Colors and Reflectivity

October 29, 2007 | Filed under: Miscellanous Articles,Uncategorized

We have had a couple of interesting inquiries recently pertaining to color and reflectivity of metal roofing.

One homeowner inquired about the reflectivity and energy efficiency of solid copper roofing.

Another homeowner contacted us and asked whether there were any metal roofs that are less shiny than others.

The questions are different from each other but yet related.

Copper roofing, when it is new, would have reasonably high reflectivity for energy efficiency. However, as it quickly develops a brown and then green patina, that reflectivity is lost.

That is not to say, though, that copper roofing cannot be energy efficient. Copper shingles which feature an air gap between the metal and the roof deck have a natural ability to block heat transfer by conductance, keeping homes naturally cooler in warm weather.

The other inquiry we had was from a homeowner who has seen lots of mill finish steel roofs go up in the mountain area where they live. They do not like the fact that these roofs can take on almost a mirror appearance during certain lighting conditions. However, they felt that the reflectivity of these roofs would mean good energy efficiency.

Fortunately, there is a choice. Reflectivity of light and heat do not necessarily go together. Several years ago, we began specifying special pigments for the paint systems on our products. These special pigments are infrared reflective. This means that they reflect the light rays which result in attic heat gain. However, the paint systems are still low gloss and available in dark residential colors for a very pleasing appearance.

So, energy efficiency is on consumers’ minds. And rightfully so. Metal offers aesthetically pleasing options for energy efficiency.