I was inspired to paint my house’s black roof white after U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said that painting our dark roofs and pavements white would have a major impact on global warming. I also wanted a more comfortable house — the second floor, attic and garage had always been stifling in summer.
I could have chosen the much more expensive remedy of replacing the black asphalt tiles with new solar-reflective ones, instead I chose an elastomeric coating that is highly reflective, durable, easy to apply, less expensive, and available at home improvement stores. The coating is similar to thick paint, with a rubbery texture and smell. You simply apply it with a roller or brush as you would paint. It takes two or three coats to cover the black asphalt completely.
The effectiveness of the reflective coating was immediately noticeable. The upstairs bedrooms are, at last, comfortable. The garage is no longer an incinerator. White roofs really work.