White Roof Coatings versus White Paint

Today we build upon previous blog posts about white roofs versus green roofs, the market for white roof coatings, and the benefits of roofs with white elastomeric roof coatings on them. Today’s blog post provides answers to what seems to be a growing question in the commercial roofing industry: “is white paint the same thing as a white roof coating?”

In short, the answer is a confident “no”. We examine different reasons for why this is the case and why white roof coatings are actually preferable to white roof paint below.

White Roof Paint Compared to White Roof Elastomeric Coatings

According to the consulting firm The ChemQuest Group, in 2007 white elastomeric roof coatings accounted for almost two-thirds (or sixty-seven percent) of the entire cool roof coatings market. At the time of the firm’s report, white roof coatings were growing at an annual rate of 11-12 percent.

As people have become more aware of white roofs and their benefits, their misperceptions of what white roof paint actually is have become stronger. Initiatives that aim at curbing energy consumption, such as the ENERGY STAR® program, have raised consumer awareness of the impact that a white roof can have on energy savings and environmental protection.

Aside from technical details in their composition, white roof paint and white roof coatings most strongly differ in the length of their lifespan and their energy-saving properties. To keep things simple, here is a list of how these two products differ from each other.

White Roof Paint:
  • Lasts for only a couple of seasons before chipping away
  • Does not get rid of heat
  • No noteworthy energy-saving properties
  • Cannot stand up to ponding water or extreme weather
  • No waterproofing capability
  • Limited reflectivity, especially over a period of time
  • Thin body when applied
White Roof Coating:
  • Strong coating formulations can last for 20 years or more
  • Mitigates heat transfer
  • Tremendous reflective and emittance properties
  • Resists ponding water and extreme weather
  • Complete waterproofing solution
  • Well-engineered coatings reflect the majority of sun’s heat
  • Thick body when applied

In summary, a white roof coating has far more to offer than white roof paint. For customers who are especially cost-conscious, a white roof coating is more economical than white roof paint in the long run. How? White roof paint will require multiple reapplications in just a short amount of time. The lack of energy savings will prove to be costly, too. With just those costs alone stacking up, a white roof coating is far more likely to not require reapplication and to generate strong energy savings.

White Roof Coating and Its Performance Value

white roof coatingWhen someone is looking at a white roof coating’s efficacy, it is helpful to keep these things in mind:

  • What is the extent of the white roof coating’s elastomeric properties (measured as “elongation” in spec sheets)?
  • What is the white roof coating’s thickness when applied (measured typically as dry mils)?
  • What are the white roof coating’s reflectance and emittance values (measures of how much of the sun’s heat a roof coating reflects and how much absorbed heat the roof coating releases)?
  • What is the extent of the white roof coating’s warranty coverage?

In particular, Conklin white roof coatings stand out from the rest of the many white roof coatings available today for many reasons:

  • Only commercial roof coatings to be backed by non-prorated warranties covering all labor and material costs for up to 18 years
  • Have a high degree of thickness at 13.5 dry mils per coat, which is much higher than most white roof coatings on the marketplace
  • Together with a base coat, it is able to stretch from 2.5 to 3.38 their original size under the influence of the sun’s energy
  • Together with a base coat, have a remarkable tensile strength ranging from 232 psi to 625 psi
  • High thermal reflectance and emittance values that meet the third-party, objective standards for energy efficiency set by the Cool Roof Ratings Council)

Roofing Services

Our professional commercial roof contractors provide:

  • Roof maintenance & repair
  • Inspections & leak detection
  • Energy efficient roof systems
  • Complete roof replacement
  • Roof life-extending solutions
Request Free Estimate
Along with Conklin’s other industry-leading product selections, these white roof coatings have been installed on over 2 billion square feet of roofing in the United States. On the whole, Conklin roofing products sport a warranty claims rate of less than 0.5%, a very strong performance record.

With all these great benefits, it’s clear to see why a white roof coating is the best way to go!

Should you be interested in learning more about why a Conklin white roof coating adds great value to the commercial roofing industry, please call us at 800-670-5583.

We’d be happy to work with you to show you the many benefits of Conklin and working with a top-notch commercial roofing contractor.


Ian Myers on Linkedin
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.