It’s 2020, Time to Ditch the Antiquated Black Rooftops
Updated: Jan 27, 2020
It’s 2020 and many cities and other urban areas are still using the old dark roof and traditional black landscape to build roofs with heat absorbing materials such as asphalt or tar. These materials that have been used for decades were once ok as that is all there was, but overtime new materials and techniques have emerged for a more energy efficient approach to how roofs are built, repaired, or replaced. We now more than ever have an environmental responsibility and by adopting to the new roofing techniques we can reduce electricity consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions, to name a few benefits of the newer roofing techniques.
So, how can we lower energy consumption and greenhouse gas use just by changing the way that we build roofs? Well, let’s look at the urban heat island effect (UHI) which means that cities are usually hotter than the suburbs or countryside that surrounds them. One of the biggest reasons for this effect is that dark roofs in the cities do not reflect off the sunlight therefore that heat stays trapped thus making it several degrees hotter than in the surrounding country sides. About 20% of the sun’s radiation is reflected and the remaining 80% is absorbed into the antiquated black rooftops. By simply painting roofs white or having a cool roof system it would deliver higher solar reflectance therefore reducing heat transferred to the buildings, making cities and the inside of buildings cooler. Some might say that black roofs make cities only a few degrees hotter, so it is not a big deal, but those few degrees have a massive impact on the energy consumption of a city, as hotter temperatures create a demand for air conditioning.
While many cities and businesses still have black roofs there is a standard established by the California Energy Commission. The Building Energy Efficiency Standards are designed to reduce the wasteful, insufficient, and unnecessary consumption of energy, they are adopted in the California Code of Regulations, Title 24.
The roofing systems and services that K & L Roofing, Inc. provides are designed to be environmentally and energy efficient while also helping our clients’ save money on their energy bills and reduce energy consumption.