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Facility Maintenance Decisions

Examining Roof Coatings Concerns





By Tom Irvine & Eric Hasselbusch   Roofing

OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: The Benefits and Challenges of Roof CoatingsPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Roof Coatings Product Development

A roof coating is not the right solution in all cases, and its use in these cases can result in a costly and unsatisfactory outcome. If managers encounter any of the following conditions on a roof, it might be time to consider steps other than applying a roof coating:

Failed or failing roof systems. A roof coating is not a substitute for roof replacement when conditions such as widespread wet insulation or loss of roof-system adhesion exist. Coatings might restore the roof's watertight nature in these situations for a short time. But factors such as the freezing and thawing of wet insulation, membrane splitting under the coating, wind-uplift damage at unadhered areas, and hail damage of weakened areas still can occur. In such cases, managers would be wiser to invest in a replacement roof system.

Preparation difficulties. Managers can use coatings to sustain roofs that have ponding issues or contaminant exposure, but coatings are not viable options for roofs with problems related to surface preparation. If workers cannot prepare surfaces so coatings will adhere properly, they should not apply a coating.

Reputable coating manufacturers can assist end users with construction of mock-ups and adhesion testing procedures during project planning to determine appropriate surface-preparation procedures, priming needs, and product selection. These procedures are always prudent if any questions exist about the ability of a coating system to bond to a given roof surface.

Rooftop solar panels. Based on an anticipated life of 20-25 years for solar panels, coating a roof before installing solar panels actually might increase the risk of requiring the roof to be recoated before the end of the solar panels' useful service life.


posted on 6/23/2012

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