Roof Coatings: Three Myths

  February 14, 2017

By Dan Hounsell

Many maintenance and engineering managers have been misled about fluid-applied roof coating systems and have developed a series of myths and misconceptions as a result. These misconceptions often are far-fetched, and some are even the result of misleading salespeople. For all of these reasons, it is important that managers address their myths and misconceptions by better understanding important issues related to coating specification, installation and maintenance.

Myth: Coatings Don’t Work
Yes, roof coatings work. When installed properly, some fluid-applied systems are as good as or even better than the original roof. On commercial low-slope roofs, the ultraviolet (UV) stability of systems silicone coating systems are unmatched. For durability, urethane coating systems have stood the test of time and have proven able to withstand ponding water when applied appropriately.

Myth: Anyone Can Install a Coating
This is not true. Most manufacturers require that their contractors be approved to install their coating systems. While there might be a material warranty for the stuff in the bucket, to get a labor and material warranty, the manufacturer should approve the contractor. The approval process varies by manufacturer, so managers need to ask the contractor for a certificate and verify with the manufacturer that the desired warranty is available from the chosen contractor.

Myth: Warranties Do Not Matter
Managers have to be careful when it comes to warranties. Read the fine print, and ask questions. The investment in the roof coating needs to last as long as possible, so managers have to understand the warranty process, including the costs for a leak or a failure, before signing the contract. Paying attention to the details can prevent long-term, costly headaches.

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This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com. To read about strategies for comprehensive roof inspections, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/15979FMD.


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