Part 3: Cool Roof Q&A

February 28, 2017

We get calls into our offices daily telling us about a product that is advertising magical ingredients such as ceramics or glass beads and that stake claim to having special powers...let's address that.

Unless those coatings meet the Solar Reflectance test in the first place they will not compare to those that do. Such ingredients are largely regarded as fillers and are available to all coating makers. They always replace other more expensive ingredients which account for important roof coating factors such as elongation and tensile strength. If used in any great concentration they actually reduce the cooling so you never will hear claims boasting greater amounts amongst competitors. Their use also can reduce the cooling ability later due to the rough surface caused at the microscopic level, resulting in dirt collection, microbes, and lower reflectivity over time. This helps also explain why virtually all who sell on the "magical" cooling effects of special ingredients will somewhere have reference to the fact that the highly boasted results can only be obtained using their white. It also explains why all standards are based upon Solar Reflectance and not ingredients.

Of course there are many other considerations for purchasing roof coatings, all of which have to do with the coating’s physical properties over time and ability to meet your projected needs. These are responsible for assessing how well they will hold up. For this reason it is critical that when coatings are compared that the comparison always include physical features after aging. This can indicate not only how much a product can be expected to do, but how long it will continue performing compared to another option.