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An elastomeric roof coating is a coating applied to a variety of roof types to protect the underlying roofing material, help stop and prevent leaks, and limit future weathering. Some also cool the building.
The coating stretches and moves, giving it an elastic quality. Elastomeric roof coatings can be used on many industrial and commercial roof types such as metal roofs, concrete roofs, bitumen, modified bitumen or BUR roofs, EPDM roofs, or as a sealant over new PUF roofs.
The best value from a roof coating comes when you apply it at the first sign of aging. By making needed repairs early, installing a full protective barrier at the same time, you create your “stitch in time that saves nine.” Wait too long and it is likely to cost you more. Too often, it costs you a new roof, at three or four times the expense of a roof coating, which could have been avoided by paying attention to early signals.
After reviewing all of the many elastomeric roof coatings on the market, how do you select the best quality and value roof coating for your needs?
Physical Properties to Consider in Elastomeric Roof Coating Purchases
When determining the best elastomeric roof coating to use on your roof, there are many physical properties that need to be taken into consideration. Every roof is different in terms of construction, location, weather, sunlight, etc. It is impossible to ever know which physical characteristic will prove most important to the durability of your roof system, so we highly recommend you compare every one of them when you are reviewing the available roof coating products. The best roof coatings should perform well for you on every count.
Here are the properties to evaluate:
- Elasticity/Elongation: Elasticity is the ability of a material to stretch and recover. The ability to stretch and recover means that a roof coating can move with the expansion and contraction of the roof as the temperature changes without cracking. The better the elasticity, the more likely the product will endure.
- Tensile Strength (new): Tensile strength measures the ability of the product to hold together and avoid breaking. Roof coating companies typically report tensile strength when the product is new and in the lab.
- Tensile Strength (aged): The tensile strength of a roof coating can deteriorate rapidly over time with exposure to the weather. We highly recommend that you select a manufacturer that can provide you with written, third-party tensile strength measurements of their coatings when they are aged and have been exposed to the elements. It provides you an added level of comparison. The aged measurements of the best roof coatings often beat the competitors’ new product measurements. That signifies a serious difference in coating quality and value over time.
- Perm Factor: The perm factor is the coating’s resistance to moisture passing through it. A lower number shows greater moisture resistance. Lower is better, as moisture is the enemy of any roof.
- Moisture Gain by Weight: Moisture gain by weight is the ability to absorb water vs repel water and protect the roof beneath. You want a roof coating that repels water away from the roof, rather than absorbing into the roofing material which can accelerate aging and deterioration of the roof itself.
- Peel Adhesion: Peel adhesion measures the ability of the coating system to remain adhered to the roof surface under adverse conditions. If your roof coating doesn’t stay firmly attached, then it can’t properly protect your roof.
- Tear Resistance: The tear resistance of a coating is, just as it sounds, the resistance to tearing which can happen due to foot traffic, from roof movement, or from other shifts in the environment.
- Reflectivity: Reflectivity measures how much heat and light is reflected away from the roof by the coating. A cool, reflective roof surface allows all building components to work more efficiently and reduces maintenance needs and premature roof failure caused by UV damage and thermal shock.