Summer slammed down on us several weeks ago. So did a tornado. On a hunch, we called our insurance company and asked them to send someone over to check our roof for damage. We have a lot of neighbors who are missing shingles from the high winds, but we didn’t. Still, the roof has been there for 8 or 9 years (they are “20 year”, 3-tab shingles) which can be a lot around here. To our delight, the adjuster came and spent about an hour climbing around our roof, then reported that we need a new roof, new rain gutters, and new wind turbines. Often they specify a single storm to blame for the claim, but this went down as cumulative hail damage.
So we hired a roofer with a great reputation and chose our new shingles to install. The roofer estimated a couple thousand less than the insurance adjuster, so we chose “30-year” shingles and had him do some little extras to get his price up to the adjuster’s. But here’s the thing: our house is very expensive to cool each summer (no big surprise in Texas), so we decided to take advantage of this opportunity to put in some solar cooling. We chose the whitest shingles we could find. They just happen to be top of the line, too, but it was the color that drove the decision. The old ones were nearly black. You can see our neighbor’s roof in the attached photo. It is a brown tone and lighter overall than our old roof. Not anymore!
We’ve had the new roof for over a week now and I can confirm that they have made a huge difference. Shortly after we got it installed, our upstairs a/c unit quit and we just lived without it for 2 days. It wasn’t that bad up there, which was very surprising. When I go out into my shop on a hot afternoon, it is now about 20 degrees cooler that it used to be under those conditions. We’ve started turning off one of our a/c units at night, because the house has so much less heat load that we don’t need it. I usually turn it back on at about noon. This passive solar cooling system is marvelous, and it didn’t cost us a penny. What a deal.
So, thanks to all of you who pay your insurance premiums. They’ve been put to good use.