With summer comes scorching hot days. However, naturally occurring factors like the amount of sunlight, humidity and temperatures aren’t the only ones to blame for a scorching afternoon; buildings and their paved surfaces also play a large part in the urban heat island.
WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company, a top professional roofing company in the state, elaborates on buildings’ role in the urban heat island effect as well as the ways you can reduce its impact below.
The Causes of the Urban Heat Island Effect
The contrast between the green scenery in the countryside and the dense urban jungle in cities would make it seem like high-rise buildings would be the most evident cause of the urban heat island effect, but it’s actually a combination of several factors.
The dark concrete surfaces of the buildings, combined with their close proximity to each other, are behind the effect. During the day, sunlight can heat paved surfaces and roofing systems to the point where they become hotter than the surrounding air. In contrast, even in mid-day, the unpaved, moist surfaces in the open countryside remain close to outside air temperatures.
Implications of the Urban Heat Island Effect
The implications of the urban heat island effect for urban workers go beyond mere discomfort as extreme heat can cause death. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that heat is deadlier than storm-inflicted damage.
In addition to workers’ health, the urban heat island effect also increases building owners’ power bills. Especially in summer, the already scorching temperatures amplified by the urban heat island effect raises the demand for air conditioning.
Mitigating the Urban Heat Island Effect
While the urban landscape is out of your control, there are ways you can mitigate the urban heat island effect. Your local roofing contractors would recommend installing cool roofs; cool roofs reflect light and absorb less heat, reducing the burden on your HVAC system and lowering your cooling costs.
For commercial building owners, we recommend white flat roofs, a popular choice for buildings whose roofing systems aren’t visible from ground level.
WaterpROOFessional Roofing Company offers a wide variety of roofing systems as well as other commercial and residential roofing services. To get a free quote, call (217) 390-2938, or fill out this form. We serve homeowners in Champaign, IL.