Spray on Roof Coating Restoration

Spray on Roof Coatings: What Is It and Are You Eligible?

Rufus WestRoof Maintenance, Silicone Roof Coatings

Summary: Roof coatings are similar to a very thick paint that’s engineered to restore an existing roof. Most building owners choose this option because it minimizes tear-off, creates a seamless membrane, lowers energy costs, and provides a new 10-20-year warranty. 

You’ve probably heard or read about commercial roof coatings and how they can save you money and energy costs while restoring the waterproofing capabilities of your roof. But is your commercial facility eligible for a roof coating restoration?

If your commercial flat roof is in fair working condition, you can install a silicone restoration membrane to extend the life of your roof and renew your warranty.

roof coating system installed in Midview, Ohio

What are Spray On Roof Coatings?

A Silicone Restoration Membrane (SRM) is a fluid-applied silicone coating sprayed directly onto an existing roof system.

The process of installing a silicone restoration membrane is relatively straightforward.

  1. An infrared inspection is performed to see if there are any wet areas of insulation under the membrane.

  2. After any saturated areas have been removed and replaced, the entire roof surface is power-washed clean to remove any contaminants.

  3. The seams of the membrane are then reinforced with mesh and coating.

  4. The silicone coating membrane is sprayed on or roller-applied over the entire roof surface, creating a seamless membrane.

  5. 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 that the silicone is applied accurately. When the repairs and silicone membrane coating are approved, the warranty is issued.

Is Your Roof Eligible for a Roof Coating Restoration?

Many facility owners choose to restore their commercial roofs rather than replace them when the warranty expires. This is a smart choice that can save them money, create energy savings, and renew their warranty coverage.

The best way to find out if your facility is eligible for a spray-on roof coating, you should schedule a contractor to evaluate your existing roof system. They will be able to recommend the best solution for your facility’s needs.

But here are some general indicators that your facility roof may be eligible for a spray-on roof coating:

Type of Existing Roof

Spray-on roof coatings are applied as a liquid and dry naturally over 8 to 24 hours, depending on the weather conditions. This is why roof coatings are designed for flat or low slope roofing systems (less than 14 degrees slope angle).

The most common flat or low-slope roofing systems include:

  • Asphalt (Built-Up)
  • Modified Bit
  • Concrete
  • Single-Ply Membrane
  • Metal (can be low or steep slope)
  • Spray Polyurethane Foam

Do you have a steep slope roof (shingles, cedar shake, slate, tile, etc.)? Don’t give up yet! You should still contact your contractor to see if they can help you.

Silicone Restoration Membrane for Commercial Roofs
Silicone Restoration Membrane for Commercial Roofs

Condition of the Insulation

Insulation is a fundamental component of your facility’s roof system and energy costs. You may have solid insulation that’s dry, intact, and doing a good job of regulating your facility temperature and energy; or you may have saturated insulation that’s collecting water, getting moldy, and hurting your roof’s ability to insulate the facility.

A roofing contractor will be able to perform an infrared survey to find out how much, if any, of the insulation is saturated. If 25% or less of your roof’s insulation is saturated, it can be removed and patched with new, dry insulation. Anything over 25% usually warrants a full roof replacement.

A roofing contractor can propose the best route when evaluating your insulation.

Condition of Seams

Seams are the most vulnerable part of the roof system. Over time, the adhesives that keep the seams together can deteriorate, allowing water to leak through…leading to saturated insulation and internal leaks.

When applying a spray-on roof coating, the contractor will repair/reinforce the seams. Seams, flashings, and penetrations are reinforced using mesh and coating.  

seams treated at Gorilla Glue

This reinforcement helps seams remain intact, but if your seams have deteriorated beyond a simple reinforcement, you may need to replace the membrane or full roof system if water has saturated the underlying layers.

If Your Roof Has Been Maintained

A commercial roof system is not a set-it-and-forget-it project. There’s a saying that facility owners clean their carpets and wash their windows regularly, but your roof system takes on more wear and tear from the elements.

If your roof is under a maintenance program, the chances are your roof is in good condition and is eligible for a roof coating. If your facility roof doesn’t get maintained regularly and there is no recent documentation on the condition, then you may need a replacement or more significant repairs.

Silicone roof coating systems are an eco-friendly, cost-effective, alternative to replacing your commercial roofing facility.

Other popular questions about silicone roof coating systems

download the silicone roof coating cheat sheet

About the Author

Rufus West