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What is a Cool Roof System?

An easy way to save money—and the planet—is by going green.  If you’re looking to shave down your current energy bills and upgrade your home, then consider a cool roof system.

A cool roof system is just that—a roof that keeps your home cool.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be a specialized roof, just one that’s designed with the purpose of maintaining cooler temperatures by reflecting the sun’s UV light.  This could mean that the roof has light colored shingles or a coating over the original shingles designed to be highly reflective.

new roof cost getting installed

Types of Cool Roof Systems

There are numerous roofing systems available as options for a residential home, but what makes it one a cool roof system is dependent on its surface, the area that experiences the sun exposure.

Reflective Cool Roof Coatings

No matter what type of roof you currently have, you can turn into a cool roof system with a special type of roof coating.  This cool roof coating is white with reflective pigments meant to reflect sunlight.  These coatings are applied in a similar fashion to thick paint, which then protects the roof from UV damage.  Reflective cool roof coatings can also offer water protection, acting similarly to a sealant.

For Low Sloped Roofs

If your home has a low sloped roof, there are a few options to transform it into a cool roof system.  You can opt for single-ply membranes, which are pre-fabricated sheets that attach to a roof system with metal fasteners and adhesive.  Membranes that are black can be coated with reflective material to keep the roof cool.

Built-up roofs for low sloped houses are comprised of a base layer, then fabric reinforcements, and a protective surface layers that’s typically black or dark colored.  Built-up roofs can also be transformed into cool roofs by altering the construction to include reflective materials, coatings, or utilize a spray polyurethane foam roof.

For Steep Sloped Roofs

Steep sloped roofs can be made into a cool roof upon their construction, by utilizing asphalt shingles that have specially coated granules meant to provide optimal solar reflectance.  Homeowners can also glaze tile, which aids in waterproofing and sun reflection.

For Metal Roofs

Metal roofs are typically excellent solar reflectors when painted.  Cool reflective coatings can also be applied, even after their construction, to make the metal roof into a true cool roof system.

Benefits of a Cool Roof

Keeping your roof cool means keeping your house’s air conditioning unit from overexerting itself, and that, in turn, makes your energy costs low.  There are plenty of other benefits of a cool roof to consider:

  • Extend the life of your air conditioner by decreasing its constant use to keep your house cool.
  • Extend the life of your roof by protecting from UV radiation and sun exposure.
  • Benefit the environment by reducing air temperatures.  This can also aid in reducing what is known as the urban heat island effect, which occurs in tightly condensed cities with little to no shade and sun protection.
  • Reduce peak electricity demand.  This will prevent power outages.
  • Reduce air pollution by lowering energy use.  Cool roof systems also reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

How to Make Your Roof Cool

Fortunately, you don’t always have to replace the roof in its entirety to make it a cool one.  There are three ways to acquire a cool roof system:

  • Transform your current roof with heat and sun reflectors, like specialized coatings that can be painted over shingles or membranes.
  • Cover your current roof with a new surface that reflects heat, like tile coating.
  • Replace and upgrade your existing roof with a brand new one specifically designed to be a cool roof system.


A cool roof system doesn’t have to cost more than a regular roof system, especially if you’re in the midst of replacing your roof anyway.  Simply ask your professional roofing contractors to use materials that aid in keeping the roof cool like coated asphalt shingles and light-colored layers that have reflective properties.

To understand how much you’d save with a cool roof over time, use this roofing calculator provided by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

You’ll save the most money with a cool roof if you live in a hot region with constant, year-round sun exposure.  If you live in a region that’s colder for most of the year, you might spend more in the wintertime trying to heat your house because of lack of heat absorption from a cool roof system.

For roofs that are decades old and in need of a repair, it’s best to replace them entirely.  Consider upgrading an old roof to one that is a cool roof system.  There’s a slew of benefits that outweigh the initial installation and labor costs, which you’ll quickly see in your energy savings.

Replacing your roof can be a expensive upgrade to your home. Let us help you in making that decision. At Feldco Roofing, we provide a breakthrough design and triple layer protection to keep your roof healthy for what mother nature decides to throw at it.  For a roof replacement, our installers are factory trained, experienced and professional to get the job done right. Speak to a product specialist and get a free quote online today.

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