What Are the Main Benefits of a Cool Roof in California?

The roof of your home keeps your house sheltered and in comfort. Have you ever heard about energy-efficient and valuable roofs? Cool roofs are one of the most prominent trends in sustainable and energy-efficient buildings. California is a leader and a pioneer in the process of installing these roofs in warm climates. We are here to give you some helpful information about a cool roof on your home.

What is a cool roof?

Hollywood Hills - Full home remodeling

Everyone knows that a roof is the hottest part of a building during a hot day because it is the closest part to the sun, and as a result, it receives the most direct light. Conventional roofs are usually made from materials that absorb heat, involving such common materials as black rubber, tar, or asphalt. Moreover, a traditional roof increases the energy costs because of the continuous work of the air conditioner.

A cool roof is an innovative method to decrease all the mentioned problems, performing high-quality roof insulation. Also, it uses specialized material to reflect more of the sunlight, and it does not absorb heat but emit it. The colors of these roofs are usually light, and the materials are reflective. Using this type of roof, you will notice how fast the energy consumption will be reduced.

Cool roof - San Jose

Types of cool roofs

If you want to get all the benefits of a cool roof, you have three options to choose from. Firstly, you can retrofit a roof in good condition with heat-reflective materials. The second option is to recover your roof with new waterproofing that provides the corresponding heat reflection. And, the third variant is to replace the roof altogether. However, if the roof is old enough, it is better to replace it.

Many buildings are covered with a flat or low-sloped roof. These types of roofs provide opportunities to get the most direct sunlight. Some cool roofing options:

  • Single-ply membranes – having replaced a single-ply membrane with white sheets, you will have a more energy-efficient roof.
  • Built-up roofs – you can upgrade a flat roof in different ways; for example, you can replace the travel or use reflective mineral granules or a factory-applied coating.
  • Modified bitumen sheet membranes – bitumen roofs are rubber or plastic roofs with fabric reinforcements and a top layer of mineral granules.
  • Spray polyurethane foam roof – the material of this type of roof is white and highly reflective. It also needs a coating to protect it from moisture and UV light.
  • Metal roofs – it is naturally reflective, with a poor thermal emitter.
  • Green roofs – it is an excellent type of roof, offering more benefits than other forms of cool roofs. It is developed to counteract urban heat and qualify a building for environmental certifications. In addition, green roofs are a great method to turn your building into an attraction for guests, especially if it is the service industry.
New Cool Roof - California

California cool roof requirements

When interested in roof installation in Encino or any other part of California, you need to know that California is divided into 16 climate zones. To know all the requirements correctly for your specific home, you have to be familiar with the zone.

  1. The City of Los Angeles must correspond or exceed an SRI (Solar Reflective Index) value of 16 for all new construction and re-roof applications in residential and commercial buildings. 
  2. All the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles must meet or exceed an SRI value of 20 for all new construction and re-roof applications in residential and commercial buildings. 
  3. The rest of California, including the incorporated areas of Los Angeles Country, fall under the requirements contained in California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standard, Title 24, Part 6

If your home is located in zones 1-9 and 16, there are no cool roof requirements. In climate zones 10-15, asphalt shingles must meet or exceed an SRI of 16 for all new buildings and applications, as well as re-roof applications when over 50% of the roof is removed.

When it comes to the 10-15 zones, installing a cool roof with an SRI that meets or exceeds 16 has to be one of three options to demonstrate code compliance. Anyway, suppose you are not confident with the zones or regulations for cool roofs. In that case, exceptions to the requirements, solar reflectance, thermal emittance, and code triggers – you can refer to the Building Energy Efficiency Standards. Also, we are always here to help you out.

Maintenece cool roof

builder performs installation gable roof tiles of metal

Why replace your roof with a cool roof?

We have observed the most common types of siding which home builders in San Jose prefer to choose. So, having reviewed the materials and their advantages above, we want to highlight that you need to pay attention to water resistance, easy installation technique, energy efficiency, aesthetics, versatility, and siding durability.

Think about the style and color that will help you transform your home into whatever vision you have, or build a new one that will follow your needs and requirements.

The surface temperature is increasing, and it can reach up to 150 ºF in the summertime. As a result, a hot roof increases the temperature inside the house and outside the house too. Hot days at home can have a severe effect on your home’s energy demands and comfort. In urban areas, there are various hot roofs, creating an effect of the heat island. More cool roofs in the cities can stop an increased heatwave exposure.

In addition, you need to remember that a typical roof should be replaced between 20 to 30 years, depending on the material. To define whether it is time to replace the roof, check it for:

  1. missing shingles;
  2. leaks;
  3. sunlight through your roof;
  4. curling or buckling shingles.

Benefits of cool roofs

After observing cool roofs and their integration into the city, we are ready to highlight the main benefits of a cool roof in California:

  • An increase of cool roofs in the cities will decrease heatwave exposure to those living in urban areas versus those living in less densely populated regions.
  • A cool roof reduces your air conditioning energy costs and, as a result, increases your comfort at home.
  • When you have upgraded your home with a cool roof, the total amount of your house will increase.
    Replacing the old roof with the cool one will boost the curb appeal and overall aesthetics;
  • A cool roof is produced with special materials that reflect more heat than they absorb it;
  • Cool roof materials are painted with solar reflective paints.


The benefits of installing eco-friendly roofing in San Jose, CA, are obvious, especially if you haven’t made the eco-friendly remodeling of your roof yet. Before choosing and installing the roof, you need to check all the law requirements towards your special zone, and only after that can you install your cool roof. After an installation, your house will be filled with fresh and cool air, you do not have to pay expensive bills for using air-conditioning, and the total cost of your home will increase significantly.

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