When choosing a roof, one of the major considerations to make is thermal protection, especially in hot climates like Texas. When the heat gets well over 100 degrees outside, a roof’s performance in being able to reflect that heat is important, as it directly affects energy efficiency. Understanding how reflective surfaces work and function as a roof is something that buyers should think about before scheduling a roof company to do a roof installation. With the right reflective roof, Texas homeowners can spend their budget on the roofing services that will help them have a more comfortable home with lower cooling bills.

What Are Solar Reflectance and Thermal Emittance?

Both solar reflectance and thermal emittance are important properties when evaluating material to be used for roofing, as they both affect the sun's reflection and absorption of heat. Solar reflectance is a surface’s ability to reflect the different types of light waves from the sun. Thermal emittance is a surface’s ability to release any non-reflected, absorbed heat, rather than letting it pass through into buildings or holding onto it. The most thermal efficient surfaces for keeping a building cool are highly reflective, with high thermal emittance. These two properties combined make the most energy efficient roofing material for installation in the warmest areas of the country.

Reflective Roofing Materials

Roofing contractors advise that reflective roofing material exists in a variety of forms. Like clay or ceramic tile, thermal emissive roofs are technically reflective because they absorb some heat.  Rather than passing heat through to the structure below, these roofs release it back into the atmosphere. There are also roofs made with reflective coatings that essentially bounce the sun’s rays right off the surface of the roof, reducing the amount of energy that is absorbed. These coatings can be painted on or purchased with the coatings painted right on the roof material. Asphalt shingles can also be purchased in more reflective varieties. Metal roofs, which are somewhat reflective on their own, can also be purchased with reflective coatings.

Roof color affects the amount of heat that is absorbed as well, although heat absorption due to color is different than reflective quality. Light colors absorb less heat, while darker colors absorb more; however, reflective properties keep the heat from reaching the colored layer of the roof before it can be absorbed. A reflective roof that is also light in color will provide the most thermal efficiency and is ideal for installation in a hot climate.

The Benefits of Reflective Roofing

As energy costs have skyrocketed, the development of reflective, thermal reflective, and emissive roofing materials has become of major importance in the housing and construction industries. Cool roofs made of or coated with reflective material that does not allow heat to enter a building are very desirable and efficient in hot climates. The less heat energy that passes through the roof and into a building, the less energy is required to keep that building cool. Additionally, reflective materials are cost-efficient as they reduce damage from UV and infrared waves and extend roof life when installed.

Homeowners in Texas deal with high energy costs in the summertime due to the extreme heat. Reflective roofing is an affordable option that pays for itself very quickly in lowered cooling bills and less sun damage to roofs. With so many options available in reflective roofing for hot climates, any good roof company can help homeowners choose a suitable roofing product for their home to save money. Before investing in roofing services, consider the different advantages of a reflective roof!

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