Reflective Roof Options Save Your Business Money

Day after day under the harsh sun, your commercial roof is taking a solar beating.A roofing worker in a white t-shirt and white hard hat examines a commercial roof, pondering the reflective roof options he could employ.

When you consider North Texas’s sunny climate, combined with the almost-year-round high temperatures, you can expect premature aging and high utility costs with traditional roofing systems.

Are you wondering what you can do about the weather’s effects on your business’s operating costs? The answer is reflective roofing systems.

If you are hoping to save money over the coming years, consider installing a reflective SPF (spray polyurethane foam) roof system or elastomeric coating to your commercial building’s existing roof.

How the Sun Affects Your Commercial Roof (and Utility Costs)

We’d like to present you with some facts to keep in mind as we talk about reflective roof options for your commercial building.

A typical 90-degree day can bring the surface temperature of a traditional, dark-colored roof to over 200 degrees. Keep in mind also that 2017 was the hottest year on record in DFW, and that trend is expected to continue.

Day after day under those conditions can cause peeling and cracking of your roof’s surface, leading to leaks and repair expenses in addition to high utility costs.

On top of that, your building expands as it heats up throughout the day, and then it contracts as the sun goes down and evening temperatures cool — this happens year round. Your roofing materials are constantly being strained by the direct sunlight and changing temperatures.

That’s a lot of heat absorption and wear on your roofing system, which means increases in both utility and repair expenses — reflective roof materials make a huge difference in your business’s overhead costs.

SPF Roofing Systems and Reflectivity

An SPF roofing system is a great place to start when looking to reduce the heating effects of the sun and lower cooling costs.

Usually white or light gray, SPF is simply a more reflective roofing material than the black tar-and-gravel or mod-bit roofing systems.

There are also benefits beyond reflectivity that you can expect when you add an SPF roofing system to your commercial building:

  • Increased structural support increases storm resistance
  • Minimized transmission of sound keeps your offices and workspace quieter
  • Eliminated moisture seepage that ruins ceilings and walls
  • Improved strength against crush and impact damage caused by debris
  • Added insulative properties to keep heated or cooled air trapped inside

Over time, you can expect anywhere from a 10-50% savings on utility costs, not to mention:

  • Increasing durability
  • Eliminating leaks
  • Adding a new warranty when you add a new SPF reflective roof over your existing roofing system

Increase Reflectivity With an Elastomeric Coating

SPF alone possesses increased reflectivity, but those cost-saving properties can be drastically improved by adding an elastomeric roof coating — find out about the GE Enduris Roof Coating System here.

On the hottest days, the reflective properties of elastomeric coatings can keep your roof’s surface temperature near 130 degrees, which is nearly 70 degrees cooler than traditional roofing systems.A large commercial roof that has been covered in white reflective roof coating.

An elastomeric coating can be used with many existing roofing systems, including:

Under North Texas conditions, the increased reflectivity and elasticity of an elastomeric roof coating system could extend the life of your current commercial roofing system by as many as 20 years.

Combine the Two Reflective Roof Systems for Maximum Weatherproof Savings

If you were to combine the properties of both of these reflective roofing systems, the amount of money you can save would likely surprise you.Pictured is a corner section of a commercial roof that has been covered in a white reflective roof coating.

That was certainly true for one of our customers, who had us install a 1.5” SPF roofing system fitted with an Energy Star approved coating on his 24,000-square-foot single-story building.

When we asked this customer to keep track of his utility costs over the course of the year, he was shocked to see that he’d saved nearly $12,000 for the year — a savings of roughly $1,000 per month.

Many of our customers experience as much as a 20% reduction in utility costs.

One More Advantage of SPF Roofing Systems

In addition to increased reflectivity, SPF roofing systems strengthen the thousands of natural weak points of your roof, such as at the seams and around fixtures, when applied over an existing roofing system.

Many conventional roofing systems utilize ISO board insulation. In most cases, these boards are mechanically fastened with long screws that protrude out the bottom and into your air-conditioned building. Each board has approximately 10 to 17 fasteners per sheet.A worker wearing protective gear is applying a reflective roof coating with a spray gun to a commercial roof.

The screws need a large 3” washer to prevent them from being pulled through the soft foam board. Mod-bit or TPO single-ply systems are then glued onto the board. In most cases, no insulation is used between the metal fasteners and the 175°F to 200°F roof surface.

That means heat from the extremely hot metal fasteners is transferred straight into your building, conducted by the long metal screws. Studies show that, with heat drive, the R-value of your insulation is then reduced by 15%.

The problem gets worse when the small gaps between each board allow hot and cold air to leak through (called thermal bridging). Studies show an additional 15% loss of R-value.

Spray foam systems eliminate the need for metal fasteners, and SPF insulation is totally seamless. That means radiant heat is prevented from transferring through the membrane.

In addition to its reflective properties, this seamless, insulating membrane is one of the many reasons SPF is more efficient than all other roof systems.

Get a Quote on an SPF Roofing System and Elastomeric Roof Coating

DFW Urethane is here to help you with all of your commercial roofing and insulation needs in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Contact us here to get a recommendation and a quote on an SPF roofing system and/or an elastomeric roof coating.

1 Comment

  1. Shane on December 16, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    I have only ever heard of being used inside walls and crawlspaces, not on the roof. Very informative article! Another way spray foam can save home and business owners to save money!

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