National Coatings Blog

Roof Coating Membranes vs Single-Plies/Installing a Second Roof

Posted by Nicole Gale on Wed, Aug 21, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

Benefits of Roof Coating Membranes vs 
Single-Plies/Installing a Second Roof to Your Existing Roof

roof coating membranes

Building codes usually allow you to add a second roof to your building if the first roof is failing. Anything after the second roof, you typically need to choose between a roof tear-off/new installation or a roof coating membrane system. A roof coating membrane system is the superior choice for several reasons over a tear-off/new roof but what if your building currently has only one roof, what is the better option, apply a new single-ply membrane to the existing roof or apply a roof coating membrane system to the existing roof? The answer once again is apply a roof coating membrane system. Let us explain.

Roof coating membranes are typically spray applied. This allows them to create a monolithic and seamless membrane which is custom tailored to fit your roofs exact needs. If your roof needs additional slope to eliminate drainage issues, roof coating membrane systems (particularly the AcryShield SPF Roofing Systemallow you to build in that slope to redirect the water towards a drain. If your roof experiences a lot of ponded water issues, AcryShield coatings are ideal because they are formulated for resistance to ponded water and protection against biological attach, such as algae and mold. If your roof has skylights, pipes, or equipment on the roof (as most do), roof coatings are sprayed directly on the areas where those items meet the roof, creating a seamless, watertight seal in those areas. 

Single-Plies are not spray applied; therefore, they cannot be custom installed and tailored to meet the particular issues each individual roof has. Single-plies are prefabricated sheets of material that are brought up on the roof and cut and trimmed to fit the size and shape of the roof. It cannot bend, mold and form fit like a liquid coating is able to. A single-ply can not wrap itself around items on a roof like the coating can - it needs to be cut, shaped and placed on the pipe or foot of equipment and then seam-welded, nailed or drilled. Then it needs to be filled/puttied with a sealer so leaks do not occur. The sealant does not have the same adhesion capabilities to the single-ply as a coating has to itself. This makes the single-ply more likely to tear away from the sealant and leak in the future. 

A coating is similar to a paint in that when it is sprayed, it fills small cracks and voids in the roof to create a solid, smooth surface. The coating then dries and hardens together to become a monolithic membrane. Our coatings contain high solids and premium ingredients making them high performing and flexible so they can move with the expansion and contraction of the roof. 

Single-Plies may be installed to the roof deck or substrate using mechanical fasteners, seam welding, adhesives and nailing. They are not 100% adhered to the existing roof membrane like a coating is because they are basically placed on top of the roof membrane or deck and fastened to it. They do not have the ability to be as watertight as a coating system does because they do not fill all the cracks and voids. Single-Plies have the ability to stretch a little but often times become brittle and crack over time due to plasticizer migration. This causes the single-ply to become less flexible leading to potential leaks when the roof experiences movement.  

The important differences of a liquid applied system (roof coating membrane) versus a prefabricated system (single-plies) lead us to believe there is no better choice when faced with restoring your roof other than a roof coating membrane system. The ability to custom install your roof to fit your buildings' exact needs are unparalleled. If you are looking for a watertight solution with excellent adhesion to your existing roof membrane, choose from one our AcryShield Roof Managment Systems (ARM)AcryShield SPF Roofing Systems, or AcryPly Roofing Systems

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How Do I Know if the Roof Coating Coverage is Correct?

Posted by Nicole Gale on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 @ 11:00 AM

This is an important question because many roofing specifications and warranty policies require a particular number of dry film thickness mils to be applied on a job. To ensure your roof coating coverage is correct, you will need a wet mil gauge and the volume solids of the roof coating you are using.

Roof Coating Coverage

What is a wet mil gauge? A wet mil gauge is a tool that is used to determine the thickness of the wet coating after it has been applied to the roof membrane. It is simply a gauge with teeth that is pressed into the elastomeric roof coating immediately after it has been sprayed on the roof. The gauge is then withdrawn vertically with coating stuck to some of the teeth. You want to note the deepest tooth having coating on it and the next deepest tooth that does not have coating on it. The true wet film thickness is somewhere between the two readings. Once you have determined your wet mil thickness, you then need to know the percent solids by volume in the coating. (You can easily find the volume solids for National Coatings AcryShield products on our product data sheets.) The wet film thickness is then multiplied by the percent of volume solids to give you your dry film thickness.

Although it is a relatively simple process to figure out the actual dry film thickness of your roofing system, there are three important factors to consider to have the proper roof coating coverage for your job. First, is the measurement of the wet film thickness immediately after the application of the roof coating to ensure the coating does not evaporate or dry, as this would give you a false reading. Second, is the wind loss factor when applying roof coatings. A 20 mph winds may result in a loss of 20% to 30% of the coating required. Last, is the need for extra material that could be from 3% to 10% of the overall amount of coating required for the job to account for thickness variations in the applications as well as for the miscellaneous coating residues in the lines and in the containers.

Achieving the proper roof coating coverage is a very important step in applying a roof coating system to any building. If you would like more information or help on this topic, please contact us at 800-423-9557 or email info@nationalcoatings.com

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White Roof Coatings Protect Your Roof from the Sun's Damaging UV Rays!

Posted by Nicole Gale on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 @ 01:00 PM

white roof coatings

While there are several reasons why a roof can start leaking, many people do not realize that the UV rays from the sun are the most damaging to your roofs surface. Dark roofs absorb a great amount of the sun’s heat, aka UV rays, causing the roof to become a brittle, less elastic substrate. When your roof becomes brittle, the membrane may lose thickness and become less defensive against leaks. A similar situation occurs when the roof loses the capability to expand and contract with fluctuating temperatures - cracks occur and seams split, leading to roof failure and more leaks. It is important to use one of the AcryShield white roof coatings to protect your roof against these common side effects from the sun.

AcryShield coatings are packed with high performance UV blocking pigments prohibiting the sun’s heat to be absorbed by the roofs surface. This keeps the surface temperature of the original roof cooler, allowing no further damage or premature roof failure to occur. The roof remains flexible and strong; protecting the assets inside the building from water damage caused by leaks. The minimal heat absorption also allows the interior of the building to remain cooler, cutting energy consumption costs and usage to cool the building. 

White roof coatings not only protect your roof from failures and leaks caused by the sun, they also can extend the life span of the roof indefinitely. Using one of National Coatings AcryShield Roof Maintenance Systems, you can recoat your existing roof every ten or so years, adding additional layers of protection and waterproofing, while eliminating the need for a costly roof tear-off. Building codes typically prohibit you from adding more than two roofs to your building without tearing the roof off and starting new. White roof coatings are usually not considered an additional roof; therefore, eliminating a roof tear-off.

For more information on National Coatings roofing systems and white roof coatings, download our Full Line Brochure.

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