An acrylic elastomeric roof coating is a liquid applied monolithic, or seamless single layer membrane. It works by fully adhering to the underlying roof system, filling in cracks, blisters, and seams. The acrylic roof coating does not improve the underlying roof system but extends the life of the roof by giving it an added layer of protection from the elements. A roof coating is a good choice when a commercial roof is in good condition overall but needs added protection due to old age and normal wear and tear.
Elastomeric means that the liquid acrylic roof coating has “elastic” properties. A roof can expand and contract due to thermal expansion, seismic expansion, and vibrational effects, and weight, which means the roof coating must be able to tolerate the movement. The roof coating looks like paint, with a similar viscosity, making it able to be applied with a brush, sprayer, or roller. The coating is seamless, and the expansion and contraction of the roof coating allows the acrylic membrane to maintain its flexibility while providing protection from any pre-existing weaknesses.
Acrylic elastomeric roof coatings can be used on virtually any type of commercial roof substrate. Acrylic roof coatings are commonly white but are also available in other colors. Acrylic roof coatings can make any type of roof substrate a “cool roof” because the membrane provides excellent UV protection. The reflective properties place a lower heat load on the roof, making the interior of the building more comfortable. Acrylic polymers are transparent to UV radiation, so they do not absorb the sun’s radiation, but reflect it. The UV blocking properties of the acrylic coating reduces its rate of degradation from sun exposure, enabling it to last longer. Proper cleaning will allow the roof to maintain its “cool” properties as dirt pickup and discoloration can stop the roof from being reflective.
Acrylic coatings are easy to apply to commercial roofs as they are a single component and do not require mixing. They can be brushed, rolled, sprayed, or even applied using a squeegee. The coating can be cleaned up with water and airless spray units can be rinsed the same way that a painter would rinse their equipment after painting. The coating is water born with minimal toxicity and no volatile organic compound restraints for application.
There are some application limitations for acrylic roof coatings. As acrylic roof coatings are waterborne, they cannot be applied in the rain. They are applied at least 10 times thicker than house paint, meaning they take longer to dry. If the humidity is over 90%, the coating will take an extremely long time to dry, but if the humidity is exceptionally low, the coating can dry very quickly. Temperature during application is important as well. Cold temperatures below fifty degrees can slow down the acrylic roof coating’s drying time, making it harder for the acrylic polymer to adhere to the roof.
Before application, the existing roof must be thoroughly cleaned to achieve a substrate that is suitable for coating. If the substrate is not mechanically sound and free of debris and dirt, the acrylic coating will not properly adhere.
After a hailstorm, you should have your commercial roof inspected. Hail impacts have the potential to compromise the watertight integrity of your commercial roofing system. Clear visual evidence of damage will be seen as cracks, fractures, indentations, or membrane punctures and these need to be addressed immediately. However, less obvious damage can lead to leaks and failure in the future. Even if leaks do not occur, the roofing membrane can be weakened, shortening its life expectancy. Hail can weaken the adhesive bond between the membrane and the insulation, which can worsen over time and an extreme weather event in the future could cause the membrane to completely detach from the insulation. At Orbit Roofing, we can provide a comprehensive assessment of the health of your commercial roofing system and work with you and your insurance carrier to find a cost-effective solution for your commercial roofing needs.