Think Outside the Bucket with Elastomeric Coatings
Roof repair is an important facet of all building maintenance, due in large part to escalating economic circumstances, fuel costs and environmental concerns. These things are causing more people to look to a low-cost effective alternative to replacing an existing roof system.
Waterproof coatings have proven to be an economical and environmentally friendly option for expensive roof repairs. These new advances in technology also have just made roofing and waterproofing a DIY market. No longer is roofing just done by roofers, now almost anyone can do it.
Building code administrators have fallen behind too. They are still thinking that everything must be done by skilled labor, which is not true. The simplicity and advancements in technology have moved so fast that many old and complicated types of waterproofing are now obsolete. Some past advances in roof coatings have failed on flat roofs and were penetrable. Quality was lacking in many of the products, and they ended up causing failures.
Cheaper waterproof coatings that are often sold in major retailers do not work effectively. These retailers and established hardware chains often operate on whom they know, not what’s best for the consumer. New technology developed by Ames Research Laboratories Inc. sets out to change things. Dr. Ames, Inventor of the popular Snow Roof Systems products back in 1981, felt it was time to move up. We needed coatings that were impervious and not just resistant to water.
Technology has moved forward and past that. We felt it was time to develop products with innovative technology that moves roofing and waterproofing into the 21st Century. This has made our waterproofing innovative, impervious, elastic, energy saving, green and profitable.
Roofs that lend themselves to alternative methods of repair such as waterproof coatings are metal, tar, EPDM/ vinyl and rolled roofing. Each style of roofing has its own unique characteristics and challenges depending on geographic location.
Needs Based on Weather
Roofs located in the southern latitudes receive more potentially harmful solar radiation. Northern latitudes receive more rain, ice, and snow. A professional analysis will determine the proper combination of materials required to effectively waterproof each style of roof in your area. Subsequently, roofs in the South must be top coated with bright white Ames® Maximum-Stretch®, Iron Coat® or Snow Seal®. Flat roofs in the north will need a rubber undercoat (Elasto-Barrier®). All products are also 98% reflective
Rainy seasons are generally when leaks are first noticed and focused upon. At that point, a good waterproofing solution is hard to find. Proactive roof maintenance is essential to ensure that your property will not endure roof leaks. The best time to perform roof maintenance is in the late spring, summer and early fall. These seasonal windows have the least amount of rain with longer dry periods to allow for proper product application. Roof surfaces should be as dry as possible with low atmospheric humidity for the best result.
Throughout the day, the temperature of a roof’s surface can vary greatly. This temperature variation can wreak havoc on the integrity of the roof due to expansion and contraction with any coating that is not elastomeric. Tar roofs in a few years lose their elasticity and crack and split. We have developed new, green rubber technology that expands and contracts which gives strength and new life to old roofs. When a bright white coating is applied it cools roofs and extends life.
A large metal roof can change dimensionally by several inches during the period of a hot day. Cooling of the building with Ames’ Maximum-Stretch substantially reduces expansion contraction. Ames’ reflective coatings translate directly into lower energy costs due to less need for air conditioning. Energy costs on a black roof can be reduced as much as 50 percent.
Repairs and Application
Metal roofing systems are a popular construction component in today’s residential and commercial buildings. At some point, the roof will require repair due to leaking from the weather. The expense of replacing or repairing a metal roof conventionally can be costly. A quality waterproof coating like Ames’ Maximum-Stretch can extend the existing roofs useful life for many years.
A roof repair typically includes Ames’ Peel & Stick™ Seam Tape and Ames’ Maximum-Stretch, a white reflective rubber and acrylic coating. Seam taping stops leaks fast, and coating with two gallons per hundred square feet makes for a long life up to 20 years. A coat every five to ten years helps preserve your investment.
Instead of repairing old tar and asphalt roofs with more tar that will eventually crack and leak again, repair using quality elastomeric roof coating system that will be more effective and easier to install.
A more high-tech approach to flat roofing is known as EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer) or vinyl. EPDM is a black vinyl membrane that is applied to the surface of a new or existing roof creating a waterproofing system. The problem with an EPDM roof is that they are black in color and susceptible to damage from UV (ultraviolet) radiation after a few years. The seams in the roofing material separate, the EPDM breaks down, and water then works its way under the EPDM membrane and causes leaks.
Another problem with EPDM is that it floats over the base surface. When a roof leak does occur, it is difficult to find it. The water often travels under the whole system, damaging the underlayment in the process. EPDM must be primed with Ames’ Super Primer™. Very few things really stick to EPDM thus, the specially formulated acrylic Super Primer is designed not to harm the EPDM, but to enhance and stick to it. The alternative to conventional EPDM repair is to use a quality elastomeric roof coating system specifically designed for this application.
As with all roof waterproofing applications, proper preparation is very important. The steps to this system are:
- First pressure wash the EPDM surface carefully removing all loose or flaking debris. Then apply the seam tape to all flashing, vent pipes, gaps wider than 1/8 inch and along parapet walls.
- Next, apply two coats of the acrylic primer.
- After the primer, apply three coats of the dual rubber Elasto-Barrier making sure that all roof surfaces have been covered.
- The final coat is the white reflective surface coating of Ames’ Maximum-Stretch. The reflective surface coat not only waterproofs but reflects as much as 98% of the suns. Allow plenty of curing time between coats, usually 24 hours under normal temperature conditions.
With proper planning and adequate budget, repairs with liquid waterproofing coatings can provide a cost-effective and virtually maintenance free roof for many years.