Although it’s one of the most expensive components of the exterior of your home, a roof is rarely given much thought until replacement is needed. This provides the optimum time to carefully understand your choices so that the new roof not only enhances your curb appeal but lowers your energy costs. Here’s what you need to know.
Insulation: While shingles are a critical component of a roof, they should only be a part of the conversation. Thorough roofing contractors should also be performing a visual inspection of your attic to verify the quality and R-value of its insulation. Without correct levels of insulation, it’s highly probable that your energy bills are unnecessarily high. That’s because insulation creates an obstacle that lowers the level of thermal transfer between your attic and living quarters. Even more frustrating is the fact that inadequate levels of insulation can speed up the life of your roof by allowing costly ice dams to form.
Ventilation: Attics absent of the correct levels of ventilation create an environment for mold to thrive. Improper attic ventilation also has detrimental consequences to your roof. Its lifespan is shortened, excessive heat allows shingles to trap warmth and moisture, which can cause dry rot on the roof deck. This also means that the interior of your home can become hotter than necessary, causing your air conditioner to become overexerted. A reputable contractor can look at the specific set-up of your home and determine the proper types of roof ventilation needed. Intake vents pull fresh air into the attic through the lowest points of the roof, often in the soffit, below the gutters. In tandem with exhaust vents, which are installed at higher points of the roof, a matter-of-course airflow transmission process takes place. Common exhaust vent options include, gable, ridge, static, and powered exhaust.
Roof Color: Surprisingly enough, the color of your roof has an impact on the level of heat that enters your home. Roofs in darker shades soak up light and heat and conduct it inward. Lighter colored roofs reflect the heat outward.
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Shingle Type: Major roofing manufacturer, GAF, offers Timberline® CS Shingles which are fabricated with reflective technology. This lowers attic temperatures, allowing homes to stay cooler during the summer months. Classified as a cool roof, its purpose is to reduce solar heat gain by reflecting the sun’s hot rays and re-emitting the energy that is absorbed. It’s worth noting that some utility companies offer rewards for homeowners that opt to have these shingles installed .