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Commercial Roof Coatings: Facts You Need

Roof coatings can significantly extend the life and improve the appearance of a commercial roofing system. These coatings act as the primary defense against UV damage, water intrusion, and high roof temperatures. If you are a property owner or manager responsible for the maintenance of the roof, understanding the benefits of commercial roof coatings may save you time, money, and hassles. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Commercial Roof Coatings?

A commercial roof coating is similar in appearance to a coat of paint – but coatings have a higher solids content and present a thicker consistency. Qualified contractors use spray equipment, rollers, or brushes to apply roof coatings. Once dried and cured, the coating forms an elastic barrier that safeguards the underlying substrate from harsh weather, water infiltration, and UV damage. Most structurally sound low-slope roofs will benefit from the coating process. Coating types include metal, spray polyurethane, single-ply, modified bitumen, or BUR (built-up roof systems). A professional industrial roofing company can assess your roof substrate and recommend the best coating for the structure.

Why are Roof Coatings Beneficial?

Commercial roof coatings offer benefits to both property owners and tenants. These include:

  • Prolonging and extending roof life: Coatings can extend the life of an existing membrane by safeguarding it against damaging UV rays that have the ability to cause it to deteriorate. Roof coatings can potentially add ten years or more to a roof’s lifespan. Specific performance will vary depending on the type of coating being used, as well as the condition of the roof being treated.
  • Upgrading appearance: When first applied, commercial roof coatings deliver a seamless aesthetic that can enhance your property’s appearance and curb appeal while safeguarding the underlying roof system.
  • Potential utility savings: A dark-colored roof can reach temperatures over 150°F, while the reflectivity of a white roof can reduce that temperature by at least 50°F. Applying a white reflective commercial roof coating can represent significant savings on cooling costs. Of course, savings are variable based on climate zone, utility rates, insulation levels, and the efficiency of the HVAC equipment.
  • Reducing roofing costs: Applying a roof coating to a structurally sound roof is typically much more cost-effective than reroofing. Property owners looking to sell their property can present a clean and polished look without requiring an entirely new roof.
  • Simplifying a complex upgrade: Coatings can ease the logistical issues involved with reroofing if there are several roof penetrations or large amounts of industrial equipment on the roof. The roof coating can also remove the hassle of removing building tenants during the installation process.
  • Optimizing comfort levels: Roof coatings can improve the level of comfort inside a commercial building, most notably in non-air-conditioned spaces such as warehouses or parking garages. Reflective roof coatings reflect infrared and ultraviolet rays, allowing the roof to maintain a cooler temperature.
  • Eliminating waste: By restoring or repairing an existing roof – negating the need for a full roof replacement – coatings can avoid the waste associated with tear-offs.
  • Reducing urban heat islands: White reflective commercial roof coatings can reflect more of the sun’s rays and keep buildings up to 55 degrees cooler than dark-colored roofing.

Which Roof Coating Is Best for Your Commercial Building?

The best roof coating for your project is one that meets the needs of your particular situation, and this may vary from building to building, region to region. When you consult with a professional roofing contractor, they can recommend the best commercial roof coating for the job. Whether you are looking for reflectivity, energy savings, or to extend the lifespan of the roof, a professional contractor can help you select the right product for your unique situation.

Silicone coating: These types of coatings are especially tolerant of ponding water, so are an excellent choice in wet or humid climates. Some varieties of high-solid silicones can be applied in a single coat, allowing for a quicker installation.
Acrylic coating: These water-based products are available in reflective white colors that can help reduce building temperatures. This coating type is appropriate over new or existing roofs as long as surfaces are prepared properly by the roofing contractor.
Urethane or polyurethane coating: These roof coatings represent the right combination of hardness, strength, and elongation. Their durable nature can help to avoid damage due to mildew, chemical exposure, and abrasion/impact.
Fluoropolymer coating: These highly reflective, enamel-like coatings offer protection against weather and organic growths like algae and mold. They also offer tough protection against debris and deliver both UV protection and color stability.

Unicoat Industrial Roofing is a professional roofing contractor dedicated to ensuring the health, functionality, and longevity of your commercial roof. Our depth of knowledge and decades of expertise have made us one of the most trusted companies in the industry. Call today to learn more.

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