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Is Solar Reflective Paint Waterproof?

No, solar reflective paint is not waterproof. Solar reflective paint is not designed to waterproof a building. It is designed to reflect UV rays and reduce the surface temperature of any surface it is applied. It is not uncommon to see attempts to fix leaking by filling cracks in flat roofing with a generous coat of solar reflective paint. This will not work and the leaking will continue.

What Is In Solar Reflective Paint?

Solar reflective paint contains pigments. These pigments reflect UV rays and dissipate heat. Solar reflective paint can dissipate 70% plus of radiant heat. By having a coating on solar reflective paint on a surface such as a flat roof which is in direct contact with the sun, you can substantially reduce the surface temperature of the roof. Tests have found this reduction of heat to be up to 18 degrees. This lower surface temperature can make all the difference between a roof failing due to thermal movement and withstanding it.

How Effective Is Solar Reflective Paint?

Solar reflective paint is an effective way to reduce the surface temperature of any roof. It does not guarantee the roof will not suffer the effects of thermal movement. But it does significantly reduce the risk of the roof failing due to a problem associated with thermal movement. It is important to re-apply 2 coats of solar reflective paint every 3 to 5 years, to effectively protect the surface of the roof from UV rays.

What Is Thermal Movement And Why Is It A Problem?

Throughout the day the temperature fluctuates. During the day the sun can cause a roof to hit rather high temperatures then the same night the temperature can drop dramatically. This puts stress on the roof, as during the heat of the day it expands as the surface temperatures rises, then contracts in the night as the temperature falls. This process of the roof contracting and expanding due to the temperature is called "thermal movement". The more drastic these changes are, the more likely the roof is to fail due to thermal movement. By applying solar reflective paint you can reduce the maximum temperature the roof reaches. The benefit of this is it reduces the spread between the high and low temperature of the day. The lower the spread the less likely the roof will suffer adverse effects from thermal movement. A test has shown the same roof with an area without solar reflective paint reacher a temperature of 50 degrees celsius whilst the area on the same roof without solar reflective paint was 32 degrees celsius. This is a difference of 18 degrees celsius. This shows solar reflective paint significantly reduces the risk of a roof suffering from problems relating to thermal movement.

Does Solar Reflective Paint Have Any Waterproofing Properties?

No, solar reflective paint does not provide any waterproofing. If applied on top of a failing roofing membrane it will not stop any problems such as leaks. Solar reflective paint protects an application from UV rays and minimises the chance of problems to a roofing membrane because of thermal movement.

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