Any roof can become a “cool” roof by applying a reflective roof coating. It can be done at any time while the roof has some useful life remaining.
What are reflective roof coatings?
A reflective roof coating reflects solar energy back into space instead of being absorbed by the roof surface. A “black” roof becomes incredibly hot in the heat of summer with temperatures exceeding 180F in some cases. The additional heat load on the roof makes your airconditioners work harder.
Benefits of reflective roof coatings
- Reduces the roof surface temperature by up to 50%.
- Reduces the indoor temperature by reducing heat transmission into the building.
- Saves on cost of air conditioning the building by increasing the efficiency of roof-mounted HVAC units.
- Reduces the energy costs by reducing the “peak electrical demand”.
- Slows premature aging of a roof due to thermal cycling and UV degradation.
- Increases the effective “R” value of insulation.
- Contributes to Title 24, LEED, and other green rating system requirements.
- Reduces landfill materials – at least 10% of landfill waste is made up of roofing materials.
What qualifies as a reflective roof coating?
Per ENERGY STAR, they are roof coatings with properties of at least 65% reflectivity and 50% emissivity after 3-year aging.
For Building Owners
A reflective roof coating is an excellent investment. The long-term benefits can help offset installation costs by providing:
- Longer roof life by protecting the roof from UV degradation.
- Lower maintenance costs over the life of the roof by solving roof leaks and keeping the roof system dry.
- Predictable maintenance budgets by re-coating the roof rather than replacing it.
- Zero tear off and lower installation costs than a new roof.
- Minimal disruption to the occupants. Businesses stay open during application.
- A more comfortable work environment inside the building by reflecting the sun’s heat and keeping the interior cooler.
- Opportunity for energy credits, tax savings, rebates.
For Roofing Contractors
Contractors love reflective roof coatings because:
- They’re easy to install with less training and on-the-job risk compared to hot-applied roofing materials.
- Opportunities to work with agencies and public entities (schools, public works departments, local, state or federal customers) who are under executive order to use energy efficient materials
- Reflective roof coatings meet Title 24 compliance requirements.
Roof coatings are considered “restoration” and not a new roof system. They are usually expensed in the fiscal year during which they are applied instead of amortizing the cost over the life of the roof. This can be a huge tax benefit to building owners. Check with your CPA or CFO if this applies to your roof.