If the cost to cool your building this summer has been through the roof (literally), the color of your roof could be to blame. As heatwaves continue to break record temperatures in northern Michigan, cooling systems are working overtime to keep up.

While there has been a long-standing debate of the benefits between black and white commercial roofs, black roofs are known to absorb the sun’s heat energy—causing the roof surface to become extremely hot.

In fact, white thermoplastic membranes that we install at Springfield are 50-80 degrees cooler than black rubberized roofing membranes. A black roof exposed to full sun can increase in temperature by as much as 90 degrees Fahrenheit, leaving the air conditioning working overtime to compensate.

White Commercial Roofs vs. Black Commercial Roofs

While the upfront cost of the cheapest roof possible may be appealing, the long-term benefits that will be sacrificed make it a costly bargain.

By reflecting up to 88% of the sun’s energy, Duro-Last’s white membranes can greatly reduce energy consumption and costs – making it an ideal energy efficient cool roofing solution. With a total solar emittance of up to 95%, the ENERGY STAR® qualified Duro-Last membrane also releases energy and heat efficiently.
This reflectivity of white roofs compared with black roofs is particularly helpful for reducing peak energy demand, or the sharp peak in electrical demand can be observed in almost every building during the busiest hours of the day.
A Duro-Last roofing system is a strong, reinforced thermoplastic single-ply membrane that is perfect for commercial and industrial buildings with flat or low-sloped roofs. Choosing this option can have a substantial effect on your bottom line and extend the lifecycle of your roofing system.

Myths Debunked: Why White Roofs Come Up on Top

We know what you’re thinking, we see more snow than sun in northern Michigan, so wouldn’t a black roof provide a winter heating benefit? The short answer is no but allow us to explain why.

• Hot air rises. Thus, any heat that is transferred to the interior of a building structure from the outside will remain at the top of the structure, providing minimal heat savings.
• There are fewer hours of sunlight to truly impact energy costs.
• The energy required to air condition a building in the summer is usually considerably greater than the energy to heat it in the winter, making the potential for summer energy cost savings much greater with a highly reflective white roof than winter savings with a heat absorbing black roof.

As a building owner, there are many factors that go into the final decision for your next roofing system. Make sure the color of your commercial roof is one of them!

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