You may not know this, but roof sealants have been around since the beginning of recorded history. Even back then, people had a need to, at the very least, waterproof their roofs. That’s why ancient people used bitumen (which is more or less asphalt) to treat their roofs and protect themselves from the troubles that rain and water pose.
In the past however-many-thousands of years, little has changed. Today, people are still using various forms of asphalt and other polymers to protect their roofs and themselves. So, if you have a roofing system that hasn’t been treated with a sealant or coating, you’re living in the Stone Age!
Depending upon the roofing system that you have in place, there are a wide variety of options for you to consider when applying a coating or sealant to your roof’s surface. When selecting a coating or sealant there are a few important things to remember:
- Pick a coating or sealant that matches your roofing system: This is exceedingly important. Because different roofing systems utilize different chemicals and compounds, they’re very sensitive to the kinds of coatings and sealants that are applied to them. For example, if you were to apply a coating to your EPDM roofing system that is meant for an asphalt roofing system, you will seriously degrade the efficacy of the EPDM. This fix might work for a time, but it will ultimately result in extremely expensive repairs or even replacement. So, make sure you’re choosing the appropriate coating or sealant!
- Make sure that the roof’s surface is clean before applying: This may seem obvious, but time and time again it’s proven not to be. In order for sealants and coatings to work effectively, they have to be able to bond to the surface of the roof that they’re being applied to. If there is debris, grime or dirt in the way, this will affect the sealant or coating’s ability to bond to your roof’s surface. So, before you apply a sealant or coating to your roof, make sure that it’s adequately cleaned.
- Know what you’re working with: In many cases a coating or sealant can be applied with minimal effort and minimal effect on the building’s normal operation. However, in some cases it may be necessary to shut the building down while the sealant or coating is being applied. This is particularly true of coatings and sealants that are applied to asphalt roofs. That being said, in most cases coatings and sealants are entirely friendly to the environment. As a result, you will often not have to interrupt life in the building to accommodate what’s happening on the roof.
With those things in mind, it’s a great idea to apply a coating or sealant to your roof. As always, be sure to check the guidelines established by the roof coating manufacturer. They’ll be able to tell you how and under what conditions the roof coating or sealant should be applied.