Your roof will endure hours and hours of sunlight this summer. And with all those solar rays comes heat gain for your home. So, what can you do to ensure that you aren’t paying hundreds to keep your home cool in the middle of the summer? Well, there are a few steps that you can take to make your roof more protective against summer heat gain. Consider the following tips to make your home more efficient (and to lower those summer cooling bills!).

Install an Effective Roofing Material

Your roofing material is its first defense against the sun’s rays. You should consider a roofing material that is effective at reflecting much of the rays that shower down on your roof’s surface. If you’re considering a shingle roof for your home, you should look for lighter colored shingles, as well as shingles that have lots of granules. Light shingles reflect solar rays more effectively (while dark shingles can absorb solar rays in the form of heat). Shingle granules also help to reflect incoming solar rays.

If you’re opting to install a metal roof, make sure that your roof is shiny or light-colored. You can paint metal roofs with paints that are specifically designed to improve protection from solar rays.

Slate and composite roofs can also be installed with reflective coatings and surfaces, in order to reduce the heat gain that they can create.

Make Sure Your Attic Is Well Ventilated & Insulated

Your attic should be well ventilated in order to passively cool your home. A well-ventilated attic will ensure that air is flowing through the attic cavity, which will remove some of the heat that is gained through your roof. You should have plenty of ventilation that brings in cool air while pushing out warm air. Often, homes with sloped roofs are outfitted with soffit vents and ridge vents, which bring in air near the gutters of your home, while pushing out air at the ridge of your roof. You may also have gable vents which allow air to flow through your roof laterally from one end to the other. In addition, you can install powered fan vents or can vents across the surface of your home to move even more air. Your roofer or a home inspector can inspect your home to ensure that you have adequate ventilation for the size of your roof.

On top of proper ventilation, you’ll want to make sure that your attic is well insulated. While air should flow through your attic to keep the heat out, it should also be insulated to keep cool air inside of your home. Make sure that the floor of your roof is well insulated, providing protection from cool air loss. The ceiling of your attic should also be insulated to keep heat from penetrating your home. Again, you can have a roofer or home inspector over to take a look at your attic to ensure that it is properly insulated.

Plant Shade Trees Near (But Not Too Near) Your Home

Ideally, you don’t want to have the sun beating down on your roof at all. However, that proves impossible for most homes, since the roof is the highest part of the home. That said, you may be able to reduce the amount of exposure that your roof endures by planting a shade tree. Large shade trees can cover some of your roof with shade, which will reduce solar heat gain. Consider planting trees that will eventually grow to have a canopy that rests above your roof.

Now, a word of warning: Trees shouldn’t be planted too close to your home. Trees may prove to be a liability if they have branches that can scrape into your roof or your home’s siding. You also don’t want to have large branches that are looming over your home, since they may snap in a heavy storm, in heavy wind, or due to a lightning strike. You can plant large trees 20 feet or more away from your home, and you can plant medium-sized trees 15 feet or more away from your home. At these distances, new trees probably won’t grow into your home, yet they may provide some shade to improve the efficiency of your home once they’ve matured.

Red Dog’s Roofing Is Your Local Roofing Company

Updating your attic ventilation? Or need an inspection and some advice on your next roofing material? We’re here to help. We provide roofing installations and repairs as well as attic ventilation services, and we’d be happy to work with you to ensure that your roof protects against the elements while remaining energy efficient. Give us a call today with any questions that you may have, or to schedule an appointment!