The Definitive Guide: Commercial Cool Roof Coatings [2022]

The Definitive Guide to Cool Roofing Systems

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It’s no secret that it can get pretty hot here in Los Angeles, and it’s also no secret that air conditioning bills can stretch higher than a downtown skyscraper while you try to keep your commercial building cool. Central Roofing Company is here to offer some useful information on how you can improve the performance of your roof and keep things cool for you, your employees and your customers with cool roof coatings this upcoming sweltering summer season.

What is a Cool Roof?

The Cool Roofing System

Rather than have to tear off your current roof and put down a new one to keep your building cool, the cool roof system uses a reflective coating to bounce back the sun’s rays rather than allow them to penetrate your roof where they can lead to unnecessarily high interior temperatures and spending. Besides special roof coatings, you can also put down shingles or tiles on your church, apartment complex, multi-family home or government building.

The Community Benefits of Cool Roofs

A cool roof can benefit a building and its occupants by:

  1. Reducing energy bills by decreasing air conditioning needs
  2. Improving indoor comfort for spaces that are not air conditioned, such as garages or covered patios
  3. Decreasing roof temperature, which may extend roof service life.

Beyond the building itself, cool roofs can also benefit the environment, especially when many buildings in a community have them.


Cool roofs can:


Reduce local air temperatures (sometimes referred to as the urban heat island effect)

Lower peak electricity demand, which can help prevent power outages

Reduce power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings.

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Cost and Energy Savings

A cool roof does not necessarily cost more than a non-cool roof, especially if you are installing a new roof or replacing an existing one. However, converting a standard roof that’s in good condition into a cool roof can be expensive. Major roof costs include upfront installation (materials and labor) and ongoing maintenance (repair, recoating, and cleaning). Additional cool roof costs include specialized materials and labor.

Cool roofs can save money several ways, including energy savings, rebates and incentives, HVAC equipment downsizing, and extended roof lifetime. .

Climate and Environment

Your climate is an important consideration when deciding whether to install a cool roof. Cool roofs achieve the greatest cooling savings in hot climates.

California Cool Roof Requirements

You’ll need to consult the California Title 24 Part 6 Cool Roof Requirements for any new construction, addition or alteration covering more than 50% of the total roof or 2,000 square feet, whichever is less. Replacing, recovering or recoating a commercial roof usually qualifies.

California Cool Roof Rebate

Your commercial building likely needs to meet California’s cool roof requirements. Luckily, the state and many counties and cities have put together some resources to help businesses afford their roof upgrades. The Funding Wizard can help your business find grants, incentives and rebates for your white roof and other sustainability projects in your area. 

Los Angeles Rebates

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will pay you by the square foot for a cool roof installation.

You can earn a rebate of $0.20 per square foot on a low-sloped roof with an SRI of 75 or higher. A steep-sloped roof with an SRI of 16 or higher can also earn this rebate. You can earn $0.30 per square foot for an SRI of 85 or higher on a low-sloped roof or an SRI of 35 or higher on a steep-sloped roof.

Anaheim Rebates

Anaheim Public Utilities has two energy efficiency rebate programs for local businesses. They include:

Customized Energy Incentives: While the company doesn’t offer a specific heat-reflective roof incentive, they will work with you to build a custom incentive program for energy efficiency upgrades such as cool roofs. Based on your building’s performance after installation, the utility provider could cover 25% of the project or $50,000, whichever is less.

New Construction Incentives Program: Anaheim Public Utilities will work with you on your new construction or renovation project to exceed Title 24 standards. It provides a maximum incentive of $50,000 per facility.

The Bottom Line

Whether your building has air conditioning or not, a cool roof will lower indoor air temperatures in the summer. A cooler building is more comfortable and protects occupants from heat-related illnesses. If your facility does not have air conditioning, installing a white roof will significantly impact occupant health and safety.

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