What is the best color for your roof?

metal-roofingHomeowners have many options to consider when selecting the right color for their roof. With metal roofing, choosing the right color can make a difference in energy efficiency, costs, and overall savings. Additionally, homeowners want a color that augments the overall aesthetic feel and curb appeal of their home. There are many choices to consider when selecting the correct color and style for your roof. What are the best options for your home?

Energy Efficiency and Savings

Your choice of roof color plays a surprisingly large role in overall energy efficiency and savings. Be sure to research the different quality of paint. For example, high-end Kynar 500 white for metal roofing is Energy Star approved and considered a “Cool” roof. It will be significantly cooler than traditional black asphalt shingles, making it absolutely ideal for tropical warm climates.

What if you live in a cooler climate? Choose a darker color like black, dark grays, dark browns, and even deep greens. The darker colors absorb the heat. The extra heat transfers to any of the rooms in the home directly under the roof. This reduces heating costs considerably. If you are concerned about extra heat during the summer, opt for a more neutral color like a green, blue, or lighter gray.

Snow Melt

Dark roofs absorb excess heat, which means that they are ideal for snowy regions. The heat of the metal roofs will melt the snow. This means that dark roofs remain popular in northern regions. Be sure that you have good attic insulation and good roof ventilation to further enhance the benefits of a dark roof.

Paint Quality

Finally, take into consideration the quality of the paint that you choose. A high-quality paint can meet your energy efficiency standards regardless of the color or climate. The paint should be treated for ultraviolet sun exposure, otherwise fading and wear can result. Some sealants will further protect the home from unwanted mildew and moisture. Some quality brands are Hylar 5000, Kynar 500, or Energy Star brands. Choose the right color for your home. Be sure that it is both energy efficient and is a color that you love.

The Five E’s

Although precise definitions still are evolving, HPR protective umbrellas share five important characteristics that make them energy efficient, environmentally friendly, cost effective, leak proof, reliable and long-lasting. Think of them as the “Five E’s.”

  • Endurance: HPR systems must meet or exceed traditional performance standards in terms of longevity, all-weather reliability, water absorption, wind and fire resistance, low maintenance and simple repair. No matter how cool a roof is, it still has to protect the building in all types of weather.
  • Economics: HPR systems must be cost effective based on initial cost and, more importantly, life-cycle cost. Roof systems must make economic sense to building owners and managers before they will become widely accepted.
  • Energy: HPR systems help reduce energy consumption and improve the energy efficiency of the building envelope. This is a primary benefit of cool roofing and a critical aspect of sustainability.
  • Environment: HPR systems help reduce the overall impact on the external environment while creating and maintaining a healthy productive indoor environment. This is the primary objective of sustainable roofing, which also focuses on energy efficiency and endurance.
  • Engineering: Smart engineering and design are the great enablers of HPR systems and the other E’s. Engineering impacts everything from intelligent design and installation to life-cycle costs and long-term performance in all weather conditions.

Meeting HPR

There are several key questions to ask roofing contractors and/or manufacturer’s represent- atives to determine whether a roof system is high performance. The following should be asked to ensure your prospective roof system meets each of the five E’s:


1. What is the range of durability for this type of roof system?
The durability of roof systems varies widely depending on the manufacturer, competence of the roofing contractor, climate and other factors. This is why roofing expert Carl Cash, principal of Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., Waltham, Mass., suggests building owners consider the durability range of various systems – a better indication of how long the best roof systems in each category can be expected to last. For more information, read Cash’s book, Roofing Failures.

2. In terms of maintenance and repair, how often, how much and how easy?
Every year of useful service free of major maintenance and repair work reduces the life-cycle cost of any roof. Be sure to ask about a roof system’s recommended annual maintenance procedures and costs.

3. How long and how good is the warranty?
Warranties reveal many strengths and weaknesses. Small print and exclusions can highlight potential problem areas, such as ponding water, consequential damages and repair/replacement procedures in case of failure. Don’t be fooled by the length of a warranty; read the fine print for hidden costs and exclusions.


1. Is a life-cycle cost analysis available that includes all installation costs, estimated maintenance/repair costs and potential energy savings during the life of the roof? In 2004 a 20-year life-cycle-cost comparison was prepared by independent Midwest roofing contractors; the study was sponsored by Duro-Last Roofing Inc., Saginaw, Mich. It compared the life-cycle costs of a reflective polyvinylchloride single-ply with the averages for a black ethylene propylene diene terpolymer and built-up roof system for a fully warranted, 50,000-square-foot reroof in the Midwest.

Software programs, how-to books and guidelines are available to assist in completing life-cycle cost analyses for commercial roof systems. Building owners also should ask their roofing contractors to provide an analysis for each system under consideration. Many manufacturers currently provide this information.


1. Does the roof meet criteria set by EPA’s Energy Star Reflective Roof Products Program?
Visit www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=roof_ prods.pr_roof_products to determine whether a roof system you’re considering is listed. If it isn’t there, the roof material probably does not meet the Energy Star minimum standard that requires low-slope roof products to have an initial reflectance of at least 65 percent and a reflectance of at least 50 percent after three years of weathering. You also can use EPA’s online calculator (roofcalc.cadmusdev.com/) to determine potential energy savings for your building. An energy-efficient building using an HPR system is a step toward mitigating the urban-heat-island effect.

2. Does the roof meet ASHRAE Standard 90.1?
If it does, you may be eligible for tax deductions. If it doesn’t, it isn’t an HPR system.

3. Does the roof earn points toward USGBC LEED credits?
A building can receive one point toward LEED certification if its roof system meets the standards under Sustainable Sites Credit 7.2 – Heat Island Effect: Roof. A combination of design characteristics, including roofs, can earn points in several credit categories, including Stormwater Management, Minimum Energy Performance, Renewable Energy and Construction Waste Management.

4. Is a roof tear off required?
Certain lightweight HPR systems can be installed – fully warranted – directly over the existing roof to reduce installation and disposal costs while slowing the rate of landfill buildup.

5. Is the roofing material recyclable?
Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., recently estimated 9 to 10 million tons (8 to 9 million metric tons) of nonrecyclable roofing waste is sent to U.S. landfills every year.

6. Does the roof system help create a comfortable, healthy, productive environment inside buildings?
IAQ is an increasingly important issue regarding health and improved productivity of building occupants. Cool, vegetated and, perhaps, solar-integrated HPR systems moderate indoor temperatures even in buildings without air conditioning. Vented roof systems can help reduce moisture and mold while relieving positive air pressure, allowing buildings to “breathe.”


1. Is this a fully integrated roof system that provides watertight performance while enhancing the performance of other building components?
A high-performance building is a complete system that includes electrical, flooring, HVAC, roofing, doors, windows, insulation and other interactive components. Likewise, a high-performance roof is a fully integrated system that protects the building from the elements and actually enhances the performance of other building components, such as thermal insulation and the HVAC system. Check the warranty to ensure the entire roof system is covered.

2. Does the manufacturer use premium components and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to enhance energy, environmental, endurance and economic performances?
Specification of premium materials enhances a wide range of performance criteria, including reflectivity, emittance, ultraviolet radiation resistance, water resistance, fire and wind resistance, tensile strength, thermal expansion and dynamic puncture resistance. Environmental performance is enhanced by incorporating materials that are recyclable and reduce the total embedded energy index and by using closed-loop manufacturing processes that minimize waste and toxic emissions.

3. Is this a custom prefabricated roof system?
Prefabricated roof systems designed to fit each roof reduce installation time and labor costs, virtually eliminate roof membrane scrap, and minimize job- site errors by producing seams and other critical components under quality-controlled factory conditions.

Originally published on Kelly Roofing website.
(currently not available online)

Asphalt Shingles Manufacturing & Waste Management in the Northeast Fact Sheet

Asphalt Shingle Waste

Approximately 11 million tons of asphalt shingle wast is generated in the U.S. each year. This waste is comprised of approximately one million tons of scraps from asphalt single manufacturers, and ten million of construction scraps from installations and tear-offs from re-roofing.

Download / View Full PDF Fact Sheet, Revised March 2012

Published by NERC | Northeast Recycling Council


Is a metal roof the wave of the future?

Originally published in The Londoner on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Is a metal roof the wave of the future, in Ontario, Canada.

London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Inc. president Joe Malec
displays a piece of sheet metal roofing.
Malec is hoping to make sheet metal roofing the industry standard in London.

Everyone appreciates a roof over their head and none more so than Joe Malec. But the London businessman thought there had to be a better alternative to the usual standard shingle roof.

A few years ago he had a metal roof installed on this house. Although he was pleased with the product, the sticker price shock left much to be desired. That is how he began his quest to make metal roofing cost-effective for the average homeowner.

However, it was while he was on a trip to Poland that everything became clear. When looking at the European homes, he marveled at the metal roofs, all of which are commonplace throughout Europe. In fact, metal roofing is more of the standard and it is a rare to find a shingled roof on European home. While there he toured some metal roofing facilities in Poland and went on a fact-finding mission. Upon his return Malec had the formation of a new business, London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Inc.

Malec is one of the co-owners of the mainly family-run company and is the president of Eco-Roof which has been in business for more than two years. “I didn’t like the look of asphalt shingles but metal roofs were so expensive. I thought there had to be a cost-effective alternative,” he said.

Malec says that it is not uncommon to replace standard 20-year asphalt shingles within the first 10 years of installation. However, metal roofing, he said, has a 50year guarantee, a completely transferable warranty for the owner, and a metal roof increases property value.

If metal roofing is the material of choice for Europe and Australia, why not Canada?

That began a four-year planning process for Malec to see if a sheet metal roofing manufacturing business would be viable in London and area.

As far as being environmentally-friendly, the choice is, obvious, said Malec. Typical asphalt shingles are composed of tar, gravel, paper and chemicals. The shingles are not recyclable. Just disposing of the shingles can be expensive for the homeowner.

Whereas metal roofing, once it has run its course, can always be sold to a scrap metal dealer for recycling. “It is  very environmentally-friendly and we are also going for an energy star rating. That is in the works,” he said.

A metal roof also increases the value of the house and “it looks great”, he said. “If you drive around London and you see a metal roof, it definitely stands out more than the others. It looks really good … it looks rich and European.”

But keeping the cost within reach of the average homeowner was and still remains a priority for Malec.

Up front costs of a sheet metal roof can be more than three times that of standard asphalt roofing shingles. However, in the long run it is more cost effective, as Malec said that a sheet metal roof will more than likely outlast the period of time the homeowner stays in the house.

Along with the 50-year warranty there is a 40 year guarantee on the integrity of the paint, and what is really stands out for the homeowner is that the warranty is completely transferable should the house be sold.

“Sheet metal roofing with stands all weather conditions, from winter to winds up to 150 kms per hour. And when it rains you will more likely hear the rain on the windows and skylight, than the roof,” Malec said.

A sheet metal roof is very easy to install and is geared to the handi-person, but London Eco-Roof also installs the product that it manufacturers at its 335 Neptune Crescent facility.

The company services communities from Windsor to Ottawa, but everything is manufactured in London.

No job is too big or too small. They have installed sheet metal roofing on mansions, normal sized homes, garages, sheds and yes, even a dog house.

Malec says that he still goes to Poland and researches metal roofing whenever he can, as he always tries to improve the process.

Since the business has been in operation, it has been extremely busy. The plant is capable of producing sheet metal for up to 70 homes per day, “so capacity is not an issue,” Malec said.

London Eco-Roof Manufacturing also provides financing options for homeowners, and he said that up to 20 per cent of the company’s business is financing.

The plant employs approximately 10 people, and the is a sales staff of nearly a dozen employees. Furthermore, there are up to a dozen installers on hand.

A quote is obtained withing 48 hours and the roof is custom-made for the house at the London plant.

Want to know more?

London Eco-Roof Manufacturing Inc. is located at 335 Neptune Crescent in London and the website is www.londonecoroof.com. Contact the company at 519-451-7663 or 1.855.838.9393.

Metal Roofs – An Introduction / Environmental Benefits

The original article is posted on “Roofing Products” web site titled “Metal Roofs – An Introduction”. Visit their web site for the full copy of the article at:



A greater degree of protection from the elements, specifically the harsher elements, is offered by metal roofing systems, as opposed to other types of roofs.

Metal roofing is one of the fastest growing options for re-roofing material in the United States.

Metal roofing is known to last for an average of 50 years and many home owners are attracted to the knowledge that they won’t need to replace their roof again anytime in the near future.

Very little maintenance is needed for metal roofing systems and they often live out their 50 to 70 year life spans with only the occasional tweak here and there.
Another huge advantage to metal roofs is that they are not flammable.

Metal roofs that are installed properly will almost never leak. The fastening, sealing, and coating systems of today are specifically designed to be leak free and ensure that rain, snow, and wind stay on the outside of your home.

Environmental Benefits

The longevity of metal roofs alone is one of its greatest environmental benefits. The National Association of Homebuilders Research Center estimates that the amount of asphalt shingles that are thrown into garbage dumps in the United States may be as much as 20 billion pounds per year.

On the other hand, most metal roofing is made from about 25 percent recycled materials. And once it comes to the end of its incredibly long life span, the entire metal roof can be painlessly recycled.

Metal roofs can usually be installed right over whatever old roofing materials you currently have. This avoids expensive and environmentally hazardous roof removal and does not add one shingle to our dwindling landfill space.

Because of their reflective qualities, metal roofs can easily keep out the sun’s rays and drastically reduce your air conditioning bill. This not only saves you money but it helps you to use less energy, which is great for the environment.

Reflective Roofing

Metal is highly reflective: This involves solar radiation being reflected away from the surface.

Metal roof conducts less heat into the attic: Metal roofing, due to the air cavity behind the single and the limited direct contact with the deck, conduct significantly less heat into the attic.

Reflective metal roofing and asphalt shinglesAsphalt Shingles: Asphalt Shingles can retain heat and conduct it into the home, raising attic temperatures

Metal Panels: Metal Roofing reflect heat away from the home, keeping the attic cooler.