An Introduction to Reflective Roofing

reflective roof

It’s long been established that dark-colored roofs contribute to the “urban heat island effect,” which causes cities to become far warmer than outlying areas due to heat absorption. This sounds like a high-level concept, but the principle is simple. On a hot day, when you wear a dark-colored shirt, you’ll often feel hotter. This is because dark colors absorb heat. The same thing happens in cities, and even individual facilities—a dark roof can reach upwards of 150 degrees during the hot months of summer!

But the opposite is also true. Think back to the shirt example. When you wear light-colored clothes on a warm day, you don’t feel as hot. This is because light colors actually reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. Apply the same logic to your facility’s roofing system. If your roof is reflecting the sun’s rays, your building won’t be as warm. The benefit to you, the facility owner, is lower cooling costs throughout the year.

For many years, hot tar roofing and rubber roofs (known in the industry as EPDM) were the standard. These roofing systems were black, and although it wasn’t realized at the time, they contributed greatly to cooling inefficiencies in the buildings on which they were installed. Today we know that the money-saving and environmental benefits of reflective roofing are numerous. That’s why J. Smucker Contracting is dedicated to roofing systems that are highly reflective, more efficient, and save you money!

  • The significant energy savings in a reflective roof comes from the fact that up to 80% of the sun’s powerful ultraviolet rays can be reflected, not only saving you on cooling costs, but also putting less stress on your cooling system—ensuring that it lasts longer.
  • Our Conklin roofing system also poses a significant advantage over unreflective EPDM systems by reducing the costs you’ll spend on maintenance and patches over the lifetime of your roof.
  • Our roofing systems are ENERGY STAR-qualified. What does this mean? The ENERGY STAR distinction is only given to roofing products that provide superior cooling capabilities. Our products can lower roof surface temperature by up to 50 degrees and reduce peak cooling demand by up to 15 percent.

These are just a few of the benefits of a reflective roofing system over the industry standard black EPDM systems you’ll see so often. When you’re ready to have your roofing system repaired or replaced, we hope you’ll consider a cost- and energy-saving roof coating rather than a costly roof tear-off or reroofing system!