As a business owner, you know that your commercial roof is one of your most important assets. It shields your building and everything inside from the elements day after day, year after year. So when your roof starts showing signs of wear, it’s crucial to consider the right solution to extend its life and keep your business protected.
Enter commercial roof protection. If your roof is still structurally sound but needs some TLC, a roof coating could be a savvy choice. In this guide, we’ll explore what exactly roof coatings are, their many benefits, and how they can defend your assets to optimize your ROI. Let’s dive in.
What Are Roof Coatings?
Commercial roof coatings are protective layers applied in liquid form directly onto your roof’s surface. They then cure to form a thick, rubberized barrier that shields the roof membrane below.
There are several major types of roof coatings:
- Acrylic coatings – Water-based, typically white, with excellent reflectivity.
- Silicone coatings – Can withstand ponding water, high durability.
- Polyurethane coatings – Robust, resistant to impact and chemicals.
- Elastomeric coatings – Supreme stretch and flexibility.
Roof coatings contain concentrated synthetic resins blended with various additives for UV resistance, longevity, and specialized properties. When applied properly, they bond tightly to the roof substrate to provide a seamless shield.
They work by deflecting liquid water as well as solar radiation. Some formulations have specialized minerals that reflect infrared heat, helping reduce cooling costs. Instead of looking for the cheapest types of AC units, consider roof coatings that reflect heat. The coatings also fill in cracks and seal seams prone to leaking. Let’s look closer at why roof coatings should be on your radar.
Benefits of Using Roof Coatings
One of the major perks of commercial roof protection is its ability to significantly extend the life of your existing roof. The coatings protect the membrane below from daily damage from the sun’s intense UV rays, extreme temperature shifts, wind, storms, and normal wear and tear.
By preserving your roof’s integrity, coatings allow you to delay the huge expense of a full roof tear-off and replacement. Your roof should last years longer, saving you big on capital costs. It’s common to get 10+ more years out of a coated roof.
Boost Energy Efficiency and Deliver Savings
Day after day, your roof absorbs heat from sunlight, transferring it into your building. In warm months, your AC system works overtime to cool the interior, racking up hefty energy bills.
Installing a reflective white roof coating can dramatically curb this heat gain. Studies show white acrylic and silicone coatings can reduce rooftop temperatures by up to 50°F.
With a cooler roof, your building will require far less air conditioning. You’ll notice the savings on electricity costs, especially during summer peaks. One study found an average savings of $7,200 per year after installing a reflective roof coating.
Prevent Leaks and Water Damage
Ever dealt with the headache of a leaky roof? Protective roof coatings offer premium leak protection. The thick fluid coats seamlessly seal up cracks, punctures, fastener holes, and more to prevent water ingress.
Roof coatings also withstand ponding water, unlike many bare roof membranes. Puddles will be unable to build up and enter the building. This means you have much less chance of water damage which can be costly.
Minimize Disruption to Your Business
A full roof replacement will lead to disruption. Business continuity will be affected if you need to shut down your operations for a week or more. However, with a roof coating your business will not be impacted in the same way.
Roof coating projects can move quickly with minimal noise or disturbance. This kind of roofing protection allows you to reinforce your building swiftly and with business carrying on as usual.
Gain Durability and Improve Aesthetics
Your commercial roof takes a daily beating from the elements. A coating helps it stand up to punishment from sunlight, storms, foot traffic, and more. Advanced coatings like polyurethanes resist punctures, scuffs, chemicals, and even fire far better than the substrate alone. Your roof emerges fortified against physical damage.
A freshly applied coating also provides a clean, attractive finish. Your property gains great curb appeal with a bold, uniform look. The coatings resist dirt buildup and stay gleaming white for years.
Reduce Waste and Environmental Impact
Ripping off an old roof wastes tons of debris bound for landfills. Roof coatings let you preserve your existing membrane instead of discarding it. The coatings are also energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. By reflecting heat and lowering AC use, they reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
You minimize waste and your carbon footprint. Several upgrades to commercial buildings qualify for energy efficiency tax credits.
Key Factors to Consider
Clearly, roof coatings offer tremendous advantages. But to gain the benefits, it’s crucial to do your due diligence.
Carefully Assess Your Roof
The first step is having your roof inspected from top to bottom by a professional contractor. They’ll check for damage, leaks, and ponding issues, and estimate the remaining lifespan.
If the roof membrane itself is too far gone, a coating won’t cut it. Your contractor will advise if you need areas repaired or a total replacement instead.
Choose the Right Coating
With many coating options available, it’s essential to pick one suitable for your roof type and climate. Talk to your contractor about the best formulations for your region’s weather patterns. Also consider the specialized properties you want like solar reflectance, elongation, ponding water resistance, and durability. Investing in a premium coating ensures optimal longevity.
Insist on Proper Application
Even the finest coating will underperform if improperly applied. Ensure certified technicians prep the surface thoroughly and follow the product specifications closely during application. Watch out for contractors who cut corners to save on labor costs. This compromises the coating’s adhesion and protection.
Maintain Your Coated Roof
Your roof coating needs periodic inspection, cleaning, and maintenance to stay in top form. Have professionals check for flaws annually and recoat damaged sections promptly.
With proper care, your coating will defend your assets for a decade or more. Don’t neglect the roof over your head.
Cost Comparison With Roof Replacement
Installing a commercial roof coating runs about $1.50-$3.50 per square foot installed. Compared to tearing off and replacing your roof, which costs $5-$12 per square foot, coatings provide major savings.
Plus, since coatings extend your roof’s lifespan drastically, they let you postpone the huge capital expense of full replacement. Your ROI is excellent. Many reflective roof coatings also qualify for energy efficiency tax credits, further offsetting your costs. And remember – you’ll keep saving yearly on lower AC bills.
And if cutting costs is at the forefront of your mind, now might be the time to consider solar power as you upgrade your roofing.
For business owners seeking to maximize their roofing investment, roof coatings are a smart play. The coatings deliver proven protection against leaks, weathering, and wear for years longer than the bare roof alone.
Other perks like energy savings, durability, and low disruption make coatings a savvy choice to defend your assets so you can focus on business as usual. Just be sure to pick the right coating for your building and insist on proper application.