Most shingle roofs in Hawaii fall into one of three basic categories: asphalt composition, wood shingle/ shakes or metal shingles.

Let’s start with asphalt composition shingles, which are the most popular sloped roofs in Hawaii. Look around your neighborhood and most likely that is what you will see — for good reason. They are moderately priced, can be walked on without causing damage and look nice after they are installed.

However, once they have aged in Hawaii’s sunlight for 15-plus years, they start to show their age. The colored granules start to wear off and expose the asphalt shingle to the harsh UV rays from above. When you check the inside of your gutter and see mounds of granules, then you know that your roof is ready for a protective coating. If left any longer, they will grow brittle and blow off in high winds, leaving your home vulnerable to interior damage from a storm.


Coating a roof using 4 to 5 gallons of an elastomeric coating per 100 square feet of area will glue the shingles tight to each other so that high winds don’t easily lift them off. It also is helpful to install an aluminum “termination strip” along the perimeter.

If you notice that your shingle roof is turning darker with age, that is usually a sign of mold and mildew growth, which is very common in older asphalt shingle roofs. A good mildew-resistant roof coating, formulated for Hawaii, can help to prevent that mold from growing back. As the roof gets darker with mold, it also gets hotter inside the home and on the roof, accelerating the aging process.

When you decide to coat your roof with an insulating ceramic-based coating, you can tint it to a lightor medium-pastel color to fit into the neighborhood.

With the latest nanotechnology, even darker colors can be applied if you use an Infrared coating such as NXT Cool Zone.


Wood shake/shingles are traditionally coated with linseed oil to keep the wood from drying out. Even better is coating the shake with either a pigmented solid or semi-transparent stain, which will help block the sun’s UV rays from burning the wood surface. If your shake has turned a dark gray and creaks when you walk on it, your roof is probably ready for coating.

Metal shingles, or virtually any metal roof, needs to be recoated when you see that the color has faded away to reveal the dull-gray aluminum base below. A good ceramic or silicone-based coating will help keep the mildew at bay, which is prevalent with this type of shingle. Aluminum shingles have a devoted following in Hawaii, with good reason. A beautiful, protective coating can make them last the lifetime of the home with periodic maintenance.

You can get sound advice for any kind of roof from the experts at The Cool Roof Store at 575 Cooke St. in Kakaako. Whether you want to do it yourself or have a professional do it for you, they can guide you to the best choice.

For more information, visit or call 591-1900.


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