Dump Trucks, Bulldozers and Cranes, Oh My!

Cool Your Home By Coating Your Roof

Rows of homes with black roofs, combined with a lack of vegetation, can create a "heat island " effect in urban areas that intensifies the heat from the summer sun.

You can make your home cooler, while helping to lower the ambient temperature of the neighborhood, by coating your roof with reflective coating.

What is reflective coating?

Reflective coating is a liquid seal that is applied to roofs to reflect sunlight while protecting the roof in the same manner as traditional black coating.

While aluminum reflective coating has been used most extensively, other light colored reflective coatings are being developed that are as effective as aluminum coating.

What do you need to apply reflective coating?

  • The coating: Reflective coating for homes is usually purchased in one or five gallon cans. You can determine the amount of coating you will need by measuring the surface area of your roof (multiply length times width). The cans of coating will have coverage information on the label.
  • Application brush: Roof coatings are brushed on with a stiff brush that resembles a street sweeper brush. You will need to buy a screw-on broom handle separately.
  • A broom: The roof must be cleaned before application.

Preparing to apply reflective coating

Preparing the roof

You must first clean the roof thoroughly. Be careful when sweeping that you don't sweep dirt and debris into your gutters, or you will cause them to become clogged. If your hose reaches the roof, use it after you have swept to remove dust and avoid washing dirt into your gutters.

Preparing  yourself

Roof coating is effective because it sticks well to most surfaces. This includes your clothes, shoes, and anything you touch. 

Wear older non-slip type shoes that you can throw away or save for another dirty job, and a light colored long sleeve shirt and pants that may become unwearable.

Long sleeves, a hat, gloves, and inexpensive sunglasses will be needed, because the reflective coating will intensify the sun's rays. Sunscreen should be applied to exposed skin.

After you have accessed the roof, pull the buckets of coating to the roof with a rope. Carrying it up a ladder may cause you to lose balance and fall.

Applying the coating

You can apply the coating if the roof is damp, but not if pools of water are present. 

Begin application at the point on the roof that is farthest from your access point. Aluminum coating will appear dark when wet, but will lighten as it dries. There are fibers in roof coating, so don't panic if you see strings in the reflective coating as it is applied.

Remember that it sticks to everything when you are finished. Remove your shoes and gloves before touching anything. 


For more information on this and other roofing topics, go to

About Me

Dump Trucks, Bulldozers and Cranes, Oh My!

Welcome to my blog. I'm Kara Montgomery. My entire life, I have had an obsession with construction. When I was a little girl, I had a whole set of construction equipment toys I'd play with. As I got older, I read so many books on construction. Even though I didn't follow construction as a career path, this has continued to be something I'm interested in and I thought it'd be fun to create a little blog that covers various construction topics. There is really no specific construction topic this blog will cover, so anyone who has an interest in the construction industry will find something of use.

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