Reflective Roofing and UV Rays

The most destructive force your roof faces is not the wind or the rain – the most destructive force on your roof is the sun and its UV-rays – and your roof is tasked with facing that force every day, all day.

New studies show that the darker a roof top is, the hotter it gets and the less energy efficient the roof is (see our Roof Temperature Chart and Infrared Roof Top Comparison image). A black roof running hotter like this is due to a process known as the “heat island effect” whereby the roof top absorbs the UV-rays and heat of the sun instead of reflecting it away from the roof. This process leads to increased wear and tear on the roof and a much hotter, and harder to control, interior building climate.

Traditional dark roofing materials also do not lend themselves well to expansion and contraction. This is important because of thermocycling. Thermocycling is the reaction of a roof to temperature extremes. As the temperature changes from hot to cold and back and forth, the roofing material reacts by expanding or contracting to accommodate for the temperature change. If the roofing material does not have the ability to expand or contract, well, something’s got to give.

Single-Ply Reacts Well

A bright white TPO single-ply roofing membrane is well suited for dealing with thermocycling. TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) is a rubber-like plastic based material with properties that allow it to expand and contract with more ease and better results than traditional roofing materials. This material is also a light color which will prevent heat build up and has a much better emissivity rating than its darker counterparts. The emissivity of a material is the relative ability of its surface to emit energy by radiation (heat), or more simply put, emissivity is the process by which a surface allows energy to emit as heat rather than absorb it. So, by providing a more stable roof temperature through higher emissivity and better reflectivity through its light coloration, a bright white single-ply roof surface is also able to provide better expansion and contraction should thermocycling come into play. Overall, a cool roof, bright white single-ply TPO system is a great choice for a roof that will react well in almost any given environment.

Good Roof Maintenance = Good Roof Lifespan

Studies have also shown that the better maintained any roof is, the longer and more reliable that roof will be. Single-Ply Roofing USA highly recommends annual inspections by an approved dealer of quality roofing products. Most professional and reliable roofing contractors will offer a maintenance program and the roof should then qualify for a long term warranty backed by the manufacturer for the materials and or the labor to install them. Feel free to Contact us for more information on the approved dealers and warranty programs available in your area.