Colorado Springs, CO: Better Painting
First we should define what a “cool roof” actually is. For that I am going to one of the leading authorities on cool roof coatings, the Cool Roof Rating Council. The CRRCdescribes a cool roof as:
“A cool roof is one that reflects the sun’s heat and emits absorbed radiation back into the atmosphere. The roof literally stays cooler and reduces the amount of heat transferred to the building below, keeping the building a cooler and more constant temperature. “Coolness” is measured by two properties, solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Both properties are measured from 0 to 1 and the higher the value, the “cooler” the roof”
How Cool Roof Coatings Work
Wikipedia puts this better than I could, so I will let them explain it. “Also known as albedo, solar reflectance is expressed either as a decimal fraction or a percentage. A value of 0 indicates that the surface absorbs all solar radiation, and a value of 1 represents total reflectivity. Thermal emittance is also expressed either as a decimal fraction between 0 and 1, or a percentage. Another method of evaluating coolness is the solar reflectance index (SRI), which incorporates both solar reflectance and emittance in a single value. SRI quantifies how hot a surface would get relative to standard black and standard white surfaces.
“Cool roofs are an effective alternative to bulk attic insulation under roofs in humid tropical and subtropical climates. Bulk insulation can be entirely replaced by roofing systems that both reflect solar radiation and provide emission to the sky. This dual function is crucial, and relies on the performance of cool roof materials in both the visible spectrum (which needs to be reflected) and far infra-red which needs to be emitted”.
Running Into Problems
There are a number of coatings that rely on their ability to reflect light, usually with high amounts of titanium dioxide, a common ingredient in paint. But once they get dirty their effectiveness drops off dramatically. Often 20%-40% in the first three years.
Others rely on microscopic glass or ceramic beads. Glass beads offer some insulative ability because they form millions of tiny air pockets. The problem is the glass can break during application and/or there is limited adhesion to the surface. (It can be peeled or worn off fairly easily). Generic ceramic microspheres are a step up from glass. Ceramic has many positive inherent properties. But not all are created equal, and the vast majority have very little insulative properties in a coating. Most of the ceramics added to coatings become little better than the coating they are added to. Some coatings are good, some are less so.
Super Therm Is A Good Solution For An Insulation Coating
Super Therm combines the adhesion that others lack with ceramic properties found in four specific ceramics tested to
be effective in blocking solar radiation. No other insulation or weatherization material in the world market has the facts, test results and field studies to compare with Super Therm. There is no product in the world market with the proof of performance equal to Super Therm. Check out these features offered by Super Therm:
- Energy Savings – Super Therm® can provide energy savings of 20-70%. According to use and application.
- Reflects over 95% of radiation from the sun replacing the 6 to 8 inches of traditional insulation to block initial heat load.
- Blocks Moisture and Air Infliltration – Super Therm® is certified and tested as a moisture and air barrier under ASTM certified testing.
- Environmentally Friendly – Super Therm® is certified environmentally safe and eco-effective by MBDC LLC (Gold Certificate) and is approved by the USDA for use in and around food preparation areas. (The original USDA testing and approval letter is on file.)
- Class A Fire Rating – In case of fire, Super Therm® will not contribute and will resist the spread of fire. “0” Flame and smoke.
- Long Lasting – Super Therm® has a 20+ year lifespan on roofing under normal conditions when applied as a system
Super Therm® is UL, FM, DNV, ABS, IMO, USDA, Energy Star, ICC, California Home Furnishings, and U.S. Coast Guard and CRRC approved to meet criteria.
Super Therm® is Energy Star qualified as a 20 year roof coating (page 87, Energy Star Roof Product List)
Add Super Therm to your list of energy upgrades this year!
Is Super Therm Cost Effective?
The web site green-buildings.com posted an article on green roof vs. cool roof. Here is their conclusion. “The Heat Island Group, an organization that concentrates on the study and development of more reflective surfaces for roadways and buildings, has monitored buildings in Sacramento with lightly colored, more reflective roofs. The group found buildings that use cool roof coatings used up to 40% less energy for cooling than buildings with darker roofs. The Florida Solar Energy Center performed a similar study, also showing up to 40% cooling energy savings. In fact, reflective roof coatings usually pay for themselves in a couple of years. The payback for a green roof may be much longer than the payback for a cool roof”.
It is safe to say Super Therm will meet or exceed the averages just given. From a consumer’s stanpoint, think of it this way. Super Therm is an insulation coating, a paint and a weather barrier. By any one of those and get the other two free. And whatever energy savings you get after the ROI are bonus.