4 Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your Roof
November 25, 2020 Admin
For most homeowners, a roof is nothing but a structure above their head that protects them from the different weather conditions. So, most home improvements are made on the windows and walls to improve (or maintain) the energy efficiency. Reduce utility bills by keeping the house warm during winters and cool during summers naturally. Others compare their homes with an actual human body and take preventive measures to prevent the internal heat from escaping during the winter through the ‘head,’ i.e., the roof. Such roof improvements paired with other home improvement projects can have a compound effect on the energy efficiency of your home and, in turn, on your savings.
In this article, we shall explore different ways you can increase the energy efficiency of your roof.
How does a roof make a house energy efficient?
Before we learn how to make roofs energy efficient, let’s understand the benefits of having an energy-efficient roof. Hot air is lighter as it is less dense than cold air, and so it travels upwards. During winters, damaged or poorly maintained roofs become an expensive affair as the hot air can escape from the cracks. Also, allow the cold air from outside to enter. This phenomenon is called the ‘Stacking effect.’ So, to maintain the overall room temperature, the thermostat or HVAC needs to put in extra effort. This translates into a spike in the energy bill, which is harmful to the environment. By following the methods explained later, you can ensure the roof doesn’t thermally conduct with the air outside.
Ways to Improve The Energy Efficiency of Your Roof
Repair or Replace the Broken Shingles
Old and outdated shingles tend to break off with age, or if they are exposed to direct sunlight for a long duration, they can easily buckle. This leads to gap formation or cracks developing between the shingle layers. Unless repaired, they not only increase the energy bills but also compromise the structural integrity of your roof. As well as allow critters to enter your household.
Recommended: HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR COMMERCIAL ROOF
Moreover, shingles covered with moss are a sign of humidity. Unless you replace those, they might crumble from the small gust. Periodically inspect the roofs to identify the weak spots and get them repaired or replaced (based on the severity of damage). Look for the following signs:
- Crumbling shingles
- Dislocated shingles
- Signs of buckling or curling among different shingles
- Cracks in the underlying layers
- Leakages (Sunlight as well as rainwater)
- Sagging in a certain spot
- Moss presence
The insulation is like the fluff inside your winter jacket. It is made of a material that helps trap the heat within and doesn’t allow the heat to flow. Ideally, the insulation should completely stop the heat transfer, but in real life, each material has some amount of heat transfer happening. It is termed as the R-factor of the material.
There exist multiple materials that are widely used for insulation, such as fiberglass, polystyrene, cellulose, polyurethane, and foil-backed paper. But for roof insulation polystyrene and foam board are popularly used. Since the attic space is too small for insulation, using tools and loose-fill or blow-in insulation is the best bet.
Light Color shingles
It is a basic physics phenomenon that light color absorbs less radiation (or reflects more radiation) than a darker color. Since roofs endure direct sunlight throughout the day, darker shingle colors can end up absorbing more radiation and become hotter than light color shingles. This heat is transferred to the underlying layers and passed to the attic. Moreover, the more sunlight, a shingle is exposed to; the material degrades faster.
Additional Roof Coating
In addition to the light-colored shingles, it is advisable to reinforce them with a protective coating. That acts as a sunblock layer that further reflects the radiation. The coating also protects the shingle from thermal shocks, from the extreme temperatures in a short duration, that can deform it. The protective layer is elastomeric in nature that also prevents rainwater from seeping inside. The primary material in the protective coating can include:
- Asphalt or coal tar pitch
- Polyurethane (PU)
- Polyvinylidene fluoride
Making your roof energy efficient doesn’t mean making it air-tight. Without proper ventilation, the air inside may become stuffy and reduce in quality. Moreover, the excessive heat trapped in the attic can warp the underdeck and shorten the shingle life. With the right ventilation, the air is continuously exchanged, maintaining the natural airflow circulation. The overall temperature loss is negligible, not affecting the cooling costs in the longer run.
Better energy-efficient materials
Certain materials such as clay, asphalt, or metal have better thermal saturation compared to traditional materials such as wood, slate. 5 star roofing contractors can easily suggest the right roofing material based on the weather and sunlight experience. By substituting your existing roofing with ‘cooler’ materials, you can observe significant improvement in the energy efficiency of the roof.
When it comes to choosing a house, you would want to save money on the operating costs, and an energy-efficient roof can be the right step in that journey. The cost of a roof replacement will be covered in the long run in the form of savings. The points mentioned in the article above will significantly help you in improving the energy efficiency of your roofs.