How to Prevent Roof Coating Problemstrustone3
How to Prevent Roof Coating Problems
For industrial, commercial, and institutional buildings, roof coatings provide a wide range of benefits from added protection for the building and its contents and extending the life of a roof to improving its performance and lowering its cooling load. Still, as with any aspect of your roof’s structure, roof coatings experience wear and tear that will ultimately compromise their integrity. As such, it is important to learn about the most common problems that affect roof coatings, their specifications, and uses. With insight about these problems, property or maintenance managers can prevent the degradation of roof coatings and address problems as they arise. This article will focus on acrylic coatings, but you’ll also get some useful information about asphalt, styrene ethylbutlyene styrene (SEBS), emulsions, and other typical coatings.
One common misconception is that because roof coatings extend the life of a roof, they also eliminate the need for regular maintenance. In fact, yearly maintenance and structural repairs will still be required, even for roofs with the most durable coatings. Unfortunately, some roofs pose significant challenges to regular maintenance; roofs with wet insulation, those with decks that have rot or corrosion, or roofs with an eroded existing membrane are not the best candidates for coating applications. So, even though a roof coating generally extends the lifespan of aging roof systems, you should not consider coatings as an alternative to regular maintenance or servicing of your roof.
If your roof has failed flashings and boots, warped edge metal, missing cants, or separated seams, you’ll want to replace the original assembly or repair that particular roof structure using original materials. If you have more advanced repairs, a high-tensile, fabric-reinforced, or other specialized coating may be an effective solution. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that coatings are intended to improve the service life of an underlying roof, not as a solution to roof problems.
Also, you need to ensure proper surface preparation if you want to experience the full benefits of your roof coating. Experts generally recommend solvent-based materials as they are more durable than water-based products, especially if the coating is applied over loose scale, chalk, or debris. When a coating fails because of inadequate surface preparation, the effects will be permanent. As such, you should test the state of the roof surface before applying roof coatings.
For some roofs, a simple duct tape test can tell you a lot about the roof membrane. Just put the tape on the surface of the roof, and if loose material adheres to the tape, the substrate is best suited to a solvent-based basecoat. On concrete roofs, you should conduct a water-drop test. If water beads on the surface, water-based materials will likely not bond. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your coating will be properly bonded to provide the best possible protection.