The roof of a building is as crucial as the foundation. In addition, it must be robust enough to withstand years of exposure to UV rays, extreme temperature fluctuations, harsh elements and weather conditions, and more, and it must do so with minimal maintenance. Given this, it only makes sense that roofs degrade over time, and will eventually need repairs. When that happens, elastomeric roof coatings can be used to repair the damage done. What are these coatings, and what should you know about them?
What Are Elastomeric Roof Coatings?
These types of coatings are made from materials with elastic properties – thus, the name. They are flexible and stretchy, capable of being applied to almost any substrate. With that being said, there are several different types on the market. One is a urethane based formulation, while another is acrylic based. However, perhaps the best performing material on the market today is made with EPDM rubber. This is a synthetic rubber formulation that offers excellent UV resistance, is completely immune to dramatic temperature fluctuations, and can be applied in at any temperature, hot or cold.
The Advantages of Elastomeric Roof Coatings
You’ll find a number of advantages with these types of coatings. One of those is as mentioned – they can be applied in any temperature, which means repairs can be conducted at any time of year, whether the damage occurs in the heat of summer, or the cold of winter. That helps to limit the potential for additional leak-related damage to the interior of the structure. Another advantage is that these coatings are highly resistant to mold and mildew, making them excellent choices for use in areas where high humidity may make mold/mildew growth problematic.
What Can Elastomeric Roof Coatings Be Used For?
There are numerous potential uses for elastomeric roof coatings, ranging from repairs to resurfacing to replacing an existing roof. We’ll explore these uses below:
Repairs – One of the most interesting and beneficial uses for elastomeric roof coatings is to repair damage done to the roof. Due to their unique adhesion capabilities, these coatings can be used to repair damage to any other type of roofing system, including EPDM rubber, metal, asphalt shingles, and more. However, some surface preparation may be necessary for non-rubberized roof types to ensure that the coating will adhere properly. In most cases, this requires little more than applying a coat of primer before applying the coating.
Resurfacing – Aging roofs, particularly aging rubber roofs, and other flat roofing system types, need to be maintained over time. Resurfacing is one means of doing this. As they age, these roofing systems can become dry and brittle due to exposure to UV rays. By applying a thin coat just 35 mils thick over the top, elastomeric roof coatings can provide years more life out of the roof. It takes very little time to apply these coatings, and it can be done with simple, readily available hand tools, or with a sprayer.
Replacement – More and more, old roofs are being removed and replaced with elastomeric roof coatings. EPDM rubber roofs offer numerous benefits over most traditional roofing systems, including asphalt shingle, bitumen, tar and gravel, sheet metal, and more. The material is highly resistant to damage, there are no seams to leak, and a rubber roof can last 50 years or more with the right installation and a little bit of TLC over its lifetime.
In the end, elastomeric roof coatings are versatile solutions to roofing challenges large and small. Whether you need to repair, refresh, or replace your roof, using such a coating is a smart decision.