Just when we thought our computers, and brains, would melt into a puddle in the sweltering Boland summer, our office was saved by our own white ice cap.
I have been preaching the gospel of passive insulation and temperature regulation for a long time. So to live my talk we have avoided air-conditioning in spite of ever hotter summers. If you think we’re just being wimps, a friend from Paarl measured 52°C during our last heat wave!
I am not talking about real ice, but white roof paint which radiates heat waves back into the atmosphere. Like the real ice caps do. One of the problems of the melting ice is that too much radiation is now absorbed by the dark oceans replacing the melting polar caps. This leads to increased ocean and atmospheric temperatures, with knock-on devastating effects.
So in a small way, by painting our roofs white, we can help counteract this problem.
NASA technology keeps heat out
But this is not all. The white paint on our office roof also contains ceramic beads, which re-radiates the heat outwards and prevents it from entering our office. This technology was developed by NASA scientist to keep astronauts cool, and alive, when their space shuttles re-enter the earth’s atmosphere – this is when they fly through temperatures reaching well over 1800°C.
When Ceratech offered to apply the coating to our office roof, this technology felt like common sense, something I think is so important going forward on this planet. But I kept an open mind and looked forward to seeing some proof. So Rein, Ceratech’s technical director, asked their painters to leave a square meter unpainted so we could measure and compare temperatures on our roof at midday.
First I had to hand-feel the difference from the inside. Beneath the painted area I could comfortably lay my hand on the ceiling, but below the unpainted square it was too hot to touch. So the hand test gave me a feel for the difference. Then yours truly on wobbly legs scaled the long ladder onto the roof, where I took the photographs you see here.
We placed 2 thermometers – one on the uncoated square, where it read 57.9°C and the other on the Ceratech-coated roof, where it measured 34°C. So a shocking 23.9° difference!
- reduced interior heat of buildings by up to 45%
- save electricity by using less aircon and refrigeration
- greater indoor comfort during hot weather
- prevents thermal ageing by reduced heat load
- insulated roof at a fraction of the cost
- rust prevention, elimination of blistering, peeling & cracking
- eco-friendly as it reduces dependence on electricity
- easy and quick low-cost application
- reduces thermal shock – movement of roof sheets due to temperature change – which enables the product to have a guarantee of ten years with an expected life span of far more. (This increases the life span of the roof accordingly as fixings and edge waterproofing details are no longer damaged as the roof stretches and shrinks each day.)
- The grade of titanium oxide used to pigment Ceratech ensures it does not yellow or age, unlike other cheaper white paints
- Anti-fungal additives ensure that no fungal growth can form on the roof, reducing maintenance costs.
- This technology is perfect for all buildings, but you can imagine the benefits for industrial applications too.