What Is Cool Metal Roofing?

Posted by CDMG Team on Mar 18, 2020 9:53:40 AM
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Many people now opt for cool-coated metal roof panels when ordering their steel building. 


As the emphasis on conservation and sustainability has dramatically increased over the past 15 to 20 years, so has demand for cool metal roofing products.


You might be asking yourself, "What exactly is cool metal roofing?" or "What is used to measure the "coolness" of a roof or wall panel? and "How does it help reduce energy consumption?"


These are all valid questions that deserve a thorough explanation.


In locations with sizzling summer heat, cool metal roofing slashes utility bills and have energy benefits for both you and our environment.


Below we'll discuss cool roofing further and dive deeper into how its heat tendencies are measured.


Table of Contents

What is Cool Metal Roofing?

Cool metal roofing is painted or coated metal products that reflect the sun's energy to dissipate heat. 


Cool roofs help to reduce the heat that is transferred into the building, which can result in total cooling cost energy savings ranging from 7% to 15%.


In fact, cool metal roofing doesn't have anything to do with the metal substrate itself. It's solely dependent on the paint or coating system that is applied to the substrate during the manufacturing process.


The cool metal roofing paint/resin formula contains innovative solar reflective pigments, which is the key differentiator.


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How do Cool Metal Steel Roof Panels Work?

All roofing absorbs heat from the sun. The darker the roofing material is, the hotter the roof. Dark roofing absorbs 90% of the solar energy hitting its surface.


A hot roof transfers heat into a building.  


That means an air condition system already working overtime to fight sweltering summer temperatures must battle even harder to combat heat transference from the roof.


New technology in reflective paints allows cool-coated metal roofing to reflect the sunlight and ultraviolet radiation back into the atmosphere.  


That can cool the surface of the roof as much as 60 degrees.


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The benefits of cool metal roofing

The Benefits of Cool Metal Roofing

Cool metal roofing has many benefits beyond savings on energy costs. It's commonly used because it helps to reduce the urban heat island effect, which is defined as:


"Built-up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution/greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality."


Many urban areas have buildings and infrastructure made of concrete. We've all heard the term "concrete jungle."


The problem with concrete is that it absorbs heat and retains that warmth for more extended periods and therefore keeps its surroundings warmer than places without as much cement.


Beyond the heat island effect, cool roofing can help reduce the electricity demand, which reduces potential power outages and blackouts. 


The push for building materials that reduced energy consumption was made a priority in response to the 2003 Northeast U.S. blackout.


In conjunction with lower energy consumption, cool roofing can help reduce power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings.


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Are Cool Panels Right for Every Metal Building?

Cool panels work best in hot southern climates. Areas with mild summers or bitter winters will not benefit as much from cool metal panels.


An incredibly moist, tropical climates, cool roofing tends to attract algae or mold. However, there are cool panel brands that include algae and mold-fighting chemicals in the reflective paint to mitigate the problem.


In some areas, the reflective glare of cool metal roofs might annoy neighbors, especially if their taller structures overlook the cool-panel-clad structure.


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Cool Metal Roofing & Cost Savings

Nowadays, cool roofing is similarly priced to non-cool metal roofing. Some times the prices are identical.


In addition to metal's versatility, strength, and longevity as roof and wall systems, the little to no price discrepancy means that cool roofing is being installed more frequently in architectural projects.


The best way to illustrate how a cool metal roof can benefit the property owner and, by extension, the greater good is to explain how the solar reflectance level can reduce energy costs.


According to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory:

  • For every 1% increment in roof reflectance, the surface temperature of the metal roof decreases 1 degree Fahrenheit.
  • For every 10% increase in roof reflectance, heating/cooling costs drop 2 cents per square foot per year.


These numbers will vary based on location and utility costs, but still offers a good representation of how cool metal roofing with a high solar reflectance can help a consumer save on their energy bills. 


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cool metal roofing has several benefits

In Conclusion

Cool metal roofing continues to rise to prominence as a more sustainable and cost-saving building material. 


We see it used more and more on commercial, architectural, residential, agricultural, and government properties.


Best of all, cool roofing is:

  • High in solar reflectance, emissivity, and SRI values
  • Helpful in pushing utility cost savings on to the property owner
  • Useful in reducing the urban heat island effect and overall energy consumption
  • Readily available, cost-effective, and easy to specify

If you live in a hot climate and you want to save on your energy bills and be environmentally friendly, you should consider cool metal roofing.


To learn more about metal roofing and metal buildings, follow the links below:

Topics: metal roofing