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Understanding Liquid Applied Roofing Systems

Liquid applied roofing systems include coatings, however a properly designed and installed liquid applied roofing system goes far beyond a simple roof coating system. The goal of this article is to help you understand liquid applied roofing systems.

There are several different liquid applied roofing systems depending on your needs and budget. These systems can sometimes cost less than traditional roof replacement.

  1. Patch and coat
  2. Seam Restoration
  3. Multi Coat application
  4. Fully-Reinforced built up Elastomeric roofing system

A patch and coat revitalizes a worn out old alphalt roof systems and can potentially add years to the roof when properly maintained. First, the entire roof surface is inspected including the seams and penetrations and repairs are made with similar materials to fix any problems you may have. Then your roof receives an application of highly reflective white or silver coating over the entire surface. The coating is primarily a UV protection, like sunscreen, however will also fill minor surface cracks and revitalizes the existing roof membrane. This is especially important on aged asphalt based roofing systems.

A seam Restoration is highly recommended on a single ply roof system. Single ply, especially epdm roofs, will almost always fail at the seams first. The membrane its’ self will typically last a life time. By cleaning the seams and patching with butyl tape then coating the seams we can bring the roof back to a like new condition, and with the addition of an optional complete coating we can possibly lower your energy bills vs a black EPDM rubber roof.

A multi coat roof application is the first level of warranted roof restoration. Yes we will warrant your entire roof against leaks even if we didn’t install it. A multi coat application is actually the installation of a complete liquid applied roofing system over the existing roofing system.

Typically this is a great option for a roof which is in decent condition overall but just beginning to have some leak issues. The multi coat application would first consist with repairing any problem areas restoring any roof seams, essentially combining the patch and coat and the seam restoration. However we will then add an additional application of liquid elastomeric for double coverage.

This multiple coatings of elastomeric, typically white but colors are available, cures to a monolithic and seamless roof membrane fully adhered to your existing membrane. This seamless membrane cures thick and durable and provides a very lightweight roof covering which we guarantee against leaks.

A multi coat roof application is a great option, when a tear off is required by code but cost prohibitive. Why replace the roof if you don’t have to? Code allows for liquid applied restoration systems no matter how many roofs you have existing. (Note: Most cities and municipalities in and around the Chicago area only allow for a maximum of 2 roofing layers.)

A fully reinforced built up elastomeric roof system first starts with a bonding resin after any major repairs are made to the roof system. This bonding resin is imbedded and with a polyester fabric which is fully saturated with the resin and adds stability to the roof. We would then apply the multi coat roof application once the bonding resin has had a chance to cure.

This entire fully reinforced roof system cures to a monolithic membrane approximately 38 mils thick, almost the same thickness as a new single ply roof system but with no seams and much more cost effective than a new single ply roof. The fully reinforced system is eligible for a lifetime-renewable warranty.
adurel fully reinforced elastomeric roof system

The multi-coat and the fully-reinforced roof systems do not count as an additional layer of roofing according to current building codes and are are excellent alternative when tearing off the existing roof just isn’t within your budget but you need a new roof. Most municipalities and cities in and around the Chicago area only allow a maximum of two traditional roofing layers. A roof restoration keeps the water out and will not become a code violation!

Since coatings are not considered roof systems, they are also not considered to be capitol investments and therefore may be depreciable 100% in the first year as maintenance (contact your accountant about this). This is a huge tax incentive, vs. amortizing the roof over a 29 year period of time as is the policy with traditional roofing systems.
US Energy Star, $500 tax write off     The roof coatings we apply consist of simple fibered or non fibered aluminum silver coat. We can also install acrylic elastomerics on roofs with good pitch or install solvent or urethane based elastomerics on roofs with very low slope or minimal standing water. Many of these coatings are energy star rated and you might qualify for tax benefits and or local grants for cool roof applications. Contact us for more information.

These applications are great over traditional roof systems like modified bitumen, smooth built up asphalt, and single ply roof systems. The multi-coat application is also a very affordable great way to bring metal roof systems back to life. Similiar coating solutions have been utilized on commercial and residential buildings going back to the 1970’s.

Not every roof is the right candidate to receive a coating system. Some things we need to watch out for include very degraded existing membrane or excesive trapped moisure within the roof assembly. In these cases roof removal is likely necessary and the installation of traditional roofing systems such as single ply (TPO or EPDM) and modified bitumen. (See also: Low Slope Roofing Options)

Post Author: Thomas Kral

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