Metal Roof Coatings Become More and More Populartrustone3
Metal Roof Coatings Become More and More Popular
The fastest growing segment of the roofing industry today is the sale and installation of metal roof coatings. The engineering of these acrylic polymers, which are sprayed onto roofs, are capturing the repair segment of the roofing market; they are beginning to corner the energy-efficiency retro-fit demand; and as word has spread owners are deciding to have their roof coated even if it’s not a problem, because they want to extend the life of their existing roof. Especially in the current economy, commercial building owners are deferring major capital expenditures in favor of surefire ways to keep using what they have. They consider a metal roof coating to be the next best thing to an entirely new roof, because it essentially lays a new one – in the form of an acrylic membrane – atop the old.
There are plenty of steel, aluminum and Galvalume roofs in the country. Building owners and managers, and also homeowners have found them to be practical and durable. Certainly the sheer amount of this roofing out there is a contributor to the growth in popularity of metal roof coatings, because as they age, metal can spring leaks and may come loose in a strong windstorm. The seams are especially problematic in terms of leaking.
Also fueling the growth is the number of roofing contractors adding the service to their lines of business. They consider it to be beautiful in its simplicity. Customers understand it immediately, roofers already have the crews and equipment to climb on roofs, and the major manufacturers of the polymers offer extensive training in how to apply them. There are a number of brands of metal roof coatings.
The primary reason for the growth in metal roof coatings is the fact that they take the sensible and well-liked steel and aluminum to a next level of durability and usefulness. When a roof is coated with a layer of protection, it protects against leaks and banishes oxidation (rust). When coatings were new, they were considered an innovation. Now owners of commercial, industrial, farm and ranch structures consider them completely reputable and dependable. Manufacturers DO continue to develop advances in the polymers, application techniques and have expanded the technology to other kinds of roofing.
The opportunity for energy efficiency completes the list of reasons owners cite. Most of the coatings are white or light colored. This transforms hot metal into what is called a “reflective” roof. That means instead of absorbing solar heat, 80-90% is reflected away. Government energy experts have determined that it can cut roof temperature dramatically. Actual infrared pictures of a half-coated roof show the untreated side radiating red (heat), while the treated side shines a cool blue. This means heat isn’t passing into a building interior, which radically reduces the cost of air conditioning. That’s why white metal roof coatings have earned the government’s ENERGY STAR® approval, and can qualify for LEED credits. The drop in utility usage can be so substantial that the roof begins paying for itself in savings. Various building owners calculate they can recoup the full cost in seven years or less by converting an energy-waster into an energy-saver.
The membrane is not simply spread over leaking, loose panels. The metal must be restored in order for it to serve as the foundation and bond with metal roof coatings. The surface is most often pressure washed to eliminate rust and grime. It is treated with a rust-proofing compound. Metal screws, a frequent source of leaks, are tightened and caulked. Then the attention turns to the seams, which are considered leaks waiting to happen. A base coat goes on each seam, a fabric sealer is applied atop that, then another base coat goes on, and finally the top coat is uniformly sprayed over the total surface. It dries into a seamless membrane. The materials carry a warranty of up to 12 years. Some of the products available carry a Class “A” fire-resistance rating.
Roofers point out that the time and expense required to tear off an old roof and replace it is significantly greater than the process of restoring metal and then applying metal roof coatings. It’s a fairly quick job that results in little disruption to customers, work or employees. At times one single person with a sprayer is all that is needed.