Roof coatings are applied as a liquid layer over the finished roof and come in various colors. However, their key role is not simply to make a commercial building look its best. There are various types of commercial roof coatings and each of them has a precise functional role.
The Most Frequently Used Types of Commercial Roof Coatings
- Reflective Coatings
This type of roof coating is light colored. Its main role is to reflect the sunlight from the roof and keep it cooler. How does it work? As you know, dark colors attract and absorb sunlight and heat. Light colors do the opposite (this is why, during the summer, it is recommended to wear white clothes).
A cool roof is a roof protected from temperature variations leading to cracks in the joints. Also, it can help reduce the costs with air conditioning in areas with a hot climate all year round.
- Functional Coatings
These coatings are made of materials that are chemically compatible with the roof system (asphalt, concrete, metal, etc.). Their primary role is to protect the roof from the effect of UV rays and from weather conditions (hail, snow, high winds).
Functional coatings are easy to apply even by the regular maintenance crew. They need refreshing every once in a while, as they take the brunt of the elements.
- Maintenance Systems
This is a type of professional coating that requires skilled commercial roofing contractors San Antonio TX offers. It consists, in fact, of a series of coatings that create a secondary membrane over the roof. The main role of maintenance system coatings is to improve the waterproofing of the roof, thus they are recommended in areas with lots of rain and high humidity.
If your roofing contractor recommended adding a layer of gravel atop your flat roof, do not be surprised. This is a helpful recommendation that will help extend the useful life of your roof. There are several practical reasons why you want to accept this advice:
- Gravel Helps Protect Underlying Roof Layers
If you have a built-up roof, adding a layer of gravel is a very good idea. This type of roof is made of a mix of tar and gravel. Adding gravel over the final layer of roofing mix will protect it against ultraviolet rays, hail and other weather elements. Do not worry; the gravel will not be washed away by rain because it is embedded in the top coat of asphalt.
- A Layer of Gravel Weighs Down Roofing Materials
If your flat roof is a single-ply type, it needs supplementary protection against the wind. By weighing down the roofing materials, gravel actually helps keep your roof above your head in one piece, and keeps the visits from flat roof repair Chicago expert at a minimal.
- Gravel Offers Protection against Debris Clogging the Drains
Dead leaves, twigs and other types of debris have nowhere to go when they fall on a flat roof. In time, with rain and snow, they will migrate towards the drains, clogging them. If you have a layer of gravel on the roof, it will trap these pieces of debris in place, until they will be removed at the next roof inspection.
Many homeowners and commercial property managers choose to apply roof coatings to extend the useful life of the roof. While this is one of the main reasons, it is not the only benefit provided by roof coatings. For instance, did you know that roof coatings can help insulate the roof?
Ways in Which Roof Coatings Improve Roof Insulation
- As a Secondary Roof Membrane
The most advanced type of roof coating consists of several professionally applied layers. This has the role of improving the insulation of the roof and effectively works as a supplementary membrane. This option is usually suggested by San Antonio TX commercial roofing professionals for commercial buildings where there are several risks of leaking, including the presence of HVAC equipment.
- As a Sealant for Minor Imperfections
In many situations, roof membranes have minute imperfections even from the moment of installation. These may not be visible to the eye, but in time they could become eroded and increase in size under the effect of weather elements. A layer of roof coating solves this issue by effectively sealing these imperfections.
- By Preventing Damage Caused by Temperature Fluctuations
The variation of heat and cold causes roofing materials to expand and contract. In time, this leads to fine cracks which may increase in size, allowing water and fungi to get inside. By applying a reflective roof coating, the sunrays bounce back and the roof will absorb less heat. This means less temperature fluctuations and, thus, fewer damages caused by them.
Commercial building roofs usually have to endure more stress than residential ones. In any mall or office building, most of the technical equipment (HVAC, cellular antennas, etc.) is installed on the roof. This makes a commercial roof more prone to damage. Thus, frequent roof maintenance is one of the most important tasks for property managers.
Applying Roof Coatings Makes Maintenance Work Simpler and More Efficient
Here are just a few reasons why roof coatings are essential for a commercial roof:
- Coatings Decrease the Temperature Load
Maintenance crews usually have to perform small repairs on cracks caused by the continuous expansion and contraction of roof materials under temperature variations. By applying a reflective coating, the roof will experience reduced fluctuations in day/night and seasonal temperature. Thus, there will be fewer damages to fix.
- Coatings Offer Superior Insulation
Next to minor cracks, leaks are the number two type of frequent repairs for roof maintenance teams. One simple way to prevent the occurrence of leaks is to apply a layer of insulating roof coating. This type of coating should be applied right after the new roof is finished, to seal even minor faults in workmanship or building materials.
- Fireproof Coatings Are the Best Insurance
Fires on buildings can happen from overheated HVAC equipment. While maintenance crews can do little to prevent such a fire, they can prevent the danger of it spreading down to the rest of the building, taking lives and destroying property. A layer of fireproof coating on the roof will keep the fire at bay at least until the entire building is evacuated. Go to places such as http://ultimateroofcoaters.com/chicago-commercial-roofing/ to see what type of roof coating you should have done to protect your investments.