User login

A Community of Green Bloggers & Activists

White Roof: All The Cool Roofs Are Doin' It!

Hybrid in the driveway?  Check.  Stylish green recycle logo t-shirt?  Check.  Fan of Keen for Green on Facebook?  Check.  White roof on house?  Che...  Hu?  Oh come on.  All the cool roofs are doin' it!  Dark roofing material is so 20th century.

White Roof Before and After KeenforGreen

It must have stung when your month old hybrid got trumped by your neighbor's electric, and here's your chance to get 'em back.   You could be the first kid on your block with a brand new white roof.  They say revenge is best served cold, and that's the whole idea behind cool roofs.  Okay so maybe not the revenge part, but definitely the cold part.  I know it's childish to play "out-green your neighbor," but I don't think your mother (nature) will mind.

So why would you want a white roof anyway?  Well, the effects are pretty amazing for such simple action.  Dr. Alexander Cannara, a cool roof advocate, says increasing roof reflectivity by just 40% would have the same benefit to global warming as parking all vehicles worldwide for a decade.  Now that's impressive! 

White Roof

A more detailed account of the process can be found here, but the basic science behind the idea is simple.  Light colors don't absorb as much heat as dark ones.  I don't know if I'll ever grow out of my black t-shirt phase, and in the summer I  pay for it.  Dark roofs pay the price as well.  Replacing a dark roof with a cool one could save as much as 20% on the home's air conditioning bill.  Maybe I should switch to white t-shirts and spend 20% less on anti-perspirant.  Hmm.

It almost seems too good to be true, but the science is sound.   Don't be surprised when you start seeing them in your neighborhood just like the one recently done in Menlo Park, California.  This house was done for under $1,600.  Cool roofs are a great way to combat global warming without breaking the bank.  Take this opportunity and become the trendsetter on your block.