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Archives > February 2015 > How Does A Roof Coating Restoration Actually Work?

How Does A Roof Coating Restoration Actually Work?

We talk a lot about how silicone can save building owners time, money and headaches, but people may still not understand exactly how the process works and the exact benefits of our system. We are going to tackle the basics of our system in this article: what it does, how it helps you, and how you can expect to benefit from it.

By: Josh McKain

The Science behind Silicone Roof Coatings Before we look at the silicone roof coating process, it is important to understand why we are so passionate about silicone roof coatings. There are many different types of roof coatings on the market today, but silicone is widely revered as the "Cadillac" of the roof coating market.

It is generally the most expensive option when looking at material costs, but there is good reason for this increased cost. Silicone coatings have been developed over many decades for many different applications, and these years of development have made it a strong, UV resistant, moisture curing, non-chalking, environmentally friendly product.

Silicone Roof Coating Installation

One of the strengths of a silicone roof coating restoration that we often tout is the ease of installation and how convenient it is to renew your roof with this system. But what does this actually mean?

If your roof is old, wearing down, leaking, losing energy, getting too hot, or failing in any way that is not structural, restoration coatings can help you. Simply power wash the roof, apply a primer if required (which is rare), and apply the coating to the surface of the roof. You may have to use some caulk and polyester fabric to properly handle difficult protrusions in the roof, but those are typically minimal in time and effort.

That's it: power wash, primer (if needed), apply coating. That's the ease of installation that we are always talking about.

What Does Silicone Coating Do?

Once installed, many people don't know what silicone roof coatings provide, and how beneficial they are. They provide protection from the elements, as coatings create a seamless, waterproof, monolithic membrane that stops leaks and resists ponding water. Silicone roof coatings are also reflective, meaning they keep the surface of the roof cool despite the sun's rays, meaning your building stays at the proper temperature.

These benefits all come from a system that is spray-applied in liquid form, directly to the existing roof surface. There are no roof deck modifications and no major structural changes made. Simply apply the coating to the existing surface.

What Happens at the End of the Coating's Life?

So, what happens in 10-15 years after you install a silicone roof coating on your roof? Do you have to tear off the old roof to remove the coating? Do you have to strip and re-apply the coating all over again?

No! At the end of the coating's life, simply re-spray a new coating onto the roof surface, directly onto the previous layer of coating. It is as simple as re-applying the coating the same way you did before.

You will have to power wash the surface again, but no primer will be required. Once the second layer is applied, your roof is under warranty for 10-15 more years depending on the thickness that you applied the material.

 

REASON ONE FOR A SILICONE ROOF COATING

You Can't Afford a Break in Operations

Don't let your roof shut you down and cost you money. When your roof needs repairs, taking care of the problem often turns into a double-blow. You have to shell out a huge amount to fix your roof (if you aren't under warranty), and you have to shut down, at a minimum, that portion of the building, possibly the entire building.

You are losing money paying for the roof, and in lost production. That is a double-blow that many building owners can't afford, and that none want to pay. This is one of the reasons many building owners choose silicone roof coatings: they don't have to remove their roof to make the repairs, which means they can keep working inside.

So what do you do about this double-blow if you are faced with roof repairs? You really have three basic options when faced with roof repairs: avoid the problem, mitigate the problem, or live with the problem.

 

Keep Working While You Repair Your Roof

This means you only realize one half of the equation: the cost of repair. How do you keep working while you repair the roof? Work from above, without exposing your operations to the weather or the danger of a construction zone.

You do this with a retrofit roofing system; either a spray foam roofing system or a silicone roofing system, each of which can be applied directly to the roofing surface. If you choose one of these two methods, you can keep working uninterrupted while your roof is repaired. This is the optimal solution if a foam or coating roof is appropriate for your building.

 

Keep Working in Another Area While You Repair Your Roof

Moving your workspace around to avoid the roof area under construction is not as good as keeping the workspace uninterrupted, but better than option three. In this scenario, you rearrange your workspace to keep everything and everyone safe and dry. This may require a significant amount of labor, but if the roofing project will be lengthy, it can be worth it.

This may not be possible if the entire roof needs repair and can't be slowly removed, or if your workspace is permanent or too difficult to rearrange. In those cases, you will have to settle for option three.

 

Pause Operations until the Roof Is Repaired

This is worst-case scenario, and the truest form of the roof repair "double-blow". If you have to completely replace the roof (no retrofit systems), or cannot rearrange your workspace, you have to stop working until the area is safe and protected from the elements. This is the option you want to avoid, because you now have to pay to replace the work, and suffer through serious loss of productivity.

Having to replace or perform significant repairs on your roof is never something you want to happen, but if you are faced with that situation, you do have some options to minimize your expenses and your loss. If you think you need to replace your roof or repair a large portion of it, give us a call and we'll see if our system can keep you from suffering a double-blow.

 

REASON TWO FOR A SILICONE ROOF COATING

Ponding Water

Ponding Water can be extremely expensive to fi x. If your roof is sagging or isn't sloped properly, ponding water will often be the result. This usually perpetuates the problem of sagging, which leads to more ponding water, which leads to more sagging. Before long, you have to repair or replace your roof. There are several options for mitigating ponding water on your roof, but most of the routes building owners choose are nothing more than a temporary solution.

Affordable Ponding Water Mitigation

If you have ponding water, leaks are often soon to follow unless you eliminate the problem. The best way to eliminate the problem is to remodel the roof to remove the sagging or improve the slope. This can be extremely expensive and many building owners can't afford to just go out and completely re-work their roof. If this is the case with you, a silicone roof coating may be just the solution you need.

Resist Ponding Water for Less Money

Silicone roof coatings can resist ponding water better than almost any other roofing system. Silicone coatings are moisture curing and they become impervious to water once cured. This means that once they harden on your roof (usually within 24 hours), the system can resist ponding water without leaking, without chalking off , and without losing their adhesion to the roof.

On top of these significant benefits in the face of ponding water, silicone roof coatings are significantly less expensive than most other solutions to roofing products. This means that if ponding water is a problem on your roof, you don't have to invest a ton of money to repair it, but can instead spend less money on a solution that will last 15-20 years in the fight against ponding water.

The problem of ponding water is pervasive among almost all flat roofs today because it is so difficult to get the slope right. If you're fighting ponding water, the best solution is to fi x the roof and restore proper slope, but that isn't always a realistic option with price restrictions. A silicone roof coating membrane may be the alternative you need.

 

REASON THREE FOR A SILICONE ROOF COATING

Your Building is Hot in the Summer

Is building temperature costing you productivity? Science has proven that a hot work environment decreases productivity. Are you losing money by allowing your workspace to get too hot, and thus not getting the most out of your team? Many facility managers don't realize that allowing their facility to get hot is not only uncomfortable for their employees, but it hurts their productivity and efficiency. By keeping your building at a more comfortable temperature, you can keep your team happy and productive, making you more money. A silicone coating can help to keep your building cool in the summer, which is the very reason why many building owners invest in silicone coatings

Why Do We Let Our Buildings Get So Hot?

It is often the belief of building owners that their building just has to be hot in the summer, and that's just the way it is. Unless they don't Construction & Planning continued spend a fortune cooling their building, it's going to be hot and their workers should just push through. Now, there is not only science that says heat slows workers down, but there is also an inexpensive alternative to keep buildings cooler. What used to be restricted by cost (cooling a building in the summer) is now affordable and attainable.

Silicone Coatings Keep Your Building Cool

Any white roof coating is reflective and will decrease your building's temperature, but silicone is the most reflective coating available and has the greatest impact. It is provides a noticeable difference in temperature in your building that will keep your employees productive. It is an extremely affordable product that you can even apply yourself. Once applied, your building will be cooler in the summer and your people will be more efficient and productive.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 

 Q: What types of substrates can you restore with RCR?

A: RCR roofing systems can be applied over concrete, modified bitumen, single-ply, metal roof panel, and smooth BUR.

Q: Is silicone a green alternative?

A: A RCR commercial roofing system is one of the greenest alternatives you can have. It eliminates landfill waste, lowers toxic emissions during installation, reduces energy costs by reflecting sunlight and radiant heat--keeping the roof surface cooler--and contributes toward LEED credits. It is also Energy Star rated.

Q: How will silicone handle harsh weather?

A: Silicone is durable in extreme weather conditions and moderate ponding water. There is no lift-off in high winds since the silicone roof coating adheres to the roof surface.

Q: What needs to be done to prepare for a RCR roofi ng system?

A: The contractor will inspect the roof for any damage, repair the membrane & seam deviations, power-wash the roof surface and then apply the silicone roof coating.

Q: Are there limitations of when to install a RCR roofing system?

A: You can install a Roof Coating Restoration system from early spring through late fall. However, coatings should not be installed when there is ice, frost, or surface moisture.

Q: Why shouldn't I use a less expensive acrylic coating?

A: Acrylic roof coatings are water based products and have a very short life cycle. They are prone to chalking and hazing and their adhesion will degrade over time. 

 

 

About The Author
Josh McKain

serves as Marketing Director for Progressive Materials, LLC, a silicone coatings manufacturer that specializes in commercial roofing applications. Josh holds degrees in marketing, accounting, and an MBA from IU. Visit Progressive Materials at www.pmsilicone.com or contact him at josh@pmsilicone.com.

 

 

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