Why We Really Love Emulsion – A Roofing Love Story

Emulsion heals a multitude of sins on a roof.

It really is the go-to answer that has been allowing us to re-store a gravel roofs for years. When you remove the gravel from a built-up asphalt roof it is heavily damaged.  Emulsion allows you to level out the surface, without completely removing the existing roof.

Western Colloid has long been a pioneer and innovator of asphalt emulsion, (and acrylic based roof systems), that are eco-friendly and can be applied over many existing roofs.  The proof is in the pudding!  Just take a look at the fun looking shot courtesy of RoofCare US in New Mexico.

When you combined Emulsion’s waterproofing properties with strength of a polyester membrane and high emissivity and reflectivity of the energy efficient acrylic topcoats, such as Western Colloid’s #720 ARC ElastaHyde, the systems will also improve your building’s energy efficiency.

Roof coatings have been thought of for many years as temporary fixes, or a way to squeeze a few more years out of an aging roof system. Western Colloid has challenged that perception by creating an asphalt emulsion-based system that is rapidly becoming the roof system of choice for owners, specifiers and architects.


More owners are seeking environmentally friendly roof systems that are cost-conscious and will perform for many years. Western Colloid’s asphalt emulsion-based system is very kind to the environment because it has no solvents or added chemicals. Emulsion is made with just three ingredients – asphalt, water and clay.

Another reason it is becoming so appealing to building owners, architects and specifiers is that it has zero VOCs, no fumes and little to no odor. It is applied at ambient temperatures and there is little to no impact to occupants of buildings where they system is being installed. No ventilation is required, HVAC systems can remain operational and business won’t need to be paused or interrupted.

Most of the Western Colloid asphalt emulsion-based systems have FM 4470 Class 1 approvals, ensuring that these systems have been tested by the highest standards for durability.

What Exactly Is Asphalt Emulsion?

Western Colloid #298 asphalt emulsion consists of asphalt, bentonite clay and water which are emulsified utilizing a colloid mill. The emulsifying process breaks down the ingredients to molecule size, resulting in a uniform, stable waterproofing compound.

The company developed a proprietary manufacturing process that blends it into a water-based product that can be applied to over just about any type of existing roof including built-up roof systems, modified-bitumen, TPO, EPDM, Hypalon and coal tar pitch.

Western Colloid’s #298 asphalt emulsion roof coating is non-flammable, non-fibrous and virtually odorless. It effectively seals all cracks and seams in your existing roofing system.

Advantages of Asphalt Emulsion Systems

There are many advantages to using asphalt emulsion systems. These include:

·      It’s economical, which means you can build it up to the correct thickness you need without wasting extra money.

·      It has UL and FM ratings.

·      It’s a water-based system, so you don’t have to worry about fumes disrupting your tenants.

·      It’s seamless, tough and flexible.

·      It can be used to repair your damaged roof without having to tear it off, causing major disruptions to your tenants and business.

·      Fluid applied monolithic membrane means there are no seams and water cannot travel underneath it.

·      It comes with renewable manufacturer warranties.

·      It doesn’t require flame or heat during the application, so there’s no fumes or danger to the occupants or persons repairing the roof.

·      It contains polyester or chopped fiberglass in its makeup which reinforces its strength.

·      It will last longer than your original roof and is able to be upgraded indefinitely, so you never have to worry about needing to tear-off your existing roof.

·      With energy-saving reflective coatings the systems will meet and exceed LEED requirements.

When to Use Asphalt Emulsion Coating Systems?

If you are looking to extend the life of your existing BUR, Modified Bitumen, Coal Tar Pitch, TPO, EPDM, Hypalon or Gravel roof an asphalt emulsion fluid applied reinforced system has many proven benefits. In general, the roof should be structurally sound.  Minor issues with deck and moisture can be repaired but if the overall roof is compromised a tear off and replace may be your only option. Your roof should be inspected by an expert in the field to determine whether your roof qualifies. With an overlay of a fluid applied asphalt emulsion system and minor maintenance the life span of your roof can be extended indefinitely.

For more information on fluid applied asphalt emulsion roof systems and how to use them at your facility, visit Western Colloid’s specification pages and look for the systems with #298 Emulsion listed.