Paint for Decks With Cooling Effects
You might be planning to paint your deck to cover up an ugly color or to coordinate it with other design elements. You might not realize, though, that painting your deck can serve a double purpose; by selecting the right paint treatment, you can actually change the way that the deck surface responds to sunlight, making the deck cooler to the touch.
Concrete Cooling Treatment
To lower the temperature of your concrete deck, you can apply a specially formulated paint-on treatment. Besides your deck, you can use the paint-on cooling treatment on any nearby concrete areas, including patios, pool decks or walkways. When dry, the treatment is just as strong as concrete and even more resilient to the elements. Most cooling paint treatments are environmentally safe; check the label before application to protect any nearby plantings. Depending on the product, application might involve application of a bonding agent or be pre-mixed. The cooling treatment is composed of polymers and concrete. Depending on the product, it may have a slight texture. You can choose from a range of uniform colors, primarily cool tones and neutrals.
Textured Concrete Cooling Treatment
For a variation on the typical cooling treatment for concrete surfaces, you can opt for a textured finish. The product's slightly raised surface will give the deck better traction when wet. It's advisable to use textured treatment when treating a swimming pool deck, an exposed deck in a rainy climate or any deck which children will frequently use. You also can use the textured treatment on any concrete steps to make them both cool to the bare foot and safe in all weather conditions.
If your deck is made of a material other than concrete, such as wood planks, you can still lower its temperature by selecting the right kind of paint treatment. Instead of varnishing wood or adding a dark paint color, such as deep brown or terra cotta, opt for a light and bright color for your decking. Popular neutrals include light grays, gray-blues, beige, sand, cream or even white. For the best color selection, take your cue from your exterior house paint colors. Remember that over a large area, paint colors appear darker than on small swatches. Using a light color will reflect sunlight instead of absorbing it -- the same principle that inspires people to buy light-colored cars in warm climates and dark ones in cold climates. Besides making your deck cooler to the touch, you will keep the structure from absorbing as much heat energy, a potential savings, should you have any indoor structure directly beneath the deck.
Danielle Hill has been writing, editing and translating since 2005. She has contributed to "Globe Pequot" Barcelona travel guide, "Gulfshore Business Magazine," "Connecting Lines: New Poetry from Mexico" and "The Barcelona Review." She has trained in neuro-linguistic programming and holds a Bachelor of Arts in comparative literature and literary translation from Brown University.
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