Cool roofs are roofs that are specially designed with reflective materials in order to reflect sunlight off of the roof, reducing the amount of light and heat that is absorbed into your home. Cool roofs are extremely beneficial in areas of extreme or year round heat, as they can significantly cut down on energy bills and even eliminate the need for air conditioning at all.
Cool roofs can be made out of a variety of different materials, each of which offers a number of benefits over the others. Understanding the many different types of cool roofs can help you choose the one that best fits your house's needs.
Foam: Foam cool roofs are made out of a special foam that is both a roofing material and insulation. They do not have seams or gaps in them, as the foam solidifies into a single solid piece.
Foam roofs can be easily applied to non-traditional roofs, as they form to whatever surface they are applied to. However, the main drawback of foam roofs is that they come in a single shade, and have a bubbly texture which may not be aesthetically pleasing.
Coated: Coated cool roofs are painted with reflective paint, and can be added on top of already existing roofs. These coatings allow any roof to take on cooling properties, and come in a wide variety of shades, which means that you can customize your roof to match the rest of your house. However, it should be noted that coated cool roofs tend to cost more than foam cool roofs.
Plastics: Plastic cool roofs are made out of flexible thermoplastics, which are plastics that are heated up and molded together to create a large, seamless membrane which can be applied on your roof. As they are made out of plastic, they come in a wide variety of shades, and can be easily customized to fit your roof no matter the size or shape.
Additionally, these types of roofs tend to be better at resisting water than other types of cool roofs, as they are completely waterproof unless physically damaged. However, plastic cool roofs can be easily damaged by falling branches or other physical trauma.
Metal: Metal cool roofs are simply metal roofs, which are naturally highly reflective and can significantly reduce the amount of heat absorbed by your house. Metal roofs are also extremely durable and completely recyclable, and provide a luxurious, expensive aesthetic to your home.
However, metal roofs tend to cost significantly more than most types of roofing, only being outdone by natural stone or tile roofing, and thus are not ideal for those operating under a budget.
Learn more about your roofing options by consulting local resources like Save On Roofing.