Thursday, June 21, 2012

Explaining the three types of roof coatings

There are three general categories of roof coatings including traditional, reflective and maintenance.

Traditional roof coatings have been used for decades and are designed to be compatible chemically with the existing roof system. By protecting it from direct exposure to UV light, water and other weather elements, traditional coatings extend the servicable life of the existing roof.

Reflective roof coatings also protect the roof from exposure to sunlight and weathering, but with the added benefit of reflecting infrared heat. Even small reductions in roof surface temperature significantly extends the life of the existing roof, especially for well-insulated roof systems which get hotter because heat is retained on the roof surface.

Reflective coatings come in water-based white acrylic roof coatings and reflective aluminum asphalt. Acrylic roof coatings reduce infrared heat absorption in the roof membrane, helping to reduce the internal temperature of uninsulated buildings. This saves on cooling costs.

Water-based white acrylics must be selected carefully. For example, to use a white coating on an asphalt roof, you must specify a coating formulated specifically for asphalt. More so than other coatings, water-based white acrylics are not intended for use in standing water. If a roof has a tendency to pond, the roofing contractor should first fill the depressions where ponded water accumulates before applying an acrylic coating. Their application also is limited to emulsion surfaces, and they should not be applied at temperatures below 45 degrees. For a gravel roof, the recommendations of the manufacturer should be followed. Finally, the curing time should not be underestimated: Water-based coatings can require from six to 48 hours of cure time before the roof can be exposed to rain or cold temperatures. It is crucial that the instructions on the label are followed.

Reflective aluminum-asphalt coatings use aluminum flakes in an asphalt matrix. Although they do retain a bit more infrared heat than white coatings, they can be applied on a variety of substrates including metal, single-ply and built-up roofs. Either type of coating can be used on unpainted metal roofs, but only the aluminum-asphalt roof coatings will allow the roof to retain its metallic appearance.

Maintenance membranes use a combination of coating material and reinforcing fabric. The membranes are used either as a short-term effort to stabilize a roof that might be compromised and eventually will need to be replaced, or as a longer-term solution that can extend the life of the roof five to 15 years. But simply applying coatings is not the same as applying a complete maintenance system.

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Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |

Monday, June 11, 2012

EPDM roof restoration coating systems [+video]

EPDM is a black synthetic rubber single-ply roofing system that is typically mechanically fastened to the roof deck with screws and plates. They are sometimes covered with a layer of gravel or ballasted rock.

Some of the problems with EPDM roofs include moisture gain under the membrane itself, poor self-attachment at the seams and around pipes and other fixtures, UV radiation causing sealants to dry out and crumble, tenting, and punctures.

Because they are black, EPDM absorbs a significant amount of solar heat energy. This negatively influences the material chemistry and leads to accelerated weathering of the membrane. As the processing oils leach out, it becomes less elastic, less flexible, thins out, begins to shrink, and tears and punctures more easily, ultimately causing the roof to leak.

Applying a white roof coating to a new or existing EPDM roof reduces the heat load on the membrane and the building, and significantly prolongs the roof system's service life.

The Environmental Protection Agency, along with legislation in states such as California, Georgia, Texas, and Illinois and several local building codes are now mandating low-slope roofs have an initial and aged solar reflectance that meets ENERGYSTAR® criteria.

Black EPDM membranes have less than 10% solar reflectance, causing the roof to exceed 150 degrees. This is significantly below the minimum required initial solar reflectance of at least 65% for new roofs.

White roof coatings have an initial solar reflectance of 80% or higher, keeping the roof surface near ambient temperature to reduce your energy bills. Coatings also reflect UV rays, which protects the membrane oils, preserves elasticity & flexibility, and provides a protective barrier - all contributing to fewer leaks, extended service life, and reduced life cycle cost of your roof.

Recent improvements in coating adhesion technology in addition to the need for enhanced solar reflectance have created an even greater opportunity for home and building owners to have restoration coating systems installed, avoiding tear-off and replacement of aged EPDM roofs.

So before you replace your aged EPDM roof, consider getting a quote from a professional roofing contractor who specializes in EPDM roof restoration coatings for a more affordable, more energy efficient, more environmentally friendly, more sustainable, and faster-to-install alternative to re-roofing.

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Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |

Monday, June 4, 2012

How a built-up roof ages and how to fix it

Asphalt is a waterproofing agent and adhesive used in built-up roof systems used in new construction successfully for decades, with approximately a 40% percent market share in the roofing industry.

The asphalt that is used in built-up systems provides an excellent water barrier, but asphalt is also highly subject to degradation from exposure to the sun, hardening progressively when exposed to roof temperatures. This deterioration occurs with all asphalt-based components, including cap sheets, saturated felts, and asphalt moppings.

Normal changes in temperature cause the underlying asphalt to expand. Since the asphalt skin can't stretch to accommodate for the movement, random cracking begins to relieve the stress and fresh asphalt is exposed. Over time, that fresh asphalt within the cracks forms a new skin which then eventually cracks in the same line again due to temperature changes, leaving a slightly deeper depression. This process repeats itself over-and-over until the crack lines grow deep and into the felts, ultimately allowing water to infiltrate the building, causing leaks.

The best thing you can do for your built-up roof is to protect the asphalt waterproofing component from the effects of exposure to heat and sunlight, such as a white elastomeric cool roof restoration coating like the ones manufactured by Conklin Company.

Please watch this short video to learn more about built-up roof restoration coating systems:

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Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |