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Roof Coatings: Ensuring Performance and Savings

By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor - August 2014 - Roofing


Many institutional and commercial facilities have embraced the use of roof coatings to protect roofing systems, extend their performance lives, and control energy costs by lowering rooftop temperatures.

But maintenance and engineering managers can miss out on the benefits roof coatings offer if they select the wrong coating, misapply the product, and avoid follow-up maintenance checks. Managers also need to realize that while roof coatings are beneficial, they are not a solution for every problem.

"There's really not a miracle in a bucket," says Lee Martucci of GAF Materials Corp. "The coating has to be optimized for the roof, for best performance. There's no one size fits all."

Savings Opportunities

Roof coatings help extend the life of a roof and delay a more costly reroofing project. Coatings also help managers avoid maintenance concerns in an area of the facility that's usually out of site and out of mind, "until there is a problem — in other words, his roof is leaking," says Bob Brenk of Aldo Products Co.

But facilities also can curtail energy costs with the use of coatings.

"Roof-coating systems can help significantly reduce a building owner's energy costs," says Kate Baumann of Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc. "For example, a white elastomeric coating can reduce the temperature on a metal roof by as much as 50 degrees and lower indoor temperatures by as much as 15 degrees, reducing energy consumption by 10 to 20 percent. Energy is the single biggest expense for commercial building owners today, accounting for nearly one-third of operating costs, so the savings can be considerable."

The type of roof system, as well as its square footage and insulation type, are among the factors managers can use to determine the amount of savings facilities can realize from applying roof coatings. In addition to deferring the need for a new roof, other cost-saving measures factor into the coatings equation.

"Coatings are sustainable and renewable, so typically an owner with a metal roof is going to get a 10-year warranty, and at the end of those 10 years, a manufacturer can send out an inspector and determine whether that roof is eligible for a recoat or not," Brenk says. "If it is — and nine times out of ten it is — then he has a chance to further defer that replacement cost down the road. That's an indirect savings by using a roof coating."





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