Southern California Couple Keeps Cool With New Roof System

Temperatures in Southern California soar during summer months. Homeowners in the region typically rely on traditional air conditioning units along with electric fans for air circulation to moderate indoor temperatures and keep their residences comfortable. Though these techniques help, they obviously increase energy consumption and bills.

The Vus, a professional couple in Santa Ana, California, were one household beholden to these excessive energy costs. The couple purchased their single-story California ranch style abode in 2014. After a few years of occupancy, their consistently high electricity bills prompted an investigation to determine the cause. The couple discovered the primary culprit: excessive use of air conditioning.

The roof system features Boral’s MetalSeal self-adhering underlayment and above-sheathing ventilation. Photos: Boral Roofing LLC

The couple’s research also surprised them when they found a secondary cause for their soaring energy bills. After a thorough review, the Vus realized that the energy consumption they attributed to their air conditioner was also directly linked to a poorly performing roof. The existing, aged asphalt shingle direct deck roof was susceptible to reaching extremely hot temperatures in peak summer months, and its resistance to heat transfer was extremely poor.

The decision was then made to install a new roof system to combat the heat and exorbitant energy costs accrued during Southern California’s hotter months.

“Knowing that our energy bills weren’t going to resolve themselves, as well as the fact that we were nearing the expiration date of our asphalt roof anyhow, we made the decision to completely re-roof our home with a high-performance system,” says Christopher Vu.

A Lightweight Cool Roof

After researching their roofing options, the Vus sought a lightweight durable solution that would prevent heat transfer, offer a longer lifespan than asphalt and, of course, dramatically reduce their monthly electricity bill. After rigorous research, they selected the Boral Steel Cool Roof System, selecting Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material. The new roof was installed by Western Roofing Systems of Anaheim, California.

The cool roof system is comprised of a series of components that work in concert to keep the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing overall energy consumption. The result is optimized energy efficiency.

The roof was topped with Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material.

The lightweight stone coated steel roofing panel is manufactured from Galvalume steel and is coated with stone granules applied to the steel with an acrylic polymer adhesive. The material offers a cost-effective solution whose lighter weight poses no structural load issues. With an aesthetic that mimics traditional shake, the roof complements adjacent homes in the Vus’ neighborhood, many of which feature actual shake roofing.

“The product is steel, so it’s sturdy but also looks nice and fits right into the neighborhood aesthetic,” says Vu.

The Vus utilized an alternative solution to the 30-pound felt underlayment commonly utilized in Southern California, choosing Boral’s MetalSeal high-performance water barrier. A self-adhered product that virtually eliminates the need for nails, the underlayment is resistant to puncturing, allowing roofers to stack panels on it during installation, saving numerous time-consuming trips up and down to load product.

“For many reasons, we were able to reduce the expense and safety risk of our installation with the use of this underlayment,” adds Vu. “It also provides great protection from wind and water.”

The Vus’ cool roof system takes advantage of above-sheathing ventilation. Elevated battens provide both a thermal barrier and ventilation. Hot air rises and creates a natural convection effect. This allows the heated air to be exhausted through ventilation, leading to continuous airflow across the roof deck. The result is a cooler attic and interiors.

“We are pleasantly surprised at how effective the system is in creating a cooler living space inside our home,” says Vu.

Curb appeal and energy efficiency aside, the cool roof system is also designed to offer protection from storms and severe climate events. The roof system offers Class-4 Hail Impact Resistance, a Hurricane Wind Performance Rating and a Class A Fire Rating. The above-sheathing ventilation also enables above-deck insulation and airflow that prevents ice dams (even though that condition is less likely to occur in Southern California).

The Vus have been pleased with their new cool roof system, not only because it increases their comfort and looks nice, but because the lower costs have been quite noticeable.

“On average, we are saving almost $60 per month on our energy bills,” Vu notes. “These savings make a real difference for us and we couldn’t be happier.”

About the author: Pete Croft is brand manager for Steel Roofing with Boral Roofing LLC.  For more information, visit Boral Roofing online at www.BoralRoof.com; contact Pete at Pete.Croft@boral.com.

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