For many homeowners, the push to make their homes more energy efficient is not just about helping the environment. It is also about saving on energy costs. If you are in the market for a new roof, a cool or green roof is ideal for lowering energy costs and keeping your home adequately covered. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of both types.
A cool roof involves the use of a reflective type of paint, single-ply sheets, or spray foams that help to deflect sunlight away from your home. It also absorbs less heat than other types of roofs.
If you opt for the painted roofing, several coats of paint is applied to your roof. Depending on the type of paint that is used, it can even offer protection from water. Paint must be reapplied as it fades.
Single-ply sheets are attached to your roof with fasteners or an adhesive. Some homeowners even use stones to hold the sheets in place. It is possible to have both the paint and sheets applied for increased efficiency. The sheets do have durability problems and need to be routinely checked for damage.
A spray polyurethane foam roof adheres to the existing roofing material. It has to be evenly applied to ensure that all surfaces are covered. Although it does help to reduce your energy savings, it is susceptible to damage from UV rays. You have to install a protective coating to keep the foam in good condition.
A green roof works differently than a cool roof in that plants and other vegetation are relied on to protect the roof from sunlight. Green roofing is best on flat roofs and require maintenance.
Although a green roof can help lower energy costs, there are significant upfront costs. In addition to buying the greenery for the roof, a system of trays must be designed and set up to hold the plants. You also have to include an irrigation system to keep the plants properly watered.
However, the savings you experience over time can offset some of the upfront costs.
It is important to note that a green roof requires considerably more maintenance than a cool roof. Without proper maintenance the greenery could die, which leaves you without adequate protection from the sunlight.
A roofing contractor can help assess your home and help you determine whether or not a cool or green roof is best. Contact a company like MM Roofing & Construction Systems Inc for more information.