Summer is almost here! As outdoor temperatures begin to rise, greenhouse temperatures rise as well. Luckily, there are a few methods for reducing the amount of heat that enters your greenhouse. Here at Ceres, we think that shade paint is a great way to reduce greenhouse temperatures.
Shade paint can be applied once your greenhouse temperature starts to increase above comfortable levels for your plants. Application, and removal, are easy to complete. Follow the instructions on the paint bucket for application. We recommend SUDLAC Transpar or Redu Systems shade paints to our clients. Dilute paint in order to achieve specific heat reduction levels. Apply the paint to any glazing on your greenhouse but check with the glazing manufacturer to make sure the shade paint is compatible with your roofing system. Make sure to apply shade paint in quick drying circumstances and when rain is not on the forecast for the next 40 hours. Also, we recommend waiting for temperatures to get above 50℉ (20℃) before applying shade paint to your greenhouse. SUDLAC has a very helpful page on shade paint application and dilution directions, visit their website for details.
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Shade paint can be slippery during application, so make sure to paint the exit point of the roof last; or wherever your ladder is located. Also, make sure that the roof is clean and no material, like leaves, will fall on the paint and dry with it. Although these issues will not cause any problem with the application, they simply don’t look good. Adhering to these tips will allow the shade paint will work at peak performance.
We prefer shade paint for a few reasons. The main reason is that, unlike other shading solutions, only shade paint can be light specific, meaning it will reduce incoming heat and won’t reduce photo active radiation (that the plants need) to the same level. Depending on the dilution level of the paint, one coat of paint can reduce the heat by 15%, while only reducing 7% of light that the plants can see. This is very important because your plants will still receive a healthy amount of light, at a comfortable temperature.
Another reason why we favor shade paint over other shading solutions, is that shade paints can increase the overall polycarbonate longevity. Some people use a shade cloth in the summers to cover the polycarbonate. While shade cloth seems like a quick fix, it can result in long-term damage to your polycarbonate if it scratches the outer surface of the glazing material. We have noticed that shade cloth can scratch and ruin the UV protectant surface on polycarbonates. Shade paint is also significantly cheaper than shade cloth or other shading systems. One bucket of shade paint will cover thousands of square feet of glazing material meaning that, depending on the size of your greenhouse, you can get multiple seasons of coverage out of one 15kg container.
Removal of shade paint is painless. Simply paint on approximate removal mixture, Topclear or ReduClean (depending on what brand of shade paint you used), onto your polycarbonate and then wash off the paint with a garden hose. The paint remover runoff is not harmful to your lawn or garden and you don’t have to worry about harmful chemical seepage into the soil.