What is Cool Roofing?

Does your roof reflect UV rays? Get the facts...

One of the things that we are tested and rated for, and that we especially like in the summertime, is that we are Cool Roof rated.

What is a Cool Roof ?

We recently interviewed Jeff Steuben and Sarah Schneider, the Executive Director and Deputy Directors respectively of the Cool Roof Rating Council for an upcoming series of videos we are doing. They had a lot of really great information on the work they are doing.


The CRRC is an internationally recognized, non-profit organization that tests, rates and certifies products that meet the strict Cool Roof standards.

For 20 years now, their testing involves examining and measuring the Solar Reflectance and Thermal Emittance of roofing products and ultimately they provide a list of certified products that meet their criteria.

For you, as a homeowner or as a building owner, what that means is that you will find that our Interlock® metal roofing is an excellent roofing solution because we meet their recognized tests and standards as a Cool Roof.

What that also means is that you will see some tangible benefits when you do choose a Cool Roof rated product. Those benefits include:

  • Savings on your utility bills
  • Rebates or incentives that you are eligible for
  • Increased comfort (and reduced health risks) inside your home or commercial building
  • Choice of color beyond a “white roof”
  • Peace of mind knowing that you can be more “Green” simply with your roof selection
  • Environmental impact by helping reduce city heat sprawl called “Urban Island Heat Effect”
  • Reduction of Green House Gas Emissions

But let’s backtrack for a second. Why should you care about these benefits that choosing a Cool Roof gives you?

Well, for one let’s talk about the savings or the reverse of that. Your regular dark asphalt shingle roof is likely costing you money.

The CRRC will tell you that Solar reflectance is a key component of a Cool Roof. For instance, your typical dark asphalt shingle (non-Cool Roof rated) roof will have very little solar reflectance to help it avoid soaking up heat from the sun. By not reflecting a good portion of UV rays of the sun away, the sun will soak into the dark shingle and it can transfer heat inside your home. You can read all the details of that on the CRRC website (www.coolroofs.org), but ultimately what that means for you is your air-conditioner is working very hard to keep your home cool in the summer with regular dark asphalt shingles on it, which is costing you money.

Thermal Emittance is another factor in the CRRC testing. Thermal Emittance is a how quickly a material will radiate heat away from itself. When it comes to an Interlock® roof, you have two distinct advantages. Our exclusive Alunar® Coating System helps reflect the majority of UV rays away from the roof and house, so that is less heat available to get into your home. Then the fact that we use aluminum is also an advantage, because scientifically aluminum will dissipate any heat very quickly that isn’t already reflected away, that’s why they use it in certain laptops to help keep them cool. Contrast that to your typical dark shingle roof, with poor thermal emittance, where your house will stay warmer for longer in the summer months.

But what other advantages will you get from choosing a Cool Roof?

Check the CRRC website to see what you qualify for in your local area. You can save or regain some of what you are already going to spend on re-roofing.

Now here’s one that a lot of people will be able to relate to. If you aren’t lucky enough to have air-conditioning in your home, then you should know your roof is a key contributor to keeping your home warmer, longer during the hot summer months. Customers who have chosen our metal roofs notice a temperature difference as soon as it’s installed. It’s definitely much more comfortable for them when it’s hot outside. If they did have air-conditioning, they notice over time that they aren’t running it as often or as long as they used to with their old roof. One of our customers in Washington State worked nights and had to sleep in the daytime, and noticed a 10-degree (°F) difference immediately after installing one of our metal roofs. 

You can see his story here:

This may not seem like a big benefit, but with an Interlock® roof, you have up to 9 designer colors to choose from including Black!  Traditionally to get Cool Roof benefits, the only color available to you was White. But with us, you have many choices to choose from to complement the design and look of your home.

There are quite a few factors here, all of which could be an article unto themselves. But here’s a brief snapshot of them.

The Urban Island Heat Effect. Effectively, it’s the collective heat retention that a city or a densely populated area has because of the roads, buildings, and houses being heated up and holding on to that heat. The temperature differences are most noticeable when you are outside of the “island”. There are many detrimental and negative effects of this phenomenon, but one, of course, would be increased energy usage to cool the dwellings down. One estimate states that this causes the city of Los Angeles about $100 million US in energy costs per year. This is a serious concern to every major city center around the world, and by simply choosing a Cool Roof rated product, you’re doing your part to help. But even further, our metal roofing is one of the most effective Cool Roofs out there because of our coating combined with aluminum.

Aluminum is an extremely recyclable product.

Fact. Recycled aluminum is as strong as first -generation aluminum. Also, it’s a very green material, as it’s both sustainable and naturally abundant. We include recycled aluminum in the aluminum that makes up our shingles, panels, and trim. Did you know it only takes 8% of the energy to recycle aluminum as it does to make first-generation aluminum, so by choosing aluminum you’re helping the environment by not using as much energy and also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions in production.

But if you’re using your air-conditioner less because you now have a Cool Roof, you’re just plain ‘ol using less energy. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. The less energy used, the fewer resources it takes to make that energy. Simple. 

There are quite a few more topics that you can investigate that show how good for the environment having a Cool Roof is, but you can search on the CRRC website or just Google a few things to find out more.

But rest assured, you can feel good about helping the planet out by just choosing the right roof. But you can also rest, in more comfort, because your roof will be keeping you cool.

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