Silver coating on flat roof in Chicago needed?

6 Replies

Hey BP! Got the inspection back. Do you think it is important in the Mid-West, Chicago to be specific, to ask for the fact roof to be coated in aluminum to protect from UV Rays? How much longer of a life span will I get? The roof is brand new and there weren't any other issues with it that the inspector pointed out. Thank you in advance.

@Michelle Bright

That "silver coating" is an aluminium pigmented asphalt which is rolled {painted} onto an modified bitumen roof.  It is sometimes used as a re-application on metal roofs as well.

The aluminium increases the reflective value of the roof and offers some protection towards the inevitable UV toll on the rolled roof.   One draw back of aluminium asphalt coatings is they create problems for the possible future application of other coatings - say acrylic coating to reseal/waterproof the roof ... I'm not certain if this is universal to all Al coatings.

You can also use a light/white acrylic coating - or a silicone-based coating -  to increase the reflectivity of the roof while adding an additional layer of protection/waterproofing.

On my home the silver helped a lot to extend the life and reduce the summer heat of the upper floor.

Originally posted by @Sam Shueh :

Reflector can be applied from roof subflooring inside the attic to keep roof and house cooler in the summer.


The aluminium pigmented coating on the rooftop is primarily aimed at protecting the roof membrane itself with reduction of thermal loading in the building being secondary.   Conversely, applying a reflective layer below the roof truss space will help keep the conditioned space of the building cooler in the summer, but may have little (or even an adverse) impact on the temperature of the roof deck itself.

Thanks everyone. I also called a roofing contractor local to my area. The new roof is rubber and because of that he suggested not putting the aluminum on it. instead he recommended if we consider the white coating instead one every 5 years to get a 30 yr life on the roof.

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