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Elastomeric Roof Coatings - Washington DC & Virginia

What is the purpose of Elastomeric Roof Coatings? Elastomeric roof coatings offer excellent protection for your roof, potentially extending its lifespan by up to twenty years with a full No Dollar Limit warranty. All of this for a fraction of the cost of a full roof replacement. The most common types of elastomeric roof coatings are silicone, asphalt, polyurethane, and acrylic. These roof coatings are typically applied using a spray method or with a rollers, with several gallons used per 100 square feet to ensure thorough sealing. It's important to note that elastomeric roof coatings are not the same as paint. While both are liquids, there are significant differences between them. Read below for a full guide on what you need to know before making a decision.

Complete Guide To Elastomeric Roof Coatings

silicone roof coating

Are Elastomeric Roof Coatings Cost Effective?

Elastomeric roof coatings can provide a cost-effective alternative to a full roof replacement. When a roof shows signs of wear, damage, or leaks, many people assume they have to go through the expensive process of replacing the entire structure. However, using elastomeric coatings can add up to 20 years to the lifespan of the roof while solving common roofing problems. The material cost for elastomeric roof coatings is often significantly less than that for a full roof replacement, and because they can be applied directly over the existing roof, there are savings in labor costs reduced waste, and occupant inconvenience. In addition, these white coatings can also provide energy efficiency benefits by reflecting sunlight, potentially lowering cooling costs. Given the considerable savings in materials, labor, and energy, elastomeric roof coatings often represent a wise financial choice for those looking to maintain the integrity and function of their roof.

Table of Contents

spraying gaco silicone


1. What is the purpose of Elastomeric Roof Coatings?

Elastomeric roof coatings offer excellent protection for your roof, potentially extending its lifespan by up to twenty years. The most common types of elastomeric roof coatings are silicone, asphalt, polyurethane, and acrylic. These coatings are typically applied using a roller or spray method, with several gallons used per 100 square feet to ensure thorough sealing. It's important to note that elastomeric roof coatings are not the same as paint. While both are liquids, there are significant differences between them.

Elastomeric roof coatings are superior to paint for several reasons:

  1. They are thicker than paint.
  2. They are specifically formulated to safeguard roofs against harsh weather conditions, such as excessive water, wind, and UV light.
  3. They utilize high-quality resin to provide elasticity.
  4. They effectively seal minor cracks and seams in the roof.
  5. Elastomeric roof coatings are environmentally friendly and can insulate the roof, helping to maintain an ideal temperature inside the building during extreme weather conditions.

2. Preparation for Roof Coating Application

commercial roof preparation for spraying

Elastomeric roof coatings can be applied to various types of roofing materials. However, some preparation work is necessary to ensure optimal effectiveness. Before applying an elastomeric coating, the roof should be thoroughly cleaned. Additionally, a comprehensive inspection should be carried out to identify any existing damage. It's essential to address significant repairs before relying solely on roof coatings for protection. Concrete, masonry, gypsum, block, brick, and metal surfaces require a coat of primer before the roof coating is applied. The roof must be completely clean and dry prior to applying the primer. Consulting an expert may be necessary to determine the most suitable type of primer for the specific project and roof substrate.

3. Types of Elastomeric Roof Coatings

Silicone Roof Coatings Silicone roof coatings provide numerous advantages, including 100% waterproofing, long-lasting durability, and minimal maintenance requirements. Silicone is highly resistant to the elements, effectively preventing UV damage and maintaining waterproofing properties. With its quick curing time, silicone coatings are well-suited for application just before severe weather conditions.

Silicone roof coatings are suitable for various surfaces, including:

  1. Polyurethane foam
  2. EPDM
  3. TPO
  4. Aged PVC
  5. Aged Acrylic Coatings
  6. Concrete
  7. Granulated Modified Bitumen Roofs
  8. Asphalt Built-up Roofs (BUR)
  9. Metal

Silicone coatings are the ideal choice when:

  1. There are 1 to 2 layers of existing roofing
  2. Water accumulation/ponding is a concern on your roof
  3. Your roof has complex features that may pose challenges for traditional membrane roofing methods (such as numerous HVAC systems and lines)

Acrylic Roof Coatings Acrylic roof coatings exhibit exceptional durability and provide high UV stability. They are highly flexible, making them a preferred option for buildings located in low-temperature environments.

Acrylic roof coatings can be used on the following materials:

  1. Modified bitumen
  2. Smooth asphalt built-up roofs
  3. EPDM
  4. PVC
  5. TPO

Acrylic coatings are the best choice when:

  1. Budget constraints are a factor
  2. Water accumulation/ponding is not a concern on your roof
  3. Your metal roof has minimal or no rust

Rubber Roof Coatings Also fall into the acrylic category but differ in a few notable ways. Liquid rubber roof coatings are ideal for metal roofs, as they can be applied over mildly rusty surfaces. They require fewer coats compared to acrylic paints.

SEBS Roof Coatings Styrene Ethylbutlyene Styrene (SEBS) Coatings are specifically designed for metal roofs. These coatings offer a highly reflective surface, helping to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the building while providing maximum protection against UV rays. SEBS roof coatings are waterproof, capable of accommodating building movement, possess high tensile strength to withstand roof traffic, and are made with antioxidants and light stabilizers to prolong the lifespan of the roof. They are particularly suitable for use on rusty metal roofs, effectively preventing corrosion.

SEBS coatings are the best choice when

  1. You have a metal roof, especially if it exhibits rusting
  2. You have a metal roof in a cold climate (note that the coating cannot be applied in freezing temperatures)

4. Important Points about Roof Coating Application

defective flat roof

  1. Coatings alone are not a solution for a leaky roof. While elastomeric roof coatings can cover small cracks and seams, they should not be considered a substitute for repairing a leaky roof. If your roof has areas of deterioration or leaks, it is essential to hire a professional roofing repair company to address the underlying issues. A roof coating may offer temporary relief but won't fix serious problems.
  2. Repair the existing roofing system before applying a coating. Before applying a roof coating, it is advisable to have your roof inspected. The inspection should not only identify visible signs of problems but also determine the root cause. If your roof has leaks or damage, it must be repaired using appropriate materials to ensure complete water tightness. Once the roof is in excellent condition, applying a roof coating can provide long-term benefits and even qualify for an NDL (No Dollar Limit) warranty of up to twenty years.
  3. Moisture trapped beneath the coating can cause issues. During the roof inspection, it is crucial to conduct a moisture scan to ensure the roof is completely dry. If moisture is trapped beneath the roof coating, it will attempt to escape and potentially compromise the newly applied coating. If moisture is detected in specific areas, further investigation such as core cuts may be necessary to assess the extent of the damage. All moist and wet materials should be fully replaced before applying the roof coating.
  4. Coatings require a clean surface to adhere properly. Once the roof is determined to be in good condition, thorough cleaning is necessary before applying the coating. Any dirt, dust, or debris underneath the coating can damage it and reduce its longevity. While a power wash is a viable option, it may not be sufficient for achieving the desired level of cleanliness. Using a suitable cleanser to scrub the roof is recommended. Consult a roofing expert to determine the best cleanser for your specific roofing material. In cases where the roof has not been cleaned for an extended period or has significant soiling, multiple rounds of scrubbing may be necessary before applying the roof coating.

5. Where to Apply Roof Coatings

EPDM Roof Coatings EPDM roofs are highly durable and suitable for areas with severe weather conditions. However, they are not easily compatible with solvents used in roof coatings, as the solvents can cause the EPDM to swell. Coating an EPDM roof is still possible but requires careful selection of solvents. Consulting a professional roof coatings installer can help in choosing the appropriate solvent.

TPO Roof Coatings TPO membranes have low surface energy, which makes it challenging for roof coatings to adhere properly without prior treatment. To ensure long-lasting performance of the roof coating, it is advisable to sand down the TPO surface and apply a suitable primer before coating.

Asphalt and Modified Bitumen Roof Coatings Applying roof coatings to asphalt or modified bitumen roofs require special care. New bitumen and asphalt roofs should age for a minimum of ninety days to allow excess oil to dry off before applying primer and/or roof coating. While older asphalt or bitumen roofs have less retained oil than new ones, they still have some. To prevent oil stains on the roof coating, applying a stain blocker before coating is necessary.

PVC Roof Coatings PVC roofs are naturally rigid, posing challenges when coating a new PVC roof. If you have a PVC roof, it is important to allow it to age before applying either a silicone or acrylic coating.

Metal Roof Coatings For metal roofs, it is crucial to ensure that the roof is in good repair to ensure worker safety and the effectiveness of the coating. If your metal roof has mild rust, applying acrylics or silicones before the coating process is recommended. Alternatively, a SEBS coating can be used without prior treatment for rust, unless the roof has severe rusting. Keep in mind that fiberglass skylights can pose hazards to workers. To prevent accidents in the future, ensure that the skylight is not painted the same color as the roof.

6. Roof Coating Manufacturers

Cool Roof Coatings Market Graph

GoTech Roofing exclusively applies top-quality roof coatings from leading manufacturers across the country. While we frequently work with the manufacturers listed below, we also offer roof coating products from various other manufacturers:

  1. Gaco
  2. GAF
  3. GE Silicones
  4. Firestone
  5. Johns Manville
  6. Mule-Hide
  7. Polyglass
  8. Versico
  9. Soprema

7. Roof Coating Warranties

As a Certified Roofing Contractor for multiple manufacturers, GoTech Roofing provides No Dollar Limit (NDL) warranties of up to 20 years on roof coating applications.

8. Benefits of Roof Coatings

Benefits of Roof Coatings Roof coatings offer significant advantages over other roofing systems in various key areas. Here are some of the benefits:

  1. Temperature Regulation Roof coatings have reflective surfaces that prevent absorption of summer heat or winter cold, contributing to better insulation and reduced energy bills throughout the year.
  2. Energy Efficiency By lowering energy consumption, roof coatings not only help save costs but also contribute to reducing carbon footprints. As buildings account for a substantial portion of energy usage and global greenhouse gas emissions, minimizing energy consumption is crucial for environmental protection.
  3. Improved Energy Star Rating Even buildings designed to be energy-efficient can experience decreased efficiency over time due to weathering, renovations, increased occupancy, etc. Applying a roof coating is a simple yet effective way to enhance a building's Energy Star rating, complying with regulations and potentially increasing its value upon sale.
  4. Enhanced Environmental Reputation Demonstrating a commitment to environmental preservation by applying an eco-friendly roof coating showcases your concern for the community to employees, clients, and business partners.
  5. Leak Protection While roof coatings are not a substitute for fixing existing leaks, they can prevent new leaks from forming. Additionally, they provide protection against mold and mildew damage, which can cause structural issues and costly repairs.
  6. Extended Roof Lifespan Although coating a roof incurs initial costs, it offers long-term savings by prolonging the roof's life. Coatings reduce the need for frequent roof replacements and require less maintenance, shielding the roofing material from various types of damage.

9. How to Choose a Roof Coatings Contractor

Selecting a reputable commercial roofing contractor is crucial for successful roof coatings application. This process requires meticulous craftsmanship and strict adherence to manufacturer standards. If your roof has sustained hail or wind damage, it is essential to find a contractor who can guide you through the entire insurance process. Look for a contractor capable of providing emergency roof repairs and complete installations as needed.

When choosing a roof coatings contractor, consider the following qualifications:

  1. Licensing, Bonding, and Insurance: Ensure that the contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured in your state to protect yourself and your property throughout the project.
  2. Manufacturer Training and Certification: Look for contractors who are trained and certified by the manufacturer, as this ensures the highest quality of workmanship and warranty options.
  3. Experience with Your Roof Type: Verify that the contractor has experience installing roof coatings on flat roofs similar to yours. Their past projects should demonstrate their expertise in handling your specific roof type.
  4. Management of Staged Roofing Projects: If your project requires parallel tear-off and installation, inquire about the contractor's experience in managing staged roofing projects. This showcases their ability to handle complex projects efficiently.
  5. Experience with Insurance Claims: A reputable roofing contractor should have experience working with insurance companies on damage claims. Their expertise can help streamline the claims process and ensure you receive appropriate coverage.

By selecting an experienced roofing contractor such as GoTech Roofing, you can prevent leaks and major problems while enjoying a durable roofing system that lasts for decades.

Commercial Roof Repair, Roof Restore, or Roof Replace Decision Making Factors

  1. Repair – If your commercial roof inspection reveals that the majority of the roof is not saturated with moisture and there are only a few weak areas, minor roof repairs will be recommended. At GoTech Roofing we will always try to prolong the life of your existing commercial roof by performing roof repairs as a first option.
  2. Restore With Roof Coating – If less than 25% of the commercial roof is saturated and the remainder of the commercial roof is nearing the end of its life, a commercial roof restoration will be the next option. Commercial roof restorations (for example silicone coating), can extend your existing commercial roof’s life by 20+ years and cost a fraction of a complete roof replacement.
  3. Replace – Your roof may need to be replaced if the commercial roof inspection reveals more than 25% of the roof is saturated with moisture and there are multiple leaking areas on the roof’s surface. There comes a time in every commercial roof’s life when the roof is just too old and deteriorated, and attempting to repair it will be expensive. At this point, the roof repairs will typically only prolong full roof replacement for another 1-2 years. If the commercial roof is at this stage, it will be more cost-effective to remove and replace the entire roof.

The GoTech Roofing Team will provide you with a thorough commercial roof inspection. Contact us at (703) 417-9200 to get started today!

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At GoTech Roofing we strive for customer service excellence as evidenced by the positive reviews received from our customers. It is continuously our goal to provide the best commercial roofing repair or roofing replacement, with the best customer service, at the best price! Thank you for giving us 100% 5-Star review approval rating! With over a 100 years of combined Team commercial roofing experience, we are experts in the field of commercial roof repair and installation. Our goal is to take care of your commercial roofing needs and give you the peace of mind knowing that your building is watertight. At GoTech Roofing, we have completed hundreds of commercial roofing projects (and counting!) for our satisfied customers, and we are proud to say we continue to maintain the title of one of Virginia’s and Washington DC's' top-rated commercial roofing contractors.

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