How Is an Elastomeric Roof Coating System Maintained?
If you’re interested in learning more about an elastomeric roof coating system, one thing that needs to be considered is how your new roof will be maintained.
Are you going to maintain it? Is a roofing contractor going to maintain it? How much does maintenance cost?
At West Roofing Systems, we hear these questions all the time since we’ve been installing elastomeric roof coating systems as restorations since 2007.
In this article, we’ll break down what you can expect maintenance-wise after installing an elastomeric roof coating system.
What can a building owner expect during years 1-10?
An elastomeric roof coating system is warranted by the manufacturer or roofing contractor. The duration of the warranty is determined by the thickness of the coating that’s applied.
If 25 mils of coating are applied, the roof will be warranted for 10 years.
If 35 mils of coating are applied, the roof will be warranted for 20 years.
During years 1-5, the roof may get a little bit dirty. This is due to rain, dirt, wind, etc. getting on your roof. You may also experience clogged drains and scuppers which need to be cleaned. You may also see small splits, cracks and tears, which will be repaired by cleaning the area, drying, and applying additional coating.
On years 7-8, you’re going to start looking around and seeing if any existing substrate is showing through.
You’re also looking for physical damage and hail damage. It just a matter of that coating wearing and seeing the rubber coming through. You’ll know when the coating is about gone when you start to get a black look coming through the coating.
NOTE: this is very rare. A coating that’s applied to last 10 years, without any third-party interference, 99% of the time will last more than 10 years.
How often does a roofing contractor come out for maintenance? Why?
You want a roofing contractor to come out at least once per year. This is to recognize damage on the coating system that could’ve been caused by another contractor (Hi HVAC guy!).
This is a big issue that we’ve seen through the years.
The HVAC guy comes up to repair the AC, removes the panel and just stabs them into the roof creating a hole. Or they will drop screws and tools, step on them, and create holes.
Either way, this is unacceptable, and a building owner shouldn’t be liable for another’s mistake.
The trick is to catch these instances as early as you can to prevent damage and to alert the offending party.
Another reason you want a roofing contractor on your roof at least once a year to identify common draining issues, such as a clogged drain.
Here are some other commonly asked questions about elastomeric roof systems and maintenance:
How long does maintenance take on an elastomeric roof?
If there’s a 10×10 area that has some black coming through, the guys would come with a bucket and roll the coating on. It would take about 2 hours to complete.
For a 30,000 sq. ft. area, a roofing contractor would power wash the roof clean, dry the area, and use 55-gallon drums and a sprayer to apply the coating. This would take about 2 days to complete.
NOTE: if you have a warranty, the labor and product would be covered for coating that’s thinning out.
How much does maintenance on an elastomeric roof cost?
A good rule of thumb is 3c per sq. ft. The only thing that affects the cost is the amount of levels a building has. The more levels, the more time that’s required to move machinery and labor around.
For example, school roofs are usually one level and flat, there aren’t many ups and downs. That would cost about 3c per sq. ft.
Another example is a hospital, which has multiple levels. That would cost about 5-6 cents per sq. ft.
How does a building owner know what maintenance has been performed?
Building owners usually sign up for annual or biannual maintenance. This is usually done in the Spring and Fall.
After a roofing contractor inspects the roof for damages or thin coating, clears the drains and gutters, and makes sure there’s no chances of future leaking, a roofing contractor will provide the business owner with a maintenance report.
The maintenance report will include before and after photos of repairs done, including an explanation of their work.
What happens if a building owner doesn’t get a maintenance package?
If a building owner doesn’t get a maintenance package, it does NOT affect their warranty.
But just like your carpet, windows and everything else at your business that gets cleaned and washed, the roof usually gets forgotten about.
One bad storm can cause branches and leaves to clog your drains, leaving standing water on your roof. The HVAC guy could’ve dropped a tool and punctured a small hole in your roof.
Now you have possible leaking opportunities that will only get worse if the problem isn’t fixed.
While any building owner can avoid getting a maintenance package, it’s not recommended because the roof is usually ignored and it ends up costing the building owner financial headaches down the road.
Can a building owner do the repairs themselves?
Someone without expert roofing knowledge can clean gutters, drains and remove debris, although there is a significant safety factor that should be considered when using in-house personnel.
But as far as noticing small slits and cuts…or recognizing when the coating is wearing thin or rubber is coming through, that would be a job more suited for a professional roofing contractor.
NOTE: just to reiterate, coating that’s wearing thin or it appears the rubber is coming through the coating…is a very rare occurrence. But if it does happen, the labor and materials will be covered by your warranty.
What happens after year 10? (inspection, coating, warranty?)
During year 10, a roofing contractor will send you a letter saying that your roof is soon to come out of warranty. They will come out and do a free inspection, look at the roof and then provide a price on doing a recoat.
A recoat includes:
– cleaning the roof
– making repairs
– making sure the roof is dry
– add more coating on
– providing you another 10, 15 or 20-year warranty
Next steps concerning elastomeric roof coatings?
If you want to learn more about elastomeric roof coatings, we have plenty of articles that can help answer your most pressing questions, such as:
- What Problems Do Silicone Restoration Membranes Have?
- Should I Install a Silicone Restoration Membrane or Completely Tear off My Roof?
- What Are the Pros and Cons of an SRM?
And if you want to learn about our most common elastomeric roof coating, the silicone restoration membrane, please download our free eBook below:
Author: Greg Palya
Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he’s not trying to increase website traffic, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.