Reflective roof coatings are sometimes called albedo coatings by professional roofers. It is a type of product that is applied directly to roofs to decrease solar heat, particularly in locations that are known for handling sunny, hot temperatures for a majority of the year. The reflective roof coatings mimic mirrors and reflect the energy of the sun right back up. The lighter the coating, the more effective it is in terms of solar resistance. For example, white paint can reflect approximately 85 percent of the sun’s rays. Materials used to act as reflective roof coatings include acrylic paints and polyurethane. There are also single-ply sheets that are made of PVC, plastic, or rubber, as well as concrete or clay tiles. The paint, obviously, can be applied with a paint roller, while the sheets and tiles require heat sealants.
Because this type of roof coating decreases surface temperatures by a maximum of 80 degrees Fahrenheit, it has a positive impact on the costs of cooling a home. California’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory estimated that if homeowners use reflective roof coatings, it can save themselves at least 25 percent in energy use. An early study in 1994 by some researchers in California and Florida found out from a number of experiments that with reflective roof coatings, energy consumption from air conditioning units decreased up to 60 percent. This demonstrates that reflective roof coatings aid in preventing the high temperatures from summer heat from getting into the home.
Reflective roof coatings also contain a number of ultra-violet light-blocking pigments. As any roofer will tell a homeowner or property owner, ultra-violet rays are known for aging a roof. With the right reflective roof coatings, the life of a roof is extended by a maximum of 15 years. This is especially beneficial to roofs that are flat or sloped as they often absorb much more sun at a much larger rate than roofs that are slanted. Any property owner will state that roof maintenance also accounts for a minimum of 80 percent of all maintenance costs of the building. A product, like reflective roof coatings, which will extend the life of the roof, is worth it because of the major savings it will offer.
Because of the energy saving capabilities, many reflective roof coatings have received an Energy Star label. More and more homes are now being built with reflective roof coatings because it will aid families, especially lower income families, in managing their monthly utility bills.
It is important to note that after some time, reflective roof coatings do lose the ability to properly reflect the sun’s rays, often due to the increase of dew and dust. Therefore, to maintain the benefits associated with reflective roof coatings, it is important to do regular maintenance. Often this includes cleanings or reapplications. This is extremely important. If a homeowner or commercial properly owner do not want to do it on their own, it is best to call in a professional roofer and have them aid in ensuring that the reflective roof coating is properly maintained.