White Roof Coating Cost

Today’s blog post will be of interest to building owners and facility managers, as it provides an overview of the cost of white roof coatings. Known for their ability to “restore” a commercial roof and make it an energy-saving asset, white roof coatings are often far more cost-effective than a complete commercial roof replacement. However, when it comes to roof coatings themselves, just what costs do they involve?

When looking at the cost of roof coatings, there are a few things to keep in mind. People should think of what a roof coating job will require in terms of cost per square foot. Plus, a distinction must be made between jobs with only one roof coating application and jobs where a complete roof coating system is applied to an existing roof membrane. These factors will help in weighing the cost burdens of both options as how well each option truly performs.

According to industry experts, material costs for just a roof coating application can range from $0.50-$2.50 per square foot. These costs will definitely vary based on location and dynamics of local roofing markets, though. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also provides a cost estimate of at least $0.75 per square foot for roof coating materials on low slope roofs. Installation costs depend on your local market, the experience of the contractor, and other factors.

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On the other hand, applying a complete white roof coating system on an existing roof membrane involves more material inputs.

A comprehensive white roof coating system typically starts at $1.10 per square foot for just materials. However, it offers far more durability and longevity than a single coating application presents since it includes primer, fabric and usually a base coat as well.

Why is the Membrane Coating System Superior to a Single Roof Coating Application?

energy saving roof coatingFor one, the membrane coating system requires more extensive preparation than a single coating application. The existing commercial roof surface must be vigorously cleansed and prepared before the membrane coating system’s primer is applied. Because of the extensive prep work involved, the membrane coating system tends to be more long-lasting than a simple coating application does.

The membrane coating system is fully adhered, has more than one layer of protection, and is capped off by a top coat which is completely seamless. On top of these features, the membrane coating system also comes with an exceptionally strong, fully-knit polyester fabric. This great-performing fabric material – known as Spunflex reinforced fabric – meets military-grade standards for performance. The Spunflex fabric is used to reinforce an existing commercial roof’s seams and exposed areas around protrusions, rooftop units, curbs, and more. The end result is that the commercial roof’s strength and durability are substantially enhanced. In turn, that dramatically improves the roof’s resistance to splitting or rupturing, even over time.

These features make the membrane coating system an exceptional waterproofing agent, give it greater longevity than other coating solutions available today, and render it a strong-performing solution against leaks and other roofing problems.

What Are Other Benefits of White Roof Coatings?

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So, a membrane coating system will have less-demanding expense burdens over its lifespan than a single coating application will experience. With the “white” roof surface of the membrane coating system, though, what are some other benefits that building owners and facility managers can enjoy?

  • ENERGY STAR® certified roofing protection and possible tax benefits
  • Up to 85% reflectivity of sun’s heat energy and lowered roof surface temperature by 80°
  • More comfortable and cooler building interior or workplace
  • Potentially 30% savings in annual cooling costs
  • Up to 15% reduction in annual utility costs
  • Lower upkeep and maintenance costs for a building’s HVAC system
  • Lower repair and maintenance costs for damage from sun’s deteriorating effects

In fact, the Conklin white roof coating systems we apply can pay for themselves in 5-7 years with annual energy savings!

The energy-saving potential of white roofs has been well-documented. The Urban Green Council has estimated that white roofs on commercial buildings could generate 89% net energy savings. Plus, recently in 2010, it was estimated that if 85% of air-conditioned buildings in the United States had white roofs, building owners and facility owners could see $735 million in annual energy savings. There are many case studies or industry analyses demonstrating white roofs’ credibility and superiority over white roof paint as well.

Why Go With White Roof Coatings?

metal roof coatingHere are a few other reasons that put the value of white roof coatings in context:

  • White roof coatings reflect that vast majority of the sun’s heat energy instead of absorbing it
  • They offer a powerful solution to the “urban heat island effect” of concern today
  • They have “elastomeric” properties, or the ability to easily expand and contract in hot and cold temperature extremes
  • They generally do not involve roof tear-off, disposal, or other costly, time-consuming procedures associated with roof replacement
  • They are excellent resisters of cracking and weathering caused by long-term sun exposure
  • They reduce a building’s carbon footprint and lessen its reliance on the electricity grid
  • White roof coatings greatly counter the adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions and are “sustainable” building materials
  • They lower peak energy demand in the summer season

In short, white roof coatings can enhance a building’s performance, lower its energy consumption, strengthen its eco-friendliness, and help save thousands in energy costs.

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As a forward-thinking group of commercial roofing specialists, Choice Roof Contractor Group has seen the value of white roof coatings and energy-efficient roofing solutions in general. That is why we use Conklin’s line of high-performance, energy-efficient roofing products.

Here are a few ways Conklin roofing products stand out:

  • Can increase an aging commercial roof’s life for decades
  • Best-in-class waterproofing solutions among the many available today
  • No seams, no more leaks, and reduced opportunities for trouble
  • ENERGY STAR° certified and all associated benefits and huge cost-saving potential
  • Can save 30-50% in annual cooling costs depending on the roof system
  • Greatly strengthen a building’s overhead with little-to-no extra deadweight
  • Fewer roof maintenance and upkeep demands every year
  • Non-prorated warranty guarantees on 100% of labor and material costs
  • Save up to 50% on avoided roof replacement costs

Conklin roofing products have been installed on over 2 billion square feet nationwide, and they have a reported warranty claims rate of less than 0.5% – a testament to their efficacy. Should you be interested in learning more about how our nationwide network can benefit you, give us a call at (800) 670-5583.


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Written by: Ian Myers
Ian Myers
Ian was the very first team member brought on by the original co-founders of the Choice Roof Contractor Group to assist with nationwide growth. Since then he has written 120+ blog posts and provided excellent support to the roofing contractors in the group. Through his multiple roles in the commercial roofing industry, he has gained tremendous knowledge in the sector.