Radiant Barrier Paint

There has been a lot of talk and advertising about the benefits and effectiveness of radiant barrier paint. However, the problem is, according to definitions set by the American Society of Testing and Materials International (ASTM) there is no such product as a radiant barrier paint currently available. There are low-emittance paints, which are also known as interior radiation control coatings (IRCC). However, many companies are marketing IRCC’s as a radiant barrier paint and it is important that everyone (professionals and consumers) understand the difference.


What is a Radiant Barrier?

The best definition of a radiant barrier is a low-emittance surface facing a large air space. The thermal performance or the reduction of radiant heat transfer is proportional to the surface emittance of the radiant barrier material. Emittance’s of materials range from 0 (no radiant heat transfer) to 1 (black surface with maximum radiant heat transfer rate).


Common building materials, such as wood, masonry, and fiberglass insulation have surface emittances of .8 or greater and therefore have high radiant heat transfer rates. Products defined as radiant barriers by ASTM have a reflective/low-emittance surface where the emittance is 0.10 or less.


What is Radiant Barrier Paint?

Breaking it down, the radiant barrier paint is supposed to be liquid foil. However, the best radiant barrier paint is only available to commercial contractors, some are environmentally safe. However, the installation of the radiant barrier paint requires a professional due to the toxic fumes. All radiant barrier paint installers must use a VOC Respirator in order to safely install it due to the fumes. In fact during the installation many companies require that you remove your pets from your house during the painting process, however, you are free to stay at home!


Getting good results with the radiant barrier paint is extremely hard. Initially, you have to make sure that they prime the underside of your roof decking (remember it’s a paint) and then you have to ensure that the paint is sprayed on evenly with the exact amount of coverage. Too little or too much will affect the results. Also, you need to make sure that the rafters are painted and not left unpainted. (commonly left unpainted by top radiant barrier paint companies, as a means to save money) Let’s say you received a great radiant barrier paint job, then the ‘optimal’ amount of radiant energy blockage you’ll receive is 75%. However, most energy experts agree that the usual amount of radiant blockage you’ll see with a radiant barrier paint installed will be 40%. If you compare this to the Energy Radiant Barrier Shield blocking 97% of radiant energy you’ll see a tremendous difference!


Measured Thermal Emittances for Radiant Barrier Paint

Product Manufacturer/Distributor Emittance IRCCS
Radiance E025 Chemrex 0.23 yes
Formula A Barrier Coat #85 Hy-Tech 0.66 no
Formula A Barrier Coat #85 0.70 no
Barrier Coat #233 0.89 no
HeatShield R-20 Kwik Co. 0.90 no
Koolcoat Pawnee Specialties 0.86 no
Radiosity 3000 Green Building Supply 0.89 no
E-Barrier Sherwin Williams 0.36 no
Heat Bloc 75 STS Coatings, Inc. 0.22 yes
Heat Bloc-Ultra 0.195 yes
Lo/Mit-1 Solec-Solar Energy Corp 0.23 yes
Lo/Mit-2 0.23 yes
Insuladd-RBC Tech Traders 0.59 no
Insuladd-White 0.90 no
Insuladd-White on RBC 0.86 no
Therma-Guard White United Community Services of America 0.86 no
Therma-Guard Silver 0.57 no
Therma-Guard White on Silver 0.85 no


In ending, if you have the radiant barrier paint installed you are relying on the installer knowing what they are doing and performing it expertly. If you have the Radiant Barrier Energy Improvement Shield installed you are relying on the product performing as claimed. The main difference? Our product has been tested and retested by the top experts in the country to make sure that it will perform. Who will check to see that the paint is installed optimally? By having our Energy Improvement Shield Radiant Barrier installed you will have the peace of mind that our shield WILL WORK and not a so-called radiant barrier paint.