Choosing the Proper Roof Coatings

A roof is a huge investment. Not only is a new roof rather costly, but it is also designed to protect the rest of your home from possible damage due to elements largely outside of your control. Because of this, it is important to not only choose the proper type of roof, but to have it correctly installed and situated on the home itself. Part of this process involves choosing the proper coating for the roof. Because of the extensive labor costs associated with installing a roof, not to mention the environmental considerations involving a possible roof tear-off that must be taken into account, roof coating systems are becoming a more popular option for residential and commercial buildings alike. The current market for roof coatings that are polymer-based, for example, is currently estimated to be approaching $600 million. White cool roof coatings, designed to reflect extreme heat situations, take up nearly 1/3 of this market. The market for roof coatings is growing at about 4% a year, which means that it is expanding much more rapidly than other traditional types of roofing products. To determine what type of roof coating might be best for your home, it is helpful to first understand your roof.

Know the Structure of Your Roof

It is important to know whether or not your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. You budget really does not dictate this, as to choose incorrectly could have negative consequences down the line. It is recommended that you have a trained professional help you determine this by coming out to your property to visually inspect the roof for any damage or leaks. These two items are most typically found in either the flashings or penetrations of the roof, so it is important to deal with these areas first before applying an actual roof coating. In addition, if you have any wet insulation on the roof, it will need to first be removed and then replaced before the restoration process can begin and the coating applied. A professional can come out and do a quick infrared scan of the roof to determine any areas of the roof that have wet insulation. If this amounts to more than 30% of the roof’s structure, then a complete tear off would typically be in order.

Choosing the Right Coating for Your Roof

There are numerous types of coatings available on the market today, each comprised of various chemicals. It is important that you select the coating that is most suited to your particular environment. In choosing the coating, you want to consider the existing condition of the roof and its location. You also want to analyze its slope and the potential that it has to pool water. Finally, you want to determine its exposure to chemicals, high heat, and UV rays. This will help you, in consultation with roofing professionals, to determine if any acrylic or polyurethane based coating would be most appropriate for your roof. Consider starting the process today by contacting your local roofing professional to come out and take a look.

What is EPDM Rubber?

It is fairly obvious that the roof of any commercial building is extremely important. Over the years, the components used to develop and secure a roof have improved, as have their chemical composition. EPDM is basically a synthetic rubber that is highly durable. It is a type of roofing membrane that is mostly used today on buildings with a low slope, both in the United States and abroad. The two main components of this variety of rubber are ethylene and propylene. Both are derived from oil and natural gas, and white and black are the available colors. EPDM is sold in various widths, and these can range from 7.5 feet up to fifty feet. It also comes in two different thicknesses, 45 and 60 mils, depending on the particular roof that it is going to be used on. The rubber itself can be installed in one of three different ways. It can be fully adhered, ballasted, or attached to the roof mechanically. The seams of the roofing system would then be sealed with either a liquid adhesive, or a specially formulated tape.

The Effectiveness of EPDM

With all of the various roofing components in use today, many might wonder why EPDM is the best choice for them. To begin, it has been used on low-slope roofs for more than 40 yeas, and it is now the top choice of roofing professionals, engineers, architects, and contractors that are either installing a new roof, or replacing an existing one. EPDM has consistently been found to perform well under adverse conditions. It holds up even in the most difficult of environments, and has proven itself to have the longest average service life of any roofing component in the industry today.

EPDM is proven to be able to withstand hail, and it is has a resistance to cyclical membrane fatigue. The material itself is also resistant to weathering and abrasion, while remaining flexible in low temperatures. It is also resistant to extreme heat and fire, while possessing a thermal shock durability that cannot be beaten. Finally, it is noted that EPDM is resistant to radiation. The fact that is highly resistant to wind damage is another reason that many roofing professionals choose to only work with EPDM rubber.

Cost Effectiveness of EPDM Rubber

While it is true that actual installation costs will vary depending on the type of commercial building one is talking about, it can be stated with reasonable confidence that EPDM roofing systems offer the most economic value. This is in relation to commercial buildings with a roof that has a low slope. There simply is not a better value on the market that protects your roof with as much precision as EPDM.

EPDM that is ballasted traditionally offers the lowest per square foot cost for installation. Mechanically fastened or fully adhered systems might come in a bit more expensive, but they still provide an excellent value. The EPDM system also enables easy repairs and modifications to the roof itself over the years, so any commercial building owner would be wise to consider this as the best option.