For decades, the roofing material of choice for a flat roof has been asphalt tar. The main reason for this is that asphalt tar is the least expensive roofing material on the market. As a business owner, it is wise to save money where you can, but a myopic focus on saving money on installation costs can leave you exposed to higher costs down the road. You will save more money by using a white roof as opposed to a tar roof, but you will save even more money with a green roof.
The Money-Saving Advantages of a White Roof
Color may seem insignificant, especially when no customer should ever see your roof. However, in the case of a flat roof, the advantages of one color over another have nothing to do with aesthetics, and everything to do with energy efficiency. Black absorbs more of the sun's energy than any other color, and as tar absorbs the sun's energy, it converts it to heat which then leaks into your building and drives up your heating costs. White reflects more of the sun's energy than any other color, and by so doing white roofing can decrease your cooling costs by up to 20%. While this is impressive, white roofing will reflect the sun's energy year round. A little heat gain through your roof can make your furnace's job easier and save you money on heating costs. Thus, white roofing can be a disadvantage in Northern climates where you have to contend with severe winter cold.
Enter Green Roofing
In the case of green roofing, the name applies less to its color than to what it is made from. A green roof starts with a completely waterproof membrane. To this base, a planting medium is added, and finally workers plant whatever grasses or flowers you want. These plants will absorb the sun's rays through the process of photosynthesis and the planting medium will provide extra insulation. In this way a green roof can decrease your cooling costs by up to 75%. The insulation provided by the planting medium will also help to decrease heating costs during the winter. Thus, a green roof can provide you with year-round energy savings.
The urban heat-island effect is largely created by the choice of roofing materials that business owners use. If you need some sort of monetary incentive for helping to decrease the heat island effect, consider the amount of money you stand to save by using a white or green roof on your building. While a green roof will cost more to install than either a tar or a white roof, it gives you the best way to save money over the long run. Contact a roofing company, such as Can-Tech Roofing Ltd, for more information.