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GYR Tips for Roofing

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Your roof is like your head: a lot of heat can be absorbed or lost through your roof. It is important to establish the correct balance. Be sure to have your roof inspected regularly and make necessary repairs quickly. Also consider painting your roof a light color to increase its reflectivity. (But keep in mind that sharply angled roofs painted white may produce dangerous glare in our climate. ) If you have access to a flat roof, installing a rooftop garden is a wonderful way to cool your surroundings and enjoy your community. All of these strategies are compatible with solar energy installations, which can also re-direct heat away from your interior, so greening your roof in Fort Lauderdale is a win-win.

FSEC logo  Check your roof for proper ventilation, and your ceiling for insulation.
In Florida, your roof needs proper ventilation inside and out. The traditional barrel tiling is so pervasive because it works! Those little pockets of air under the arches are allowing air to flow. But all roofs, no matter the material, need routine inspection and maintenance to make sure that they can stand up to our daily climate, as well as hazardous events, all while doing their part to keep you cool by releasing hot air that builds up in the attic. At the same time, it’s a fact that heat will enter through the roof when the sun beats down, so it is equally important to be sure there is a good barrier between your attic space and your ceilings. In some cases, a radiant barrier, which bounces heat back out from an attic space, may be a good option. The Florida Solar Energy Center performs frequent studies to test various standards and options and offers excellent advice practical advice for warm climates in these links.
 howstuffworks logo Learn about your roofing options.
There are dozens of options for lowering the amount of heat absorbed by your building, but which one to install depends on your roof’s angle, the structure that will support it, City and County code and your budget. Start by educating yourself, and then discussing your options with a qualified roofing inspector. Our Department of Sustainable Development can help.
 FSEC logo Paint rooftops lighter color to increase reflectivity, or choose lighter colored materials.
The Florida Solar Energy Center and Florida Power and Light conducted controlled studies to determine whether reflective coatings, colors and materials made a difference in energy consumption. The results showed that reflectivity, in both metal and tile, did make a significant difference in energy consumption, and that white roofing also produced positive results. According to the study, “The most viable residential reflective roofing systems are white metal and white tile. Having reflectances of 65 to 75%, both of these systems work extremely well at controlling cooling loads…a white reflective roof can reduce space cooling energy use by 17- 23%. A large part of the advantage comes from cooling the attic space where cooling ducts are often located.” Even replacing materials such as asphalt shingles with those of the lightest color available can help reduce energy consumption, as unfortunately shingles are not good candidates for application of reflective coatings.
 Environmental Protection Agency - United States Try rooftop gardening.
A rooftop garden for purposes of cooling, otherwise known as a green roof, is simply a layer of plants grown directly on a rooftop. This can be as basic as two inches of a ground cover, or as complex as a park, complete with trees. Any vegetation on a roof cools the surface and also the surrounding air. This is due to the plants’ natural evotranspiration process, and is enhanced by taller plants that provide shade. According to the EPA, a green roof can be as much as 90°F cooler than a conventional roof, especially if the roof was black in color to start. A green roof can also help to reduce energy usage and utility bills by reducing the amount of warm attic air being processed by HVAC system, especially if a building does not have good ceiling or roof insulation. Green roofs are appropriate for industrial, commercial and residential buildings. They improve City views, and if accessible for use as a park, can really help to build community. Green roofs can be a great perk for employees to enjoy and tend, and can even add value to a building by increasing usable space. If enough buildings employ a green roof strategy, a community can potentially mitigate its heat island effect.

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