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Full Version: To put foil tape on the roof??? T
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Am insulating my van and i thought of a million dollar idea. There is Nashua extreme weather tape that would reflect the sun better than white roofs. We can even tape polyiso on the roof and get more insulation and then top it with foil tape to reflect sun light ???
I like Nashua Flexfix silver tape, but I would not trust it to handle being outside in the sun and elements for an extended period.  I use it mostly on my reflectix window shades, and it proves to be quite durable in this use.  It is semi transparent, and the black lettering defeats some of the silvery reflectivity.

I had a friend that used the aluminum tape, the stuff with the peel off backing, which tears easily, over a roof event which was leaking which he removed..  It worked, for a week or two, and turned whiteish .

Taping polyiso down to the exterior of a Van roof is a recipe for rust.  Water will get underneath, and never be able to get out.

I've seen some older Vans in these parts whose roofs are taped and tarped, and they just look awful. 

Removing baked on tape residue  is a nightmare.
I've heard from several sources that flat white reflects the most light (vs foil, glossy surfaces, etc).

It makes sense to me because if white is the lightest color then that means it is absorbing the least light... or else it wouldn't appear white. And since light comes in more spectrums than what are visible, I tend to put more stock in that science than in what looks reflective.

But I could be wrong.
I would simply go with Henry Solar Flex or a similar product. Sand the roof to scuff it so the coating has something to adhere to. Then roll on a gallon or so of the stuff. You will get multiple benefits. #1 It will reflect the radiant heat from the sun, keeping your vehicle cooler. #2 It will seal any small leaks you may have. #3 It will quieten the rain on the roof a little. A gallon will run you roughly $25. It should cover about 50 SF. It will need to be recoated in 5-7 years. Just clean off the roof and roll on another gallon.

The more expensive Tropi-cool can only be recoated with the same product. The others can be  recovered with the same or the similar. For example, I have Solar Flex on the bus. I plan on recovering with Enviro White 687 (12 year warranty) but may end up with another bucket of Solar Flex. Right now for me, $113 for Enviro White and $66 for Solar Flex (Los Lunas, NM store) is a big difference in price ($47). I need to start getting money coming in and not all going out. My roof was rolled last in 2011. It's filthy from parking under trees (not as dirty as in the image since it has been rained on a couple times since Saturday afternoon) but still in good shape. I just have the opportunity to wash/roll it while parked at my daughter's house.
Generally speaking, lighter colors do reflect more radiant heat, but that is not always the case. Some paint or materials of a lighter or silver color can absorb quite a bit radiant heat. Compassrose has a good suggestion because that stuff is made to reflect heat- you know that it will reflect hope and not just hope that it will.
A simple experiment that should help you decide what color to use.  Walk through a parking lot on a sunny day and touch several car roofs.  Also touch  some chrome bumpers that are in full sun.  I'd bet a dollar against a doughnut that a clean white surface is the coolest.