Four Contemporary Roofing Types You Need to See

Written by  //  June 9, 2014  //  Energy Efficient Home, Home Exterior, Home Heating Cooling, Roof, Solar Energy  //  Comments Off on Four Contemporary Roofing Types You Need to See

It’s no secret that a roofing system tops the list of a homeowner’s most important investments. Roofs not only protect the home’s structure from weather and moisture damage, but they also greatly affect a home’s energy usage and, ultimately, the environment. With all this at stake, roofing manufacturers and scientists around the world are developing new and innovative roofing systems that improve home protection, reduce energy costs and enhance the environment.

Cool Roofs Heat Up

Summer takes its toll on roofs, from damaging UV rays to heat that penetrates roofs and uncomfortably warms the home beneath. To make matters worse, roofs that absorb this heat emit it back into the atmosphere, contributing to big cities’ Heat Island Effect. Counteracting this, many of today’s roofs have “cool” versions that reduce heat absorption and thermal emittance. The concept is fairly simple: use colors and materials that reflect rather than absorb sunlight, both in the visible and non-visible spectrums. Cool roofs can be a great alternative to adding air conditioning systems to properties that don’t already have them. Furthermore, the Cool Roof Council estimates that cool roof homeowners save 7 to 15 percent on energy costs.

Solar Shingles

The bulky, super-sized solar panels of the past are now replaced by smaller, thinner and more easily integrated photovoltaic solar shingles and flexible thin solar films. Most homeowners are able to gain 40 to 80 percent of their home’s electrical needs from a roof sufficiently covered in the newer solar shingles. One of the factors that had held back private solar panels was their bulkiness and unappealing look. Solar shingles now look very similar to traditional asphalt shingles, thereby increasing their aesthetic value. Furthermore, the U.S. government has created several tax incentive programs designed to make solar more affordable at home and at businesses.

Really Green Roofs

Giving a whole new meaning to rooftop gardens, some homeowners are covering their houses with living green roofs. These roofs incorporate vegetation to these underused-yet-abundant spaces. Aimed at reducing global heating, improving air quality and reducing energy costs, the green roof movement is rapidly expanding. Green Roofs for Healthy Cities reports a 10 percent growth in North America in 2013, with Toronto installing the 7th largest amount of green roofing.

Metal Spin on a Classic Look

While others are pursuing space-age technologies or returning to nature, roofing manufacturers are steadily and significantly improving the look and design of metal roofs. Since the most popular form of shingles in North America is asphalt shingles, some of today’s metal roofs are built to mimic the look of these traditional shingles. Most notable about metal roofs from companies like the Metal Roof Outlet are their ability to handle the North’s challenging freeze-thaw cycle, while using innovative stucco-embossed finishes that create super-strong and long-lasting roofs.

With energy costs and concern for climate change climbing, consumers can expect to see other creative roofing products on the market in coming years. Products like smart roof coatings that change colors to absorb heat in winter and reflect heat in summer are just a handful of years from market. In the meantime, homeowners can take advantage of roofing’s latest developments to protect their homes and reduce energy costs.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. This article describes metal roofing shingles from the Metal Roof Outlet based in Toronto.

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