How To Apply Reflective Coating To A Flat Roof

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Although solar power is quite effective in lowering energy bills through the use of roof top solar panels that convert the sunlight into electricity, the sun can also create an opposite effect on a black roof. Black surfaces, such as an asphalt roof, road, or parking lot, absorb the sun's heat.

A flat black roof on a home will require additional energy for cooling, even when additional insulation is added to the upper level of the home. If the home is located in an area with a high concentration of homes with black roofs, along with numerous roads and asphalt lots, a "heat island" is created, raising the heat level of the entire area.

You can reduce your own cooling costs, as well as the effect on the environment and your neighborhood, by applying a reflective roof coating to your home.

What do you need to apply roof coating?

The roof coating

Reflective roof coating is sold in both one and five gallon buckets. In order to determine the amount of coating required for the job, you'll need to find out the square footage of your roof. Square feet are calculated by multiplying the length and width of the roof surface together. The amount of coverage per gallon of coating will be listed in square feet on the back of the can.

Although five gallon cans are more economical, they are also substantially heavier to move than one gallon cans. Although aluminum (silver) is the most popular color for reflective coating, other lighter colors are available.

In order both to measure the roof and apply the coating, you will need a suitable ladder.

The ladder

Your ladder should extend approximately three feet beyond the edge of the roof for safe access to and egress from the roof. It should also be long enough for the bottom to extend one foot from the house for every four feet of ladder length. 

Applicator brush and handle

Roof coating is thick and sticky, and is best applied with a brush. You can find a suitable brush, along with a wooden screw-in handle, in the same section of the home improvement store as the coating.

Applying the coating

You should try to choose a cooler day if possible, because the heat may be intolerable on a hot sunny day. You must start applying the coating at the farthest point from your ladder so you won't be required to walk across the coating to return to the ladder, so you should determine the level of the sun before you begin.

Apply the coating while facing away from the sun, because the reflective nature of the coating may cause temporary vision problems and a fall from the roof. Sunglasses and a brimmed hat are advised, even on a cloudy day.

Lift the bucket(s) of coating to the roof with a length of rope, because you may lose your balance and fall if you attempt to carry them up the ladder, especially with the weight of five gallon buckets.

Clean the roof thoroughly with a broom (and a hose if possible) to achieve maximum adherence. It's best to wear thick gloves, as well as older clothes and shoes, because roof coating tends to stick to everything it touches.

You can dip the brush head directly into the bucket, or pour a small amount of coating and spread it with the brush. Cover the entire roof with the coating without missing any spots, because reflective coatings serves the dual purpose of reflecting the sun's rays and protecting your roof from leaks.

Don't be surprised if you have some roof coating or your clothes, shoes, ladder, and anything else exposed to the coating. A simple wiping of the brow, adjustment of sunglasses, or other unconscious movements will provide you with future reminders of your roofing project. However, these souvenirs will be accompanied by a cooler home and lower AC bills, which is a good deal.

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20 July 2017

The Benefits of a Flat Roof

My name is Janet, and I am a professional architect and interior designer. While I love to design and decorate homes, I have recently developed another passion. I have fallen in love with the flat roof. Most people only see flat roofs in tall buildings in urban areas, but suburban homes can have them too. You can have a roof with a living space, a garden or even a pool. You simply need to design it so that water is adequately drained, and you can enjoy your roof almost as if it were an extra room. Explore the possibilities of flat roofs with me.