Your Cool Roof: More Than Just Looks

If you have done any recent research on how to save on home cooling cost, you may have come across cool roofing as one of your options.

But what is a cool roof? Well, yeah, they look good, but that’s not what makes them cool.

What makes my roof cool?


A cool roof is one that through a combination of features actually helps keep your house cooler. To be truly cool, a roof should have properties that improve its solar reflectance and its emissivity.

Whoa? It should do what?

It should reflect and emit.

Beyond just keeping your house safe and covered, a cool roof reflects sunlight (solar reflectance) and actively releases the heat that it absorbs (emissivity).

Solar Reflectance- Bouncing Back Solar Energy

According to the government’s Energy Star website, reflectivity is the most important factor in deciding how cool your roof is. You may have seen advice about keeping physically cool during the summer that mentions wearing light-colored clothes. And anyone who has gone outside on a sunny day in their favorite navy blue T-shirt knows that color choice matters!

Light colors reflect solar energy; dark colors absorb it. This same principle is true whether you are applying it to clothing, vehicle upholstery, or roofs. A cool roof uses color and reflective elements to throw the sun’s heat right back at it instead of absorbing it into your home. The U.S. government’s Energy Saver website says that a dark colored roof can reach temperatures of 150 degrees F on a summer day. Ouch! That same roof in a lighter color can be 50 degrees F cooler.

metal roof reflectivity
The cool roof at Makah National Fish Hatchery: Caroline Peterschmidt/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Cool roofs can be flat or sloped and are made from a variety of different materials. In fact, if you have a flat roof, you can even cover it with a light colored paint to achieve a cool roof effect.

If you are looking for a new energy-efficient, cool roof for your residence or business here in sunny Tallahassee, then a modern metal roof like the ones we install are a great choice. Metal roofs are naturally reflective, and a metal roof will give your building a modern, attractive look. You’ll improve your building’s efficiency and its curb appeal.

Emissivity- Release the Heat

Even a roof that is designed to reflect most of the sun’s energy will still absorb some heat during a sunny day. The ability of your roof to release that heat back into the atmosphere is the second feature that a cool roof employs to help you keep your cool. Most roofs have an emissivity rating of 85%, with a 100% rating being the best at releasing heat.

Unpainted metal roofs don’t always score as well as shingled ones when considering emissivity alone. However, because of their high reflectivity scores, a metal roof can still be a cool roof. An unpainted metal roof may not be very emissive but treated with the proper coating that same roof can score an 83% on the emissivity scale. When you combine metal’s reflective properties with this emissivity rating, you have an overall coolness factor that is hard to beat.

We have plenty of cool choices for you

Currently, Energy Star certification is assigned based on a roofing material’s solar reflectance value. Thousands of different roofing materials qualify for the Energy Star rating. You can choose from a variety of colors from burgundy or green to champagne gold or solar white. In addition to the cost and energy savings you’ll achieve when you choose an Energy Star certified cool roof for your home, there’s also still time to qualify for an Energy Star tax credit.

Cool roof installation by Callaghan Roofing

LoveRain Roof Co. has generations of experience helping our customers select and install the best roof for their home. Whether you need to replace an existing roof or select your new home’s first roof, we are here to help. Working together, we’ll find the roof that offers you the style, savings, and efficiency that will keep you home cool for years to come.


And remember, save that black T-shirt for a cloudy day.

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