In many cases, a flat roof is more economical and easier to maintain. The one major drawback is that flat roofing has a tendency to trap heat. Because of this and because flat roofing is such a popular option, manufacturers have devised several ways to reduce heat absorption.

Effective Ways To Cool a Flat Roof

Get the Right Roof Coating

Specialized roof coatings have been developed to effectively reduce heat absorption for flat roof styles. By using one of the materials below you can reflect up to 90 percent of the sun’s heat away and save on energy and air conditioning.

  • Elastomeric paint: This type of paint contains an elastomeric polymer allowing it to expand and contract along with the material it is applied to. Applying two coats of this bright white paint will increase reflectivity and reduce heat absorption giving you a cooler building and energy savings.
  • PVC sheathing: Ideal for a structurally sound roofing system, PVC sheathing can be applied to the entire surface. Heat welded seams keep water out and the smooth surface prevents wind damage. The best sheathing lasts for close to 15 years and can effectively withstand all weather conditions.
  • Asbestos film: You can erect a low sloping asbestos film shield over your roof. This helps increase reflectivity, so your flat roof does not absorb light and heat. If you choose this option, be sure to erect the shield so it does not catch prevailing winds and blow away.
  • Solar Photovoltaic panels: These ultra-thin panels are ideal for reflecting away the sun’s light and heat. These panels also store energy for you to use later or send any excess back to the power grid. When placed over a PVC laminate roofing system, you can keep your building cool all summer long.

Other Cooling Options

  • Windcatchers: The installation of windcatchers helps to direct cool air downwards. The dome-shaped windcatcher has nearly vertical weather vanes that rotate with even the smallest breeze. Cool air is forced down to the vents of the building and when the weather is too cold, there is a vent seal to keep cold air out.
  • Foam insulation: Installing a layer of foam insulation under your roofing is ideal if you get the chance to replace your ceiling. This effectively regulated hot and cold, keeping your building warm during cool months and cool during the summer.


With energy costs on the rise, the more you can do to help lower energy use and costs, the better. Using any of the methods discussed above, you can be assured of efficient energy use and savings. Contact us about your cooling options today and get a cooler building tomorrow.

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