Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Uncool Effects of Cool Roofing

Cool roofing may not be as “cool” as we think!



Beginning in the 1980’s research on the benefits of cool roofs was conducted by the Department of Energy in hopes to find a way to save on energy costs and reduce our carbon footprint on the environment. The widely accepted belief that has developed from this research is that white roofs are the most environmentally friendly and energy efficient choice when it comes to roofing. This “cool roof” solution has become a quick and low cost solution in hopes to reduce carbon emission which is known to effect climate change. However, it has been said that cool roofs are not a “quick fix” to save on energy costs and that in certain climates they may actually increase energy consumption.

Due to the belief that reflective roofing is the easiest solution to lowering energy costs and reversing the effects of climate change, there has not been much consideration of geographic location . Although roofing professionals know that depending on geographic location and weather conditions there is a roofing system required for each roof.

Reflective, or what is known as “cool roofs” have been proven to reduce air conditioning costs during hot summer months, which in return provides home and building owners a great deal on energy savings. However, take into consideration colder, northern climates where people must spend more money heating a building rather than cooling them, the cool roof solution may not be a smart choice for them. In return, a reflective roof may actually increase carbon emissions due to increased energy consumption.


Effects of Cool Roofing in Cool Climates

Aside from inefficiency, reflecting roofing systems can have negative consequences in cool climates. The roof cover only concept regarding white reflective roofing implements only changing the color of the roof top from black to white. However, this concept ignores the components that are underneath the surface and how they are effected by the transition from black to white. One issue that can arise from cool roofs being installed in cooler climates is condensation. During the summer surfaces stay cooler, however when temperatures are colder the surface remains cooler for a longer period of time. In return it will fall below the dew point and remain there longer compared to darker membranes, which leads to condensation formation.

Condensation is one of the most potentially hazardous consequences of cool roofing. How does condensation occur? Warm air begins to rise toward the roof when temperatures outside drop. With no air or vapor retarder the warm air that rises makes contact with a surface that has dropped below the dew point and forms condensation.










Warning Signs

There are several signs that can reveal the presence of condensation. One way to tell is when you walk on top of the roof, if there is a crackling noise below your feet it is a dead give away that there is frozen moisture in your roofing system. You can come across this situation typically when a roofing system is insulated with a single layer opposed to multiple layers. When multiple layers of insulation are implemented in a roofing system, the joints end up staggered which in turn makes warm, moist air to reach the underside of the roof membrane. Therefore, using multiple layers to insulate your roof, although not foolproof, can help to decrease the level of moisture collecting beneath a roof membrane. Another issue that can arise from the use of a single layer of insulation is that moisture can free between the insulation joints, which causes it to expand as it begins to freeze and pushes the edges of insulation boards apart. Moisture will also lead to the insulation warping. Therefore, when frozen inflation experiences warmer temperatures, the frozen moisture will begin to drip inside the building.  Another unfortunate result of condensation is adhesion loss. When moisture accumulates and does not have the opportunity to dry, insulation facers can weaken, and therefore the membrane can detach from the insulation which causes reduced wind uplift resistance.


How to avoid condensation

When choosing  a roofing membrane color make sure you take into consideration the climate in which the roof will be installed. Typically in northern and colder climates, a dark membrane is used, where in warmer southern climates, a white more reflective membrane is used. However, if you are to implement a reflective membrane in a cooler climate, one way to try and avoid condensation is to use a continuos air or vapor retarder, as well as using the multi layer insulation method.

Recycle Building

Although reflective roofs are installed with good intentions, in hopes to reduced energy costs as well as our carbon footprint. Do not forget that these benefits are typically seen in warmer, southern climates. Therefore, if you are going to install reflective roofs in cooler climates make sure you implement certain design modifications to help reduce the presence of condensation, because when installed cautiously and correctly, cool roofs can perform quite well in cooler climates!

Chase NW Roofing is factory trained and certified with GAF, IKO, Versico and Custom-Bilt Metals to install almost every roofing application. We specialize in composition shingles, torchdown, single ply, metal roofing, wood shakes, slate and concrete tile. We have been providing quality re-roofs in the North West for over a decade. If you are planning to re-roof your house, need an inspection give us a call at 253-445-8950, or fill out our free estimate form!

Seattle Home Show Celebrates 70 Years!

What is the Seattle Home Show?

The Seattle Home Show is the Northwest’s largest consumer home show with everything for the home – indoors and out – at two annual shows in downtown Seattle at CenturyLink Field Event Center. The Spring and Fall shows present hundreds of exhibits including builders, remodelers, the latest appliances and fixtures, decorating, landscaping…everything from floor to ceiling and beyond.

Tracing back 75 years to the old Civic Auditorium, Eleanor Roosevelt and William Randolph opened the doors of the first Seattle Home Show to thousands of people. It featured model homes, real estate and residential lighting, all the way to the “telephone of tomorrow”. Moving forward 75 years to February 17, 2014, Chase Construction NW, Inc. joined partnership with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) at Century Link Field and was featured as one of their Accredited Businesses of the Day at the 2014 Seattle Home Show.


Among the highlights at Seattle Home Show 2014 are:


  • IDEA STREET™ display homes, from modular and timber frame homes to cabins in a kit
  • Made in America featuring show exhibitor’s products made in America
  • Free art and antiques appraisals by star appraiser Dr. Lori of Discovery Channel’s Auction Kings
  • Swim for Habitat for Humanity” sponsored by BECU, Aqua Quip and the Seattle Home Show, where swimmers earn money for this important charity
  • Outdoor Living Garden, with wine and beer tasting, showcasing the latest in outdoor living and design, and the opportunity to sample Northwest wines and beers
  • Free “Meet the Experts” seminars on a variety of topics, from remodeling to energy efficiency. Seminars brought to you by Sleep Number®
  • New products for the home, including an outdoor lighting system you can control right from your smartphone



“The Seattle Home Show is a unique experience among home shows, providing the public with the opportunity to view the latest in exterior and interior home improvements from the top professionals in the region,” said Mike Kalian, executive director of the Seattle Home Show.

 A Special Thanks To…


Chase was given the opportunity to inform interested consumers attending the Seattle Home Show on our companies history, the services we offer as well as provide them with the opportunity to enter into a raffle to win 1 of 2 prizes. Our lucky winner was Cheri Warren out of Seattle WA, Congratulations Cheri! Cheri gets to choose from these two prizes valued at $350.00:

  • TAM Industries, Inc. Fixed Low-E Tempered Glass 2 x 4 Skylight
  • Elite Solar Systems, Inc. 13” Prismatic Domed Elite Tubular Sun Tunnel










We want to give a special thank you to both TAM Industries, Inc. and Elite Solar Systems, Inc. for teaming up with us and donating these items. We also want to give a huge Thank you to the Better Business Bureau and The Seattle Home Show for allowing us to be apart of this historical event.

Chase NW Roofing is factory trained and certified with GAF, IKO, Versico and Custom-Bilt Metals to install almost every roofing application. We specialize in composition shingles, torchdown, single ply, metal roofing, wood shakes, slate and concrete tile. We have been providing quality re-roofs in the North West for over a decade. If you are planning to re-roof your house, need an inspection give us a call at 253-445-8950, or fill out a free estimate form.