Stretching the life of the single-ply roof

From JAC, June/July 2009

by Penny Gift, Republic Powdered Metals Inc.

Current coatings technologies provide economical means to restore aging surfaces, with solar reflectivity adding a energy-savings bonus...
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Tagged categories: Building Envelope; Cool roof coatings; Energy efficiency; Green building; Reflective roof coatings; Reflective Roof Coatings Institute; Republic Powdered Metals; Roofing materials; Sustainability

Comment from David Lawson, (3/3/2011, 4:27 PM)

Although I agree with including reflective properties in the coating it has been my experience that once these products get dirt on them (and they will) their ability to reflect is diminished considerably. Also if they do not have UV resistence they will simply break down. The product I favour is the one with multiple ceramic types that offers more than mere reflection and can block ALL forms of heat transfer. It also has UV resistence.


Comment from Phil Kabza, (3/17/2011, 8:41 AM)

I would like more information from Mr. Lawson on the alternative ceramic coatings that he favors, in particular independent third party test data that demonstrates the ceramic coating's resistance to thermal conduction. While I have read promotional literature that contains such claims, I have never seen reliable data to back them up.


Comment from Guy Ralfe, (3/22/2011, 11:22 AM)

It is correct that with weathering the performance will degrade but even with the dirt it well outperforms the original black/grey or even a galvanized steel roof. In support of Mr Lawson's ceramic enhanced coatings, reflectivity is a key component in reducing the surface temperature but it is the conductivity of the coating that aids its performance in preventing the heat loading at the surface, transferring into the lower layers of the roof structure and affecting the interior temperature. A bit like cars, most will get you from A to B some with a lot more comfort!


Comment from dick fricklas, (3/23/2011, 10:55 AM)

It was stated that the seams of the EPDM roof were failing. The original neoprene-based seam adhesives are no longer used, having been replaced by butyl adhesives, then butyl-based tapes. All the seams should be strenghened by a self-adhering EPDM cover strip. Coatings are fine, but reinforcing the seams comes first!


Comment from Jose Miguel Ferrer, (3/25/2011, 11:14 AM)

Great article. We have been usign urethane coating in several roofs for at least 10 years. I would recommend to buy products from well known and experienced manufacturers. The can assist you to find the best products for your projects.


Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (3/28/2011, 5:20 PM)

"Ceramic" is a pretty broad term - Yes, for a good roof coating you want to have pigments which do a good job of reflecting both visible and infrared light and a binder (such as acrylic latex) which resists UV. Dirt, mildew and algae will degrade the reflection over time, but never as far as as your classic black roofing materials. The coating should be able to be scrubbed with some TSP (or diluted bleach) to kill the mold/mildew/algae.


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