Cool roofing has been a topic of discussion and innovation for years. With the primary goal of reducing heat absorption and improving energy efficiency, cool roofing materials have evolved to meet the diverse needs of homeowners across the U.S. Let’s delve into the world of cool roofing and explore some of the most efficient materials that have been making waves in the industry.

The Rise of Cool Roofing

Over two decades ago, California witnessed the introduction of the first cool roof material. Since then, the industry has seen a surge in the variety and efficiency of materials designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than traditional roofing. With the continuous development of new materials, homeowners now have a plethora of options to choose from.

One notable discovery comes from Australian scientists who unveiled a coated polymer stack capable of keeping roofs almost 12°F cooler than some of the best white roofs in the market. Such innovations not only enhance the comfort of homes but also contribute to mitigating the urban heat island effect.

Top Cool Roofing Materials

Asphalt Shingles

A staple in the roofing industry, asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass web coated with filled asphalt, topped with colored ceramic-coated rock. While they might not be the first choice for those specifically seeking cool roofing materials, they remain a cost-effective option for many homeowners.

Cool Metal Roofing

Offering almost double the solar reflectance of asphalt roofing, cool metal roofing stands out as a top contender. Made from zinc or aluminum-coated steel, these roofs are not only reflective but also durable, mold-resistant, and lightweight. San Diego County Roofing & Solar recommends cool metal roofing for homeowners looking for long-lasting and energy-efficient solutions.

Reflective Roof Coatings

Reflective roof coatings come in various forms:

  • White Reflective Coating: Known for its high reflectivity, white reflective coating can reflect almost 80% of sunlight, making it one of the most efficient cool roofing materials.
  • Pigmented Roof Coatings: These coatings offer a range of colors, with lighter shades like pale yellow reflecting up to 80% of sunlight.
  • Aluminum Roof Coatings: Comprising a resin with aluminum flakes, these coatings can reflect up to 70% of sunlight, significantly reducing indoor temperatures.

Roofing Membranes

Comprising sturdy, flexible materials like polyester or fiberglass combined with asphalt or polymer, roofing membranes are popular for their durability and reflectivity. Brands like Sika-Trocal and Ecology offer products that can reflect more than 80% of sunlight.


Tiles, especially those made of ceramic, are excellent cool roofing materials. Their reflectance varies with color, with white clay tiles reflecting almost 70% of sunlight. Apart from their aesthetic appeal, tiles are also recyclable and non-combustible.

Green Roofs

For those seeking an eco-friendly approach, green roofs offer a unique solution. Instead of traditional materials, these roofs support vegetation, providing natural insulation and cooling through water evaporation.

Making the Right Choice with San Diego County Roofing & Solar

As roofing contractors in San Diego, we understand the diverse needs of homeowners. With the plethora of cool roofing materials available, it’s essential to make an informed decision. Whether you’re considering asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or a green roof, it’s crucial to weigh the benefits against the costs and maintenance requirements.

In conclusion, cool roofing materials have come a long way, offering homeowners a range of options to improve energy efficiency and comfort. By understanding the different materials and their benefits, you can make an informed decision that suits your home and budget.