Out of sight out of mind means, as a building owner or operator, you probably don’t think about your roof very much. As long as nothing is leaking, then everything is fine, right? The answer could be no. By the time you’ve noticed water in your building, you’ve probably been living with a damaged roof for a long time and not known.
A comprehensive roof inspection program will help you identify potential issues before they become expensive problems. A neglected roof can mean damaged membranes, moldy insulation and even structural damage. When that happens, you may have no other option but a disruptive and costly full tear-off and replace to remediate the mess.
But if you’re proactive, modern roofing solutions are available that will help you extend the life of your roof — and protect your wallet. Roof coating products can last for decades and will keep your building safe from unwanted leaks and damage.
However, roof coatings come with some questions. Here are a few you may be thinking right now:
When should I replace vs. coat my commercial roof?
By conducting regular roof inspections, you’ll be able to identify potential damage and deficiencies before they start to impact your building’s structure and interior. The expense of a full tear-off and replace can far exceed the cost of a proper roof maintenance program. You want to get the maximum life out of your roof, but don’t wait so long to address potential issues that you wind up paying for it.
Aren’t roof coatings just a band-aid?
Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s a temporary solution or a quick fix sold by an inexperienced contractor. Emulsion Based Fluid Applied Reinforced Roof (FARR) systems are more than just a coating.
They have been used successfully for over 50 years and many systems are now approved by FM Global for impact resistance or hail. Liquid roofs or coatings that are not reinforced might be a temporary solution but with good planning, they can become part of a long term one. Polyester adds strength to coatings similar to what rebar does for concrete.
What types of roofs can roof coating systems go over?
They can virtually go over any kind of roof. However, they are not usually a good answer for tile or shingle where they may interfere with the actual design and function of those materials.
There are many kinds of roof coatings. How do I decide which one is best for my roof?
This is a long answer based on many different factors, including the condition of your existing roof, your building use, your location, climate and budget. You could consider any number of roof coatings including asphalt emulsion, acrylic or silicone.
How much maintenance do I need to do to stay under warranty and protect my investment?
While regular maintenance also maintains your warranty, certain types of roof work and installing particular equipment can also void it. Make sure you know how to protect your investment and understand what the rules are since they vary greatly by manufacturer and contractor. As a rule of thumb, always notify the installing roofing contractor when any alterations have been made to the roof such as HVAC or vents.
Get the Answers
The complete answers to these and many other questions about roofs and roof coatings are available in our new downloadable: Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Coatings Answered. Western Colloid tackles answers to questions about protecting your building’s ventilation during roofing projects, roof coatings in cold climates, managing roofing projects in occupied buildings and much more.
To get all the answers you’re looking for, download our guide: Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Coatings Answered.