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Old 05-27-2009, 07:48 AM   #1
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painting my roof white

Hi. I live in Florida and recently had a new shingle roof installed. I would like to paint it white but am concerned about using elastomeric coatings on a sloped roof. Will it pool or run off? Can I paint it in the summer? Where can I find answers to these Q's? Thanks


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Old 05-31-2009, 08:25 AM   #2
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Good morning! Unless I've misunderstood what you've done, I don't believe you can paint over, or put elastomeric coatings over, a new shingle roof. What kind of shingles (asphalt, concrete)?

Are you looking to paint it white for aesthetics, or for energy savings?

If for aesthetics, you're pretty much stuck with the color of the shingles now; no "paint" will stay on the shingles permanently.

If for energy savings, a white roof will help - a little bit. There are much more effective ways to save energy in a house, and depending on the construction of your roof, better ways to reduce the temperature of the attic air (which is what a white roof roof will help with).

There's been some talk in the media lately about white roofs, but what they're saying only applies in certain situations - and is way overblown in regard to effectiveness.

I suggest contacting your local electric utility company for advice - most utilities have pretty good (free) programs for helping you evaluate your home's energy use and will advise on strategies to reduce energy use. Some even have programs to do free energy retrofitting - it's worth calling to find out about!

Hope this helps!

Richard Taylor, AIA


Last edited by rltarch; 05-31-2009 at 08:26 AM. Reason: forgot name!
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Old 06-10-2009, 07:53 PM   #3
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I live in Arizona and "painted" my roof with rubberized coating. I have a flat roof with a slight slant for runoff. The coating helps seal the roof, helps deaden noise, and has actually kept my a/c from running all the time. My electric bill is cut in half, but I also installed compact fluorescent bulbs everywhere too. I did make my money back on both investments.

I did roll some of the leftover coating onto my patio roof that has sanded tarpaper similar to shingles. It's possible, but not a good idea - it won't stick very well and the sand clogs the roller. There is a primer for this, but since these are new shingles I think you should just leave them alone. You'd have to tear the shingles off and start over. I have seen thatched roof houses with elastomeric coatings on them and it makes a lot more sense than shingles around here.
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Old 08-15-2009, 04:22 PM   #4
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There are some companies out there that make specific coatings just for this application..........the coclor alone will help ,but some of these caotings have radiant bariier and insulation in them which improve performance alot over just white some searches for roof coatings and these companies will pop up.
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:16 AM   #5
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You can paint shingles. You pass shingles that are painted all the time.

McDonnals, Burger King...

Regular white paint will do fine.

If you do not believe that white works here is a test. Get a white car and a black car, in the afternoon, touch each one. Then tell me which one is cooler. Anyone that says there is no difference does not work on roofs. Radiant heat is not brought into the building.

No argument that there are other ways to improve efficiency and comfort.

The big downside to white roofs with roof coatings is glare. if you have a roof in front of a window, DO NOT PAINT your roof white. The glare in your home will be unbearable. The white roof will reflect the sun light like a mirror. So the glare may affect your neighbors house.

Look at a Wendy's. You will probably see a glow above the roof. This is the sunlight being reflected off the roof. If you see anyother flat roof and it looks like it is glowing, they have a white roof.

The air itself is cooler on a white roof. This cooler air is used by the HVAC units. This reduces the energy needed to cool your building. It also increases the life of the hvac unit. So the cost savings add up quickly.
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