Roof coatings are one of the most effective, least costly options available to save money and energy in existing institutional and commercial buildings. Properly specified and applied, these products can add an extra level of waterproofing protection and prolong the service life of a roof, and a solar-reflective coating can even provide energy savings in the form of reduced cooling costs.
When determining whether a roof coating would be an effective investment for a
facility, maintenance and engineering managers need to keep in mind five possible pitfalls identified by the members of the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), the national trade association representing manufacturers of cold-applied asphaltic and reflective coatings.
Roof coatings can be an excellent solution for extending the service life of a roof, but they are not a magical fix for roof systems that are compromised or need replacement.
To maximize the investment in a roof coating, managers first need to ensure the roof system is viable. The typical approach for this determination includes conducting an infrared scan to search for leaks or wet insulation, says Jason Smith, senior research and development chemist with the Garland Co.
All identified wet areas must be cut out and replaced.
“In all cases, flashings surrounding scuppers, drains, penetrations and HVAC units need to be sealed, re-flashed, and replaced if damaged, and all ridging, blisters, splits and fishmouths must be repaired,” Smith says. Only once technicians have addressed these pre-existing issues can the roof be coated.
Roof Coatings Aim To Protect And Repair Roofs, Not Replace Them
Existing Conditions May Diminish Roof Coating's Effectiveness
Success of Roof Coating Relies on Proper Adhesion
Beware Potential Roof Coating Application Problems