Whether you’re about to have a new roof installed or looking to repair or reinforce your current one, you should consider the benefits of a cool roof coating. For flat and low-pitch roofs, white elastomeric solar reflective roof coatings provide the most benefits.
What Is an Elastomeric Coating?
This type of coating is applied as a spray that dries into a seamless membrane. No additional sealant is required. Although it resembles paint in some ways, it contains significantly more solids, so each coat forms a thick layer.
Weatherproofing. Elastomeric coatings stand up to all kinds of weather. Long-term exposure to sun and rain cause very little wear. Like all roof coating systems, it is reliably waterproof and prevents wind from widening any cracks in the roof where water and debris might be able to enter.
Easy maintenance. Only periodic cleaning is required. There’s no additional risk of slipping and falling to people who walk on it, and foot traffic can’t chip or otherwise damage it. On the rare occasion that damage does occur, repairs are just reapplications of additional coats.
Energy efficiency. This is one of the dramatic advantages of elastomeric coatings. Conventional asphalt roofing typically consists of a gray composite on top of a black substrate. Unsurprisingly, about 75% of the solar energy that hits this combination is absorbed as heat.
By contrast, much of that energy bounces right off of white reflective roof coatings. When they’re first applied, that amount is roughly 80%. These ratios are almost exact opposites: Elastomerics repel four times as much as they absorb, while traditional materials absorb three times more than they reflect.
As you might guess, the result is a substantial reduction in power costs. In addition, these coatings can help to get your property rated by ENERGY STAR® or the LEED Green Building Rating System®.
Durability. This is another area where elastomerics stand out. The installation of asphalt roofing is itself energy-intensive, as is the process of replacing it. Since these roofs last an average of 8 to 10 years, this cycle burns through a lot of supplies. The initial elastomeric coating can be applied directly to an existing roof, creating no waste.
Once in place, the useful life of a white solar reflective roof coating can be extended much further. Aging layers don’t need to be removed — instead, additional coats are added to reinforce those already in place. The result is a significant reduction in the amount of construction materials destined for landfills.
The Best Choice
The up-front costs are higher than those associated with other coverings, but so is the value. The energy savings alone justify the expenditure in the long term, not to mention the extension of the useful life of your roof by 10 years or more. By combining toughness with energy savings, elastomeric solar reflective roof coatings offer a truly sustainable – and economically smart — roofing solution.
If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, how can you know when the time you have bought with intermittently patching has run out? The most obvious clues are leaks that continue after repeated visits from your roofer. Once a roof becomes brittle and starts to split, patching is no longer enough. Your choices at that point are more expensive, but the alternative is wasting your limited budget avoiding the inevitable.
Waiting can also drive up the cost of repairs. If leaks are allowed to continue, the interior of the structure may be damaged, multiplying the ultimate expenses that initially seemed high. Another factor to consider is the relatively low level of disruption that roof work causes for the people who work in the building, as compared to interior restoration.
Do the math
The best first step is hiring a consulting engineer or architect to survey your roof, list your options, and provide rough estimates of the costs of each of them. You may well learn that repairs, recovering, or the liquid application of a coating will be sufficient for the time being. But if the need for action seems imminent, think about your budget and the length of time you would want a replacement roof to last.
To use a simple example, consider your choice to be between two options: 10 years for a basic roof with standard-grade materials and 20 years for a more elaborate and durable option using higher-quality materials. Take the middle of the approximate price range to replace the roof and divide it by the number of years you would like the new roof to last. If the result is less than the cost of the repairs or not much more, it’s time to replace the roof.
Consider a coating
You may find that a coating, preceded by an appropriate cleaner and primer, can extend the useful life of your existing roof. If you install a new roof, a coating can definitely increase its longevity.
– Silicone roof coatings are designed for flat roofs where water may pool. They form a flexible membrane that stays waterproof in a wide range of weather conditions.
– Acrylic roof coatings are suitable for pitched roofs. They are “elastomeric,” which means they incorporate more solids than paint and therefore form thicker layers when applied to a surface.
– Both types are formulated to reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorb them, lowering the temperature inside the building and reducing energy costs. One “cool roof” acrylic variant was created to maximize this effect.
Whether you’re repairing, recoating, or replacing your roof, you should create and implement a detailed maintenance plan, with the assistance of a qualified architect or engineer if need be. A professional can not only carry out regular inspections and moisture surveys, but also provide specific guidance regarding repairs, reapplications of protective coatings, and ultimately, replacement.
All roofs will eventually need to be replaced. Information and preparation will help make that decision less stressful when the time for it arrives.
You’ve noticed evidence of a roof leak – either water visibly dripping or other signs of water intrusion. What now? Replacing a roof due to leaks, no matter the severity, isn’t always an option for businesses, particularly in today’s uncertain times. Thankfully, there are more budget-friendly solutions for repairing leaks with Advanced Coating Systems. Just make sure you do your research.
Determine the Source of the Leak
Seems easy enough, right? Actually, sometimes leaks that appear to be coming from the roof are actually originating from windows, HVAC units, plumbing, or other less obvious sources. The first step is to rule out causes other than the roof membrane itself. Either you or a contractor will then need to scour the roof’s surface for the source of the leak. The telltale clues to look for include blisters, cracks, or other punctures along the flashing or roof joints. Also inspect any degradation of the roof around downspouts. Don’t stop after locating a single source. Older roofs often present multiple points of seepage due to years of wear and tear.
Investigate the Extent of the Leak
Once you’re certain about the cause of the water intrusion, you’ll have a better sense of the seriousness of the issue. Here are a few questions that will help you assess the level of damage.
If you have rolled roofing, is there evidence of curling or buckling?
Do you have stains on the ceiling or mold near the leak?
Does the water intrusion seem further from the identified leak source than you might have expected?
If you answered yes to any of the above, chances are the leak has been there a while. Regardless of the extent of the leak, you’ll want to act fast, as these problems can get out of hand quickly.
What Are Your Options?
If you have no budget constraints, roof replacement may be an option. But many people think that’s their onlyoption other than a short-term patch fix, and that’s simply not the case. There are plenty of new roof coating technologies that can effectively give your roof a new life. Just bear in mind that not all coatings are equal, so do your due diligence and ask your supplier questions.
Is This a DIY or Professional Job?
First and foremost, check to see if your roof is still under any kind of warranty. If you’re out of luck in that department, you’ve got a decision to make. In most cases, unless you have experience in the roofing industry and/or the issue is extremely minor, it’s best to contract the job out. You’ll want to do your research when determining the best choice for the job. Read reviews and case studies, and look for other resources that will help you make the best decision possible. Consider all the benefits of liquid applications, including their protections against future leaks.
You want a professional job that is going to greatly extend the longevity of your roof, not just a Band-Aid. Energy Seal Coatings has a team of trusted, skilled experts ready to take on any cool roof job you need. If you could use a first, second, or third opinion, we’re here to help. Contact us today.
Applying a roof coating properly is both an art and a science. Our roof coating experts may make it look easy, but it takes plenty of preparation and expertise in order to ensure that your roof is properly coated and protected. Below, we’ve rounded up the most common mistakes to avoid when applying liquid roof coatings. These pieces of advice will help ensure that your coating effectively weatherproofs, protects, and extends the life of your roof.
1. Failing to properly clean the roof to be coated.
In order to ensure the roof coating performs its best for years to come, the first step is to properly prepare the roof. The roof should be thoroughly pressure washed at a minimum of 1500 PSI in order to remove any dirt, grime, or residue. We recommend washing with Acu-Wash, using a roto spray tip while pressure washing, and then thoroughly rinsing the roof before beginning. Without proper preparation, the roof coating may stick to the dirt or debris on the roof rather than the roof itself.
2. Applying the roof coating when there is rain in the forecast.
While weather can be unpredictable, it’s best to choose a week that shows no chance of rain in the forecast in order to make your roof coating project as successful as possible. We recommend two layers of the roof coating, and each of these needs to dry thoroughly. If the product gets rained on, it may wash off, negating your efforts.
We also encourage applying the coating early in the day since applying too close to nightfall may make the coating susceptible to moisture from heavy dew overnight. And take into account your location; the roof coating will take longer to dry in environments with low temperatures and high humidity versus environments with high temperatures and low humidity.
3. Exposing the roof coating to freezing temperatures before it cures.
When you check the forecast for rain, also pay attention to temperature. It’s best to apply roof coating applications when the weather is expected to be relatively temperate. This is because if the roof coating freezes before it cures, it may crack. In this case, your roof may resemble a large spider web with cracks throughout the coating. Choose a weather forecast that will work in your favor and encourage the coating to effectively cure.
4. Using improper millage (thickness).
This part is a bit more technical, but we have experts who can help. The roof coating must be applied at a specific millage. It’s best to use a steady gait when applying to ensure that the coating is applied evenly. We also recommend stopping frequently and using a wet film gauge to measure the wet film thickness. When applying Acu-Shield, for example, the wet film thickness should be a minimum of 20 wet mils for each coat, and each coat should cure for 24 to 48 hours. By not applying at the correct millage, you risk negating the warranty on the coating product.
5. Not properly sealing the seams, flashings, and fasteners.
This step is another in the roof coating process that is not to be missed. After cleaning the roof, it’s important to ensure that every seam, flashing, and fastener is completely sealed. We recommend doing this using both Acu-Caulk and Acu-Fabric. These products create a bandage-like seal that is virtually impenetrable. Acu-Tape is also helpful when sealing seams and flashings in particular. This video shows how to seal seams and flashings in detail. Sealing these places properly should prevent future leaks in your roof.
At Energy Seal, our experts not only know about our products, they know how to utilize them firsthand. With unparalleled experience, they will manage your entire roof coating process, from product selection to installation. They know these — and other — tricks of the trade to ensure the efficacy of our high-quality roof coating products. If you have questions or are interested in protecting your roof, contact us today.