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Working with a quality roofing manufacturer, roofing professional, or contractor is critical in selecting roof coatings. Selecting the most appropriate product, observing the proper installation, and properly maintaining the system enhances and extends its performance. Among the essential specification issues are these:
Product compatibility. Is the specific product designed for use over the substrate? Many products are versatile, but just as many cannot be used over certain substrates. Make sure the roof system is compatible and acceptable.
Substrate condition. Not all roofs are candidates for restoration or coating. A proper roof inspection can reveal issues that might lead to ultimate failure. Coating a roof with wet insulation typically is a recipe for disaster. Always make necessary repairs. Then coat the roof.
Pre-installation inspection. Make sure the substrate is clean and ready for application. Dirt, debris and moisture can lead to product failure through interruption of full cure, causing coating delamination or blistering.
Installation observation. In-house maintenance staff can install many roof coatings, but some require application by professional installers. Working with quality contractors and roofing professionals is critical to success.
Design. Ponding water and poor slope can lead to product failure due to poor adhesion or compound failure. Workers should address standing with additional slope or drainage.
Maintenance. Conducting annual roof inspections by in-house staff or roofing professionals, as well as performing necessary roof maintenance, can significantly extend the life of a roof system and reduce the chance of a major expense or damage from water intrusion.
History has proven that roof coatings can extend the life of a new or existing roof. As with all building components, roofs suffer the ravages of time and environmental exposure. Coatings can add a renewable layer of protection and a layer of waterproofing to extend the life of the underlying substrates.
Extending performance is the proper definition of sustainability. New initiatives in the understanding of cool-roofing technology benefits have made roof coatings an ideal energy friendly solution. Through proper design, material selection, installation, and maintenance, roof coatings can provide an economical way to enhance and extend roof performance.
This article was prepared by the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association.
The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) is the national trade association representing manufacturers of cold-applied coatings and repair products for roofing and waterproofing. RCMA is dedicated to advancing the roof coatings industry by sharing product knowledge and technology to keep members and their customers up to date with trends, regulations, and building and energy codes. Working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the RCMA will host the International Roof Coatings Conference on July 16-19 in Baltimore. For information, contact RCMA at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.roofcoatings.org.