In recent decades, roofs have become a major contributor to heat problems.
In the quest for thermal comfort in buildings, smart coatings are becoming increasingly common.
A cool roof prevents heat absorption by reflecting the sun’s heat and releasing the radiation back into the atmosphere.
At the same time, the industry is refining its products, whether domestic or imported, and bringing new formulas to market that it deems suitable for this function.
With everything revolving around green building these days, the market is heating up with interest in smart coating technology.
The importance of the topic is reaching universities and research centers in several countries, especially in the United States and Greece, who are working to improve solutions that include but also go beyond the ideal reflective white paint.
But how does smart coating really work? What are the benefits? Can any roof have it?
Here we explore these questions and provide you with a comprehensive article on the concepts, benefits and alternatives of smart coating.
What is a smart coating?
A smart coating is a roofing system that improves solar reflectance (the ability to reflect the sun, reducing heat transfer to the building) and thermal radiation (the ability to radiate absorbed or non-reflected solar energy) compared to standard roofing.
They provide protection from solar radiation in warm climates or on hot summer days. A smart coating is designed to reflect sunlight off a building instead of absorbing the heat and allowing it to penetrate the structure below.
How does it work?
Most roofs in the world are dark in color. This causes temperatures on the surface to rise at an alarming rate. And this rise in temperature causes a number of problems, such as accelerated wear and tear on roofing materials, higher maintenance costs, higher energy consumption and higher electricity bills.
Light colors are known to be very good solar reflectors and absorb less heat than darker colors. Smart coatings reflect not only visible light, but also UV and infrared light.
There are numerous options for smart coatings. They range from modified roofs with special granules and reflective films to thermoplastic membranes.
The benefits of smart coatings extend beyond the building and positively impact the entire community, especially when multiple buildings are coated with them in close proximity to each other. Some of the benefits of smart coatings include:
1. Reduction in energy consumption.
Power grid outages are not uncommon in the summer when everyone in a given area is running their air conditioners at the same time. If the houses in the said area had smart coating, the load on the power grid would be much less.
Any building with a dark-colored roof uses more energy for air conditioning than a “cooler” building – a drain on both operating costs and the power grid.
However, with a smart coating, a roof gives off less heat to the building below, keeping the inside cooler and using less energy for air conditioning.
2. Reduce the ambient temperature
By reducing energy consumption, smart coating reduces associated air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is because they can lower the local air temperature. Warm, dark roofs warm the air that passes over them and contribute to global warming by radiating heat into the atmosphere – a phenomenon often referred to as the urban heat island effect.
3. Improved comfort
Smart coating can also significantly improve comfort in non-air-conditioned spaces such as garages or attics. It can lower air temperatures in buildings with and without air conditioning, making occupants more comfortable.
And because the roof itself is not exposed to such extreme daytime temperatures, it will last longer and require less maintenance during its lifetime.
4. Alternatives for smart coatings
A roof is a large investment with a long-term commitment, and the specific method used can have a significant impact on the overall labor cost. Therefore, installation is a key factor when comparing life cycle costs and the difficulty of retrofitting.
One option for cool roofs is to apply a light-colored, paint-like coating. It can be applied with brushes, rollers and paint sprayers to create a reflective layer. An added benefit of this alternative is that it covers existing leaks and cracks, making the building look newer.
For those who want to completely replace their roof, reflective shingles are ideal. By adding specially coated granules to a layer of asphalt, they reflect solar energy much better than traditional models.
Although this option is not for all roofs, it is also possible to cover some with single-ply membranes that have reflective properties.
There are many options when it comes to smart coatings and cool roofs. Most of them are really affordable, especially when you consider the savings that come with their installation.
However, it is important to keep in mind that such changes should be done with careful planning and the help of professionals who have the expertise to choose the best alternative for your case.
Barth Smart Coatings is committed to providing quality insulation and cool roofing services. Looking for sustainability and all the benefits that smart cool coating can offer.
Click on the link here to contact us!