It used to be necessary and common for companies to go through a complex process of removing an old commercial roof to add a new one. Today, the process is easier and more streamlined (and often more affordable) when roof coatings are used. These may help you to extend the lifespan of the roof by as much as 10 years.
What Are Roof Coating Systems?
A roof coating system is one that is fitted over the top of your existing system. They work as a type of barrier to help protect the roofing for a longer period of time. It can help to improve the overall protection of the roof from the elements.
These coatings are typically applied in a liquid over the entire area. It is done to create a monolithic, uniform membrane. This helps to preserve the underlying roof system. Some are applied with a roller or a spray method as well. The goal is to cover the entire surface, including all roof penetrations, hatches, around the equipment, and flashings to create a complete seal.
Once done, the roof coating creates a waterproof seal that is able to protect anything that is under it from UV rays and moisture. Best of all, this type of roof coating can typically be provided over most types of roofs.
What Are the Benefits of a Roof Coating System?
There are a number of expected benefits to using this type of system. Some of those benefits include the following:
Increase roof life
The biggest benefit is that these coating systems can add as much as 10 years to the life of the roof. With average roof costs around $40,000 or more for commercial buildings (depending on area and size), that can be an excellent investment in your roof’s overall structural health.
Reduced energy use
Another key benefit is that these roofing systems can provide ample energy use reduction. It is very common to see energy bills fall after the installation of these systems. That is because they are reflective. They also have emissive properties that can help to reduce roof temperatures within the home. In addition, it can help to reduce overall costs for cooling the property. Also linked to this is the reduction of workload for the HVAC system, which can help to improve its lifespan as well.
If a commercial building’s roof is in poor condition and looks bad, that can impact the reputation of the property. While these membranes are not decorative in any way, they are able to improve the look of an aging and damaged roof. That means that when someone is looking up at the roof, they are not likely to see any damage to it.
They are affordable
Another benefit is that roof coating tends to be an affordable upgrade to the property. These do not require any type of roof removal process. They are applied directly to the surface of the existing roof. The result here is that the system is less expensive to install. More so, they also have an easier installation process. They are faster to put in place as well. That reduces labor costs, which leads to lower costs for the installation.
Unlike other types of structural components, these are lightweight. That means that they can be placed on top of the roof without adding a lot of stress to the existing system. That can be important in situations where the roof structure may be beginning to deteriorate (keep in mind it has to be stable enough to provide for functional use of the roof coating).
For many low slope roofs, ponding occurs, especially as the system ages. When it does, it can cause numerous risks for the property owner. Ponding is not easy to fix in most cases. However, with roof coatings, it may be possible to apply coating products in such a way as to minimize any areas of damage, eliminating much of the damage that comes from ponding.
Another benefit is that the roofing solution is a reliable one. Most often, these coatings can last for 8 to 10 years. During that time, there is less likely maintenance and upkeep needed for the system. It may provide more overall benefits for those looking for a roof that is easy to care for without the high cost of a new system.
Types of Roof Coating Available
Several types of roof coating options exist. They are typically selected based on the roof needs. Here are some examples:
Polyurethane: This type of coating is impact resistant and can handle most types of traffic. There are two types, one of which is UV stable and durable. They are available in a clear option. These roofs can be white as well because they can stay clean, which makes them a good option for reducing UV heat transfer.
Acrylic: A type of water-based solution, this type of roof coating is considered more affordable and a good fit for most climates. It can break down under ponding water over time, though.
Silicone: Another option is the use of silicone, which is a good tool because it is moisture cured, and humidity helps to promote the curing of it as well. This option may need to be reapplied over time as it can wear down.
Determining If You Should Coat a Roof
Not all roofs can be coated. This depends on the existing roofing system and the benefit of the process. It is also important to know what the roofing coating manufacturer recommends when it comes to using the coating product based on the roof structure condition and other factors.
For many commercial buildings, the use of a commercial roof coating can be beneficial. However, it is important to ensure that using them is recommended for the type of building you have. That often means considering weather conditions, wind levels, and overall long-term benefits of repairing the roof. This is a good starting point for improving the roof’s condition for many buildings.