What are some cool roofing materials?

roofing massachusetts

Cool roofing materials are used for different roofing types. The type of roofing materials that are used should be chosen based on the building type, the location, and the roof type.

Asphalt shingles – Composed of asphalt mats made from felts or fiberglass, their SRI is relatively low. White shingles are about 30% reflective, while other color tiles are less reflective. These are used in residential sectors because they are low in cost and easy to install.

Metal roofs – A popular material for roofs, it can achieve solar reflectance of over 70%. This allows buildings to remain cooler and lowers their energy costs. Metal is durable and weather-resistant. It is also lightweight and recyclable.


White roof coatings – Opaque and reflective, this coating consists of polymeric materials and some types of white pigment. Normally reflecting 70% to 80% of the sun’s energy. The thicker the layers of coating, the more reflective they are. This keeps surface temperatures close to ambient temperatures.

Pigmented coatings – Less efficient than white coatings. Darker shades reflect 20% or less of the sun’s solar rays. It is seen in residential areas; colors are used to create an aesthetically pleasing home or building.

Aluminum roof coatings – Often consisting of an asphalt-like resin containing aluminum leafing flakes. The coating provides a visual of an aluminum sheet and gives no indication of the asphalt layer underneath. Most aluminum coatings reflect at least 50% and can exceed 70%. Indoor temperatures can be reduced by up to 20°F.

Roofing Membranes – Made from felt, fiberglass, or polyester attached with flexible polymeric materials such as asphalt, synthetic rubber, or synthetic polymers. Membranes are constructed to be flexible, waterproof, and strong. The top layer can be covered with pigments that increase solar reflectance, or they can be covered with roofing gravel.

Single-Ply Thermoplastic membranes – Flexible sheets made of plastic polymers. When heat is applied to the material, thermoplastics mold together and become seamless. Durable and provides a cool roof. Commonly white in color, but pigments can be added.

Tiles – Commonly seen in warmer climates because they have a high solar reflectivity. Clay tiles are popular as a cool roofing material. They are extremely durable and recyclable. Colors vary, which provides a good number of options. Also popular are highly durable concrete tiles, which are offered in a variety of colors and the ability to perform in extreme weather conditions.

If you’re looking for a trained roofing specialist to take a look at your roof, call Adam Vaillancourt Roofing at 603-673-0006 to schedule an evaluation.