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Reflective Roof Coatings and Home Cooling

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Glen in Texas wants to talk roofs. What can we do for you?

    GLEN: Yes, ma’am. I’ve been hearing rumors about reflective coatings for roofing the house; where they’re liquid or material, like insulation type things. Can you help me out on what to do? It’s going to be about six more months and I’m going to have to reroof the house. I was told that I could possibly paint something on the inside of the attic.

    TOM: I don’t know that you could paint something on the inside of the attic. But what kind of roof structure do you have? Is it a pitched roof? Is it a flat roof? What do you have, Glen?

    GLEN: No, it’s pitched. Yes sir, it’s 1950s ranch-style house facing north and south. And therefore, you know, the hips are east and west.

    TOM: OK. Well (clears throat), the type of foil product you’re talking about for inside the attic is called a reflective barrier. And a reflective barrier basically keeps the heat on the side that you want it to be on. You know when you take tin foil and you put it over a casserole that’s come out of the oven to keep the heat in?

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm.

    TOM: Reflects the heat back down? Well, if you put a reflective barrier in your attic it keeps the heat out of the attic and makes the attic cooler. I’m not aware that that’s available in a paint; some sort of a liquid application. But it’s available in more like a sheet foil type of material.

    GLEN: Really? For the outside – for an underlaying underneath the tar paper?

    TOM: No but it goes – no, it goes in the attic. It does not go on top of the roof.

    GLEN: Oh, it is in the attic. OK.

    TOM: In the attic, right. Now, the reason I asked you if it was flat is because if you have a flat roof there is an aluminum paint that’s very often applied to flat roofs that does reflect the UV radiation of the sun back out and helps them last longer. But it’s not something that you would put on any type of a sloped roof because it doesn’t look so hot.

    GLEN: On a – I’m using single. Now I’m going to be going to dimensional. So the only thing I can do is on the underside.

    TOM: Yeah. You can add a reflective barrier. The other thing, Glen, to look at – especially in Texas – is make sure you have great ventilation in that roof structure. Take this opportunity to add a ridge vent down the peak of the roof; add soffit vents on the sides so that you have good airflow throughout that roof. That will also help keep the home much cooler.

    GLEN: Yes, sir. I just did that about three months ago. Alrighty, thank you so much, kids. I appreciate and love your show.

    TOM: You’re welcome, Glen. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.

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