IS THE URBAN HEAT ISLAND EFFECT HURTING THE AREA AROUND YOUR BUILDING?
The term “ Urban Heat Island” has become much more prevalent in our society in recent years. Also referred to as a “Heat Island” or as “The Heat Island Effect”, these terms all describe the same thing: urban areas with higher temperatures than the surrounding rural areas due to human activity. It has been widely observed and accepted that the erection of large buildings and the modification of land surfaces has led to higher temperatures in urban areas. The buildings that are built in large metropolitan areas effectively trap short-wave radiation, and this leads to higher temperatures in the area.
The concept of an urban heat island was originally investigated and described in the 1810’s by Luke Howard, but it has recently become a matter of deeper discussion. As climate change becomes a much bigger concern for the human race, Urban Heat Islands have come into greater focus.
Urban Heat Island Causes:
There are three primary causes, the first being concrete buildings that store heat longer than the environment in rural areas does. This heat is stored through the night and then slowly released, causing temperatures to rise. The other two causes are changes in the thermal properties of surface materials and a lack of evapotranspiration, which is caused by lack of vegetation. The heat island effect is two-fold in urban areas as concrete buildings are added and vegetation is removed.
Urban heat islands have been proven to have an impact on wind patterns, the development of clouds and fog, the humidity, and the precipitation rates in the areas where they exist. Monthly rainfall in areas downwind of cities producing heat islands is an average of 28% greater than areas not within 20-40 miles of a heat island.
Urban Heat Islands can potentially increase the magnitude and duration of heat waves that exist within cities, and can contribute to deaths due to extreme heat. Urban Heat Islands also lead to greatly increased temperatures within cities, which worsens air quality in those cities. Urban Heat Islands greatly increase energy usage in the city under the heat island. Estimates say the heat island in Los Angeles costs the city about $100 million per year in additional energy costs.
What PM Can Do:
There are many solutions to the urban heat island problem; one of them can be provided by silicone coating. Our silicone roof coating is reflective, meaning it doesn’t absorb the energy from the sun and store it in the building materials. What this reflective property means is the building stays cool, and the heat island effect is decreased. Our silicone roof coating reflects the sun’s rays in the same way a white painted roof would, but it provides leak-free protection to the building and can be recoated at the end of the warranty.
Our commercial roof coating can be applied primer-free to a vast array of substrates, meaning the roof can stay intact while being improved. By utilizing our coating, building owners can help decrease the Urban Heat Island Effect in their cities, reduce energy costs, and eliminate any roof leaks they may have.
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