Cool Roofing Solutions from Acrymax Technologies
Cool roofing systems are the hottest trend in the roofing industry. At Acrymax Technologies – an industry leader in fluid applied roofing systems, acrylic roof coatings, elastomeric roof coatings, architectural coatings, and coatings for roofing restoration and maintenance – we were cool before it was cool, developing cool roofing systems for nearly any type of roof. In fact, we began manufacturing energy saving reflective white roof coatings over 50 years ago.
Acrymax offers a wide array of protective coatings, elastomeric roofing systems, architectural coatings, and fluid applied roofing products. But energy efficiency and sustainability are a big part of everything we do at Acrymax, and waterborne environmentally responsible coatings.
METAL ROOF COATING SYSTEMS
A cool roof provides high solar reflectance and high thermal emittance and will stay much cooler in the summer sun. Reflectance is the ability to reflect visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun, thus reducing heat gain on the roof of the building. Also known as albedo, solar reflectance is usually expressed as a decimal fraction. A value of 0 indicates that the surface absorbs all solar radiation while a value of 1 represents total reflectivity. Emittance is the ability to release absorbed, or non-reflected solar energy. Thermal emittance is also expressed as a decimal fraction between 0 and 1.
WHY COOL ROOFS?
Most of the roofs in the world (including over 90% of the roofs in the United States) are dark-colored. The intense solar energy of the sun can drive the surface temperature of a black roof up by as much as 90° F, reaching temperatures of 150°-to-190° F. Negative impacts of this solar heat gain include higher cooling costs for the individual building, increased overall energy consumption, an increase in smog, and intensification of urban heat islands. Another problem with dark-colored roof surfaces is the fact that because heat accelerates chemical reactions, including those responsible for the degradation of physical properties, the roofing system will usually not last as long as a cool roof system. Furthermore, thermal shock will dramatically shorten the life span of a roof and increase roof maintenance and repair costs. Thermal shock is the result of sudden extreme temperature changes such as when a black roof cools rapidly after heating up in the sun and then being cooled by a sudden rain storm. Cool roofs offer both immediate and long-term savings in building energy costs and roofing maintenance costs.
ARE ALL COOL ROOFS WHITE?
Albedo is known as surface reflectivity of the sun’s radiation. The term has its origins from a Latin word albus, meaning “white”. The easiest way to provide reflectivity is to use white pigments like titanium dioxide. TiO2 reflects light in the visible and in the infrared spectrums. However, white is not always an option when architectural colors are desired. Fortunately, new technologies have been developed that offer the opportunity for “cool” coating systems that are available in a range of colors. How is this so? The color of a paint or coating is the result of the selective absorption or reflection of visible light by the pigments used in the coatings. However, a significant portion of the energy of the sun is transmitted to the earth in wavelengths that are not visible to the human eye – and as much as 45% of the sun’s radiation that reaches the earth’s surface is in the infrared spectrum. IR Reflective pigments have been developed that reflect the sun’s infrared energy and make possible the formulation of paints and coatings that offer architectural colors while still providing energy saving “cool” properties. Color shades utilizing IR Reflective pigments will exhibit greater Total Solar Reflectance (TSR) than the exact same color made with conventional pigments, so that roofs or walls coated with paints or coatings utilizing the “cool” pigments will have significantly less heat build-up than would occur with standard pigments.
HOW COOL ARE COOL ROOFS?
Cool roof coatings – such as the reflective roof products, waterborne elastomeric roof coatings, and fluid applied acrylic roofing systems created by Acrymax – can dramatically reduce the temperature on the roof and help improve the environment inside any building. These coatings offer much more than just a coat of paint, and are part of high-performance polymer roof systems that improve energy efficiency and can dramatically cut energy costs.
So how cool is cool? The surface of a reflective cool roof can be more than 50° F cooler than a non-reflective roof during the heat of summer. The light reflective color, combined with all of the high-performance innovations Acrymax has integrated into its acrylic roofing systems and elastomeric coatings, can help reduce energy costs by more than 25 percent in some situations.
THE COST OF COOL
Initial costs for Acrymax cool roofing systems and coatings are comparable to traditional roofing materials. In many cases they are less costly due to their ease of application, thanks to Acrymax’s waterborne elastomeric coatings, which go on just like a coat of paint. And your new cool roof will more than pay for itself over time, thanks to reductions in air conditioning requirements and the related energy costs.
Calculators have been developed by the Department of Energy – Oak Ridge National Laboratory to help building owners evaluate potential savings from cool roofs.
Additional savings result from reduced air conditioning equipment maintenance costs. Acrymax cool roof coatings are not just cool, they are durable, as well. Which means you will also save money on routine roof maintenance projects, such as waterproofing and repairing roof leaks.