How About A Polyester Sandwich For Your Roof?

It sounds like one of those breakthroughs advertised on late-night TV. Except that it's from Lockheed Corp., designer of the F-117 Stealth fighter. Lockheed engineers have come up with a new roofing material, made of synthetic polymers, that essentially shrink-wraps existing roofs. Lockheed says the material, developed by designers of the space shuttle's exterior tiles, is easy to apply, as cheap as regular roofing, and should last longer.

The first step is to spray a 1/8-inch-thick layer of black rubber over existing roofing. Polyester fabric is then applied, followed by another rubber layer. This is sealed with a white, reflective, plastic-like coating. Lockheed says that since 1990, it has reroofed more than 160 of its buildings near Sunnyvale, Calif., with "spectacular" results. It is marketing the materials and process to contractors.