RADIANT BARRIERS

Featuring Solec spray-on products that make it perfect for the retrofit application or new construction projects.

Cool your attic and lower utility costs by applying LO/MIT to your roof deck and rafters! Because of their low thermal emissivity and high reflectivity characteristics, the LO/MIT Spray-on Attic Heat Barriers are specially formulated to reduce summer radiant heat gain in homes and buildings. Easily applied with standard airless paint sprayers, LO/MIT-II and LO/MIT-II MAX are the most economical ways to retrofit a radiant heat barrier to an existing structure since they may be safely and quickly applied in enclosed areas at low cost and can easily replace foil or metalized plastic film radiant barriers.  The LO/MIT coatings are classified by ASTM as Interior Radiation Control Coating Systems (IRCCS) and offer the following unique features:

  • Low Applied Cost
  • Easy to Install and Retrofit to Existing and Older Homes
  • Lowers Attic Temps 10-25+ Degrees F
  • Lowers A/C Bills up to 15% or More
  • Low “e” Characteristics Reflect Radiant Heat
  • Makes Existing Insulation Operate More Efficiently
  • Increases Home Resale Value
  • Lowest Emissivity Available in a Spray-On
    (LO/MIT-II MAX e=0.145, LO/MIT-II e=0.170, LO/MIT-I e=0.210)
  • Full 5.0 gallon Pail Covers 2000+ Square Feet
  • 1 Part, pre-mixed Coating Systems
  • 1 Coat System
  • Easy Cleanup – Soap & Water (LO/MIT-II & LO/MIT-II MAX)
  • Excellent Shelf Life: Re-usable After Opening up to 1 Year from DOM
  • Permeable Coating: Does Not Trap Moisture
  • Does Not Support Mold Growth
  • Increases Lighting Levels in the Attic
  • Most Cost Effective Way to Retrofit Radiant Barrier
  • Excellent Alternative to Foil-type Radiant Barriers
  • Water-based, Low VOC Coatings (LO/MIT-II & LO/MIT-II MAX)
  • Class A Fire Rating for Flame and Smoke (LO/MIT-II MAX)
  • Electrically Non-Conductive
  • RIMA-I Certified for Energy Efficiency (LO/MIT-II MAX)
  • Safely Applied in Enclosed Spaces
  • Temperature Tolerant to 1000 degrees F (LO/MIT-I & LO/MIT-II MAX)
  • Will Not Damage Roof Shingles
  • Quick Drying (LO/MIT-I & LO/MIT-II)
  • Part of the Florida State Energy Code
  • Conforms to ASTM Standard# C1321
    for Interior Radiation Control Coating Systems (IRCCS)
  • Local Utility Rebates May be Available
  • Proven Energy Saving Product Since 1986
  • Independently Tested
  • Easily installed using standard airless or air atomization spray equipment or rollers
  • One operator can easily install 1000 ft.²/hr
  • Easily applied to side walls and loading dock doors in metal buildings and barns
  • Unaffected by rodents, birds and insects
  • Excellent infrared reflective surface for buildings heated by infrared heaters
  • Developed & Manufactured in U.S.A.

 

 

Installation Video

 

Lo-Mit I

LO/MIT-I is typically only recommended for new construction since it is solvent-based and not suitable for use in finished structures that are fully enclosed and not well ventilated – sidewalls or metal garage doors are excellent applications for LO/MIT-I or LO/MIT-II.

 

 

LO/MIT-II & LO/MIT-II MAX

Perfect for retrofit applications, such as coating an existing attic or metal building roof deck. LO/MIT-II & LO/MIT-II MAX (IRCCS) are recommended for retrofit or enclosed structures where ventilation levels are lower. Not Recommended for exterior applications.

RADIANT BARRIERS save Money it that simple!

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ATTIC HEAT BARRIER – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


WHAT IS LO/MIT?

LO/MIT is a silver colored, non-thickness dependent, low “e” (emissivity) coating. When applied to non-porous building materials such as plywood, OSB or plasterboard, LO/MIT lowers their surface emissivity to 0.250-0.145. LO/MIT-I (solvent-based) has an emissivity of 0.21-0.25. LO/MIT-II (water-based) has an emissivity of 0.170-0.190. LO/MIT-II MAX (water-based) has an emissivity of 0.145-0.170. The LO/MIT coatings are classified by ASTM as Interior Radiation Control Coating Systems (IRCCS) and may be effectively used as Radiant Barrier insulation equivalents.


HOW DOES LO/MIT WORK?

LO/MIT Interior Radiation Control Coating works by changing the emissivity of the surface where it is applied. Most building products such as plywood, brick, and plasterboard have high emissivities (0.70-0.95). When heated, they radiate most of their heat to cooler surfaces. LO/MIT can lower their surface emissivity to 0.250-0.145, reducing their ability to radiate heat.


WHAT IS A RADIANT BARRIER (IRCCS)?

Heat flows in buildings occur in three ways: conduction, convection and radiation. Radiant Barriers and Interior Radiation Control Coating Systems address heat flows by radiation (whereas standard insulations only address convection and conduction heat transfer). Radiation is the transfer of heat by electromagnetic waves known as thermal radiation. Thermal radiation is a form of invisible light that travels through the air from a warm to a cool surface. Warm surfaces, such as roof decks warmed by the sun, will radiate or emit their heat to cooler interior building surfaces. A Radiant Barrier or IRCCS is a low emissivity surface placed in the path of thermal radiation that blocks or reduces that heat transfer. ASTM defines an “IRCCS” as a material having an emissivity of 0.25 or less. A “Radiant Barrier” as defined by ASTM has an emissivity of 0.10 or lower.


WHAT IS EMISSIVITY/THERMAL EMITTANCE?

Emissivity or thermal emittance is the ability of a surface to radiate or emit energy in the form of long wave electromagnetic radiation. It is represented by a value from 0 to 1. The closer the value is to 1, the less effective the surface is at impeding radiant heat transfer. Wood has an emissivity of 0.72. Thus, when wood is heated above the temperature of surrounding surfaces, it will tend to transfer 72% of its heat energy by radiation. LO/MIT, when applied to most non-porous surfaces, will decrease the surface emissivity to 0.250-0.145 or lower, allowing as little as 14.5% of the heat energy to be transferred by radiation.


WHERE IS THE AIRSPACE WHEN USING LO/MIT?

To function effectively, the low emissivity surface of a Radiant Barrier or IRCCS must face an airspace of 2″ or greater. A Radiant Barrier or IRCCS will not function if sandwiched between two solid surfaces. LO/MIT, when installed on the underside of roof decking, normally faces downward into the attic, an airspace substantially larger than 2″. If insulation is installed in the cavity formed by the roof trusses and roof decking (as in a cathedral ceiling or finished attic), at least 2″ should be allowed between the top of the insulation and the LO/MIT surface. Consider installing a baffle in this case to allow an appropriate air space.


DOES LO/MIT ADVERSELY AFFECT ROOF SHINGLES?

Absolutely not! Since its introduction in 1986, LO/MIT has never caused shingle damage in any installation. Extensive testing at the Florida Solar Energy Center has shown that the use of a Radiant Barrier or IRCCS results in, at most, a 2-5 degree rise in shingle temperature. Please read this article for more information about the effect on shingles with use of a Radiant Barrier/IRCCS on the underside of the roof.


DOES LO/MIT DEGRADE OVER TIME?

Unlike some insulation products, LO/MIT does not lose its effectiveness over time. Test samples installed experimentally over 25 years ago still have the same emissivity levels today, as they did when originally installed. There is no maintenance or re-coat required for the life of the roof deck. LO/MIT is not susceptible to tearing and will not de-laminate over time.


WHAT IS THE COVERAGE RATE FOR LO/MIT?

When applied with airless sprayers, coverage for LO/MIT on plywood is roughly 400 square feet per gallon. On OSB or particleboard, coverage is about 450 square feet per gallon. Be sure to spray all radiating surfaces including the flat decking, rafters, and any sidewalls or gable ends for best results.


WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED APPLICATION METHOD FOR LO/MIT?

Spray application using standard airless or air atomization equipment. If airless, a #613 self-cleaning tip is recommended. If air, use a nozzle suitable for a low viscosity product and try to keep the gun pressure reasonably low (25-35 PSI) to lessen over-spray. A pump type insecticide sprayer may also be used, however, coverage rates will suffer. Be sure to check your sprayer for suitability with solvents if spraying LO/MIT-I.


IS LO/MIT PERMEABLE TO WATER?

Yes! LO/MIT allows water vapor to permeate, and does not trap water vapor within roof decks or sidewalls. If the roof were to develop a leak, the moisture will pass through LO/MIT, allowing the problem to be easily identified and repaired. LO/MIT will also not de-laminate when re-roofing nails are put through the roof decking. These are major advantages for LO/MIT over other Radiant Barrier products, as the homeowner can avoid these potential problems in the attic.


CAN LO/MIT BE USED ON SIDEWALLS?

Yes, but LO/MIT is normally more effective when used under roofs. Low emissivity surfaces become more effective in controlling radiant heat transfer as the temperature of the radiant heat source increases. Roof surfaces are generally much hotter than sidewalls. However, in warm climates and where no insulation is used in sidewalls, LO/MIT can substantially help increase interior comfort levels.


CAN LO/MIT BE USED IN VENT-SKIN CONSTRUCTION?

Yes. In vent-skin roofs, LO/MIT should be applied on the underside of the outer roof skin facing down into the vent channel. On vent-skin sidewalls LO/MIT should be applied on the inside of the outer skin facing into the vent channel.


CAN LO/MIT BE USED WITH RADIANT HEATING SYSTEMS?

Yes. It is an effective heat reflector when used behind wood stoves or on walls/ceilings adjacent to ceiling mounted radiant heaters in commercial applications.


IS ATTIC VENTILATION IMPORTANT?

Very! Radiant Barriers and IRCCS only control radiant heat loads. Good attic ventilation helps control convection loads. Together they raise comfort levels and lower cooling costs. Venting to allow 2.5 air changes per hour should be specified as a minimum.


DO RADIANT BARRIERS (IRCCS) LOWER HEATING COSTS?

Yes, but only modestly. They are most effective at lowering cooling costs.


DO RADIANT BARRIERS (IRCCS) HAVE AN “R” VALUE?

No. R-values apply only to solid insulation or to insulating systems that control heat flows other than radiation. When LO/MIT is installed with R-19 insulation, the combination yields a total R-value of R-34 for heat influx. In this example, LO/MIT has an “apparent” R-value of R-15 because it improves the efficiency of the current insulation by making it cooler. Because of the potential increase in R-values for cooling calculations, builders may want to consider dropping A/C tonnage requirements when using LO/MIT.


IS LO/MIT A “LOW VOC” COATING?

Yes. LO/MIT-II and LO/MIT-II MAX are water-borne, low VOC emulsions that can be safely sprayed in enclosed spaces, such as attics. LO/MIT-II and II MAX meet the standards set forth by the California EPA Air Resources Board’s Architectural Coatings Program regarding VOC limits. Please see MSDS for more information. Always be sure spray area is well ventilated and proper protections are used for the applicator including coveralls and respirators.

ATTIC HEAT BARRIER – INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

The LO/MIT Interior Radiation Control Coatings may be easily applied using airless or air atomization spray equipment or rollers. LO/MIT-I (IRCCS) is suggested for new construction only since the building is normally wide open and ventilation levels are high. LO/MIT-II & LO/MIT-II MAX (IRCCS) are recommended for retrofit or enclosed structures where ventilation levels are lower. All products require adequate ventilation and it is suggested that operators wear goggles, respirators or masks, gloves and disposable or easily cleaned full body covering during application. Ambient temperature should be above freezing for application.

When applying to the underside of roofs, spray the entire radiating surface (This includes the flat decking areas as well as the rafters). Support beams are not necessary to coat, but coating sidewalls and gable ends will offer additional heat protection. Roof sheathing may also be pre-coated while still on the ground and stored (painted sides together) for future use. This is a very economical way to apply LO/MIT-I or LO/MIT-II since the sheathing can be placed side by side and very little coating is lost to over-spray. When retrofitting LO/MIT-II or LO/MIT-II MAX to existing buildings, spray application is suggested since the presence of roofing nails may preclude roller application.

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Coverage for interior application is normally 400 ft²/gallon when sprayed. LO/MIT-I (IRCCS) will skin dry within one minute after application. Full cure will generally occur within 15 minutes to 1 hour depending on ambient temperature and humidity. LO/MIT-II will skin dry within 5 minutes after application. Full cure may take from several hours to several weeks, depending on ambient temperature and humidity conditions present, so avoid contact and abrasion during this time. LO/MIT-II MAX (IRCCS) will skin dry within 10 to 15 minutes after application. Full cure may take several weeks to six months or more depending on ambient temperature and humidity conditions present. Abrasion is usually not a problem on the underside of the roof, but the slow cure should be kept in mind when building sidewalls are painted.

Air atomization spray equipment should be kept at fairly low pressure (25-35 PSI) to lessen over-spray. Airless equipment should be operated at low pressure and a #613 self cleaning tip has yielded excellent coverage rates.

img858The LO/MIT coatings should be well mixed before use, and stirred or mixed as often as is practical during use to lessen pigment settling. 1 thin coat is all that is required for maximum efficiency.

LO/MIT Spray-on Attic Heat Barriers MUST face a minimum 2″ airspace. The coating cannot be sandwiched between two different substrates. Insulation directly adjacent to the LO/MIT surface (such as in a finished attic or cathedral ceiling) should be backed off using 2″ air baffles. The LO/MIT surface may not be painted over, tinted or adjusted in any way.