If you live in a place with lots of hot days and extended cool seasons and needs, whether you know it or not, dark-colored shingles could potentially be adding more heat to the interior of your home.
The increase in heat could eventually drive up cooling expenses, especially during peak times (e.g., late afternoon) when energy providers are more susceptible to blackouts and other issues. But we have a solution for you.
Applying a heat-reflective coating on roof surfaces can keep your home cool and reduce electricity usage by roughly 10 to 30 percent during peak demand times. This application is generally called “cool roof coating” by building professionals and is applied to existing building rooftops as liquid paint.
To help you better understand cool roof coatings, we have outlined the prominent types below, what they are made of, and the function and benefits.
What Is Cool Roof Coating?
Cool roof coatings are special reflective pigments – usually white – that reflect light. Think of them as really thick paint that protects the roof surface from ultraviolet rays and chemical and water damage. In addition, cool roof coatings offer high thermal emittance and solar reflectance.
Conventional or dark building roofs can touch temperatures of 150°F or above in summer. However, the same roof with a cool roof coating under similar conditions can stay more than 50°F cooler, saving you both money and energy use.
Moreover, cool roof coatings are highly-reflective and anti-fungal, making them super simple to clean while providing excellent value for money.
Cool roof coatings can easily be applied through a roller or brush and provide superior crack bridging and maximum water resistance. In addition, cool roof coatings offer a multitude of other significant advantages.
Benefits of Cool Roof Coating
Cool roof coatings can benefit a building and its occupants by:
- Decreasing air conditioning needs by cooling interiors
- Reducing electricity bills by lowering air conditioning requirements
- Decreasing roof temperature, which may potentially extend your roof’s service life
- Enabling old, inefficient, or undersized air conditioners to provide sufficient cooling during hot months
- Improving the comfort and safety of your indoor spaces that aren’t air-conditioned
- Cooling the outside air, and slowing down the formation of smog from air pollutants since they are temperature-dependent
- Lowering peak energy demand to prevent sudden power outages
- Curbing power plant emissions by decreasing the demand for electricity to cool homes
- Offsetting the global warming crisis by reflecting more sun rays into outer space
- Lowering air temperature of the surrounding area, thereby controlling (and even decreasing) urban heat island effect.
The Winter heating penalty is also possible with the help of cool roof coatings. When a roof absorbs less sunlight, it decreases heat conduction into the building, rising mechanical heating requirements in colder months.
Beyond the property itself, cool roof coatings can also benefit the overall environment in general, especially when several homes in a community use them.
Types of Cool Roof Coating
Here are some of the most popular cool roof coating product types available in the market:
- PUD hybrid cool roof coats: PUD hybrid coats are water-based and high solids containing both nano insulation and reflective pigments for optimal heat protection. This cool roof coating type is packed with micro-fibers that feature excellent crack resistance and waterproofing.
- Acrylic-based coats: These contain special glass pigments, microfibers, cross-linking polymers and advanced anti-fungal additives that deliver a long-lasting and solid waterproof membrane. The coat’s high solar reflective index (SRI) acts as a heat reflective surface and decreases heat access, keeping the interior of your home cooler.
- Modified bitumen: This has layers of rubber or plastic material with reinforcing fabrics and is surfaced with a smooth finish or mineral granules.
- Spray polyurethane: This cool roof coating is created by mixing two liquid chemicals. The chemicals react and expand to develop one solid coating piece that can firmly adhere to a roof. Foams are highly prone to UV damage, moisture, and mechanical, and thus rely greatly on a protective coating.
- Polymer: This water-based white-colored emulsion consists of polymers and unique “microspheres” less than a hundred microns in diameter, having non-conductive properties. Collectively, these hollow microspheres serve as thermal insulation covering that effectively protects the building by reflecting solar radiation back into the atmosphere.
- Single-ply cool roof coat: As the name suggests, single-ply cool roof coats are prefabricated sheets rolled onto the surface of a roof. Mechanical fasteners are used to attach each ply to the roof, and chemical adhesives are used to ensure they stay in place.
- Fiber-filled liquid: These cool roof coats are white and come ready for use with a high solar reflectance index. They are perfect for external applications as they are made from synthetic resins in water dispersion. When dry, it transforms into a continuous, flexible waterproofing layer.
Cool Roof Coating: Is It Right for Your Home?
Cool roof coatings can undeniably offer several benefits to a building and its occupants; however, it is essential to note that not every roof makes a good contender for these coatings.
For example, suppose you live in a region with colder winters and shorter summers. In that case, these coatings could actually grow your electricity bills instead of lowering them because the reflective surfaces continue to offset heat during winter months when natural heat from the sun can offer some relief from high heating requirements.
Another factor to consider is the average humidity in your area. Cool roofs can draw moisture surplus if insufficient heat is present to evaporate the water away.
Therefore, homeowners in areas with high humidity might face problems such as mold and algae, which could eventually degrade your roof and lower its durability over time.
In addition to this, it is advised not to use cool roof coatings if you live in a densely-populated location. Painting roofs with cool coatings in urban spaces can elevate the heat island index, causing more harm than good for the overall environment.
Lastly, cool roof coatings perform best on low-pitched or sloped roofs. These roofs absorb more solar radiation since they’re angled to receive sun rays directly. Since steeply pitched roofs do not exhibit the same problems with excess heat, they would not benefit as greatly.
When using cool roof coatings, you must first determine whether the investment today will benefit you tomorrow.
The amount of energy saved depends on various features such as the climate of the house, its surroundings, and most importantly, the coverage to which the roof assembly is insulated, the roof type, and the competence of your heating and cooling systems.
When building a new home, you have the option to install a cool roof during the planning phase. However, you can convert an existing roof can into a cool roof in just three steps:
- Get a cool roofing product suited for your existing roof.
- Before your current roof’s life expires, use a cool roofing product.
- Apply the cool roof coating.
Best Cool Roof Coating Products
Several cool roof coating manufacturers sell their goods on Amazon. Thus, it shouldn’t be hard to get your hands on the best cool roof coating products from the comfort of your home.
Of course, you can always appoint a contractor to manage the trouble of which cool roof coat to get for your home. However, if you wish to take the DIY route and save some dollars, you can begin your search for the best cool roof coatings here.
*Note – the following links to the products do contain affiliate links, and we may get a small commission to support the blog!
PM Home-Sil (Silicone Roof Coating)
This high-performing cool roof coating guarantees a 20-year warranty with even a single application for the ultimate peace of mind. PM Home-Sil’s cool roof coating is made up of 100 percent silicon to provide a smoother surface.
Additionally, the product has been specially designed to be eco-friendly and protects the roof’s surface from humidity to prevent moisture-related problems, such as mold and algae.
The best thing about this product? It’s easy to apply, saves energy, is cost-efficient, and makes roof maintenance seem effortless. In addition, the coating can be both sprayed or rolled on, though the manufacturer suggests roll application for residential buildings.
It also resists oxidation, aging, snow, UV radiation, rain, ozone, and extreme temperature conditions.
You can order PM Home-Sil here if you like.
Henry‘s White Roof Coating
Henry’s is particularly targeted towards homeowners who live in areas prone to intense heat. So, if you are looking for something truly effective against the sun, this product may be worth trying.
This cool roof coating reflects both ultraviolet and infrared V rays, meaning your roof will stay protected throughout the year, especially when the unforgiving summer heat picks up.
In addition, the coating contains special microfibers that protect your roof from moisture and humidity-related problems. Therefore, you will no longer have to worry about mold, algae, and water leaks.
Henry’s comes in a one-gallon bucket, making it ideal for large surface areas. The only shortcoming of this product is the application, as it requires three layers for effective roof cooling.
Once the initial layer is applied, be sure to wait at least eight hours for it to dry. Next, apply the second layer and wait another twelve hours to dry it thoroughly. Once dried, go ahead and apply the final layer.
Applying all three layers can be a laborious and arduous task. Nonetheless, once you are done, your roof and the interior of your home will thank you for the hard work.
You can order Henry’s Roof Coating here if you’re looking for a place to purchase.
Jetcoat (White Reflective Roof Coating)
What makes this particular product most remarkable is the coating’s exclusive drying technology that allows it to dry completely in under six hours. So, if you are looking for a weekend DIY project, Jetcoat’s acrylic roof coating is the way to go.
Additionally, this coating has been particularly designed to save both energy and money. The infrared and UV rays of the sun will simply bounce off your roof and move elsewhere. Roughly seventy square feet can be covered per coat, saving you money in the long run. However, we suggest applying at least two coats for optimal protection.
You can order Jetcoat here if you’re looking to check out the specs and purchase.
A cool roof can help your property absorb less heat, reflect more sunlight, reduce energy consumption, and provide a more comfortable space.
Hopefully, this guide has provided a much clearer idea of the world of cool roof coating products.