Cold-applied roof coatings are generally economical, tested and proven to have a long performance life, versatile, and easy to use. When applied in a roofing system, they not only protect and reinforce the integrity of the roof they also seal and conserve the roof.
Roof coatings are available spanning a vast range of properties and consistencies targeted to satisfy a multitude of purposes. Low viscosity, non-fibrous coatings are formulated as penetrating primers and moisture-resistant coatings. Medium viscosity, fibrous and non-fibrous coatings are formulated as commercial, industrial, and residential ply adhesives and top coatings. These coatings can be mixed with pigments to enhance reflective properties thus developing a more resilient, energy-efficient roof. Highly viscous, heavily fibrous coatings are formulated to adhere waterproofing membranes and components as well as for patching and repairing leaks and holes.
There are numerous alternatives available for low-sloped roofing. However, building owners have often faced uncertainty in selecting the best system. A long-term, economical roofing solution often overlooked is acrylic roof coatings. Building owners and facility managers nationwide are realizing the lasting benefits of elastomeric roof coatings. These durable, liquid coatings prolong the life of the existing roof. Many white-coated roofs exist today due to excellent adhesion and high solar reflectance lasting more than 20 years after initial application.
White coatings generally reflect up to 90% of the sun’s rays while absorbing only 5% of the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, protecting the roof beneath. Darker pigmented coatings generally reflect less UV rays. Pigments are usually used to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a roof. Aluminum coatings use an asphalt-type resin with “leafing” aluminum flakes, or flakes that are drawn to the surface of the coating due to specialized coatings. This effect creates a continuous aluminum surface that protects the asphalt layer from UV rays while reflecting up to 50% of the sun’s rays though only emitting low levels of infrared energy.
UV degradation and visible light from the sun repeatedly impinge upon the outermost surface layers of roofing systems, accelerating oxidation and causing the existing system to become brittle. As if these challenges weren’t enough, rain, snow, sleet and hail further compound roof destruction through erosion, expansion and contraction forces, and mechanical impact. Reflecting sunlight has an immediate effect; namely, lowering roof temperatures. And since chemical reactions often increase exponentially with temperature, a roof with a good reflective coating will not deteriorate as quickly as one with no coating.
An elastomeric roof coating creates a uniform, seamless surface that remains flexible even at low temperatures. It expands and contracts with changing weather conditions, protecting a roof’s surface from the sun’s damaging rays. This enables the coating to handle the continuous thermal stresses over the lifetime of the roof. Its adhesion characteristics enable the coating to remain attached to the roof in wet or extremely windy conditions. Such a coating employs technology to resist dirt pick-up and help maintain energy-saving reflectance qualities, as well as a bright, clean appearance.
Applying a roof coating on top of a conventional roofing system can act as a shield against the forces of nature. This protective coating can increase a roof’s expected life cycle and improve a building’s energy efficiency. It can help roofs resist baking by the sun’s radiation, as well as chemical attack, and it can prevent the formation of small cracks that otherwise collect dirt and chemicals and grow into larger cracks. The underlying roof might provide excellent moisture resistance in the event of rain, but a coating often is essential to protect this waterproofing agent against other forms of erosion and degradation.