Roof Coatings: Planning Projects that Perform
Part 1 of a four-part article on roof coatings
Ensuring the long-term performance of roof systems is a constant headache for maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities — and among their highest priorities. One leak can lead to thousands of dollars in damage and repairs and many hours of headaches.
“If you’re not familiar with a roof and there are several leaks, you may need to replace that roof,” says Lee Martucci with GAF. Unfortunately, manufacturers say that managers too often view roof coatings as a cure-all.
“Coatings are not a miracle in a bucket,” Martucci says. “Most coatings are designed to go over an existing membrane and are not the primary waterproofing membrane. Now, there are liquid-applied membrane systems that are fully reinforced and used as the primary waterproofing membrane. But I am referring to just coatings here.”
While roof coatings provide many benefits, managers must remember that coatings work best as part of an effective roof management program that includes careful specification, close attention to application methods, and an effective maintenance plan.
With so many different roofing systems and coatings available, it’s easy for managers to get overwhelmed when processing the avalanche of information. Manufacturers of roof coatings hear many questions from managers about the direction they should take when choosing the coating that meets their project needs. The answers to these questions can provide a framework for effective use of roof coatings.