February 1, 2013
Traditionally, roof coatings were used when building owners desired a rooftop that was not a standard black or gray. Increasingly, however, owners are looking to roof coatings to provide additional functions, such as reflectivity, extended service life, and reduced maintenance or replacement costs. They are continually searching for increased performance out of their rooftops, and many of today’s coatings products give them what they need. Once applied, it will be necessary to recoat the surface.
As building codes change to address energy and environmental issues, the importance of reflective roofing products cannot be understated. Many acrylic coating suppliers offer products that feature high initial solar reflectance ratings—three-year reflectivity ratings vary greatly based on material type and supplier—and are designed to meet requirements of both Energy Star and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Sustainable Sites (SS) Credit 7.2, Heat Island Effect–Roof. Many of these reflective products provide building owners with a dependable rooftop that helps reflect the sun’s solar energy and lower a structure’s air-conditioning costs.
It should be noted reflective rooftops do not provide energy-saving benefits in northern climates—those in American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Climate Zone 4 and above.* Instead, darker-colored roofing materials should be used to help lower heating costs—the primary energy-consumer in buildings located in these cooler climates. If reflective roof coatings are applied in northern climates, adequate above-deck insulation should be specified to ensure proper energy performance and to minimize the likelihood for unintended consequences down the road. This includes ‘mystery leaks’ caused by condensation buildup inside the roof assembly and in certain instances within the confines of the outer perimeter parapet walls.
Covering a roofing membrane with an acrylic coating can enhance the appearance of virtually any assembly. Available in various standard and custom colors, these products allow building owners to customize rooftops to their own personal tastes and preferences. Not much maintenance is required, but the coating will eventually weather and require a recoating.
Acrylic roof coatings can help protect a building’s primary roofing system from the exterior elements. Whether it is a new or aged membrane, they help enhance the longevity and performance of virtually any roof by blocking the primary system from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays or detrimental impact that can cause punctures.
Unlike in years past, many acrylic roof coatings are now being backed by dependable, long-lasting warranty coverage. Depending on the coating application’s thickness, owners can receive warranties of up to 10 years.
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