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Environmental News

The White Roof, an Energy-Saving Choice

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September 5, 2022

By Rachel Tieger, TEAC Co-Chair

For a couple of months, I had been seeing small pieces of asphalt shingle in my garden and around my property. Because there is no easy access to my high flat roof, it has always been out-of-sight, out-of-mind. But I was finally forced to acknowledge that the roof was long overdue for some attention. Thank goodness, the pitched facades were shedding shingles, to alert me of the state of affairs up there.

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After acquiring bids and reviewing proposals, I discussed the subject with my sister who mentioned that white roofs were much more energy efficient. According to the Department of Energy, white roofs can reflect between 60-90% of the sun and naturally keep the house cooler.  (Learn more HERE.)

Although it seems so obvious, I hadn’t given it much thought up to that point (articles about “greener homes”, be damned.) So, I was delighted to hear that the product my contractor planned to use came in white and was readily available.

Above is my new roof with white Liberty roof membrane and Fox Hollow gray shingle. We will see if there is a notable difference in the temperature on the second floor next summer. 

It would be amazing if contractors took the time to discuss the energy saving options and benefits of available materials with potential customers, but it is up to the homeowner to do their own research and make the best viable choices.

Side note: if you have never replaced a roof and will be doing so in the near future, brace yourself. It is a huge mess!

(This article was originally published in the September, 2022 newsletter of the Tarrytown Environmental Advisory Council – TEAC. The complete newsletter can be found on the TEAC website at https://www.tarrytownenviro.org.)

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