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Cool Roofing in Washington DC:What are Your Options?

by tiffanylarsen

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Whether the goal is to save money on energy bills, meet government mandates, take advantage of tax rebates, or help save the planet, many homeowners in the Washington area are discovering that cool roofs are an attractive option. Regular roofing materials simply absorb and transfer the sun's heat into a building's interior. Cool roofs on the other hand, reflect the sun's rays, reducing cooling and maintenance costs dramatically.

Cool roof products have expanded significantly in recent years. Today, roofing manufacturers offer cool roof options for almost every type of roof material they sell. When you go shopping for cool roof products, the features to look for are durability, high solar reflectance, and high solar emittance. Always consult a Washington DC roofing specialist if you know little about these areas. Below is a list of cool roof options available and their average cost:

Elastomeric coatings

Elastomeric coatings are designed for low-slope roofs. These liquid white coatings are applied over existing roofing materials like paint. They last from 10 to 20 years and cost between 75 cents and $1.50 per square foot.

Thermoplastic membranes

Similar to elastomeric coatings, thermoplastic membranes are also intended for low-slope roofs. These pre-fabricated plastic sheets are applied in a single layer, typically by heating the seams over existing roof materials. They can last up to 30 years and cost between $1.50 and $3 per square foot.

Reflective tiles

Cool reflective tiles can be made of clay or concrete. What makes them different from regular tiles is that they contain reflective pigments that block up to 70 percent of the sun's energy. Traditional cool roofs come in white, but cool reflective tiles are made in a variety of colors while maintaining their solar reflectance. As a longer lasting cool roof option, these cost about $3 per square foot.


The ultimate cool roofing material. Today's metal roofs are non-combustible, corrosion resistant, lasts a lifetime, virtually maintenance-free, can be easily installed by a licensed Montgomery roofing expert, and fully recyclable—perfect for the environmental and lifestyle needs of modern homeowners. They typically run about $2 per square foot. If you want to learn about other cool roof options besides the four mentioned here, simply visit

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