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How Cool Roofs Reduce The Urban Heat Island Effect

Date Published: May 25, 2022

How Cool Roofs Reduce The Urban Heat Island Effect

Today the construction industry faces more and more pressure to refresh its outdated systems and implement newer and greener alternatives.

With the constant development and expansion of metropolitan areas, the “urban heat island effect” is a huge cause for concern.

If you want to make sure your structure is helping to reduce local climate change but aren’t familiar with the urban heat island effect, then you’ve come to the right place.

What Is The Urban Heat Island Effect?

The heat island effect occurs predominantly in city areas, where dense materials like concrete and asphalt replace vegetation.

These materials absorb and retain heat, resulting in a higher ambient temperature.

This can lead to rising energy costs (for utilities such as air conditioning), heat-related illness, higher air pollution levels, and even increased mortality.

These changes in temperature caused by urban heat islands is an example of local climate change.

Local climate change differs from global warming as the effects are limited to the local area and decrease with distance from the source. 

In a city of over a million people, the average temperature can be 1 to 4°C warmer than in rural surrounding areas.

At night, that difference can be closer to 13°C! Installing a cool roof is one method of combatting the urban heat island effect.

How Do Cool Roofs Reduce Heat In Cities?

Installing cool roofs on buildings is a rapid, yet sustainable way to reduce the heat island effect in cities.

They are also a great solution to minimising heat gain in the interior of the building. 

Cool roofs do this through a process called solar reflectance.

While ordinary roofing materials absorb the sun’s heat, reflective roofs bounce the heat back into the atmosphere.

And the good news is that simply thinking about colour choice can make a world of difference.

Dark surfaces naturally absorb more heat than lighter colours, such as white, cream and light grey.

So, whether you simply paint your existing roof, or consider the colour choice when installing a new roofing system, you can benefit from cooler temperatures and lower energy costs. 

WIDOPAN Roofing Solutions

At WIDOPAN, we offer a selection of low-density roof coatings that are available in lighter, more reflective colours.

WIDOCRYL-PM TEN will adhere to practically all substrates, and WIDOPAN-FD is the perfect solution for both new construction and refurbishment projects.

Both come in a shade of light grey.

Applying these products will both waterproof your structure and play a part in reducing the urban heat island effect.

Contact a member of our team today to discuss how we can help to keep your project as green as possible.