Roof Coating Application, Inspect, and Maintain
Roof coatings are primarily used to extend the life of an existing flat or low sloped roof. Roof coatings are typically applied over an existing roof covering. It is not recommended to be applied directly as a roof covering by itself. Restoration is usually the focus. By doing this, the existing roof is acting as the base or substrate of a coating system. As long as this base is in fair condition, a coating can be applied to this and turned into a maintainable system for many years to come, as long as it is maintained properly.
Roof coatings can dramatically reduce the heat gain on your home or commercial building. The white reflective color can be cool to the touch, which is completely the opposite of most roof coverings. Roof coatings can dramatically reduce the cost of tear off and replacement where access is difficult or operations should not stop. Once a coating is applied, the roof maintenance is different than conventional roof coverings.
Roof coatings need to be looked at frequently. If it has been over a year since your last inspection, let us come look at it. Small repairs now that are not taken care of can turn into very large repairs later. Once the coating turns and starts peeling, it can take many hours to get it to a satisfactory condition to re-coat. It may also need to be reroofed.
There are several different types of roof coatings, manufacturers, and systems. Depending on the specific situation will determine which manufacturer and system is chosen.
Aluminum Roof Coating
Aluminum roof coatings can add life to a flat roof. Aluminum roof coatings are designed to limit the UV rays from further deteriorating the asphalt based materials covering the roof deck. The reflectivity is in the aluminum flakes within the coating, that are added by the manufacturer. Aluminum roof coatings are typically 3-5 year products needing to be periodically maintained. There are many different grades of Aluminum roof coating. You can usually tell how good it is by the price. If it is cheap, then it probably has way more asphalt than aluminum. The more expensive aluminum roof coatings have much more aluminum flakes, which is what actually does the protecting of the roof.
Elastomeric Roof Coating
Elastomeric roof coating is the white roof coating that is thought of when the words “roof coating” are mentioned. Roof coatings have evolved into a true roofing solution. When a tear off is not the desired method of renewing the roof, elastomeric roof coating may be the answer. It is not the solution to any roofing situation, but might solve issues where tearing off will disturb residents, property, or is too costly.
It is a known fact that the elastomeric coatings are so reflective that the roof is cool to the touch in the hottest part of the day. A black asphalt, and even a white granulated cap sheet will burn your skin in the middle of the day.
Roof Coating Don’ts
- Don’t think that roof coatings are the be all end all to saving money on roof repairs. It is not uncommon for people to think this way, but this is only true in some cases. Having a solid substrate to coat over is probably the most important aspect of it all. Preparation of the substrate is key.
- Don’t coat over a roof that is installed in small pieces, like concrete tile, asphalt shingles, or slate roofing. It is not a good idea. This is because they are installed in small pieces and each of the pieces move independently of one another depending on the temperature of each section. This means that there are many “seams” or “joints” for the coating to have to expand and contract over. Both vertical and horizontal joints exist and there are many of them. Even the coating has a limited elongation, and when it is trying to move here and there it will have to give up on one of the joints. After the seam is cracked in one place, then the moisture is penetrated and will now start to compromise the rest of the system.
- Don’t think that coating and painting are the same thing. “Sealing” a roof with coating will sometimes work, and usually if it does work, for a very limited time. I have seen cases where many coats over the years on asphalt shingles has worked. We would not even consider it, because it would have to be coated many times over to achieve success. “Painting” a roof coating on for the purpose of changing the color is different. The focus is not sealing or bridging seams and will achieve the desired result.
- Don’t think that the coatings at the home stores are the best. Those products are manufactured with a cost structure to fit their business model. The products at the roofing suppliers or distributors are manufactured for performance. The coatings that are purchased from Sunniland Corporation Roofing Supplies, or Spec Building Materials Corp. are much better products. They also will be able to get the supplementary products that go with the system specifications.
- Don’t hesitate to call and have us come out to take a look at your situation!