Commercial Roofs: How Hot Do They Get in the Summer

Are you aware of how hot your commercial roof gets in the summer? Knowing this is important because it can impact the inside of your building. A hotter roof can make for a hotter interior. With that, heat can be absorbed by your roof surface and radiated inside, especially if you have older roofs not assembled with R20 and R30 insulation. 

What Are the Best Roofs to Use for Cooler Temperatures?

Dark-colored roofs may seem elegant, but they’re often not the most efficient for commercial establishments because they absorb up to 90% solar energy, converting it to heat and emitting it back into the atmosphere. Light-colored roofs absorb much less light by reflecting the light without transferring it into heat. On the other hand, green roofs that have mounted solar panels absorb sunlight and put it to good use. 

Here’s a simple breakdown of how hot the temperature of your roof can get on a sunny day: 

  • Black roof: 140-190
  • Gravel: 125-140
  • Unpainted metal: 138-145
  • Aluminum reflective coated: Up to 68 degrees
  • Painted metal: 105-115
  • White: 102-120
  • Vegetative: 90

Keep in mind: the rooftop temperature results from two different properties—solar reflectance, which is the ability of the material to reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere, and thermal emittance, the amount of heat the material rejects instead of absorbs. 

The Differences Between Roofing Materials

Black and other dark-colored roofs are the ones that usually get the hottest, which is why they tend to suffer more because heat speeds up the breakdown of materials. Even though black roofs are meant to last for 20 years or longer, heat wear and tear usually affects the longevity of the material. 

On the other hand, metal roofs also get hot, but metal roofing coated with BASF paint can help cut down the surface heat. 

Now, there are white roofs that are 50 or more degrees cooler than black roofs. They are also 30 degrees cooler than gravel roofs. Another cooler roof option to consider is coated roofs.  Thanks to our modern technology today, you can even choose Pantone colors without worrying about roof temperatures significantly. 

There are also vegetative roofs to consider as their surface that is cool to touch on most days. The cooling qualities of vegetative roofs go beyond the individual rooftop because it reduces the heat that’s reflected back into the atmosphere. In turn, this helps cut down on the heat island effect. 

Take Control Over How Hot Your Roof Gets in the Summer

Unbeknownst to some commercial property owners, you can have control over how hot your roof gets in the summer. Therefore, if you’re re-roofing or having a building built, you need to consider the right roof that will make it less hot inside your commercial building. Also, be mindful of the new coating technologies that can help you have a more efficient roofing system. 

In a Nutshell

Commercial establishments are often quite large, meaning that even a small increase in efficiency can translate to big monetary savings. Use this information to help you choose the right commercial roof for your facilities. That way, you’ll be able to have an efficient roof system that will keep you cool from the inside even in the summer. 

Do you need help with commercial roofing in Birmingham, AL? We can help you here at 5 Star Roofer! Our staff is highly recommended and we carry over $1,000,000 in insurance. Get a free estimate today!

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