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Does Solar Reflective Paint Work?

Yes, solar reflective paint does work. A roof which has received 2 coats of solar reflective paint will have a much lower surface temperature than one which has not had solar reflective paint applied.

For example, in a comparison between a patch on an asphalt roof which had not been painted with 2 coats of solar reflective paint and the rest of the roof which had the difference in the temperature was significant. The part of the roof which had received the 2 coats of solar reflective paint showed a surface temperature of 32 ° and the untreated asphalt had a surface temperature of 50 °.

The benefit of a lower surface temperature is a reduction in the temperature fluctuations the roof must endure on a daily basis. This process is called 'thermal movement'.

What Is Thermal Movement And How Does Solar Reflective Paint Help?

A roof which must endure large changes in surface temperature is at risk of cracking. The problem with this is if this happens problems such as water ingress can occur, which can lead to problems which can reduce the longevity of the roof. What happens is in the day the roof will “bake” in the sun and expand and then at night when temperatures drop the roof will contract. The higher the change in temperature the more likely the roof will crack. As shown earlier the 18 ° difference in maximum surface temperature between an area of roofing with solar reflective paint can be the difference between a roof enduring thermal movement or cracking.

Additionally, a building with a solar reflective paint is more thermally efficient and environmentally friendly. Having a more thermally efficient building makes it more comfortable to live in. And in the case of commercial roofing, solar reflective paint will make the premises below more comfortable to work in.

How Does Solar Reflective Paint Work?

Solar reflective paint works by creating a barrier between the surface of the roof it covers and the sun. It effectively acts like a sun cream. Solar reflective paint can be silver or white in colour. The solar reflective paint contains pigments designed to reflect the UV rays of the sun. These coatings can dissipate up to 70% of the radiant heat. The result of this is a significantly lower surface temperature for the roof. This reduced surface temperature will also reduce the internal temperature of the property which the roof protects. The addition of solar reflective paint also adds further protection to the substrate as the waterproofing membrane is less likely to break down from the effects or UV rays and thermal movement.

Summary On Solar Reflective Paint

Solar reflective paint works. It helps reduce the surface temperature of the roof and increases the thermal efficiency of the building. The reduced surface temperature due to the protective coating reduces the effect thermal movement and UV rays has on the waterproofing membrane. This helps the roof have the longest lifetime possible. It is important to know solar reflective paint will not guarantee the roof will not have problems caused by UV rays and thermal movement. But the chances are greatly reduced. It is also important to re-apply solar reflective paint every 3 to 5 years.

Yes, solar reflective paint does work. A roof which has received 2 coats of solar reflective paint will have a much lower surface temperature than one which has not had solar reflective paint applied.