Q I recently received a brochure which describes a product called Energywave Insulating Paint. The paint is made for interior, exterior, and roof application, according to the brochure. It is said to have an energy rating of R-19 and significant energy savings are claimed for the product. I will soon need to replace my 30-degree sloped asphalt-shingle roof and would like your comments on this product and on insulated metal roofs. Frank L. Benson Sun City, Ariz. I am unfamiliar with the paint so I can't comment on its worth. I caution you, however, to carefully review the literature and write for test reports which substantiate the claims. Ask for the names and addresses of a few people who have used the paint, then get in touch with them. You also can check with the Better Business Bureau in your area as well as the consumer protection agency in your state.
The R-value of insulation is determined by its resistance to the passage of heat through it. This is accomplished by creating dead-air spaces. A product should perform the same, no matter which surface is hot and which is cold. Since paint is very thin, there is not much opportunity to create dead-air space.
The paint's primary value, I'd say, would be in reflecting the sun's rays with its light color rather than absorbing and transferring the heat rays to the interior.
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