The time to act on climate change is now. From increasing temperatures to worsening allergies, increased flooding to more ticks, we’re already seeing the effects of climate change in our region. 

My mission is to make sure my toddler has a cleaner, greener West Chester when she grows up. I plan on continuing the great work of my predecessors and promise to work to uphold the commitment of getting to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heat and transportation by 2050. This kind of long-term planning is essential if we want to tackle climate change and build a brighter future for our children.

What’s an easy, low-cost way to fight climate change at home? Paint your roof white. White or “cool” roofs keep buildings cooler, lower emission levels, require less energy to cool, and save lives. 

  • On a sunny, summer day, are you more likely to wear a black or white shirt? The same principle applies to your roof. Black roofs absorb the light, while white or cool roofs reflect it back into the atmosphere. According to a California Energy Commission study, when the ambient temperature hits 100˚F, a black roof will reach 180˚F and a gravel roof will reach 145˚F. A reflective roof reaches only 90˚F. 
  • The math is easy on this one. Cooler temperatures plus a lower energy bill equals a happy homeowner. In fact, white roofs lower energy costs by 20 percent. When your building is 20-30 degrees cooler, you won’t need to use as much air conditioning or energy to keep it cool.
  • Less maintenance and waste. Cool roofs require less waste and maintenance since the high temperatures cause the materials on conventional roofs to deteriorate faster.
  • Cool roofs save lives. According to the White Roof Project, nearly 16,000 people died from heat-related causes between 1970 and 2004. Cooler temperatures have significant health benefits to older or vulnerable populations during warmer months. Plus, lower peak energy use means fewer power outages. 
Photo Courtesy of Cool Roof Rating Council

From thick coatings to reflective materials, there are multiple ways to retrofit your roof to become a cool roof. The Cool Roof Rating Council has a comprehensive guide about the effectiveness of each material. As summer starts to heat up, keep cool by installing a white roof on your property!

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