It can be very dispiriting to get to the end of winter, switch off the central heating, then find two months later that the house is so hot you can’t sleep.
Partly it’s our climate, which despite being called “temperate” seems to fluctuate wildly between freezing cold, monsoon type rain and “hotter than Madrid” summer days.
Our houses and blocks of flats, many built of brick, cope much better with cold weather than they do with hot. Matters aren’t helped by the thick layers of insulation in roofs, which stop the house cooling down in the evening.
We’ve made big strides in making our houses warmer – now how do we achieve the same progress in making them cooler?
The Greeks Know How
Anyone who has been on holiday to Greece will have seen the dazzling white buildings outlined against the blue Aegean sea. However, the Greeks don’t just do this so the Facebook postings look great. A white roof can reflect off 85% of the sun’s rays and not be very much warmer than the air around it. For more information on solar-reflective paints see here https://www.echo-ca.org/article/guide-solar-reflective-paints-energy-efficient-homes.
The problem is that with pitched tiled roofs, like the ones that are most common in the UK, this is extremely difficult to do. If you look at the Greek buildings, they mostly have flat roofs. Lots of the reflective coatings that could cut sun absorption, can’t be used on pitched roofs because they’d blind passers-by.
Living Space That Works With Nature
However, with flat roofs, you can use a sun-reflecting paint. So this raises the possibility that people who are planning an extension could make it a room that is cool in summer, by having a flat roof with a sun-reflecting coating. People are increasingly planning their use of their living space so that instead of fighting nature, they work with it, using high-tech paints and other techniques to create a cool space for summer.
Flat roofing in Evesham, if carried out by experts such as http://www.lwroofing.co.uk/, is ideal for these kinds of techniques.
While the white paint consists of an acrylic coating that controls temperature rises inside the building, there’s a bonus in that it extends roof life by decreasing the amount that the roof membrane expands and contracts.