As summers get warmer the need to find refuge from hot weather will increase. Large urban areas can heat up at twice the rate of surrounding space. Human activity and dark roofs trap even more heat.
Condo roofs can comprise 25 percent to 30 percent of total city area. Used wisely, they can mitigate heat accumulation rather than contribute to the challenges of a city that is getting warmer each year.
Roofs have evolved from asphalt to products that contain insulation and project against heat loss. Reflective roof materials can help decrease energy use and lower our environmental emissions.
Heat islands are urban areas where temperatures are hotter than surrounding areas. The temperature differential can be four degrees Celsius; more during extended heat waves. Temperature differentials can be reduced by adding vegetation to an area. A more immediate change can result from use of lighter-coloured paving. One of the better options is to replace dark roofing with a light and reflective surface.
Cool roofs are a solution to reducing energy use. A cool roof is one with a highly reflective surface that directs 50 percent to 70 percent of the solar heat away from a building. It can reduce demand for electricity in air conditioned buildings by making existing insulation more effective and improving HVAC efficiency.
What cool roofs do is help lower interior temperatures and make condo living more comfortable.
Installing a cool, reflective roof deflects solar heat from reaching into the building, thus reducing cooling needs. Use of PVC adds to the sustainability of the roof by allowing it to last 20 or more years longer and be recycled at the end of that use.
The best time to consider a cool roof is when an existing roof requires replacement.