A cool roof is designed to absorb less heat by reflecting the sun’s rays away. This keeps the building cooler. Cool roofing can include reflective tiles, reflective paint, or a sheet covering. No matter which type you use, the benefits for your roof and your wallet will be the same.

Everything You Need To Know About Cool Roofing

The Benefits of a Cool Roof

Standard roofing that is dark in color can reach temperatures as high as 150°F or more during the summer. A cool roof in the same conditions will stay 50°F cooler which means:

  • Reduced energy bills by decreasing air conditioning use
  • Improved indoor comfort
  • Lower roof temperature, which can extend the life of a roof
  • Reduced urban heat island effect
  • Lower peak electricity demand, which lowers the risk of power outages
  • Reduced power plant emissions for cleaner air

Making A Roof Cool

There are several different types of roofing used on commercial properties. You can make a new or existing roof into a cool roof by using the appropriate surface. Cool roof coatings are white and reflective and can protect against UV damage, chemical damage and protect against water buildup. There are cool roof coatings available for most types of roofing.

  • Single-ply membranes: Single-ply membranes are prefabricated sheets that are rolled on the roof and attached in one of three ways; mechanical fasteners, ballast like gravel, or chemical adhesives. These roofs are made cool by reformulating the material or adding a reflective coating.
  • Built-up roofing: Built-up roofing uses a base sheet with layers of fabric reinforcement layers, and typically has a dark protective surface. You can make this darker surface cooler by substituting reflective marble chips for the standard dark gravel or using reflective mineral granules. It is also an option to coat the top layers with a reflective coating.
  • Modified bitumen membranes: Modified bitumen membranes are sheets of layered plastic (or rubber) alternated with fabrics for reinforcement. The surface is granules or smooth and you can make this cool by pre-coating the surface materials with s coating at the factory before installation.
  • Spray polyurethane foam roofing: Spray polyurethane foam roofing is made from mixing two liquid chemicals together. These expand to create a single piece of roofing that adheres to the roof. Foams must have a coating of some kind as they are highly susceptible to moisture, mechanical, and UV damage, so you will typically find them ready to go.
  • Metal roofs: Metal roofs can be made with a natural metallic finish or have an added granular coating or oven-baked paint. Metal is naturally a good reflector of heat but they are poor thermal emitters. Coating a metal roof increases the reflective qualities and thermal emittance making it a cool roof.

As an alternative option to roof coatings, you can choose to develop a green roof. These are better suited for urban buildings and can use basic plants or a full garden scene. Green roofing is beneficial for the environment and can help manage stormwater while also providing an open space for people to visit. Green roofing provides natural insulation which lowers your heating and cooling needs. It is a little more expensive to build this type of cool roof, but in the long run, will have many benefits.

To Install a Cool Roof Or Not?

The first thing to consider when deciding on a cool roof is energy savings. You need to evaluate if the cost will validate the savings. The amount of energy you save will depend on the climate, your insulation, and the efficiency of your HVAC and heating systems. You also need to consider if you are installing a new roof or renovating an older one? For a new roof, you can incorporate the costs and installation of a cool roof in the planning stages. For an older roof, you may need to retrofit the current roof, re-cover the roof, or replace the roof with a new reflective one. For old roofing, close to the end of its lifespan, replacement is the most efficient option.


Whichever option you are considering, we have the materials and experience to help you. Reach out to us today for all your cool roof needs. And we can help you start saving money today.


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