Understanding Roof Sealants

One of the most popular choices in roof coatings are actually roof sealants. These materials are designed to address specific needs, including the type of roof, the conditions to which they are subjected, and they can provide weatherproofing and reflectivity. Knowing what kinds of roof coatings are available is an important part of determining which option will work best for your situation. The following are some of the most widely used roof sealants.

Urethane Sealants

Roof coating manufacturers have been creating polyurethane-based sealants since the early 1960s, and they have certainly come a long way since that time. These sealants are available in systems that use one and two part moisture-cure and oxygen-cure processes. These roof coatings are most popular for use with EPDM membranes, especially in areas around flashing, coping, pitch pans, and termination bars, as they provide a water resistant seal. Urethane sealants range in price, but the lower end options tend to have very poor resistance to UV exposure. Additionally, they cannot stand up to anything other than very minimal dampness at the time of application, as the added moisture results in outgassing. When this occurs, the expansion and frothing that occurs results in extensive damage to the coating.

Silicone Sealants

Silicone is another popular option for roof coatings, and there is a wide range of formulations. There are acetoxy-cure formulations, which are generally the cheapest, and the more expensive oxime-cure formulations. Acetoxy roof sealants can’t be used on metal surfaces due to corrosion, but they do resist discoloring due to UV exposure. Oxime-cure silicones work well with metals, provide better adhesion, and resist weather, but they do tend to discolor after UV exposure. These roof coatings are not a good option for areas that have substrates that release heat and oil, as this tends to loosen adhesion.

Polysulfide Roof Sealants

Polysulfide sealants have a long history of use, and they are elastomeric in nature. They tend to be more expensive than other options, but they provide excellent resistance to weather exposure, allowing for a long life of around 20 years before cracking occurs. This sealant will generally need to be applied over primed surfaces, and it has longer curing periods.

Polyether Sealants

Polyether roof coatings are moisture-cure, and provide increased durability over some of the other roof sealants available. These sealants have a good rate of adhesion, and can be applied in colder temperatures without compromising the material. They provide good weather resistance, are environmentally friendly, and are highly OSHA complaint. They are easy to apply, fast curing, and typically last for 20 to 30 years when applied properly.

When it comes to choosing the right roof coating manufacturer, your best option is to make sure to compare products. Some of these sealants are better for certain jobs than others are, and making sure to understand the best applications will improve the life of whichever roof coating you choose. By paying close attention to the choices, you will be able to choose the material that best meets your needs.

The Proper Methods for Repair with EPDM Coating

EPDM, which stands for ethylene propylene diene monomer, has a proven history of providing exceptional life after application in all climates. However, there are times when the material might become damaged. In most cases, this damage occurs due to a seam lifting. This can be due to improper application due to the installer failing to use enough adhesive, or because the membrane was not cleaned properly. Whether the repair is needed due to damage or a seam, the following steps will help you make the proper repair with EPDM coating.

Plan It Out

You will want to plan your repair ahead of time to make sure the weather is going to provide the best conditions. The EPDM will require temperatures of around 55 degrees to cure properly. You will also want to complete the repair with EPDM coating when it is not scheduled to rain. While it will be waterproof right after it is applied, rain can make it appear spotted if it hasn’t had time to cure. It will usually take around nine days for the EPDM to fully cure, or considerably longer if it is applied during cold weather.

Get the Surface Ready

You will need to double check the roof to make sure you have all the areas that need repaired ready. They should have any holes or gaps filled in with a non-silicone caulk. Once those areas are filled in, the area will need to be cleaned thoroughly. A pressure washer works best, but if that isn’t available, you’ll want to make sure you remove all traces of dirt and debris. After that, clean the area with a mild soap and water, or something stronger if there is any mold, mildew, or fungi growing. Once the roof is completely dry, you will be ready to repair with EPDM coating.

Application

You will need to mix the catalyst following the directions provided with your product. You will need a nap roller to ensure an even coating. If there are any areas in which the roller won’t fit, you can go back after the rolling is complete and use a paintbrush to touch up any of those areas. Your goal is to apply a single coat that is around 20 mil thick, which generally equals one gallon to around 40 square feet on a smooth surface. If you are unsure of the proper thickness, take the time to measure off the 40 feet (or 30 if you are working with unsmooth areas), as you want to make sure you have the right thickness. If it’s too thin, it might crack, and too thick will lead to bubbling or excessive swelling.

Make sure to cover the entire surface completely and evenly at the recommended thickness to ensure a proper repair with EPDM. Due to the nap of the roller, it will look slightly bumpy, but the liquid is self-leveling, so this will go away as it cures. If you followed these steps, your application will just need to cure, and the process will be complete.

Liquid Rubber EPDM Roof Coating Application

When it comes to rubber roofing, there are few that can compare to EPDM membranes, except, of course, the liquid rubber form. This roof coating provides all the properties you expect from the traditional roofing membrane, yet is in a liquid form that provides numerous benefits. If you are looking for a roofing option that will protect against leaks and withstand any kind of weather you can throw at it, EPDM liquid roof repair is the best option. However, it is important that you understand a few things about the application process to ensure the superior results you are looking for.

Understanding the High Solids EPDM Rubber

EPDM liquid rubber uses a cure mechanism that converts it from the liquid form at application to a solid elastomer. It is designed to withstand both cryogenic temperatures and extreme steam heat, all without breaking down. Liquid rubber EPDM requires only a single coat, making it a cost effective, timesaving solution over other liquid roof coatings.

Primer

In most cases, the liquid rubber application does not require a primer, which further lowers costs and time. The following are some of the substrates that do not need to be primed prior to application:

  • EPDM Membrane
  • Weathered Fiberglass and Steel Siding
  • Weathered Corrugated Metal and Standing Seam Roofs
  • Weathered Polycarbonate Plastic, Vinyl, and PVC
  • Foam Pipe Insulation
  • Cast Concrete

While this product can be applied as an airless spray in some situations, when working with flat roofs, it requires a roller and a squeegee to get the job done.

A Note on Mixing

When mixing the catalyst into the liquid, you need to ensure that you follow all mixing directions exactly to ensure the best cure after the liquid rubber application. Trying to cut down the mixing time will not make the process any faster, and will only result in a subpar application.

Rubber Membrane Application

Liquid rubber EPDM coating can be applied over the EPDM membrane with only a thorough cleaning in most cases. However, if the membrane is older, it is very large, or cleaning is not quite practical, a liquid rubber surface conditioner is recommended to ensure proper adhesion.

Simple Tips for Better Roof Repair

If you have a relatively minor repair that you want to make to your roof, it doesn’t mean you have to call the professionals. Sometimes, you can take care of things on your own, which can help you to save time and money. However, if you will be performing your own roof repair, you have to be careful and abide by some very simple and basic guidelines. Let’s look at some tips that can help you along the way.

Always Be Safe

First, when you are getting on your roof, whether it is your home, business or RV, you need to think about safety. Do not get up onto the roof when it is snowy or raining outside. Always have someone else around who knows you are on the roof and who can get help in the event you need it. Be careful getting up and down the ladder as well, and never move too quickly on the roof. There is always the danger of slipping and falling, but wearing rubber soled shoes can give you a better grip.

Finding a Leak

A good way to find out exactly where you have a leak is to take a garden hose up to the roof and then spray into different sections of the roof. Have someone inside who can let you know when the leak starts. This can give you a very good indication of the leak’s location, which is important when you – or the pros – repair it.

Keep the Gutters Clear of Debris

One of the ways to prevent some of the issues that people have with their roof in the first place is simply to keep the gutters nice and clean. This is one of the biggest causes of roof leaks, and it is something that you can fix easily. Just make sure you check your gutters several times through the course of the year – once a month or once every other month can suffice. Keeping them clear greatly reduces the chance of a leak.

Regular Inspections

One of the best ways to keep on top of potential repairs and to deal with them before they get out of hand is to conduct regular inspections inside and outside the home. Look for evidence of the roof sagging and leaking, and look for things such as broken shingles and damaged gutters to see the trouble spots.

What to Do?

Once you know that you have some problems, you need to consider how to go about the roof repair. Is it something that you can do on your own? If you have a flat roof, for example, you will be able to use liquid roof repair systems and take care of many of the issues. If there’s a gaping hole in the roof, however, you will need to use the services of a professional. Never do more than you are comfortable with when it comes to repairs. You do not want to get in over your head and into a situation where your mistakes add to the repair costs.

Tips for Applying Your Elastomeric Roof Coating

Are you chockfull of the DIY spirit? Are you ready to take on your roof and apply your own roof coatings? It’s cheaper and easier than hiring a professional, and once you see just how simple it is, you’ll understand why you can do this on your own. The EPMS liquid coating will work well with a number of different types of services, including metal, concrete, urethane, and more. Let’s look at just what you need to do to get going.

When Should You Do It?

While it’s common sense for most people, it does bear repeating that there are certain times that applying the liquid roof coatings is not a good idea. You want to apply the coating on days when it is warm and sunny, as this will help it to dry and cure far more quickly. Avoid applying the coating if it recently rained or if there is rain forecast in the near future. You want to avoid moisture at all costs.

Clean the Roof Surface

The first step is always cleaning. You need to clean the roof surface extremely well to make sure the roof coatings will adhere. Start by removing the larger debris. Then sweep away some of the smaller dirt and gunk from the roof’s surface. Even though it might look nice and clean now, it’s not. It’s still a good idea to use a power washer to ensure that you have everything off the roof.

Check for More Issues

At that point, it’s time to inspect the roof for any cracks and blister areas. If you see any of these, and they are not too bad, you can use a patch repair kit to take care of them. If they are out of control, then you may actually want to work with a professional once you take note of the condition of the roof and are satisfied.

Applying the Roof Coatings

You will find that applying the coating is actually very similar to applying paint. In fact, you will be using many of the same tools for the job. For example, you will use a roller and a long handle to apply the coating to the bulk of your roof. You will then use the brush for some of the finer detail work, and to make sure you get into the corners and cracks properly. You will apply a single coat to your roof, and then you are done.

The only thing that you have to do then is to wait for it to dry and cure. Keep in mind that these are not the same thing. The roof may dry within a day, but it will not actually set in and cure for several days. In fact, if the weather is wet, it can take weeks for it to cure.

Roof restoration and sealing really can be quite easy, as you can see. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to do it on your own if you don’t feel comfortable. You can still have help from the professionals.