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Summer Heat Wave Makes Cool Roofs Even More Appealing

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Chino, CA - As the heat wave of 2007 continues throughout the United States, more and more homeowners are looking for ways to keep their homes cool without running up sky-high air-conditioning costs. The best solution, of course, is to prevent heat from entering the home in the first place – the approach that enables today’s new “cool roof” technologies to help reduce the cost of air-conditioning a home by up to 20 percent.

“Homeowners in virtually all parts of the country are coping with record high temperatures this year – which means they could benefit tremendously from a roofing system that keeps the attic cooler,” said Tony Chiovare, president of Custom-Bilt Metals, a long-time leader in the painted metal industry. His company was one of the first manufacturers to incorporate cool roof technology in its metal shingles, metal shakes and standing seam metal roofing products.

Tony Chiovare“We believe this summer’s heat wave will make more and more homeowners realize how critical their roofing system is to the overall comfort and efficiency of the home,” Chiovare said.

Chiovare pointed to the results of one recent demonstration project, in which metal shakes coated with Custom-Bilt Metals’ ULTRA-Cool™ coating were found to reduce the amount of heat penetrating into a home’s attic by as much as 36 percent, offering significant savings in the energy required to cool the homes.

“Because less heat penetrates the roof, the attic remains cooler and, in turn, the heat leaking into the air-conditioned home drops,” Chiovare said.

Custom-Bilt Metals’ ULTRA-Cool coating is a high reflective finish developed by BASF Corporation’s Industrial Coatings Division. Like other cool roof technologies, the ULTRA-Cool finish works by reflecting a greater amount of the sun’s infrared energy, which accounts for more than half of the solar energy striking the roof surface.

Most painted metal roofs reflect about 5 to 20 percent of this energy, but cool roof coatings can increase this reflectance level to nearly 60 percent, according to tests by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Yet since infrared energy is invisible, the roof color is unaffected.

“Each additional percentage point of reflectance reduces metal temperature by one degree, so the difference in temperature can be very dramatic, especially in medium to darker colors,” Chiovare said. A metal roof coated with a cool roof finish can be as much as 55 degrees cooler on a sunny day, he noted. These cooler roof temperatures can produce as much as 20 percent savings in air-conditioning costs.

“These important field tests demonstrate the tremendous energy-saving potential that cool roof technology can provide,” said Chiovare.

In addition to energy savings and lower utility bills, he noted that the ULTRA-Cool coating also provides other advantages to building owners including greatly improved fade resistance.

“Over 10,000 hours of accelerated exposure has proven these roofs are significantly more fade resistant than conventional roof coatings,” he said. “And, since these roofing systems remain so much cooler in even the hottest weather, the amount of heat expansion and contraction is also reduced, which will add to the roof’s durability and longevity.”

Chiovare said the national laboratories’ tests of his company’s roofing systems, coupled with this summer’s heat wave, have combined to convince him of the potential importance of cool roof technology.

“Metal roofing is already widely recognized for offering so many benefits, such as greater fire resistance, lighter weight, seamless integrity, color choice and longevity,” he said. “These benefits are now enhanced by the environmental and cost-saving advantages offered by ULTRA-Cool coatings.”

About Custom-Bilt Metals

Custom Bilt Last Time logoCustom-Bilt Metals offers metal roofing systems. For more information, visit

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