August 9, 2013

Eric Shepperd

Your Scottsdale Roof Should Be White. Here’s Why:

Far too often people choose roofing materials on a whim. Some people make their selection based on the latest fashion. Others look for roofing materials with a price closest to zero. The majority, though, picks their roofing materials without looking at the broader energy efficiency consequences of their decision. And when it comes to energy efficiency, few things matter as much as the color of your roof.

Why Does the Color of Your Scottsdale Roof Matter?

Anywhere from 10-15% of your air conditioning is lost through your roof each day. Over the lifetime of your house, this amounts to tens of thousands of dollars worth of needlessly lost money. You essentially have to work more hours just to pay the difference.

According to the EPA, more than 90% percent of roofs are dark colored. Dark colors absorb light from the sun to massive affect. Low reflective, dark roofing materials can reach temperatures of between 150-190 degrees Fahrenheit, creating islands of heat around your home. In contrast, lighter colored roofs can stay more than 70 degrees cooler, especially in hot Scottsdale summers.

If you have ever walked on pavement in the Arizona summer, you felt this difference first hand. Streets can be hot enough to fry eggs on, while surrounding vegetative environments feel much more tolerable.

Dark colors are simply not a good option in Arizona homes. Since pure white roofs might look ugly on your home you don’t have to go that extreme; simply choosing lighter caramel colors is enough to give your home an energy efficiency boost.

A white-roofed WalMart in CA.
A white-roofed WalMart in CA.

Which Roofing Materials Are the Most Energy Efficient?

While paying attention to the color of your Scottsdale roof is important, thinking about which material to use can also help you save money.

All roofing materials absorb a certain level of heat. Foam, shingle, tile, and metal will all be warm to the touch on a hot summer day. The difference between materials comes as a result of their weights and densities. Roofs that are heavy will retain their heat throughout the night, causing continued and unnecessary energy consumption.

Foam and metal roofs are some of the best options in this regard. While metal might sound counterintuitive, its reflective surface pushes away the majority of the sun’s energy. On top of that, it is extremely lightweight which means that any heat it absorbs will be released extremely quickly. Foam is an effective roofing material in Arizona for similar reasons.

How Else Can You Improve Your Roof Energy Efficiency?

There are a few other steps that you can do to make sure that you are really limiting your energy bills. Air leakage causes 35% of energy loss in homes. Quite a bit of this energy is released through your roof. Consider hiring a spray foam attic insulation company like RetroFoamAZ, to prevent these problems.

Additionally, if your air conditioning unit is on your roof, make sure that your ducts are insulated. Many homes in Scottsdale have exposed air conditioning vents, which causes tremendous loss.

With millions of dark roofs collecting heat across the Phoenix metropolitan area, the whole valley experiences increased temperatures. Doing your part to be conscientious about your roof color will help lower the energy costs of homes throughout the area.

To learn more information about roofing, visit