Protect your roof with a coating
Roofing is expensive for anyone, residential or commercial structure, but for a business in a commercial size structure, like a manufacturing plant or warehouse, it can be a budget bender. So, when it comes to a leaking roof, the owner or operations manager may choose to go with a roof coating vs replacement.
A roof coating to prevent leaks is common for commercial structures for many reasons One is the expense and while the other is the inconvenience that a roof replacement causes a business. In some cases, they must rope off some of the parking lots, reroute customers through a different door, or even close temporarily while the new roof is installed. With these issues being a possibility, roof coating is the preferred method.
How do you stop a flat roof from leaking?
As a commercial building owner or property manager, it is never good news to find you have a leak in your flat roof. When water is entering the structure through the roof, the possible hazards can be costly and dangerous. Then there is the concern of equipment, merchandise, and supplies being ruined, in addition to the damage that is happening to the building itself.
It is always best to call a professional roofing contractor familiar with commercial roof coating and repair, but sometimes, that repair needs to happen before the contractor can get there. The following steps will stop any leaking of a flat roof temporarily:
Step One: Clean the leaking area
Many times, a flat roof leaks from debris that has landed on it during high winds or storms that are blocking the water from following the grade and being redirected to the drains. Clean the leaking area up to a foot out from it as the preparation to repair the leak.
Step Two: Inspection
All flat roofs are not flat. They are constructed with a slight slope with drainage so that water will cascade down the subtle grade and into drains. The drains often become clogged and the water can’t drain properly. You can find out is lodged in the drains and blocking the water by knocking on them with your fist. If the sound is hollow, then the drains are clear. If the sound is dull, there is likely something lodged in there. You can unblock it with a high-pressure washer then make sure it all secured in place again.
Step Three: Flashing
Make sure that all the flashing is in place around all chimneys, HVAC and plumbing pipes or exhaust vents. The flashing should be bent around the base of these areas with a slight overlap. Use roofing nails to hold the flashing in place if it needs replacing. Flashing should be all along the roof edge and bent over the edge. If this is missing, replace it and if it is loose, it can be reattached with a clear epoxy sealant.
Step Four: Membrane
Cut and lay a rubber membrane over the leaking area and push the air pockets away with a roller. Apply membrane tape to the edges.
Does roof coating stop leaks?
Depending on how badly your flat roof is leaking, a silicone roof coating is the best solution. It is easier than making individual repairs and cheaper than getting a roof replacement. However, if there are just one or two places that are leaking, it may be easier and cheaper to have a roofing contractor climb up on the roof and make the repairs. This will give your flat roof a little longer lifespan until your budget is ready for a roof replacement.
How long do roof coatings last?
Based on long-term research and studies, history shows that applying roof coating on an existing roof can add another ten years to the roof. There are conditions such as climate and environment that can affect that lifespan, such as maintenance and foot traffic from HVAC and plumbing contractors.
What is the best roof coating?
When costs and environment are a concern, a roof coating is usually perfect for commercial properties. A roof coating is somewhat of a barrier that protects the roof from the climate and elements. Benefits of a roof coating are many, with the following being the most important:
- UV ray protection
- Reduction in energy costs
- Limits contraction and expansion
Some roof coating materials are better for preventing ponding water. The types of roof coating to choose from are:
- Acrylic roof coating: A water-based solution that is cost-effective and good for most climates. Highly reflective and UV resistant, it is a contractors’ first choice because it is easy to work with. A downside of this roof coating is it wears down with weathering and must be applied at a certain temperature range. It does not do well with water ponding.
- Polyurethane roof coating: Polyurethanes have high impact resistance and can withstand foot traffic. The aromatic version is the least expensive but is not UV resistant. Makes a good base coat and strengthens the topcoat, making it durable, it resists water ponding. The aliphatic version is more expensive, and is UV stable, holds its color well, and stays cleaner.
- Silicone roof coating: Silicone roof coating is moisture cured and a humid environment helps it cure. Primer is usually not needed with this roof coating. It doesn’t get brittle or hard and can withstand water ponding. It holds dirt and the rain can wear the UV reflective off. It cannot be applied a previous roof coating, meaning the old roof coating must be removed before applying it, which makes it more expensive to have installed.
How often should you coat a flat roof?
Unless your flat roof has had gravel applied to it, it should have a roof re-coating every 2 to 4 years. Annually, have a visual inspection of your flat roof to make sure there are no possible issues going on that could be fixed before they become a major problem. Roof coating is one of the best ways, money and time, to fix any possible cracks or leak issues. When you need a roof coating done and you don’t have a specific roofing contractor, interview two or three and get written quotes. Ask for proof of their certification, insurance, and licensing. Ask for recent references and for pictures of the roof coating before and after for those jobs. Call (719) 368-7654 today for your roof coating in Colorado Springs, CO.