Home > News > Top Six Common Mistakes in Roof Coating Systems Installation Aka Developing Good Habits!
mistakes in roof coating

Top Six Common Mistakes in Roof Coating Systems Installation Aka Developing Good Habits!

Thinking all coatings are the same.  Different products have different application methods, tools, handling and set up times.  Treat each different product line as its own animal.  Western Colloid’s systems are different (easier) than the rest and if you follow our lead, we can be a profitable and hassle-free solution.

The Roof is Not Ready.

A successful roof project is kind of like painting a house.  You must sand and prep the facia, protect the ground, and mask the windows, then you can get to the fun part. Same with roofs. Develop good habits and your roof life will be smoother! Even though production is what we want to do.  Having to stop and work around equipment is a huge waste of time. It might be a week of prep work for one day of actual roofing but it’s worth it for a quality job.

Make Your Mess First.

The last thing you want to do is come to a screeching halt to figure out how to work around a pipe or piece of equipment.  Plus, then you might make a dirty mess on your newly installed section of roof.  Clean up your drains in advance. If you have mastic built up at the scuppers, chip, chisel all that away with a hammer and a pry bar and then repair with a recommended specification with mastic and ply’s to tie it into the rest of the installation. Cut out and repair big blisters and buckles for smooth transition.

Address equipment that’s on a sleeper. It’s a mistake to think you are just going to install a ply underneath.  If you haven’t gotten the equipment loose and cleaned correctly underneath prior to installation you are going to slow down the job and get dirt and debris on the new roof.  Not to mention you will have poor adhesion on a dirty surface.

Loosen up the pipe stands. Often, they are glued down, and the pipes are unmovable. If it is stuck grab a spud shovel and break it loose. Be prepared that some of the roof might come up with it, along with dirt and debris.  Do you want to be paying 3 guys to stand around when someone repairs this? Please do all this ahead of time.

Not Reinforcing Ponding Areas and Waterways.

Part of all Western Colloid specifications is the reinforced acrylic requirement in all the ponding areas, spots, waterways. Please realize how valuable that is. If not, please think about the time it takes to go fix it later. Those unprotected ponding areas are at risk for delamination and for peeling down the road. It might not leak but you’re putting the whole system at risk, not to mention it looks bad.

Think about the cost and time to make that repair later.  You’re talking about hours of washing with brooms and cleaners and pressure washers or hoses at a minimum. And then, loading the roof with new repair supplies and then making the repairs.  What could have taken you an extra hour during installation has now turned into a 2-day project.

Not Planning for Repairs.

On every building there is a chance of an addition that will effect the roof. Every roof system will have a contingency for when you cut in a skylight, put in a new A/C unit or you want to add solar. It could be as simple as just putting a piece of conduit but you’re going to drill a hole and put a pipe through the roof.  Before you choose your roofing system think about “what if?”

For example, take a TPO repair. You will take brand new piece of TPO and glue it to an eight-year-old TPO. Can you assume it will adhere correctly? Silicone is difficult also. The only thing you can repair silicone with is silicone, and sometimes that still won’t adhere. With Western Colloid water-based elastomeric products, we can go back in five years, 10 years, 20 years. Clean it good, dry and the new acrylic is going to bond to the old acrylic with without fail.

The beauty of these systems is not only can the entire roof be renewed, if anything comes up along the way, with the proper repair or reconditioning, you get the same watertight roof again. It’s what contractors love about it.

Understanding That Emulsion is a Dirty Business

Once the emulsion starts flowing you don’t want to have other tasks lingering because the emulsion will track everywhere. Complete the emulsion work, paying close attention to detail, then get the emulsion tools and hoses cleaned up and put away, not to mention your clothes and shoes. Think to yourself, is there anything on this roof that is going to stop me from being able to being able to finish all the emulsion work once we start?

Bonus Tip

Keep Your Tools Clean

We recommend your crews wear gloves. They are easy to put on, easy to take off, and provide you with some safety. But you wear them for doing coating work, not for going and grabbing anything else on the roof. When working with coatings get in the habit of taking off the gloves before grabbing equipment.

For example, you might tell a team member that you need a blower, the broom, and the shovel. And they go get it. Say they’ve been doing emulsion and they go grab all these other tools. Now they just got emulsion all over the brand-new blower.   Now is the time to teach your crews good habits.

For more of these great insights please see our FARR Best Practices page with Videos, Podcast, Articles and Resources.  Let’s get out there and be productive!