Cool Roof FAQ

What is a “cool roof”? »

Most of the roofs in the world are dark-colored and in the heat of the full sun, the surface of a dark roof can increase in temperature as much as 126F. This heat and UV absorption is the primary cause of roof deterioration and replacement.

A cool roof is one that has a high ability to reflect the visible, infrared and UV rays of the sun lowering heat transfer to the building. A cool roof reduces the extremes of temperature change and thus reduces the incidence of damage to the roof systems. Cool roofs are mostly associated with white roofs. More and more different types of roofing materials are incorporating this principle of heat reflectance.

How much does a cool roof cost? »

As with any construction upgrade, the cost varies depending on the size, repairs needed and/or roof deficiencies that need to be addressed, the amount of detail work that may be required because of air conditioners, duct work, drains, skylights, etc. Each building is different in its construction and use. For example a restaurant roof may have a tremendous amount of detail versus an open warehouse with very little. But no matter what the roof is like we can usually save you 50% or more compared to a traditional re-roofing. Contact us for a free inspection and estimate.

What are the benefits of a cool roof? »

Some of the benefits of a new roof from Commercial Cool Roof Systems:

  • Savings of up to 50% or more compared to a traditional re-roofing.
  • Complete roof waterproofing.
  • Extending the service life of your roof.
  • Improved energy efficiency.
  • Reduced energy costs.
  • Reduced utility costs.
  • Simpler maintenance programs.
  • Improved resale value.
  • Minimal or no business disruption
  • Happier tenants

How do I save money by choosing to have a cool roof? »

You can save up to 50% or more compared to a traditional re-roofing because the existing roof does not need to be torn off and all of the additional costs that go with a massive construction project. There is minimal disruption for occupants and daily business. Smaller, more efficient crews can work on larger square footage daily saving labor costs. Material costs are lower than a traditional re-roof. There are tax benefits which a traditional re-roof does not give.

Do cool roofs need maintenance? »

Yes, all roofs need some form of maintenance if you want them to last longer, but cool roofs have simpler maintenance programs.

My roof is not very old and is not leaking. Why should I do anything to it? »

This is the best time to do something about it. All roofs eventually dry out and deteriorate from the sun. Protecting the roof surface now, before major problems arise, will greatly extend the life of the roof.

Do you give warranties? »

Yes, all of our work has a labor and material warranty and with Commercial Cool Roof Systems, that warranty can be renewed.

What is meant by “roof service life”? »

Roof service life refers to how long a roof lasts on an average before major repairs or replacement is necessary. This will vary depending on environmental conditions, quality of roof installed and whether any regular maintenance was kept up.

What is a roof warranty? »

It is the roofing company’s promise to come back and fix any defects in the workmanship or materials within the scope of work done at no charge to you for a certain period of time. There are differences in warranties from company to company.

What is a flat roof restoration? »

With a flat roof restoration (or a flat roof repair) all vital repairs are completed first, followed by the installation of a new waterproof seamless membrane over the entire roof then applying two applications of white elastomeric roof coatings which can then be easily maintained.

What is the difference between a white roof coating and a flat roof restoration? »

A flat roof restoration includes completion of all vital repairs, followed by a waterproof seamless membrane over the entire roof and applications of white elastomeric roof coatings and is normally prescribed on roofs that are very old, dehydrated and at the end of their service life. White coatings alone are normally applied right after the installation of a new roof and up to about 10 years depending on its condition and roof quality. This is the most effective range for coatings. If the coatings are done in that time range this easily doubles up the existing roof life depending on environmental conditions and maintenance.

What is the service life of a flat roof restoration? »

The service life of a flat roof restoration averages 15-20 years and longer if well maintained.

How long will a white roof coating last? »

Using a professional commercial-grade white elastomeric standardly applied per manufacturer’s instruction the average is about 10 years before a re-top coating may be needed. Environmental conditions and whether the roofer followed the correct standard application instructions can vary the life of coatings.

How often is a re-top coating needed? »

For a cool roof Los Angeles and Southern California building owners should consider a re-top coat about every 7 years which will keep pushing your roof life forward. A re-top coating is usually much less than the initial coating because less preparation is needed on the roof.

The inside of my warehouse/building is very hot. Will a cool roof help? »

The roof is one of the primary sources of heat inside a building. White elastomeric roof coatings will reflect over 80% of the sun’s UV rays and heat from the roof which can help lower the inside temperature considerably and reduce air conditioning and energy costs significantly. This is confirmed by research done by the Cool Roof Rating Council ( and other agencies. Buildings with no air conditioning units may also be lacking in adequate roof ventilation. Along with a cool roof coating, we can also install any ventilation needed to help cool your building

Why doesn’t my flat roof last forever? »

With environmental conditions, your flat roof dries out and starts pulling apart. The primary cause is sun, heat and UV rays. The older it gets, the drier and more brittle it becomes resulting in more and more roof damage and frequent repairs needed.

How can white roof coatings help my flat roof? »

The main reason a roof deteriorates and is prematurely replaced is from dehydration. The roof just dries out from the heat and pulls apart. The white elastomeric roof coating helps to protect the roof from the heat and UV rays greatly slowing down the aging process and this durable, rubberized coating stretches in the heat and then returns to the original shape without damage.

My flat roof is very old. Can coatings alone help? »

From our experience, a roof can be too dried out to benefit from just a coating alone. Usually a roof restoration is needed for roofs in bad shape and/or at the end of their roof life. Our experts can inspect your roof and inform you of your options.

What preparations do you make before coating my roof? »

Debris and old mechanicals are removed. We pressure wash the entire roof to remove dirt, dust and pollutants. Repairs are made to any failing portions of the roof and we address all vital repairs needed to ensure water integrity. A waterproof membrane is installed. A primer is applied as a first coat and then followed by two coats of the white elastomeric roof coating standardly applied per the manufacturer’s specifications.

Why shouldn’t I just get a new traditional roof? »

Because you may not need to. From our experience, many flat roofs are prematurely replaced where a cool roof system would have extended the roof life another 10 or 20 years. Plus a cool roof has the additional energy and tax benefits.

When is the best time to have work done on my roof? »

The “roofing season” is in the summer when the weather is most favorable. This is the best time to have work done because the work can be done thoroughly and standardly without weather interruptions and it’s also during the summer when you can get the better roofing prices.

When is the worst or least favorable time to have work done on my roof? »

The least favorable time is at the end of the roofing season when those building owners who have pushed off their roofing projects now realize they better get them done with the rainy season about to start. The worst time is during the rainy season because it is usually emergency repairs that are done and these tend to be not as thorough. Weather conditions are usually not favorable to larger projects. At both times, roofers get very busy and this pushes up prices due to supply and demand.

Are there differences between white roof coating materials? »

Yes. Some coating materials last much longer than others and coatings can vary in price. We use only high-quality, commercial-grade, California Title 24 compliant, white, elastomeric coverings.

How does a cool roof impact the environment? »

Per Wikipedia, “if all urban, flat roofs in warm climates were whitened, the resulting 10% increase in global reflectivity would offset the warming effect of 24 Gigatonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, or equivalent to taking 300 million cars off the road for 20 years.

Are your cool roofs fully compliant with federal, state and municipal building codes and energy conservation programs? »


Will we have to shut down our business during the roofing work? »

No, this type of roofing has minimal disruption to tenants or occupants and we also try to schedule so that your business has the least amount of interference while the work is being done.

Will I have to do any maintenance to the my new cool roof? »

As with anything there is always some maintenance required such as cleaning leaf or trash build up, keeping drains clear, etc. To maintain their reflectivity, roofs may be periodically refreshed with a new topcoat. The RCMA (Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association) recommends every three to seven years. In Southern California we have observed that commercial grade white roof coatings need to be refreshed between 7 to 10 years.

Can a cool roof be applied to a residential home? »

If it has a flat roof, then yes. Any type of flat roof can receive a cool roof system.

Why haven’t I heard of a cool roof before? Is this a new thing? »

A cool roofing system is not new. This type of roofing system has been around successfully for at least 40 years. It became popular when California Title 24 was released by the California Energy Commission in 1978 as a building and remodeling efficiency standard in order to save energy and other natural resources. With increased awareness on the value and benefits of cool roofing it is now steadily becoming a preferred roofing system. The Cool Roof Rating Council (an independent, non-profit organization) now exists as well and maintains a third-party rating system for radiative properties of roof surfacing materials.

If any sheet metal work is needed on the roof do I need to call in another company? »

No. We are well versed in top quality sheet metal work and can handle any job.

I have old skylights that are leaking. Can you change these or do I need to call in someone else? »

We can order and change out any old skylights for you. Many of the newer skylights are much more energy efficient so the best time to change them would be during the installation of your new Cool Roof System.

Is there anything that can be done about the water ponding/pooling on my roof? »

Yes. We have a light-weight proprietary roof leveling compound that is used to correct this situation. This is part of the vital repairs done before we install your cool roof system.

I have drainage problems. Do you fix those? »

Yes, we fix all associated problems with roof drainage.

Do you coat AC ducts? »

Yes, we repair and coat any of the AC ducts and joints running through the roof and back to the AC unit. With the heat now reflected off the ducts, the AC unit tends to work more efficiently. In the summer these AC ducts can get extremely hot.

If I want to make any changes (e.g. new AC unit, solar panels, new skylights or vents, etc.) to my roof after a cool roof system has been installed does this present any problems to my roof? »

No, not at all but it is best to have us come back and do the waterproofing so that we can maintain the full warranty on the cool roof installed by us.

I have an older sheet metal roof that is leaking. Can you apply a cool roof? »

Yes. Cool roof coatings and repairs lend themselves very well to older sheet metal roofing systems.

I have an older foam roof which is leaking. Do you work on this type of roof? »

Yes. We repair, restore and re-coat these quite frequently.

Do you do full roof inspection reports? »

Yes, we do full written inspection reports that cover all aspects of your roof.

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(855) 248-5968

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