Roof insulation from heat

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Roof insulation from heat

Postby Naadvis » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:38 am

Well here in India, like everyone knows, summer sucks . my city Bangalore used to be a cool place, used to... now it is like any other crowded, hot hellhole of a city

My room is on the top floor and the top of the room is directly exposed to sunlight for full part of the day,

as a result , the roof heats up fully, since it is made of RCC ( re-enforced concrete cement), so when it is night . the roof is still hot and is like a furnace till almost early in morning. Me. wife and my 8 month kid have tough time sleeping there, but no different room available as we are a joint family

Now a friend told me that Limestone paint is a good insulator, And it comes quite cheap , so got it and painted the roof of the house, it really worked !

but I made a mistake , I got limestone powder and mixed it with water to paint, One rainfall and the paint washed away. I was looking for alternative passive cooling methods like clay tiles, professional insulation techniques , but they are expensive. tried evaoprative cooler and the sound is too much to bear, apart from that I got respiratory infection with that

so as of now limestone paint seems good, but is there a way to retain it on roof despite rare showers ? one season is enough i guess
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby GT66 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:31 am

Are you sure it was the limestone that made the difference and not something coincidental like using a color that reflects more light?


If it's just limestone powder, maybe you can mix it into regular exterior paint.

Otherwise, I'd assume you have some sort of paint shop where you are that can advise you on a more permanent solution.
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby hasmat » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:48 am

Regular white exterior paint will work better and stay a lot longer as GT66 stated.
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby Merlin » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:51 am

The limestone paint you made worked because it was white. Any coating that is white will work as well. The brighter white the better.

The colors we see are caused by the absorption and reflection of light. Red is red because that is the wavelength it reflects and it absorbs all the rest. White is white because ti reflect all colors so when they all mix they become white. The more reflection you can get the cooler the roof will stay. Mirrored Mylar film would work well also but there may be regulations against using something like that.
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby EddieS » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:40 am

The joys of living in a hot as fuck climate. I know the feeling.

Thermal mass insulation is more effective in colder climates. The guys have it spot on. It's mainly the colour doing the work. There is only one colour more effective than white for heat reflection. Shiny silver.

It doesn't sound like there is much you can do without spending more money, and more extensive works. Is there a ceiling cavity? If so, installing whirly birds can be quite effective. They use convection to ventilate the roof cavity. By reducing g the roof cavity air temperature, the rooms below benefit. Not sure how they would go fighting the thermal mass of the roof though.

There are a number of more specialised high tech insulating paints available these days. How available they are to you, and how expensive I don't know. They perform much better than standard white paint.

If lime is all that is available, and painting the is too expensive. You could try mixing in some cement powder before applying it. If you can get white cement even better. It should make it last longer as it will set harder. Whitewash really isn't suited to monsoon climates unfortunately however.

There is a difference in performance between hydrated lime and slaked lime. Slaked limewash will work better in your application.

Read all about it here:

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitewash
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby Eddie Willers » Sun Jul 27, 2014 12:56 pm

Do what they do for houses in tropical Mexico - have a secondary roof slab that sits about 8 inches over the original roof and supported on either styrofoam grids or simple blocks to allow for cross ventilation.
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby Naadvis » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:06 am

Hey, thanks guys !

Studying all the options mentioned, I think trying out white cement mixed with lime seems a practical option here

The contruction style in India is such that there is usually no ceiling cavity, they just set in a good thick plate of concrete as roof, thats It ! so any modification would not be practical, I verified for Mylar film and most store guys gave a blank look, looks like it is rarely used here.

ANother crazy Idea I got from a local is covering roof with huge coir mats , coir is made from the hard fiber which is covers coconuts, they are woven to form mats which are very durable

I will update with the experiences, could help other guys here ..
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby xtc » Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:18 am

You could just cover the roof with tin foil.
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Re: Roof insulation from heat

Postby Naadvis » Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:54 am

xtc wrote:You could just cover the roof with tin foil.


Hey thanks, I enquired the same with a local store, but that guy had huge industrial size sheets which are damn toughto handle, and they are so thin, I am scared if it falls on someone, it could slice him into half :D

Anyways, I asked him whether he knows a way to get smaller ones, or even cut this existing sheets, to smaller , more manageable size, he said he will get back, or maybe a blowtorch would help :geek:
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