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Green Roofing Products: Upgrading to a Cool Roof


Green. A good color, a great concept, but what does it mean for roofing products if your roof is pitched? Is “Going green” installing a lawn on your roof? Could be, but consider this: Many roofing product manufacturers have created and designed shingles to keep with current trends.

The sun is a magnificent heat source, though brutal to a home’s structure. When designing shingles, manufacturers found creative ways to distribute heat effectively and evenly. White is a natural reflective color, and has been a standard color for this purpose. Recently, shingle desigers have come up with colors that are pleasing to look at and enhance curb appeal.

CertainTeed produces a shingle called Landmark Solaris. This shingle is made to reflect 40% of the sun’s solar rays and evenly distribute heat better than a standard composition shingle. The shingle is Energy Star qualified that meets both “solar reflectance and thermal emissivity requirements,” (CertainTeed website, Landmark Solaris).

GAF has a shingle line out called Timberline Cool Roof shingles. Colors available are: Cool Antique Slate, Cool Barkwood and Cool Weathered Wood. This shingle can save homeowners up to 15% of their total cooling costs in the summer months. This diagram (taken from the GAF website) compares conventional roofs to cool roofs, noting a 10 degree difference in the attic space and a 21 degree difference on roof top heat, thus creating an overall savings in cooling the home.

Be informed. Surf the internet to see what is available and talk to the professionals who install these products. Ask for referrals of customers who have installed the products to see if the claims hold true.

Mossy Roof - Dirty Roof


Best practices in cleaning your roof

Unless you want to create your own version of a “green roof,” growing moss isn’t the route to go. Moss is a true roofing annoyance. Here is why. Moss spores travel in the air and attach to the smallest amount of dirt or leafy material that begins a massive growing campaign. Moss grows along the seams and edges of your shingles which ultimately causes the shingles to lift. Lifting shingles create openings for water entry and wind damage. Not good. Also, moss holds moisture. Captured moisture on top of a shingle weakens the shingle to the point of the shingle disintegrating. So what needs to be done? Two things to think about, Prevention and Removal.

Prevention and Maintenance: There are plenty of products available that remove moss. Zinc Sulfate is a common chemical that can be purchased as strips or granules. These products are found at local hardware stores. Regular roof cleaning will eliminate opportunities for much growth.

Removal: Air clean, never pressure wash. Blasting water at your shingles will compromise their integrity, (and if your roof is a Larry Haight’s roof, you will void your warranty). When pressured water is aimed at roofing material it forces shingles to raise and lift creating openings for water to travel into your home. Call our office for a referral for hiring a good company to do air clean your roof.

Riding the Green Wave


Really, call this roofing phenomenon what you will, but green roofs are not a passing eco-fad. Green Roofs are a simple roofing system that replaces shingles, shakes and tiles with plants, shrubs and soil in effort to better support our urban ecosystem. With the incredible construction taking place in our cities and suburbs green roofs remind us of the importance of good stewardship.

The benefits to green roofs include:

  • Reduces energy costs
  • Improves air quality by converting CO2 into O2
  • Contributes to reducing urban heat island effect
  • Transforms unusable surfaces into useable green spacesinsulates and protects
  • Home from UV rays and wind
  • Lowers storm water drainage into streams and drainage ponds
  • Provides habitats for birds and other wildlife

How is a green roof installed?

There are two types of green roof systems, intensive and extensive. Intensive green roofs typically are roof top gardens with trees, walkways and sitting areas. The structural support for these areas is complex and exist primarily on commercial buildings. Extensive systems are lighter weight and are supported by residential homes and detached garages. The primary purpose for these roofs are to reduce energy costs and reduce environmental issues such as heat island effect, (plus be the “coolest” house on the block! No pun intended).

Check out these websites for further information: www.seattletilth.org and www.epa.gov

Are you interested in installing a green roof on your home or garage?

Let us know. Call our office to schedule a Free Estimate at (425) 881-9771.

How to trust a contractor? Part Two


5 Point Checklist of Compelling Questions to Ask Your Potential Contractor–You Are The Judge

Here is an important list of questions you should have in hand when interviewing your roofing contractor. Yes, I did say interview. If you regard hiring someone to complete your home improvement project as “just getting the job done for the best price,” truly you are looking at this process wrong. Folks who don’t do their homework will end up with more headaches in the end. As cliche as that sounds, it is the truth. Enter the bidding process as if you are the judge and the jury. Compelling questions get compelling answers.

  • Please explain your process for replacing my roof?
  • What materials do you use in each of these steps? Is this in writing?
  • Do you offer Lien Releases from your suppliers?
  • Who will monitor the work of the crew assigned to my home? How often?
  • What warranties come with your work? What about the roofing materials?
  • Does your warranty stay with me or the home?

Ask yourself this…Aside from the product, what exactly do you want from the company you have contacted? Once you determine this part, conducting your research and meeting the contractor will take on new meaning. Going into your “interview” with your contractor with questions will elevate the quality of your time and information you will gather.

For more consumer advice go to the King 5 consumer guru, Get Jesse. Another site that was cited in part one is Washington State Labor and Industry website: www.lni.wa.gov