When it comes to a home, the single largest source of heat absorption is the roof. It makes sense – the roof is exposed to direct sunlight throughout most of the day. Even if your home is well shaded by trees, there are several hours during the day of direct sunlight. That sunlight warms the roof, and superheats the air under it. That heat is eventually translated into the interior of your home, tripping the AC. If you’re interested in reducing your electricity bill, reducing the amount of heat absorbed by the roof is a good first step. In addition, there are several ways you can do that, including applying cool roof coatings.
What Are Cool Roof Coatings?
If you’re not familiar with these roof restoration and repair solutions, they’re actually pretty simple. Unlike some other roofing sealants, cool roof coatings are designed to be applied with a roller to the outside of your roof. They’re generally used with flat roofs with a rubberized membrane, but can be used on RVs, mobile homes and any number of other roof types. Most cool roof coatings are white in color to reflect as much sunlight as possible. This keeps your roof, and thus your entire structure, cooler throughout the hot days of summer.
Are They Right for Your Needs?
Cool roof coatings can be beneficial for a wide range of homeowners, but that doesn’t mean they’re right for your situation. The first order of business is to determine if your roof is actually worth coating. Inspect the roof for damage and degradation. If the roof is in bad shape, it might not be worth coating. Reroofing the home might be the better solution. Cool roof coatings won’t salvage a dying roof, so check for health first.
If there are leaks in the roof, you’ll need to wait to apply cool roof coatings as well. They should not be applied over damp areas, as the coating will lock the moisture in. Surface moisture is also a big no-no. Make sure the roof is completely dry before you apply your coating. It should also be completely clean – it’s recommended to thoroughly clean your roof a day or so before, to give it time to dry before applying a cool roof coating.
Alternatives to Cool Roof Coatings
If you’re looking for a way to keep your roof (and the rest of your home) cooler during the summer and reduce your electricity use, there are other options besides cool roof coatings. As mentioned, while they’re highly effective, they’re not ideal for all situations. If your roof is in need of replacement, you can skip the coatings and have your home roofed with white or reflective metal roofing. This will do the same job as a cool roof coating, but will provide you with an entirely new roof in the process. Most metal roofs are guaranteed for at least 50 years, so it’s a long lasting solution, although more costly than using roof coatings alone.
Cool roof coatings can be applied on your own, but it’s a tricky process to get right. Work with a reputable roofing company to ensure the best results possible.