If it's time for a new roof, it makes sense to consider options that will result in a more energy-efficient home. The roof is one of the most exposed areas of your home, which means it can absorb a lot of unwanted heat in summer and lose a bunch more heat in winter. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your roof, and many of these steps are best implemented when you replace your roof.
A better-insulated attic results in less heat loss in winter and better cooling in summer. A new roof installation is the prime time to inspect and upgrade your insulation. First, verify that there is no water damage in the attic, particularly to the insulation, by checking for mildew and mold. If a roof leak has ruined the insulation, tear it out and start fresh. Otherwise, blow-in or spray insulation can be added to the attic to increase the insulation quickly.
A thermal barrier is installed over your roof decking but beneath the shingles. It acts in part as a moisture barrier, which helps reduce water leaks. It also creates a thermal barrier to reduce air leaks and temperature fluctuations within the house. This way, any air is routed through the attic ventilation as it should, instead of cold air leaking through the roof and between walls or in other areas where airflow isn't necessary.
The color of your shingles can have a major impact. In areas where summer heat is of particular concern, roofs with a high albedo (reflectivity) don't absorb as much heat from the sun. This prevents the heat sink effect that makes both your home and your yard feel hotter. Opt for light-colored shingles and you can reflect away much of the heat. In areas with mild summer but cold winters, a dark-colored roof can be preferred. The darker color will absorb more heat, which will help warm up the home as well as speed up snowmelt on the roof.
You can have coatings applied to your roof to further help with energy costs. UV coatings are typically reflective, some may even contain small bits of metal to further aid in reflecting heat and light away from your home. These roof coatings do more than keep the house cooler, though. By reflecting UV rays, which can damage roofs over time, the coating can also prolong the overall lifespan of your new roof.
Contact a roofing service for more information and help.