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Roofs are exposed to a variety of environmental stressors on a daily basis, such as ultraviolet rays, pollution, and weather. When roofing materials begin to break down and allow water to penetrate, costly damages and unhappy tenants can result if the problem is not addressed immediately. Fortunately for the building owner, modern manufacturing technology has produced roof coating systems that are used to restore an existing roof, rather than replacing it. Coating systems have multiple benefits including lower installation cost, sustainability, durability and flexibility. Roof coating systems are seamless membranes that are applied across the roof surface, flashings and penetrations to fully seal and waterproof the roof, according to said David Bade, owner of St. Louis-based Bade Roofing Company. When applied per the manufacturer's tested specifications, the coating becomes a monolithic membrane so there are no seams or flashing splices that are susceptible to failure. Roof coatings are designed for a variety of substrates including: asphalt, concrete, modified bitumen, EPDM, Hypalon, TPO, PVC, metal and spray polyurethane foam. Today’s elastomeric roof coatings are designed to be flexible, which allow the coating to expand and contract during temperature fluctuations. "Roof coatings are not new to the industry," said Bade. "But demand for more economical roofing solutions and improved manufacturing technology have made coatings a truly viable option." Modern manufacturing processes and installation techniques have given coating manufactures the ability to offer warranties that were never thought possible in years past. Today, roof coating systems can come with a minimum two-year warranty, all the way up to a 20-year warranty. Other forces that have led to the coatings trend are more stringent environmental regulations and building codes and the desire for sustainability. "Roof restoration using a coating system can save the owner 50-70 percent when compared to replacing the entire roof," said Bade. "With a roof restoration, owners avoid the cost of tearing off the existing roof, purchasing new materials and paying labor fees to replace the existing roof. Not to mention the environmental impact that roofing materials have when disposed in a landfill.” Another benefit of roof coatings is that they can be applied quickly, with no disruption to a building's occupants and without having to shut down the business. Applying a roof coating creates minimal noise and low odor as well. Roof coatings generally take 8-24 hours to thoroughly dry, depending on the weather conditions. Fast-setting coatings are also available that resist early wash-off associated with light rain and heavy dew. In order to maintain their beneficial properties, some coating systems should be re-coated every 10 years,according to Bade. Ultraviolet rays and the sun's heat are the leading causes of roof damage. Exposure can result in cracks, tears, splits and loss of flexibility. Highly reflective/white roof coatings are available that reflect the sun's heat away from the building, protect the roof from premature aging and drying, and keep the air temperature inside the building at a cooler temperature so less air conditioning and utilities are used.