Tag Archive for: Flat Roofing in Chicago


Why Ventilate?

There are four main reasons to ventilate your
home’s attic space.

• Reduce Heat Gain and Reduce Energy Bills in the Summer
Radiant heat from the sun warms the roof and radiates into
the attic. If not properly vented out, it could radiate into the
living space affecting the comfort level inside the house
and contributing to higher utility bills (because appliances
such as fans/refrigerators/air conditioners may have to work
harder to keep your home cooler).
• Reduce Moisture and Condensation in the Winter
In northern climates, heated air from the home escapes into
the attic through openings in the walls or ceilings (such as
recessed lights, electrical chases, the attic access door, etc.).
Some of this moisture vapor rises to the colder/dryer attic
where it can potentially condense if not properly vented. If it
condenses, it could dampen the attic insulation (which could
weaken the R-value of the insulation), contributing to wood
rot, mold, mildew and poor indoor air quality.
• Fight Ice Dams
Ice Dams are formed when in winter conditions, heated air
from the home migrates into the unheated attic through
the ceiling, under insulated areas and through bypasses,
such as light fixtures or exhaust systems found in kitchens
and bathrooms. This creates warm areas on the roof
and unevenly melts the underside of the snow that has
accumulated on the roof. The melted snow flows down the
roof until it reaches a colder spot, such as the eaves, where it
refreezes, forming a back up of ice commonly called an ice
dam. The ice dam is a result of energy loss from inside the
house, which could cost a homeowner hundreds of dollars
or more. It could also lead to rotted roofs and rafters, ruined
insulation, moisture inside the walls, mold and peeling
paint. Proper attic ventilation can help prevent the conditions
that contribute to ice dams.
• Prolongs the Service Life of the Building Materials
Finally, the shingles and decking of your roofing system may
deteriorate prematurely due to heat and excessive moisture
buildup. By reducing the surface temperature of the shingles
and the existence of moisture on the underside of the
decking by properly ventilating the attic space, a homeowner
may be able to extend the life of both of these materials.


How to Ventilate

Effective Ventilation is achieved by providing
intake ventilation at the lower edge of your roof
and exhaust ventilation at the upper portion of
your roof. The flow of air from the lower portion
of the roof to the upper portion the upper portion

through these vents is often called the “stack effect,”

which is similar to how a chimney works.


How to
to avoid

Contractors and homeowners are urged to check
the following:
• Make sure two different types of exhaust vents are not on
the same roof of a common attic, so as to avoid possible
short-circuiting of the system (see Section 2 above).
• Make sure the intake vents are not covered with insulation.
To avoid this possibility be sure to insert attic insulation
baffles keeping the insulation away from the intake vents.
• Check that the intake vents have not been painted shut.
If they’ve been painted over that could restrict or reduce intake airflow.



If you’re considering sealing your attic instead
of ventilating your attic be sure to ask your
contractor these important questions:
• Where will all the internal moisture go?
• How can I visually inspect for a roof leak if the underside
of the deck is sealed with insulation?
• Will I have more of a threat with mold and mildew?
• How does this impact my shingle warranty?
• Will this cause more ice damming?


IS Green
Effective ventilation is achieved by providing
intake ventilation at the lower edge of your roof
and exhaust ventilation at the upper portion of
your roof. The flow of air from the lower portion
of the roof to the upper portion through these
vents is often called the “stack effect,” which is
similar to how a chimney operates.
Contractors and homeowners are urged to check
the following:
• Make sure two different types of exhaust vents are not on
the same roof of a common attic, so as to avoid possible
short-circuiting of the system (see Section 2 above).
• Make sure the intake vents are not covered with insulation.
To avoid this possibility be sure to insert attic insulation
baffles keeping the insulation away from the intake vents.
• Check that the intake vents have not been painted shut.
If they’ve been painted over that could restrict or reduce
intake airflow.
• If using vented soffit panels for intake ventilation (typically
made by siding manufacturers) check the net-free area
rating of the panels to ensure they allow proper intake
• Make sure bathroom, kitchen and dryer exhaust fans are
properly vented to the exterior of the house and not into
the attic cavity as this practice will add excess moisture
inside the attic.
If you’re considering sealing your attic instead
of ventilating your attic be sure to ask your
contractor these important questions:
• Where will all the internal moisture go?
• How can I visually inspect for a roof leak if the underside
of the deck is sealed with insulation?
• Will I have more of a threat with mold and mildew?
• How does this impact my shingle warranty?
• Will this cause more ice damming?
…and it’s contractor tested and trusted. A balanced
ventilation system allows fresh, dry air to flow into
your attic structure through your intake vents. As
this occurs, warm moist air is drawn through your
exhaust vents to the outside. This is what is known
as a passive ventilation system and is one of the
most energy-efficient systems in the industry, as it
requires no energy to run and can help reduce your
cooling bills in the summer time.

When installing a new roof, commercial property owners must consider the employees,
equipment and inventory they are protecting. With many different asphalt roofing products and
installation methods available on the market, it is important to understand how to choose the
right system and get the most from an investment.
What Types of Roofing Systems Are Available?
A whole-system approach to low-slope roofing utilizes
long-term durability and redundant layers to provide
some of the best protection and reliability available.
Options include the following:
• Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
• Atactic Polypropylene (APP)
• Styrene Butadiene Styrene (SBS) modified systems
How Do These Roofing Systems Protect a
Building and its Assets?
Base sheets, interplies and cap sheets work
with asphalt and adhesives to create a longlasting, durable and redundant installation
comprised of multiple layers that provide a
water-resistant barrier.
What Are the Different Installation Options?
Different roofing systems can be applied in a variety of ways, including:
• cold-adhesive technology
• heat-welding
• hot asphalt
• self-adhering
How Do I Ensure My Roof is Installed Properly?
Prior to work beginning, ask your installer for the manufacturers’ system specifications to make
sure products are compatible. You can also request documentation of conformance to the
industry testing requirements from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), FM Approvals and ASTM
International. This documentation will demonstrate that the various components used in the
construction of your roofing system have been properly evaluated.

For commercial buildings, asphaltic low-slope roofing provides the highest
level of quality, affordability and reliability on the market. Most commercial
facilities use low-slope roofing because it is cost-efficient, maximizes usable
space and can be designed to feature value-adding amenities such as HVAC
equipment or a roof garden.
Though a flat roof may appear
level, it actually must have a
slight slope so that water can
run off the surface. Asphaltic
low-slope roofing is the
strongest option for
waterproofing because its
redundancies and reliability
provide added support and
protection for a building
which water cannot
There are two types of asphaltic low slope roofing. Built-up Roofing (BUR) and Modified
Bitumen (MB).
BUR is “built-up” of alternating layers of heavy roofing felt and hot mopped or coldapplied asphalt. The surface is finished with a mineral or gravel covering and a special
coating, which safeguards it from the sun and adds fire resistance. Recent installation
advances have included peel-and-stick self-adhesive products and low-fuming asphalt
The redundancy of
BUR systems make
them ideal for
hosting overburdens
such as solar panel
MB systems are referred to as being ‘modified’ because the asphalt has been blended with
polymers—usually either atactic polypropylene (APP) or styrene butadiene styrene
(SBS)—to improve the product’s strength, flexibility and resistance to solar radiation. MB
provides the features of a built-up roof with the added tensile strength and elongation of a
modified bitumen cap sheet, as well as the quality assurance of in-plant membrane
fabrication uniformity and control, and reduced labor requirements for installation.
MB systems
provide added
strength and are
affordable &
reliable to install.
Asphalt low-slope roofing has a number of beneficial attributes which make it
an asset to building owners and facility managers.
• Multi-layer protection, redundancy reduces chance of leaks
• Thermal performance
• Fire and uplift performance
• Seals concrete decks
• Versatile; suited to all types of roof decks
• Today’s formulas resist weathering
• Adaptable to meet any penetration or flashing detail
• Most cost-effective choice for commercial structures
• Withstands high-foot traffic
• Existing systems can be easily repaired by a roofing professional
• Easy to find contractors to install
• Versatile systems and products
• Inexpensive over entire life cycle
• “Best bang for the buck”
• Versatile options – choose the right system for your budget
• Existing systems can be modified to become “cool” and energy efficient
• Existing structures can be modified to accommodate “green” vegetative roofing
• New industry advances embracing sustainability of product
• Materials may be recycled
Attributes Continued…
Asphalt roofing is a system above the rest…
Low-slope roofs on industrial and institutional buildings share many common
• The low-slope of the roof affects its ability to shed water
• High-foot traffic when servicing equipment can cause wear and tear
• Multiple penetrations could affect the waterproofing system
In all of these cases, asphalt roofing offers the solution!

It’s About Saving Energy.
There are many options available to help assure that your roof, whether low-slope or steep-slope,
reduces energy use and saves you money.
• In fact, many states are instituting building codes that require roof systems to be energy
• There are many rebate programs available in the marketplace to learn about potential rebates.
For more information on energy efficiency rebates in your state please
visit: http://www.dsireusa.org/
Why is Reflectivity Important?
Reflective roofs are one option
Reflectivity can help reduce the heating and cooling costs associated with commercial buildings or
residences by reflecting the heat generated by the sun back into the environment.
There are several ways to accomplish energy savings and still maintain the look and performance you
have come to expect with asphaltic roofing.
The “Whole Building Envelope” approach encourages the use of insulation to reduce heating and
cooling costs.
• Most states with energy requirements for roofing
allow an “insulation trade-off.” Adding additional
insulation to a roofing system in Northern Climates is
another effective way to save energy in addition to a
highly reflective roof surface. Additionally, in these
climates where heating days exceed the cooling days,
the building owner may achieve a better energy
efficiency and avoid a heating penalty.
• Many energy calculators are available and can tell you
how much insulation you need to use if you like the look
of a non-reflective roof covering.
How Do Reflective Roofing Systems Work?
A reflective roof system absorbs less of the sun’s energy by reflecting back into the environment
the heat that could be absorbed by dark roofing. Roofs that don’t absorb heat lessen the load on
AC units, helping equipment last longer and lowering energy bills.
What Options Are Available?
Choose the asphalt roofing system you like then consider the following:
• Factory surfacing with reflective performance
• The “Insulation Trade-Off”
• Reflective coatings over some non-reflective low-slope membranes
• Vegetative over-burdens (garden roofs) may also help meet energy efficient building codes
Key Terms to Look For…
• Reflectivity
• Emissivity
Bottom Line.
There are plenty of energy efficient reflective options with asphaltic roofing technology, the performance you
can count on.

Over its 125-year-history, asphalt shingles have been reinforced by cotton rag,
wood pulp and paper.
• In the 1970’s, fiberglass was introduced as a stronger, more durable and more fireresistant reinforcement material.
• Early shingles were coated with crushed slate or oyster shells, and have progressed
over time to the brightly colored ceramic-coated granules that we see today.
• Modern asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors to match the unique design of
any home.
• The first asphalt shingles were pre-fabricated,
single-cut pieces of material.
• Today’s shingles come in many
formats, from single-layer shingles with no
cutouts to those with multiple cutouts, and
from standard laminated shingles of multiple
thicknesses to the newer, open tab designer
• Modern shingle design innovations have been
developed to include decorative architectural
styles that transform a roof with a high-end
dimensional look.
• Through advances in manufacturing technology,
asphalt shingle products are now more
environmentally friendly than ever.
• Computerized equipment has improved roofing
production efficiencies, resulting in less material
• Shingles from roof tear-offs can also be recycled and
used to pave roads across America.
• Solar reflective shingles are now available and can help
reduce energy use.
• Advances in asphalt shingle technology have led to products that are more durable
and protective than ever.
• Modern roofing systems include multiple components like leak barriers and
ventilation to help avoid moisture penetration from rain and ice damming from
• Research and development have led to shingles that meet the highest
performance standards for fire, wind and impact resistance.
• Through the industry’s deep commitment to research, development and customer
satisfaction, asphalt roofing shingles continue to improve to meet the needs of
today’s homeowners.
• The asphalt roofing industry is dedicated to maintaining the beauty, affordability
and reliability of North America’s most popular roofing material.

Shingle Sealants Bond Your Roof Together
With ever increasing performance expectations for asphalt shingles designed to
withstand high winds and heavy rains, manufacturers have responded by producing
increasingly higher-performing shingles. When properly installed, asphalt shingles are
manufactured to bond securely to each other, forming an integrated roof-covering
system designed to protect your home from the elements.
What is the secret ingredient? Asphalt-based bonding
sealants create the tie that binds!
How Are Shingles Attached to the Roof Deck?
Asphalt shingles are manufactured as individual units and are installed in courses
along the roof. When properly installed, the shingles adhere to each other to form a
cohesive roof-covering. Initially, make sure that the wood deck is in good condition,
then, assure that the right underlayment material is properly attached to the roof
deck. The underlayment provides extra protection for roof decking materials, and
keeps the shingle materials from adhering directly to the deck over time.
Nails and the Roof Deck
The best way to ensure that asphalt shingles are properly attached is to follow the
manufacturer’s installation instructions. As each asphalt shingle course is laid out, roofing
nails secure the shingles to the roof deck. Here are a few nailing practices recommended by
many shingle manufacturers.
It is important to make sure shingles are attached to the deck by using the proper type, size
and quantity of nails. Make sure the nails are in the right place by driving them in the
indicated “nailing zone.” Always ensure that nails in laminated shingles are driven through
the double thickness overlap area as indicated in this diagram.
How Does the Sealant Work?
Once each course of asphalt shingles is attached to the roof deck, every subsequent
shingle course will bond with the previously installed course, with the asphalt-based
sealant fusing the shingles together. The bonding sealant is factory-applied on the
shingle (front or backside), so following the manufacturer’s instructions regarding
spacing and alignment are critical for a proper sealant bond. Heat and UV rays from the
sun activates and softens the sealant to create the necessary bond needed to provide
good wind resistance for the finished asphalt roof covering system. Once sealed, the
bond is designed to hold the asphalt shingles together as a complete system.
What Are Sealants?
An asphalt based, heat activated, viscous
bonding material formulated to retain
bonding strength in all weather conditions,
once initial bonding has occurred. Sealants
are used on asphalt shingles to bond the
individual unit shingles together.
The Importance of Proper Installation
Recent research conducted by the University of
Florida’s College of Engineering1 has concluded
that proper installation is an important and very
critical factor to ensure that the shingle sealant
bonds the shingles together as designed.
Industry performance standards for asphalt
shingles include testing of the sealant bond
under laboratory conditions. These tests are
intended to simulate the resistance of the shingle
to uplift forces created during wind events.
Selecting a shingle that meets or exceeds local
wind-speed requirements in the building code
will help your roof covering withstand
windstorms and protect your home. Asphalt
shingle design has to ensure compliance to everchanging building code requirements. Shingles
have always worked as an effective windresistant roof covering, and now, thanks to the
use of bonding sealants, they work even better to
keep out the elements.
1Masters, Forrest J. Ph.D., P.E. (FL) (2013). Phase II Report: Investigation of the Wind Resistance of
Asphalt Shingle Roof Coverings (SERRI Report 90100- 02). Florida: University of Florida.
How Can I Make Sure the Sealant Does its Job?
Be aware of these key elements…
• Local code requirements matter. Manufacturers test asphalt shingles to the
requirements of local building codes. Check with the manufacturer to verify the
shingle you select is appropriate for use in your area.
• Schedule your roofing project to consider weather conditions. Asphalt shingles
can be vulnerable to wind forces until the sealant bonds, so it may be best to
install your roof when the temperatures are well above freezing. Heat and UV rays
from the sun activate the sealant to bond the shingles together. Check to make
sure that severe weather, including heavy rain, dust storms, snow and high winds,
are not in the forecast.
• The manufacturer’s installation instructions are your guide to a properly-attached
asphalt shingle roofing system.
How Can I Make Sure the Sealant Does its Job?
• Proper sealing starts with proper nailing. Always follow the manufacturer’s
instructions and use the right fasteners for the job, and make sure the shingles are
properly placed. Be sure that the nails are placed within the prescribed nailing
zone and are driven flush with the top surface of the shingles as required by the
• For more information about Florida Building Code Requirements for asphalt
shingles, click here to read the ARMA Technical Bulletin.
What about that mysterious little cellophane strip?
Asphalt shingles are packaged for shipping in bundles, so most
manufacturers apply a strip of material between the shingles to
keep them from adhering into one big shingle brick! Once the
shingles are separated, the strip is in an area that will have no
effect on the performance of the shingle.
It is not necessary or desirable to peel off those strips.

Why is ventilation important?
Proper ventilation reduces moisture build-up in your home
• The average family of four generates approximately 2 to 4 gallons of water vapor
each day through activities such as breathing, perspiration, showering, cooking and
• When moisture vapor remains in a colder/dryer attic, it can potentially condense
damaging your roof deck and insulation.
• In cold weather climates, ice dams can form along your eave edge increasing
the chance of a roof leak and damage to your gutters.
• Excess moisture may also lead to moisture build-up in your insulation, which
can lessen the insulating value over time, and even lead to mold build-up in
your attic
Proper ventilated spaces reduce the Stack Effect by pushing warm, moist air out of the
attic space. In addition to moisture build-up, proper ventilation also reduces heat
build-up in your attic.
• Improper ventilation can lead to premature deterioration of your shingles and roof
• Proper ventilation means your attic stays cooler, reducing load on your air
conditioning units. The less your AC unit works, the longer it will last, likely
resulting in lower cooling bills.
How much ventilation do I need?
• A balanced ventilation system is best. A balanced system is where intake
ventilation at the eave areas is equaled at or near the ridge area.
• Minimum ventilation requirements are 1 sq. ft. unobstructed or net free area of
ventilation for every 300 sq. ft. of attic space.
• The preferred ration is 1 sq. ft. of net free area of ventilation to every 150 feet of
attic space. In order to qualify for a FHA loan, ventilation must meet the 1/150
rule. Many calculators to help you plan the right amount of ventilation for your
home and the ventilation system you select are available.
• There are different styles of ventilation systems available; many are 100% green,
utilizing no electrical power.
Can I over ventilate?
If the system is not balanced at the top or ridge area, or if there were gable end vents
with ridge vents, without adequate soffit ventilation you may actually pull moisture
into the home during a heavy rain or snow storm.
The exception to the balance rule is at the soffit in passive systems. Since the air that
enters at the soffit acts to push out moisture and warm air, having extra soffit
ventilation will not create an off-balance system.

There is a reason why four out of five homes are covered with asphalt shingles in the United States.
Asphalt shingles offer myriad benefits for residential and commercial applications. Their Beauty,
Affordability and Reliability make asphalt a cut above the rest, raising the B.A.R. for premiere roofing
systems and protecting one’s most valuable asset.
Asphalt Shingles are…
The emergence of today’s stunning asphalt architectural shingles is nothing short of an artistic
renaissance in roofing. Gorgeous styles, colors, and textures abound
Even traditional 3-tab shingles have undergone a dramatic facelift in recent years. With bold new
colors and enhanced shadow lines, one can achieve a beautiful roof on any budget.
• A wide range of colors from white to black with everything in between
• Traditional (or 3-Tab) Shingles
• Architectural Shingles
Low Maintenance + Long Life Cycle = Long-Term Cost Savings
• Asphalt shingles require little or no maintenance and cost significantly less than alternatives such as
tile, wood, cedar, slate and metal.
• The efficient, high-volume production and relatively low application cost of asphalt shingles provide
consumers with an overall value that’s difficult for other roofing materials to match, especially in
terms of comparable life expectancy.
• Asphalt roofs are designed to require low maintenance (and easy repairs) for decades. Properly
installed, an asphalt roof will be extremely resistant to wind tear-off, uplift, moisture damage, and
practically any other natural hazard. (Some manufacturers also offer algae-resistant roofing
• High durability combined with high performance equals… low maintenance. And low maintenance
means peace of mind and huge cost savings over the life of the roof. In both low-slope roofing and
steep-slope roofing, asphalt roofing is your number one low-maintenance option.
• What’s more, many asphalt roof systems, including shingles, built-up roofs and modified bitumen,
meet ENERGY STAR roof specifications www.energystar.gov, which can lead to big cost savings over
Asphalt roofing products are designed to endure harsh weather conditions, in harsh climates, all
year round.
• Low Maintenance. Asphalt shingles, when properly chosen and applied, require little or no
regular upkeep, and are easily repaired if damaged.
• Ease of Application. Asphalt shingles are considered to be the easiest of all standard roofing
materials to apply. In addition, the flexibility and strength of asphalt shingles supports their
application on a wide variety of roof designs.
• Fire and Wind Resistance. Asphalt shingles are manufactured to resist external fire and
flammability standards, and carry Class A, B or C fire ratings, with Class A providing the
greatest fire resistance. These fire ratings are defined by nationally recognized standards and
tested by independent testing agencies. In addition, many asphalt shingles carrying a “wind
resistance” label indicate that they have been manufactured and tested to demonstrate
acceptable resistance in high-wind locations.

It can be argued that the most visible, distinguishing and important part of a home is the roof. The roof generally represents about
40% of the visual exterior of a typical home and therefore plays an important role in its overall aesthetics. Most buyers in the
market for a home will eliminate from consideration any home that does not have curb appeal for them. That’s why four out of
five residential roofs in the United States today boast beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt shingles.
What are the material options for residential roofs?
Today’s homeowner has a number of options when it comes to the style, material and color of their roof. Asphalt shingles are by
far the most common option, with metal, clay tile, concrete tile, slate and cedar shake as alternatives.
The majority of residential roofs in the U.S. don asphalt shingles because they are beautiful, affordable, reliable and low
Another material featured on a fraction of homes in the U.S. is metal roofing. While metal roofs are environmentally friendly and
not as costly as stone-like materials such as clay tiles and slate, they are still more expensive than asphalt shingles and require a
much more intricate installation.
What are some of the considerations when thinking about a metal roof?
In addition to high cost and difficult installation, homeowners also need to think through the following when considering a metal
• Care must be taken on large roofs to provide for thermal expansion and movement
• Movement caused by differences in temperature may cause objectionable noises in some roofs; for example, curved roof
• Condensation accumulation issues can arise, such as rust, discoloration and mold
• Care must be taken to avoid the use of incompatible materials, as dissimilar metals can cause unexpected and rapid
• Metal refining, production and transport of metal roof components can be energy-intensive and is typically a non-local
• Support structure for metal required over older roofing systems (retrofit)
• There are a limited number of Contractor Training Programs
• Absence of skilled contractors
• Lack of organized codes and standards
• Repair, matching and cut-lists
• Lead time
• Walkability
• Accessories like snow jacks
• Maintenance issues with metal
– SH1 Rating
– Re-coating
– Wind-uplift warranties
• Repair and matching
• Exposed fasteners—back out
What are the benefits of asphalt shingles?
For the past 150 years, asphalt shingles have proved the most popular roofing material in North America. The benefits are
abundant and include:
• Versatility/Aesthetic options
– Color range
– Style range
– Natural look
– EnergyStar compliant options
– Reliability/performance
• Affordability
– Life cycle cost
– Low installation cost
• Sustainability
– Energy efficient
– Cool roofing/reflectivity
– Recyclability
• Quality
– Durability
– Ease of installation
– Fire and wind resistance

If I select asphalt shingles, what is my return on investment?
The majority of home owners will base their roofing decision on cost, ease of maintenance and longevity. Asphalt shingles fulfill all three
categories while also offering a range of color, style and eco-friendly options. Careful selection of a roofing material will reduce longterm costs for you and the environment.
• Life Cycle Cost Number
• Warranties (third party source)
• Time and Cost for Installer

In the United States, four out of five homes are covered with asphalt shingles. These shingles are
beautiful, affordable and reliable, and are constantly raising the bar in protecting your most
valuable asset.
What is Cool Roofing?
“Coolness” is measured by two properties, solar reflectance (SR, or reflectivity) and thermal
emittance (emissivity), or a combination of the two, called the Solar Reflectance Index (SRI). Cool
roofs can also be referred to as “highly reflective roofs” and “high albedo roofs.” A cool roof
reflects and emits the sun’s heat back to the sky rather than transferring it to the building below.
What are the benefits of Cool Roofing?
There is a great deal of information regarding cool roofing as an environmentally friendly choice.
Cool roofs are an energy efficient choice that can simultaneously reduce the impact of the “Heat
Island Effect,” which refers to a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its rural
Benefits include:
• Increased energy efficiency
• Improved comfort
• Reduced energy bill
• Reduced capital cost
• Longer roof life
• Reduced “Heat Island Effect”
The Energy Efficiency Discussion: Warmer climates, such as Southern California, New Mexico,
Texas, Arizona, and the South East Gulf States, where the heating days exceed the cooling days,
a cool roof will reduce the transfer of heat from the sun’s rays into your home or building by
reflecting the heat rays back into the atmosphere, thus causing your air conditioning system to
run less frequently.
The Heat Island Discussion: Cooler climates, such as Chicago, New York, Baltimore, and San
Francisco, the benefits of reflective roofing as a sound energy-efficient choice are specific to
the particular region and its climate.
• Many states are instituting building code changes to require roof systems to be energy
• There are many rebate programs available in the market place. To learn about potential
energy efficiency rebates in your state please visit: http://www.dsireusa.org
What does ARMA believe about Cool Roofs?
ARMA views roof surface reflectance as only one component of the approach as an appropriate
regulatory policy and design principle for energy conservation, mitigation of urban heat islands,
and improved air quality. The “Whole Building Envelope” approach is the best option for
designing and optimizing performance-based, proven and cost effective commercial and
residential buildings. It allows flexibility and consumer choice in the selection of roof systems.
What options are available to make my steep-sloped asphaltic roof more
• Asphalt Shingle with Cool Granule Technology
With the new roofing granule technology, these shingles reflect solar energy and radiate heat far
better than traditional roofing shingles. Visit CRRC and Energy Star for more information.
• Proper Attic Ventilation
Attic ventilation is green. A balanced ventilation system requires no energy to run and can help
reduce bills and damage to your home. Be sure to ask your contractor about proper ventilation
before sealing your attic structure.
• Added Insulation
By adding roof insulation to your home, you will be able to save money because your furnace
will no longer have to run as often, keeping your energy bills low. Although you may already
have installed attic insulation, it doesn’t hurt to occasionally inspect this area. Or, try a
combination of them. However, ARMA highly discourages the uses of a field-applied coating over
an asphalt shingle roof.
What options are available to make my low-slope residential asphalt roof more
energy efficient?
Choose the asphalt roofing system you like and consider the following:
• Factory surfacing with reflective performance (e.g., adding granulated cap sheets)
• The insulation factor:
o Increased insulation
o Ballasted system affording extra protection
• Reflective coatings over some non-reflective low-slope membranes, such as a built-up roof or fieldapplied bitumen rolled product
• Vegetative or garden roofs may also help meet energy-efficient building codes; however, it is rare to
find these in residential re-roofing due to the cost and potential maintenance aspects of the system
o These systems often have special considerations so be sure to contact the manufacturer