The Pros and Cons of Silicone Roof Coatings
Our roofing experts see it every day – a facility manager realizes their roof warranty is coming to an end, but their facility roof isn’t in bad shape. A few repairs maybe over the years, but no devastating damage or visible leaks. Does he have to pay for the entire roof to be replaced?
What if I told you there are other options?
Here at West Roofing Systems, we’ve been restoring commercial roof systems to working order while saving facility owners and managers thousands of dollars in repairs and roof replacements.
If your commercial flat roof is in good working condition, you can install a silicone restoration membrane to extend the life of your roof and renew your warranty.
What is a Silicone Roof Coating?
A Silicone Restoration Membrane (SRM) is a fluid applied silicone coating sprayed directly onto an existing roof system.
Facility owners and managers tend to opt for a roof coating, usually silicone, when their roofing systems are in good shape but just need a renewal from age and normal wear and tear.
A silicone roof coating is a single layer of silicone that’s rolled or sprayed on as a liquid to fill in cracks, blisters, and seams. The process does not improve the insulation or underlying system, but it does add an extra layer of protection from the elements.
The process of installing a silicone restoration membrane is relatively straightforward.
- First, an infrared inspection should be performed to see if there are any saturated areas of insulation under the membrane. After those saturated areas have been removed and replaced, the entire roof surface is power washed clean to remove any contaminants.
- After the primer has been installed, the seams of the membrane are then reinforced.
- Once all of the miscellaneous repairs have been performed to the existing roof system, the silicone membrane is simply sprayed on or roller applied over the entire surface of the roof.
- After the silicone coating membrane has been completed, a final inspection will be performed by a third-party or the manufacturer’s representative to verify all the necessary repairs were performed properly and the silicone is applied accurately. When the repairs and silicone membrane coating are approved, the final warranty is issued.
Pros to Silicone Roof Coating
One of the top benefits of a Silicone Restoration Membrane is the cost savings. As long as the existing roof substrate is dry and stable, no roof removal is required. In this case, we make preventative repairs to the current system and install a brand-new silicone coating that acts like waterproof roof system over the existing substrate.
Extended Life Roof
If your roof is in relatively good condition, you can extend the life of your commercial roof by protecting it from the elements. Since the silicone is applied as a liquid, it fills in any seams, cracks or other vulnerable areas of your roof.
Reduced Energy Expenses
Silicone roof coatings are often referred to as “cool roofs” due to their ability to keep facilities cool. The bright white color reflects UV rays, saving buildings up to 35% in energy costs from not needing as much air conditioning to keep the facilities cool. Utilizing a bright white coating application reduces energy costs as part of the energy star cool roof solution.
Short Project Duration
One of the biggest issues with having work done on your facility is the interruptions to the daily functions of your building. A silicone coating projects can cut the down project duration up to 30%. This is not only more convenient, but it can also save money on labor and other considerations you would have to make (alternative parks, etc.)
Cons to Silicone Roof Coating
Difficult to Adhere to Silicone
The silicone material that’s used for roof coating is waterproof; the upside is that it keeps water from entering your insulation and eventually building. The downside to this is not everything adheres properly to the silicone coating. This means if you need a roof repair, you need to use a compatible material.
Roofing Contractor Experience
With any facility project, you want to hire the right, reputable contractors. If a contractor improperly installs a silicone commercial roof coating, it could cause more damage than protection.
Increased Safety Concerns
Another risk from using a waterproof material such as silicone to coat your commercial roof is when the surface gets wet, it tends to be more slippery than a typical roof system. This can be an added risk for personnel tending to units, skylight, roofing issues on the roof.
Loss of Reflective Properties
Like any roofing solution, over time the natural elements will wear the silicone coating down. The layer of silicone is prone to hold dirt and allow the rain to wash it away. This means that over time you will lose some of the reflective properties that contribute to your facility energy savings.
Silicone Restoration Membranes are a great alternative to replacing your facility roof system. You can restore your commercial roof to working condition in less time, with less cost, and while keeping your building under warranty. What else could you ask for?
Contact West Roofing Systems today to talk to our expert staff about your future Silicone Restoration Membrane System.
Author: Rufus West
Rufus West is a commercial roofing expert! You may see him on the West Roofing website and also on the West Roofing social media pages, giving fun facts and tips about the company and roofing industry.
Just like West Roofing System’s roof solutions, he isn’t bothered by water—it simply rolls off of his back!