A cool roof reflects and emits the sun’s heat back to the sky rather than transferring it to the building below. United States Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu has raised the issue that painting America’s roofs and roads white will help achieve greater energy efficiency. In July, Secretary Chu directed all Department of Energy (DOE) offices to install cool roofs, whenever cost effective over the lifetime of the roof, when constructing new roofs or replacing old ones at DOE facilities.
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), which represents the majority of the asphalt shingle manufacturers in the United States, supports the correct use of “cool roofing” technologies to maximize energy efficiency. ARMA states that house or other ordinary paints should never be used on a roof surface. Roof coatings are specifically formulated for application to certain types of roofing systems and address external climatic conditions.
Additionally, ARMA and its members strongly advise caution when considering the application of any type of field-applied coating over installed asphalt shingles. When considering coating of installed asphalt roof shingles, it is critical to:
• Obtain approval from the asphalt shingle manufacturer before proceeding with a specific roof coating
• Check with the local building department to determine whether the particular application is allowed
• Refer to the ARMA’s Technical Bulletin: Field Applied Coating of Installed Asphalt Shingles.