Five Things To Keep In Mind When Applying Roof Coating

Of all the many parts of a house, the roof is one of the most important. Not only does a roof keep out the elements, it represents nearly half (40 percent) of a home’s visual exterior and with such a high percentage, it plays a key role in a house’s overall aesthetics.

With a roof playing such an important role for a house, it’s important to keep it looking at and performing at its best.

Total roof replacement may be one option to consider, but there are many benefits to roof coating if you want to help extend the life of your existing roof. Benefits of roof coating, whether you’re doing flat roof coating or another type include:

  • Reduced cooling bills: Roof coatings that are ENERGY STAR-qualified can decrease the temperature in your home by 7-10 degrees by reflecting sunlight and UV rays. This helps lower the amount you might be spending to keep your home cool in the summer.
  • Longer life: Whether you use a flat roof coating or another type of coating, by using it you are helping to extend the life of your roof. It helps form a barrier between the elements of nature and the uppermost layers of whatever roofing material you have. Think of it as another layer of protection.
  • Versatility: Another benefit of roof coating is that different coatings can be used depending on the roofing surface you’ve got whether it’s a metal roof, an asphalt roof, a wood roof or a composite roof. Before applying anything, check your warranty from the manufacturer to see if any products you use may void it.
  • Keeping costs down: if you’re wishing to avoid a full-scale roof replacement, using the right coating can be a step in the right direction. Be sure to repair any small leaks or minor damage before using coating, but a coating system on your roof can save between 50 and 70 percent compared to replacing an entire roof.

If you’ve got a flat roof, there are many types of coating available:

  • Urethanes
  • Polyureas
  • Acrylic elastomers
  • Asphalt coatings
  • SPF

If you’re wondering what type of roofing materials work best with coating products, concrete roof decks are great candidates as are built-up roofing and modified bitumen roofing. Roofing material like gravel, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and some types of single-ply roofing can have coating applied, but it’s best to check warranties and manufacturers instructions.

Whatever type of coating you have, there are also some issues to deal with. Some of the most common issues are:

  • Blisters: When it comes to flat roof coating, blistering happens when moisture gets under the coating. If you’ve got a leaky roof, chances are there’s a great deal of moisture in some spots and it can become trapped very easily. Before you apply a flat roof coating like roofing tar, you want to make sure the surface you’re applying the coating to is dry.
  • Expectations with leaks: Some believe that coating equals sealant when it comes to preventing leaks. Generally speaking, many types of coating offer protection from the sun, but not necessarily from leaks. A coating provides a limited ability to stop leaks or fill cracks in an existing roof membrane. Many companies that sell different types of coating explicitly state their products don’t prevent leaks and if you have them, roof repairs should be done first.
  • Delamination: Before applying a flat roof coating like roofing tar, you want to make sure that your roof is not only dry, but that it’s also clean. A buildup of moisture, dirt and other debris can cause a roof to split into layers, or delaminize.
  • No reapplication: For flat roof coating like roofing tar other coatings, most of them have a service life of five years and must be reapplied to function as they should.
  • Not following instructions: Whether you’re dealing with moisture, delamination, leaks, temperature issues or something else, manufacturers have application requirements for different coatings and you want to make sure that you follow instruction for a specific coating like roofing tar to work properly.

There are many benefits to using roof coating and applying it can help extend the life of your roof if you wish to avoid repairs. Before you do anything, consider your roof’s material and manufacturers instructions to make sure you’re caring for it properly.

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