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 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’re still thinking inside the box that everything has to be done by skilled labor. Not true. The simplicity and advancements in technology are now exponential and have moved so fast that many old complicated types of waterproofing are now already obsolete. Simplicity and ease of use are taking over slowly, but make no mistake, they are taking over.
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. That has changed. Customers do not mind paying for quality, but they cannot stand failure. That dependable technology is now here.
Cheaper waterproof coatings that are often sold in box stores do not work effectively. Even retail buyers are behind the times. The big box stores and established hardware chains often operate on whom they know, not what’s best for the consumer. All too often, a brand name means it’s an old technology. Technology can be slow to get to the customer who needs it, but 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, not just resistant to water. New research and development made that possible.
Technology has moved forward and past that. We felt it was time to develop products with 2010 technology that moves roofing and waterproofing into the 21st Century. We have now achieved the impossible.
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.
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®. All products are 98 percent reflective. Flat roofs in the north will need a rubber undercoat (Elasto-Barrier®).
Rainy seasons are generally when leaks are first noticed and focused upon. At that point, a good waterproofing solution is hard to find. No one thinks of doing roof repair when they’re not leaking, so proactive roof maintenance cannot be stressed enough.
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.
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.
Neoprene seals deteriorate. Atmospheric pressure differences from outside and inside can draw water into the building by capillary action.
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.
One such system utilizes 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. The roof is cool, too. 98% reflectivity makes it cool.
The first step to any waterproof coating application is to thoroughly pressure wash the roof removing all loose or flaking debris. Ames’ Peel & Stick Seam Tape is essential in covering seems. The Maximum-Stretch acrylic coating will cover all screw holes, gaps wider than 1/8 inch. The coating glues the building together so storm damage can be kept at a minimal. These very thick coatings can be poured out and spread.
During the course of 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. Bright white cools roofs and extends life. New green rubber technology we have developed expands and contracts and gives strength and new life to old roofs.
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.
Tar or asphalt roofs are low tech, ancient waterproofing solutions for flat roofs, and are very common in many parts of the country. They crack, they alligator, and then leak. The most common repair method for a tar roof is by slathering on more tar and then the cycle starts over.
The use of the quality elastomeric roof coating system can be far more effective and much easier to apply when refurbishing an old tar roof.
The first step to any waterproof coating application is to thoroughly pressure wash the roof removing all loose or flaking debris that may fail after the application resulting in coating delaminating. The tape is applied to flashing, gaps larger than 1/8 inch and along parapet walls. The application of this system with the reflective white surface coating cools the building’s interior and cleans up easily with water.
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 very fine 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.
Asphalt emulsions and tar patch harm EPDM and can virtually destroy a roof.
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. 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 duel 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 sun’s rays while cooling the building’s interior. 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.