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Staying Cool Under a Rusty Roof

If you live in a hot climate and have a metal roof but are not fortunate enough to have one that's painted white, here's a procedure that may allow you to rescue some comfort (and save some money too). Basically, you're going to prime that rusty roof and then paint it white.

  • Wait until after a nice heavy rain in the wintertime. The rain will wash your roof relatively clean of trash, and the cool weather will make it more pleasant to be on the roof.
  • Be careful! A friend of ours broke his back trying to work on his own roof. Be sure you're well protected from falling at all times.
  • Hit the roof surface lightly with Grade 0 or 1 (medium) steel wool. You're not going for pristine, just smoothing out the rough edges. Rinse it, and let it dry completely.
  • Apply a good heavy cut of Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer.
  • Now you're ready for at least two and more likely three coats of Kool Seal White Elastomeric Roof Coating 63-600 or, for a tad less money, 63-300. Make sure you protect your eyes after the first coat. You're using this paint because it reflects the sun, and it really works!
  • When you're finished, you should notice the difference on the first warm day. We haven't measured it, but we've been told that this procedure can lower the temperature of your roof on a hot day by as much as 50-60 degrees F.

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