Homeowners and building owners generally spend a significant amount of money on roofing. However, they spend a lot more money when they don’t get the proper roofing for their property. No one likes to waste money, especially when your roof should have been done right the first time. Many people are purchasing a spray-applied elastomeric commercial roof coating because it saves them a great deal of money, especially when applied instead of a full commercial roof replacement. However, as mentioned before, when your roofing isn’t done properly you tend to spend a lot more than you should, especially when you have coated your roof twice. This can be very frustrating and you start to think, “Well, why wasn’t this done right the first time?” How can I make sure that I choose the right roof coating for my building? Below we give you some details about elastomeric roof coatings and we will provide you with the information you need to make a final decision on your commercial roof coating.
Commercial roof coatings often increase the reflectivity, reduce energy consumption and enhance the aesthetics of the roof. So when we talk about elastomeric roof coating, you should know that it is an elastic coating that can be applied to many different types of roofs. With an elastomeric roof coating, your roof is protected and it will seal the underlying roofing material, helping to stop and prevent leaks. The term elastomeric comes from the coating’s elastic quality so that it stretches and moves. The main reason for applying an elastomeric coating is to make your roof more durable. Some coatings are able to make your building cool. Elastomeric roof coatings can be used on many industrial and commercial roof types.
Before making any big decisions about an elastomeric roof coating, you need to look more into several factors about your roof. You need to establish exactly what material is currently on your roof and ascertain what coating will be best suited for the property. A local commercial roofing contractor will be able to tell you if your roof needs a repair, full roof replacement, or perhaps just needs a restoration coating. An experienced commercial roofing contractor will be able to give you the best advice on how to proceed.
When reaching out to a commercial roofing contractor it is helpful to know the approximate size, age and the type of roof. This information will help you and your local roofing contractor to establish if your roof should be lasting longer than it is, and the cost to replace the entire roof if needed. You will want to establish the slope of the roof because this weighs on what type of replacement or repair is available to you. You should also gather as much information about your roof’s history such as: has it been coated? Has it had single-ply roofing materials installed over it? Has it suffered the same problems in the past?
Some of these are pretty basic things that you may know off the top of your head, however, others may require opening up a roof maintenance book or getting on the roof yourself to get the answer. An experienced roofing contractor will have years of knowledge to help you gather all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your roof.
Take into consideration the condition of your roof as well. You may choose the best commercial roof coating but the question is, is your roof a suitable candidate for a roof coating at all? Or do you need to completely remove the roof and replace the roof deck too? If your roof is not structurally sound, no roof coating is a good choice. The building’s location is also a really important thing to consider. Certain climates are more favorable for coating. A dry climate is better for acrylic coatings to be installed, humid and wet climates work better for silicone coatings.
Why is reflectivity such an important consideration?
Light colored surfaces reflect more sunlight than dark surfaces. When sunlight is reflected, less of the sun’s energy is turned into heat. Increasing the reflectivity of your commercial roof will extend the life of your roof and leave your building much cooler in summer, saving you considerable expense on heat regulation. This also means less strain on your HVAC systems and anyone inside the building will be much more comfortable.
Which type of Elastomeric Roof Coating is best for you?
Acrylic Roof Coatings
Acrylic coatings usually have a lifespan of 20 years. Their appearance is typically bright white and provide good reflectivity. Acrylic roof coatings have significant value within the modern property. However many owners often have a limited understanding of the performance of the product and their unique property space. Some negative characteristics of acrylic coatings are that for one it does not stretch out as much as some of the other coatings do, making them susceptible to damage from fluctuating temperatures and ponding water. Another thing is that acrylic coatings usually require a primer and nearly always require two coats. Acrylic roof coatings tend to be more expensive when you consider the additional steps and materials. Some local roofing contractors will tell you that per gallon they are cheaper, however what you need to know is that on any acrylic coating project, with these extra considerations the price can blow up very quickly.
Besides the downfalls of an acrylic roof coating, it is highly reflective. The sun’s UV rays have a minimal impact on the surface material. Acrylic coatings also provide intuitive performance. Therefore, property owners and an installation team don’t have to spend time learning how to integrate the material and the installation work can be performed in a quick time frame. This ensures that owners consolidate their installation costs and minimize the amount of time required to add the acrylic coating to their building structure.
Acrylic roof coatings are among the most cost effective commercial roofing systems within the marketplace. Property owners can save thousands of dollars by having the system installed on their roofing structure. And because they’re durable in most environments, property owners can look forward to achieving long lasting value. When your roofing system becomes dirty, the roof reduces its appeal and limits the value received by the building owner. However, having an acrylic roof coating by a commercial roofing contractor will most likely restore your roof’s appeal because it is exceptionally dirt-resistant and maintains its aesthetic appeal over many years.
Urethane Roof Coating
Urethane roof coatings are another common elastomeric roofing system. It is quite similar in price to silicone coatings, the price usually depends on the specific formulation. Urethane roof coatings usually are chosen because of their durability compared to acrylic and silicone coatings. Urethane coatings don’t offer as much effective reflectivity as silicone or acrylic coatings. A good quality that urethane coatings have is that they offer good protection from ponding water and stay cleaner, resisting dirt more than silicone coatings and acrylic coatings. Urethane roof coatings are most commonly used for sprayed in place polyurethane foam insulation and every other commercial roofing substrate. Without a doubt, a urethane roof coating is one of the strongest and most durable roof coatings on the market today.
When it comes to urethane roof coatings, you should know that there are two different types of urethane coating. They are aliphatic coating and aromatic coating. Aliphatic urethane coatings are UV stable. They also hold color longer, they resist dirt pick up, and are typically used as a topcoat. Aromatic urethane roof coatings are not as UV stable, on the other hand. However, they are less expensive and are typically used as a base coat. Urethane coatings form a highly durable, flexible, seamless membrane layer that is able to withstand the daily expansion and contraction of the roof structure as well as resist ponding water. Therefore, some local roofing contractors would go forward with using this particular coating. Aromatic urethane are less expensive but they are typically used as a base coat. Urethane coatings are more impact resistant than any other commercial roof coatings, making them ideal for use in high-traffic areas.
Urethane coatings comply very well with most traditional commercial roofing substrates including metal, modified bitumen, spray polyurethane foam, EPDM, TPO, and other single-ply membranes. Urethane coatings are highly reflective and UV stable so building owners and facility managers can save a lot of money from reducing cooling costs during the summer.
Silicone Roof Coatings
Silicone roof coatings are the most flexible material available, and they are often chosen for their ability to compensate for a building’s flexing with changes in temperature. They exhibit great UV resistance and protect the surface beneath the coating very well. Silicone roof coatings are often compared to acrylic coatings due to their similar appearance, but in actual fact silicone coatings are very different and not really comparable. They are more expensive per gallon, but for that extra price tag, you receive better reflectivity, better adhesion, no primer required, only one coat, and a 20-year lifespan. As you can see, the two systems are not similar on a per-project basis. Silicone coatings often start out more expensive per-gallon, but as a whole, the project is less expensive. Silicone roof coatings can also withstand ponding water, which acrylic coatings cannot.
Two major concerns with silicone coatings are dirt accumulation and durability. These coatings do pick up a lot of dirt, so they should be used in areas where aesthetics are important. The coatings can be easily power-washed, but they will become dirty and require cleaning again quite frequently. Their durability is also sometimes a question mark, although if you are careful not to drop sharp objects on the roof they should be fine. Another way to avoid the durability problem is to install granules on the roof surface.
In short, there are many considerations when choosing a commercial roof coating for your property. An experienced commercial roofing contractor like our team here at Infinite Roofing, is well equipped to answer any of your questions and come out to your property and provide you with a thorough assessment, advice and estimate for any work you may require. Give us a call today! 518-444-ROOF