Solar Reflective Roofing

Asphalt shingle used in Bryan roofing

As temperatures warm around the Brazos Valley, many home owners take the opportunity to reroof their old roof for a roofing system that is more energy efficient.  One of the biggest factors in energy efficiency in Bryan roofing is the ability of the roofing material to reflect solar energy.  This is also tied to thermal resistance of a roof as well.  In a study by Shiao and Kalkanoglu during the 2011 National Roofing Contractors Association, solar reflective shingles by CertainTeed were shown to have superior performance over traditional asphalt roofs.

Asphalt Shingle Technology

Using asphalt shingles in roofing systems has be done for ages now and is one of the most popular roofing forms.  Primarily contributing attributes include long lasting, aesthetically pleasing, simple installation, wide variety of colors, low cost, and a Class A fire rating.  However, asphalt shingles are not specifically designed to reflect solar rays due to their shape and the layering of the roofing material.

Asphalt Shingle Layers

Asphalt shingles have 3 distinct layers:

  • Back surface
  • Glass fiber mat
  • Asphalt with fillers
  • Roofing granules

Granules used in Bryan roofing are usually seen on the ground after a strong storm hits the Brazos Valley.  These granules are why solar reflectance is poor on traditional asphalt shingles.  The granules are primarily made for UV radiation and coloring.  The UV protection helps to ensure the color of the shingle is resistant to fade.

Causes of Poor Performance

In Bryan roofing the cause of the low solar reflectance is due to the color and shape of the granules used in the roofing system.  Granules have a rough shape and do not reflect light in an organized pattern, away from the roofing system.

Darker colors like dark brown have an average solar reflectance of 5.9%, while white granules have a solar reflectance of 31.3%.  Many homeowners elect a balance between solar reflectance and aesthetics.

Solar Reflective Shingles

New technology helps to close the gap between aesthetics and solar reflectance.   Manufacturers like CertainTeed have “cool pigments” which offer the same color choices as standard granules but offer slight improvements to solar reflectance.

However, the biggest improvements that were seen in Bryan roofing were with the use two step systems; a white, reflective base coat and a second, cool color coat.  Thanks to new technology the next generation asphalt shingles now meet Energy Star requirements for even traditional earth tone colors.

Studies done that translate over to Bryan roofing show a 10% decrease year after year in energy savings.  In fact both summer electricity and natural gas usage dropped by 10%, even in El Paso.

Your Bryan roofing contractor should be able to help you determine the best roofing material for your goals.  Just about all homeowners are looking for energy efficiency, but do not have all of the options available because inexperienced roofers simply do not have the knowledge or expertise to find superior roofing products.  Schulte Roofing is a Bryan roofer with over 100 years of combined roofing experience and has been helping the Brazos Valley save over 10% on energy costs for the last 18 years.  Contact Schulte Roofing today about CertainTeed’s SR shingles.