Can you protect your home from the suns heat?

As England experiences yet another heatwave, it got me thinking about how the suns heat not only makes our homes hot and uncomfortable but can also have a detrimental effect on the materials from which our homes are constructed. The threat of global warming and climate change is very real and our homes are likely to experience more extreme temperature fluctuations over the coming years. I recalled my Futurebuild visit earlier this year when I witnessed a demonstration of where a product could be retrospectively applied to shield the fabric of our homes from the sun’s powerful rays. Following some research, I found what I was looking for – Nowocoat Coolingpaint.

Who are Nowocoat?

Nowocoat are a Danish coatings company with over 45 years’ experience in research and development of home coatings. They claim to be Europe’s leading producer of roof coatings, but they have also developed coatings to protect timber facades and metal surfaces. Nowocoat’s R&D department have been busy developing coatings that protect roofs and cladding against the sun’s heat and destructive rays. Their patented cooling effect paint has been engineered to reflect the sun’s heat, leading to cooler internal temperatures whilst also providing a protective coating to the roof or cladding surface. The technology was originally developed by the US military however, it is now available to all homeowners looking to reduce the heat generation within their houses. But how does it work?

How it works

Coolpaint adds an infrared filter which reflects the infrared rays of the sun, reducing the effects of heat on the building envelope. This in turn prevents excessive thermal expansion and subsequent contraction of the prepared surface, reducing likelihood of cracking and mitigates against sun bleaching. The sunlight is reflected, reducing risk of damage which lead to more serious long-term defects. The compound is both breathable and water repellent. I witnessed this impressive technology in action at a stand at Futuebuild. A mock pitched roof had been “treated” on one side and was left “as existing” on the other side. A thermometer was positioned to the underside of each roof and it was clear to see that, with the aid of a heat sensitive camera, the roof treated with coolingpaint was significantly cooler. Nowocoat incorporate microscopic mirrors and heat reflective additives within the applied coating, reducing the amount of heat absorbed. Their wood preservative treatment also contains fungal and algae retardant additives with slow release protection. But how is it applied?

How its applied

Cooling paint requires the surface to be thoroughly cleaned prior to application. The coolingpaint product is applied using a brush, roller or spray. The whole process is estimated to take 2-3 days and claims to leave your roof looking as new (with a huge variety of coloured finishes.)

Should I use Coolingpaint?

I have not used the product and cannot claim to have reaped the benefits claimed, however I am considering using this on the Edwardian house I currently reside in. The concrete roof tiles are looking tired, however they are not yet in a poor condition which would require me to replace the roof covering. I do however have a few reservations. Firstly, whilst Nowocoat achieves ISO 9001 and ISO 14001, the product is not yet BBA certified. Secondly, whilst the product has a 5 year warranty on materials and coatings, this does not match the 10-15 year extended life claimed by the manufacturer. Nowocoat claim that their product is tested in accordance with international standards. Furthermore, the product has met the requirements to achieve EU Ecolabel standards, labelled as an environmentally friendly product, requiring low energy for production and contains low levels of environmentally hazardous substances.

Summary

In summary, if you are considering replacing your roof tiles or timber cladding Nowocoat could provide the sustainable solution you are looking for. Coating your roof or timbers would come at a fraction of the cost and is more sustainable as no replacement building fabric is required and energy savings will be gained.