The Go Green Expo – Atlanta 2009 was chock full of interesting green products, services and solutions for home, lifestyle and then some. My interest was focused on homebuilding products and services (of course) and anything that would improve my lifestyle while at the same time lessen my impact on the environment. Basically, like many of you out there I’m trying to live greener as time goes on. This means putting into practice all of the green homebuilding products and services at my disposal whenever possible.
One of the products on display that interested me a great deal was a product known as Eco Seal. It is a ceramic coating applied to the exterior of your house. It is also known as ceramic paint or insulating paint. In this case, Vickie, with Southeast Coatings was demonstrating the benefits of Eco Seal, green and otherwise.
This is a permanent ceramic coating for your home and their marketing slogan is "Never Paint Again". It is a remarkable product that comes with a 25 year transferrable warranty and has a lot going for it besides the longevity aspect. Allow me to explain.
Ceramic coatings used as an insulating paint on homes and buildings have been around for quite some time now (20+ years) under a multitude of brand names. So it would seem that if they didn’t perform as promised you would have read about it somewhere if you knew where to look. There seem to be a few skeptics out there that can’t seem to wrap their mind around the insulating properties and benefits of ceramic paint and exactly how it works.
Vickie gave me a hands-on demonstration of the waterproof properties of the adhesive primer sealer (first coat of the application) by way of a folded paper towel that had been previously coated with the primer sealer, allowed to dry and then placed in a bowl of water. The paper towel was still intact. Cool.
I was also given the opportunity to see and touch one of the key ingredients of the paint…the ceramic micro-spheres. It was a bizarre tactile sensation. I was invited to stick my finger in the vial of micro-spheres. I was slightly hesitant but went with the moment. I didn’t feel a thing. I had to look at my finger through the jar to realize that it had been totally surrounded by the micro-spheres. Weird, weird stuff!
The elasticity of the product was then demonstrated by giving me a 6" x 6" square of the ceramic paint "chip" (or strip) that had been peeled away in a nice sheet. It was like a rubber membrane that could be stretched in any direction and still retain its’ original shape. This stuff is especially recommended for coastal residents for it’s corrosion resistance and salt tolerance. It has proven to provide better protection than Rustoleum, the industry standard in that category.
Pros of Applying Ceramic Paint to Your House
I find it interesting that Eco Seal primarily stresses the longevity of the product and then follows that with the other extraordinary benefits of ceramic paint within their literature. Below are some of the outstanding properties and benefits of ceramic coatings when used as an exterior paint solution for your home:
- Longevity – It comes with a 25 year transferrable warranty from chipping, peeling or flaking. "Never Paint Again" is the big selling point in large bold letters in their literature.
- Class A fire and smoke rating
- Mold and mildew resistant. Also less likely for wood rot to occur due to the properties of the Eco Seal adhesive primer sealer. It’s sticky. I tuched a small piece of siding used for demonstration purposes.
- It is permanent: Permanently bonds with any paintable surface.
- Flexibility – expands and contracts with changing temperatures. This is key to the warranty, in my opinion.
- Breathable: It has a breathability (perm) rating of 32.7. That simply means that it keeps water particles out but allows water vapor to escape from the interior, thus reducing the chances of mold and mildew occurring.
- Lower V.O. C.’s – They state that it rates at 81.6 g/l compared to approximately 200 g/l of traditional house paint.
- Variety of colors to choose from…just like paint.
Eco Seal Ceramic Coating has their own formula that has undergone independent testing by BASF, 3M, and The American Society for Testing and Materials. I invite you to read all of the more in-depth test results for yourself.
Cons of Eco Seal Ceramic Coating Paint
Cost – on the front end it is about 2-3 times what you would pay for a typical paint job on your house per Vickie @ Eco Seal. The key words there are "on the front end". But if you think about it, it’s not really a negative because once this product is applied, you’re good for a long while…guaranteed.
Other than that, the only other con would be that you had better choose a color that you’re going to be happy with for a very, very long time.
I implore you to read the tree hugger article on ceramic insulating paint along with the insightful and thought-provoking comments from readers that follows the article. Great discussion and questions are raised there regarding thermodynamics and more.
Why Is Eco Seal Considered a Green Product?
- Lower V.O.C.’s than traditional house paint means lower greenhouse gas emissions
- The ceramic micro-spheres reflects up to 90% of the sun’s rays, therefore, reducing the surface temperature of your siding. It is because of this that Eco Seal has a Low-E rating (same as energy efficient windows). This will save energy (and money) right out of the gate.
- Saves trees. The primer bonds with the substrate forming a permanent seal from water. That means you won’t need to replace any rotten boards on your home for a long period of time.
- It is "landfill friendly" if disposal is required. (I’d like to see more data on this claim by Eco Seal)
Okay…in my opinion, this is an excellent product with great attributes based on the test results I read. It’s proven to work by well-known independent laboratories so I feel comfortable recommending this product and others like it. I will have to reserve judgement on this product until further notice die to the enormous amount of research required to come to any sort of conclusion. It would be great to go back to the homeowners 5 years after it has been applied to see if their
energy bills have been reduced, etc. by the amounts that these manufacturers claim they will be reduced.
Update 07/04/2009: Upon further research, I DO NOT feel comfortable recommending a ceramic coating for use as a house paint…roof paint…possibly. The laws of physics dictates that some of the claims made for this product are not possible, as least not to the extent to which they are claimed. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong and this looks like one of those times. A reader of The Fun Times Guide To Homebuilding has given me food for thought on this subject by challenging the claims made by the manufacturer of this product (and others like it) in ways that are, honestly, best left to scientists and engineers to prove or disprove. I can only absorb their findings and report them here…which I plan to do sometime in the near future. The best I can do right now is to tell anyone who may be interested in covering their home with a ceramic coating, is basically "BUYER BEWARE".
I wrote an article about another brand of ceramic paint called Insuladd a couple of years ago. Similar product with outstanding characteristics claimed by the maker.
HY-TECH is another company that sells ceramic paint and additive with reasons why their brand is the real deal.
Bob Formisano at About writes about the different aspects regarding ceramic insulating coatings