial roofs, for example, are white in color for maximum reflective properties and are produced by many manufacturers. However, cool roof materials can also come in many different colors to match your architectural and design aesthetics.

Other Benefits

If you’re not already convinced about how cool these cool roof options are, we have a few other highlights:

Less air-conditioning needed means that older or undersized units might not need to be replaced as quickly (thus saving money)

  • Indoor spaces without air-conditioning will not be as stifling (such as garages and attics)
  • Because cool roofs are meant to reflect sunlight, this decreases the overall temperature of the roof itself, which decreases the stress put on the actual roof materials (and might even extend a roofs lifespan or need for service/repairs)
  • In a commercial complex with buildings that have cool roofs, a phenomenon called the “urban heat island effect” is less likely to occur and thus impact the overall outdoor temperature
  • In addition to tax credits, there are additional financing programs and clean energy grants available for green housing and business options
  • Cool roofs are considered an investment and upgrade that can increase the resale value of a house or business (it’s also a great way to renovate an older home or building to increase the market value)
  • Cool roofs are cost comparable, and the additional potential for utility savings is an added bonus (and might even allow for more money to be budgeted for the cool roof installation)

Let Us Help

At Paradigm Roofing, we specialize in both residential and commercial roofing projects, so please contact us to discuss your roofing needs and whether a cool roof is an option. We have locations in McKinney, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and San Antonio for your convenience.