Paint the Roof!

We live in Panama close to the equator. The weather is warm and the sun is intense. The sun heats up the roof, which heats up the attic and the house. So, we got permission from the landlord to paint the roof white. What a nice difference!

The first step was to clean the roof. I believe the house is 7-8 years old and most of the roof has faded. The patio was added maybe 3 years ago, and roof over that area is much darker because it is newer. When Joel got up there he found it also had quite a bit of black from mildew. The patio is our favorite outdoor hangout, but we couldn’t enjoy it when the sun made it too hot.


The cleaning begins. Yes, that is the famous water blaster that was also used to clean the bathrooms.

The power washer did a great job, removing a lot of the old faded paint that was flaking off, and also the black mildew on the newer part of the roof.

The roof is clean and ready for paint! The newer part almost looks brand new again, and the older part doesn't have much paint left on it any more.

The roof is clean and ready for paint! The newer part almost looks brand new again, and the older part doesn’t have much paint left on it any more.

Joel did the painting because he’s lighter, and you don’t want someone heavy on a tin roof if at all possible. And, to get up on the roof he rigged up a step ladder sitting on a plastic table top braced with wood supports, sitting on top on my Mazda. I don’t have confidence in my ability to scale such an imaginative thing!


The painting is in progress. He used a roller shaped to work on these roofs, but said the best tool turned out to be a mop. Look how white it is even compared to the metal of the older part of the roof.

The rig worked, he made it up there, and the roof is now a gleaming white! He used a silicone based paint by Lanco that our neighbor, the construction guy, recommended. It’s made a huge difference! The patio is cooler in sunny weather, and the attic is also a lot cooler. Joel said it used to be 110+ when the sun is shining, and he’s seen it as high as 127 degrees. Now it’s usually in the 90’s or lower. It’s a lot easier to keep the house cooler when it’s not being heated up from above.

So, this is the second of our home improvement and comfort ideas (after the air conditioner). Now we should be happy here indefinitely. I have plans to paint a few things that didn’t get painted before we moved in, and I’m always puttering around in the yard but I think we have everything we need to be comfortable and happy here.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to Paint the Roof!

  1. Wow! Joel is The Man!! THat’s great!! I’m so glad you guys are getting comfy! I cant imagine how much cooler it muct be with that white roof! Good job! Cheers!


  2. Jerry says:

    You “DA MAN” Joel. Great job — you are hired when we come down — hmm, handy man who speaks English? – pretty good job – all but the $20 dollars per day you can make at such work. :). Man, you are really beefing up your resume :). So, what’s next — plumbing? Electrical? Auto repair? Keep it up. JM


  3. Anonymous says:

    great job!


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