What Is Silicone Roof Coating And Should I Use It For A Commercial Roof System?

Because there are a lot of question about the use of silicone as a roof membrane, today we'll be looking at roof restoration applications and explore the logistics and cost factors involved in a silicon restoration membrane.

What is the average cost of a silicone restoration membrane?

A silicon restoration membrane is a fluid applied, silicon membrane that is installed over an existing roof substrate. For a typical SRM installation on a 20,000 square-foot facility, we're going to be right in the neighborhood of $2 to the top end and possibly $3.50 per square foot.

While this is only and estimate and there are many variables that can go into the cost for any particular roof, this gives you a general idea of the cost compared to other commercial roofing solutions. That cost estimate covers both labor and materials.

Assessing the Roof - Infrared Survey

One method of assessing a roof is the use of infrared surveys to verify that we know where all the saturated anomalies of insulation are, and that we can remove those before we do the SRM installation. We do not want to trap moisture in any roof assembly. It's critical that we start with a dry, sound and clean substrate. Infrared is the most cost effective and most effective measure and way to determine where those saturated areas are.

thrmographic image of a rooftop near downtown Tucson

There are product options for you to consider and you can learn more here, Commercial Roof Coating Products And Systems

Roof Repairs

Repairs to the existing roofs that are candidates for the SRM application, those roofs been out there for 15, 20, 25, 30 years or more. These repairs are the front line defense to your building. They're experiencing the harshest elements of your building envelope on a daily basis. Roof systems have finite life cycles. They start to wear out, things start to break down. So we want to make minor repairs to the areas that have degraded the most, if they're not too far gone that they can't be restored, but they still need some work to be bolstered back up. Some areas might have some tenting going on in the membranes that we want to address. Penetrations might just need to be reinforced a little bit before we do the SRM installation.

Roof Cleaning

So after we've done the inspection and we've done some mechanical repairs, we need to clean the roof system. We're trying to adhere a fluid applied product to a 15, 20, 25 year-old membrane that's been laying there collecting dirt. So we have to power wash it.

There's two primary methods of power washing. You got a power washer source of water and a power washing wand. We do it on an industrial scale where we're doing a little bit higher pressures than the typical homeowner is going to be doing that at, and we do it at a large scale. We'll have four or five out there at one time. We use a reclamation power washing system. It's spinning with a high pressure washer, but there's also a vacuuming mechanism at that point that's bringing it into, and pumping it to a truck. The truck filters out the contaminants that are pulled up off the roof and is discharging clean water. That has a little bit of a higher cost, with all the equipment involved in that, but you're also sucking the water off at the same time, so your roof is dry much sooner and you can go to work potentially the same day as you're washing that roof, verses it might take a day or two when using the traditional power washing methods to get the roof back to a dry surface.

Seam Reinforcement

With the SRM, there are seam repairs that need to be performed. Reinforcing the membrane helps to prevent further leaks.

There are two primary methods to do that. You can embed a polyester mesh into a wetout coat that's reinforcing that seam and covered with another coat once cured. It is the lower cost of the two methods.

The second method is utilizing an adhesive backed, polyester reinforced tape or membrane to reinforce that. The tape is installed over the seams and covered with an layer of coating. So you still have to be clean and dry. That process costs more then utilizing just the polyester mesh.

Silicone Application

Finally, the last step in an SRM. Now it's time to finally put down the magic juice. We're getting the silicon coating on the roof system. Most applications are getting a 10 year warranty, some will get a 15 year warranty and even fewer will get a 20 year restoration membrane application. Manufacturers are very comfortable with the 10 and 15 years and now we're kind of getting on that outside edge of is it really going to last 20 years, so the actual silicone and how it is applied affects the warranty as well. Some manufacturers are allowing a 10 year application to be installed in one coat. Some are even allowing a 15 year application to be installed in one coat.

Typically there's not much labor, it takes a little bit more time to put a little bit more coating down, but it really doesn't impact the overall cost of the project to go from 10 to 15, other than the additional material in one coat. Some roof conditions dictate that best practices says 2 coats need to be installed. You need to give this first coat down at a certain millage and then a second coat down at an additional millage, and the duration is affected by the thicknesses of both those coating applications. So again, you're adding more material to get from 10 to 15 years and potentially 20, but now you've got a second step of labor, which is a big cost driver. So a little bit of more material isn't terrible, but when you get into the second coat you do really drive an impact to the cost of the overall project.

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Why Commercial Roof Coating Makes Good Business Sense

There are a lot of options when it comes to commercial roof coatings. In this article we'll look at some reasons you might want to consider them.

Other options include TPO Roof Coating Installation which is covered at that linked article.

The commercial roofing industry for the most part has a very slim window of options. You're either going to tear it off, more often than not if a roof is in complete failure after probably years of repair. You're going to either try to re-cover it, as another option or now if it's a candidate, you have coating as an option. Not just as a protectant, but as an actual roof system.

DC Roofing spraying on commercial roof coating in Tucson

Today we're talking about a roof restoration system specifically involved in silicone coatings; high solid silicone coatings that when used to restore a roof can provide a 10 year warranty on the system.

The real candidates that we're seeing for re-coating are on roofs that were installed twenty, twenty-five, thirty years ago when there was a revolution in the roofing industry where you saw a lot more single ply roofs, and a lot of closed cell styles of insulation. These are the roofs now that are at the end of their service lives, and are now becoming candidates to be coated.

In this particular roof system the existing conditions were a single ply or a white sheet over the top of a closed cell insulation, with extremely good positive drainage, well drained, saddles. What we would consider after core samples, an ideal candidate for re-coating.

The roofing consultants like myself are the last guys in line. If there's a problem or a failure, we're going to be the guys that are actually going to be put out in front of it we're going to make sure that it's correct.

Roof Evaluation

To determine the condition of a roof, we do core samples and when necessary a thermal scan. We're very concerned about any type of moisture in the system or condensation in the system, so what those core samples are going to tell us is whether there is moisture in it, is a saturation level to the point that we don't feel that it's going to be coat-able? Because that saturation or moisture will ultimately find its way through that membrane and affect the coating. So it being dry is paramount to the success of a coating application.

In this particular case there were multiple drains and we took ten core samples on this particular project. All in the drain areas, which would be the lowest areas and more susceptible to being wet, found them all to be dry. Based on that evaluation, the positive drainage, the condition of the membrane, and our ability and know-how for cleaning it, we felt that we would be successful coating it.

Cleaning Process

So once we've determined that this is a good candidate for restoration, this is what we do to really clean this roof; we use a series of high-pressure washes along with some biodegradable detergents. We also use some service cleaners, in some cases we'll use industrial floor scrubbers along with a detergent to soften the dirt and then pressure wash the roof clean.

This is all about adhesion. Our whole system is about adhesion. Within the whole coating industry, it is all about ultimate adhesion. If it's clean, the technology and the coatings and the primers will work. If it's not, there's too many, what we call in our industry, "bond breakers". Any oils, anything that could be left behind after a cleaning that could cause the product to de-bond or not adhere correctly.

Primer Process

The next step would be the installation of the primers. We happen to be very big fans of primers. Once we've super cleaned the roof, we'll come back and we apply a two-part water-based epoxy primer to the entire surface. We'll apply that, depending on the raw substrate, between 300 to 450 square feet per gallon. What we're trying to do is create a surface profile to enhance adhesion to our finish coat material - that finished silicone material.

There's two ways to put a primer on. We use a two-part primer, which we feel is a very effective and a very aggressive type of primer. This particular primer can be put on either by rolling it, or it can be sprayed. Both spraying and rolling our effective methods. We don't coat until we're positive about the condition of the primer.

Final Roof Coating

The next step would be the detail coating, which would be a detail at all penetrations (three coats), and fabric when needed or required by the manufacturer in order to make their warranty requirements. After the primer and the detail coats have been done we do a complete inspection of the existing system as it sits at that point, prior to doing the application of the coatings. The actual final coat, in this particular installation, is a silicone based product that, once it's applied at a specific rate, will cure out into a monolithic sheet and provide long lasting service.

Manufacturers have requirements as far as the amount of material that's applied in any specific roof system. We watch and we match that particular recommendation very closely, because it will determine the performances of the actual product. If that millage isn't correct that manufacturer isn't going to want to provide that warranty. So we're very, very conscious, and very, very careful when we put it down.

The Value Of Re-coating

A roof candidate that's coat-able, in relation to tearing it off, the savings is easily within the 50% range or more. Not only are we talking about the actual cost savings, but environmentally we don't have to fill landfills with with old roof systems. If we can salvage these roofs and restore them into a into a functioning condition and keep them in that condition, everyone benefits. The beauty of using coatings when you are a candidate is that not only can you coat it, you can continue to coat it. Almost all the coating manufacturers will provide a minimum of a 10 year warranty with the understanding that, if the roof is maintained and cleaned, that it becomes a renewable warranty. That's something that's unique. It's something that, over the long haul, it's going to be a major, major cost savings

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Steps Involved with Installing TPO Roofing

If you're not sure what kind of roof coating you need, you might want to first get familiar with your various options in this article - Different Roof Coating Options for Your Commercial Roof

So the first thing we do with the gravel roof is we get rid of the gravel. A lot of roofing contractors may want to just tear the roofs off, but it's really better not to do that because of landfill waste and things like that. Also, you want to maintain your existing insulation. But if you were to go over this existing gravel, the real problem is weight. So by getting rid of the gravel you're getting rid of two hundred pounds per square. A TPO system is very light - more like 40 pounds per square, so it's worth the effort to get rid of the rock and keep the roof.  commercial roof coating

After clearing the gravel, we'll put down insulation and then after that we're going to put down the single ply system TPO over gravel. The next thing we do after the roof is swept is we put down is half-inch insulation. This is basically a buffer so that nothing from underneath can get through, if there is pebble there or anything, it won't poke through. So this goes on the whole roof. 

commercial application of TPO roofing membrane

Then we go to adding the TPO at 60 mm. It cannot be ripped - it's very formidable. This stuff should last 50 years

Once they start getting the TPO on the roof surface, they start heat welding, which is the next phase.

Let's discuss how this gets adhered and fastened to the deck. When things are set up, you'll see screws and wide plates that are about 8 inches apart, all along every single seam on the roof. Then the next row comes on will overlap the first and will be heat welded together. When it's done welded seams will be just as strong as any part of the material sheet.

The way it's kept down is at one side of the six or eight foot sheet it gets screwed down with the plates attached to the deck. That way it can't come up - the wind can't blow it up. So once the sheets are heat welded together, the whole thing is stuck to the deck.

Every every pipe flashing and every penetration gets dealt with individually by an individual installer. He heat welds individual strips to make a watertight boot around that particular vent or protrusion. Square shaped boots are usually manufactured right on the roof as needed. For a pipe or other circular protrusion, you'll get a prefabricated conical boot. Those get heat welded down at the base, right to the top deck layer, and is really your only point of concern. The top portion, where the vent pipe exits, gets a fifty year caulk on it and then it gets a band like you would see a hose clamp in a car, and that gets tightened down making a seal that is good for the duration of the roof.

Installing TPO Membrane | Roofing it Right

Transcript

I'm Dave and I'm Wally it's hot it is well you guys been seeing our videos of our a little practical get-go I know we're finally to the stage where they start stall numbering now you may notice we're wearing booties you guys an audience mace may chuckle at that you gotta remember we've been tearing off a nasty pitch roof I mean it's been hot it's dirty you didn't pack my other shoes I didn't know it's your fault now poker so as booties necessary no but it's gonna keep that membrane cleaner when we're kicking it out you don't have to wear booties but I'll tell you may sound stupid these things are cheap but it's gonna save you a little time you have to clean so much so we're gonna lay this roof up probably the lace roof okay well I think we're going to start hearing the drain with a 5-footer because we're tapering this white we're actually taping tapering always we're going to start Center this on the drain or pretty much run from wall to the to the edge out there and then we're going to go to the left and to the right where they're going to take over the crew that's doing the tear off right they'll take off or take over and go that way now the reason we did this of course is because the decks going this way mechanically attached we have to hit the top of the flue right that's why we're wearing our sheets this way I mean you could run him this way because that is longer but because of the deck we're going perpendicular to test so we're looking at this roof how many half sheets do we really have to have up here well if you wanted to do a half sheet you would do out there back out and back while I don't mess around a lot of messing around so I think we're gonna do fingers maybe do what has she run fingers right and we'll talk about that a little more as we get installing this perfect yep you crossed okay we're gonna take this five foot rule where several this drain rather than trying we're gonna take it to the water block that's our specification under any clamp ring round and run the membrane cut the hole try and get this tube squeezed in there anybody's ever mussels water black know how messy it is we're gonna do a prior to installing the membrane actually this is our flex seal that was our water block flex seal or water block this is our spec one full pool one full two / gray now the tricks gonna be somebody doesn't walk in it which sure you guys haven't been on a roof we know that's virtually impossible but this is gonna be covered up we'll put something around here so nobody actually gets into it no come to me go to you down a window flashing cover that walk  now I'm going to kind of cut this hold me ghosts we're not gonna put the plant bring on right now I will come back in a little bit just little buddy walks in this area it's cut a hole right here the center of this grain so I'll bet I will tidy it up okay so the settings I put on the robot is 10 feet a minute for about 900 degrees this machine will run I believe while 11:48 is a maximum temperature and I believe this b2 will run around 30 feet a minute you will never let me say this again you will never well cheap you a lot fast it's you gotta remember I've got this big cord I'm trying to drag with me I got trying to keep this thing straight I've got deflections in the deck because you can see right here that we're gonna have to come back and patch in but how I arrived at these temperatures was there's a formula was taught years ago you take the ambient temperature whatever it is that's about 80 degrees so I divided that by 10 gives me 8 I added 2 feet a minute 2 that gives me 10 feet a minute gets me in the ballpark okay you don't have to stay there but you got to have a baseline and I did test wells earlier what I did I set this up at 10 feet a minute I started at 600 degrees I did well I bumped it up 100 degrees I did another weld and I but I didn't touch my speed what I did I ran those those temperatures to I max this machine out from 600 degrees till m48 then I went dad back and did my test bulls and I stepped up the scene up in the middle which gave me about 10 feet a minute right around 8 by 900 degrees so that's where we get that's where we we test well that's how we arrived at the settings on this machine what we're going to do now is at the end of these sheets were going to put faders now a lot of you have done picture framing picture framing is on the outside the true outside perimeter of a building which is when you step off the roof as you're stepping it down that is a true outside perimeter a lot of the younger guys don't have experience with laying up half sheets all the way around the perimeter it works we've been doing it for years but now there's another way we call it faders so when we're going to put feeders in we're going to go between the two seams half of the sheet so we're doing 10-foot sheets now it would be five foot would be make your mark at five foot Gino okay now Gino's guy is his market five foot because we have a five foot perimeter he is going to install plates and faster twelve inches on center straight-line five foot 85-foot miss by an inch now he's putting go foot fight scene plates in here five fasteners now he's going to use this fasteners fasten it down and then we're going to scrip that in with our eight-inch flashing strip which is a reinforced product what this does now I have fastener to every five feet out here at the edge of the roof where the wind is where he hits first you can also do fingers with rhinobot so we put the Rhino bond plates in first lay the sheet over top and come back and zap it in so right now I'm cleaning the membrane very important to clean it just because I cut it you know what I mean all right it's not too dirty it's a brand new roll that just came out so I would just use water for this there's no need for the TPL cleaner or just plain old water it's it works  so guys as you saw I just welded this by hand kind of took me a while I highly recommend when you guys are doing this to use the robot use the robot to weld your your fingers as well it saves you some time now the only reason I'm doing it by hand our generators being used somewhere else so I need I want why not finish this up so I'm using the hand Walter but always try to use the welder to help you guys out with the job  so now what we're going to be doing here we're going to end up doing the wall flashing and it's we had to like a steel beam on the side of the on the bend so we're gonna move the flashing seven inches on the flat so one of the tricks that I was taught by market by Dave Wiley and Mark was we're when your guys are there you mark your seven inches when you come here you measure 14 inches so you mark your 14 inches because once again pretty quick we have a 7 inch on the flat so we're going to do is go back and put that put the edge of the seam right here where those up 14 inches went just crease it out and then with the roller we're gonna roll in so by rolling this in once we're done this is that's gonna help the tpo do an l-shape so we're not fighting it because if you don't crease it instead of having that that nice little L shape it's gonna come out and it's gonna bow out by where it right at that transition so we really really want to square this up is as you can see it's gonna stay nice and flat and this crease helps us out so this is a cool trick I recommend everybody using it and you're not trying to fight to try to get the TPO tight to that to the transition I'm going all the way duck  well we got through another one rarely barely we're wrapping this one up here in Maine we've done tear off we've AIT's a pitch you need some pitch learn some pitch what six inches to tear off something like that we got all the tpo on our end tapered systems on everything's buttoned up ready to go for the roofer contractor to kick off tomorrow it's up to him to finish this job it's about 5:30 or 6 o'clock here in Maine and I think we're just about ready to go what do you think I have myself anything gonna add it's been a long day I'm ready to go back to work and get some rest I heard that let's go

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Frequently Asked Questions In Commercial Roofing

While FAQs about commercial roofing sounds pretty straightforward, there's lots to discuss. Let's talk about commercial roof coatings and liquid applied roof membranes.

Why would we talk about liquid applied roof membranes if we're discussing roof coatings today? Because each used similar, if not the same base material. So we want to avoid any confusion and we want to use each for its best application.

Before we get too much further it sounds like we should define these.

rolling silicone roof coating on commercial roof in Tucson

A common question, and its answer, can be found here: Is Silicone Roof Coating Good?

Roof Coatings

The definition for coatings is a fluid applied adhered coating used for roof maintenance or repair, or as part of an assembly. Now typically roof coatings are installed on top of an existing roof membrane.

Liquid Applied Roof Membrane

Liquid applied roof membrane is a roof membrane constructed in place, using a liquid resin and a fabric reinforcement. It's applied directly over insulation, cover board, or an existing roof membrane in a re-cover scenario.

The above roof coating definition comes directly from the International Building Code, where the definition for a liquid applied roof membrane comes from the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association. So these are really solid definitions.

Now that we've defined things, let's get a little bit more technical with this discussion.

A roof coating has a number of uses. Although it's not a weather proofing membrane, it certainly is used to extend the life of an existing roof by providing protection from the elements. And a coating can minimize or avoid the need to tear off an existing roof and avoid operational disruptions. It can also extend the life of the roof. We have a lot of asphalt roofs in place right now, and using a coating is an effective application.

Coatings can also change the color of a roof. The general idea is that we want to coat a dark roof to make it lighter and more reflective. Most roof coatings are white and highly reflective. Simply put, this helps reflect the energy from the sun, reduce the amount of heat absorbed into the building, and potentially reduce air conditioning costs. And we should point out that actual energy savings are going to vary based on climate zone, geography, and utility rates and things like that. But a roof coating with a nice effective thermal layer in a roof is really going to go a long ways to help save energy use in a building.

Another important point is that coatings are not intended to repair roof leaks. Before we install a roof coating, it's good roofing practice to check for trapped moisture and repair leaks and any existing damage.

So let's switch gears now... Let's talk about liquid applied roof membranes and when they would be used.

The primary function of a liquid applied roof membrane is to protect the building from the elements, not just extended service life. So they're very different from coatings. So from a long-term point of view, we could use roof coatings actually to help maintain our liquid applied roof membranes, therefore we avoid a roof tear off.

Liquid applied materials are also transported in buckets, which fit easily into elevators. So when we're re-roofing an operational building, or a skyscraper, a liquid applied roof membrane can be a logical option.

So we can install these over many substrates and over many types of roofs. Two good examples are existing metal panel roofs and existing modified bitumen. In both cases it'll help extend the life of those roofs. However the ability of a liquid applied roof membrane to protect against the elements depends directly on the substrate to which it's adhered. If we have too much movement at a crack, a transition, an insulation board joint for example, this can damage the membrane.

Now that we have worked through some of the technical differences between these two products, why don't we talk a little bit more about some of the installation differences.

A liquid applied roof membrane starts with the application of a base or foundation layer. We broom in the fabric reinforcement and encapsulate that with another layer of base coat. Then we add two or more layers of top coat, which gives us our seamless membrane.

And a roof coating is installed by brushing rolling or spraying a layer of base coat and a layer of top coat. So pretty significant differences there. Regardless of which membrane or which system type you use, you still want to do proper preparation of the substrate, which really means it needs to be clean and dry, you have to check whether or not you need to use a primer or not, we need to repair any damage repair any leaks before we put either system down.

Liquid applied roof membrane, depending on its substrate, may require additional preparation at penetrations, transitions, board joints, any place that we could anticipate movement. Additional reinforcements might also be necessary in the base level.

So a good way to think about this, roof coating is used on existing membranes. A liquid applied roof membrane is used for new roofs, re-roofing or re-cover an existing roof. Both can be the roof surface, both are restorative, but a coating is more of a maintenance item where a liquid applied roof membrane is just that - a new membrane.

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Different Roof Coating Options for Your Commercial Roof - Torch Down, EPDM, TPO Roofing

Although there are many commercial roofing systems to choose from, there are three specific types of single ply roofing systems commonly installed by contractors across the United States. Of the three types, EPDM is the most popular. It has been used for over 40 years. It is the same synthetic rubber membrane used to make inner tubes.

Another type is TPO, which is a thermoplastic polyolefin membrane, and is probably the fastest growing type of commercial roofing product material.

And finally there's modified bitumen, which is an asphalt based membrane that is similar to a Built-Up Roof (BUR) that is used on many commercial buildings.

Let's look a bit closer at each of these membranes.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer)

EPDM is an extremely durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane used in low-slope buildings that are susceptible to water ponding issues. It is widely used in the United States and worldwide . Its two primary ingredients, ethylene and propylene, are derived from liquid oil and natural gas.

EPDM is produced in different thicknesses. They are 45, 60, and 90 thousandths of an inch. Most contractors use the industry standard of 60 thousandths of an inch, which is very near the thickness of a quarter. 

Some advantages for using EPDM on a flat roof are:

  • It is the least expensive system to install per square foot
  • It is simple to install with the use of anchors adhesives and rollers
  • It weighs less than other single ply membranes
  • It is sold in wide rolls of eight to twenty feet resulting in fewer seams

Some of the disadvantages of EPDM are

  • Harmful ultraviolet rays degrade adhesive used on seams and flashing causing very premature separation.
  • The black membrane absorbs ultraviolet light causing shrinkage and brittleness, which decreases its life expectancy drastically.
  • Protective mats are definitely needed because the thin membrane is susceptible to punctures due to foot traffic on sharp objects left behind by maintenance crews.
  • Another reason we don't recommend EPDM is because it's so easily punctured. For example, you may see roofers lay out mats for workmen to walk on, and this is supposed to offer protection, but because there's never enough mats to cover the whole roof, there almost always tends to be issues created by the foot traffic.
  • Repairs to seams and flashing is required long before the warranty of the fifteen to twenty years expires.
  • The surface preparation can be an added labor cost when removing an old roof system, or installing one over a pre-existing one.
  • And lastly, the black color of the membrane absorbs heat, and can lead to the super heating of the structure below, causing air conditioning costs to rise significantly.

TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) Roofing

Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) single-ply roofing membranes are among the fastest growing commercial roof coating products in the business and have gained praise across the industry for their many performance and installation advantages.

There are two thickness options to TPO; 45 and 60 thousandths of an inch, which is roughly equivalent to the thickness of a quarter. TPO is composed of laminated layers. Of the three membranes, this one requires more experienced roofing technicians and much more equipment.

Some of the advantages of TPO are

  • The seams are heat welded rather than glued, so they are much less prone to separation.
  • The white surface of the membrane reflects much of the ultraviolet light keeping the structure below cooler as measured by infrared instruments as well as basic temperature readings.
  • If the contractor is certified by the manufacturer, to install the membrane, the manufacturer, rather than the contractor, honors with warranty.

Here are some of the disadvantages of TPO

  • The system is fairly new to the roofing industry, about 20 years, and has a long track record of revisions and improvements due to surface and seam failures.
  • Also, TPO is known to shrink and its rigidity causes stress on seams and flashing.
  • A prolonged period of excessive heat exposure causes ultraviolet light degradation
  • Another con is that contractors must calibrate their welding machines very carefully. Improperly welded seams may come loose during the first freeze and thaw cycle and lead to water infiltration.
  • Lastly, the manufacturer's warranty is only fifteen to twenty years.

Installing TPO Roofing

Transcript

mechanically attached roofing system the Versa weld mechanically attached roofing system uses 45 60 72 or 80 mil reinforced membrane field sheets are either 8 10 or 12 foot wide depending upon wind zone deck type and building height step 1 begin by laying the approved insulation with no gaps greater than 1/4 inch versico recovery board and polyisocyanurate insulation with thickness 1 and 1/2 inches of greater utilize a minimum of 5 fasteners and plates / 4 by 8 foot board when using 4 by 4 foot boards regardless of the thickness a fastener and plate are required every four square feet please refer to the details for specific fastening requirements step 2 for the required perimeter secure meant position the four or six foot wide perimeter sheets over the substrate fast in the perimeter sheet according to the required number of fasteners for the project the project requires 12 inch on center fastening versa goes HPV X fasteners plates must be used to fasten the versa weld membrane to the deck position the next perimeter sheet by overlapping the first perimeter sheet approximately 5 and 1/2 inches fasten the perimeter sheet in the same manner as the first utilizing an automatic heat welding machine weld the two sheets together to achieve a minimum 1 and 1/2 inch Heat welded splice step 3 in the field of the roof position the versa weld membrane over the substrate whether using 8 10 or 12 foot rolls when encountering penetrations cut the membrane to fit as tight as possible around the units utilizing the pre-printed X markings along one edge of the sheet install all of the required fasteners the HPV X fasteners and plates are required for membrane securement and lap splices are set at a minimum of 2 inches to achieve a minimum 1 and 1/2 inch weld no mechanical Sherman is required at this location the sheets are typically fastened a maximum of 12 inches on center this project requires 12 inch on center fastening for the field sheets after the sheet has been fastened in place position the next roll of membrane overlapping the adjoining sheet at least 5 and 1/2 inches step 4 complete all splices utilizing an automatic heat welding machine there are 4 details which require additional membrane securement the pre molded and split pipe seal the filled fabricated pipe seal and the versa weld sealant pocket these four details require the use of HPV X fastener plate located 12 inches maximum from the detail round penetrations less than 6 inches in diameter only require four fasteners and plays pipes over 6 inches in diameter will require fastening 12 inches away from the penetration and 12 inches on center heat weld a piece of versa weld reinforced membrane over the plate to achieve a minimum 1 and 1/2 inch heat welded splice past the plate in all directions after the splice area has cooled probe this place and make any necessary repairs to complete the detail apply a bead of tpo cut edge sealant to the edge of the membrane. This is great for waterproofing as properly applied it is highly water-resistant.

The importance of waterproofing all seams and penetrations can't be overstated. Without paying attention to these small but critical waterproofing details, you are almost guaranteed to have water leak beneath the membrane..

You want to have a qualified roofer do this for you, so you might want to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for a bit of due diligence before hiring a contractor.

Modified Bitumen Torch Down Roofing

Now, let us talk about the modified bitumen torch down membrane that has been around since the late 1960s.

Torch down roofing (sometimes referred to as “torch on” roofing) is so named because it requires an open-flame propane torch.  The membrane layers of a torch down roof are made of an asphalt compound called bitumen that is modified with either rubber or plastic.

These single ply membranes can be combined to create a two-to-three ply membrane, that offers the best roofing system to date because there's a forty year guarantee.

Some advantages for installing the modified bitumen membrane

  • It is designed to be flexible in extremely hot and cold weather
  • It is a two ply membrane with a thickness of about five quarters, or three-eighths of an inch, which is very puncture resistant.
  • The membrane surface has been embedded with granular ceramics to protect it from ultraviolet degradation.
  • Seams are fused together with high heat to prevent any separation, unlike EPDM and TPO, the 2 to 3 ply system can withstand a heavy amount of foot traffic.
  • This 2 ply system can be installed over any existing roof or surface with minimal preparation.

There are actually two advantages for installing a new membrane in this case.

  1. 1
    There is no cost for stripping and removing the old membrane and
  2. 2
    Fusing an additional membrane over an old one creates a roof that will last well beyond 40 years, unlike the 15 to 20 year life wear expectancy of EPDM and TPO single ply roofing systems.

Some disadvantages to modified bitumen membrane are

  • The installation requires highly skilled roofing technicians
  • The additional layer has an added costs for labor materials

With a 2 ply system, when torched together, the membranes are fused so well together they cannot come apart and the underlying stones never puncture through. Everybody always asks if a simple base sheet is enough, and it is.  It's a fiberglass reinforced base sheet and it is not going to get punctured. You can walk on this kind of roof material all day long. It's what you want in a situation where there are air conditioning units that need maintenance on a regular basis for example, creating a lot of foot traffic, because it's so extremely puncture resistant.

In conclusion we feel the modified bitumen is likely the best, most cost effective and widely useful roofing repair system for the price. The type and condition of your existing roof does not matter as this is a roofing system that will be cost effective and will outlast any other.

When it comes to commercial roof coatings, you have a lot of options and solutions available to you. Whether your looking at options for a new building or an older one that needs a roof replacement or just a roof restoration service, there are a lot of different application that can be used on your property. And whether you have a metal roof, foam or any other material, a good roofing company can help you figure out if an acrylic elastomeric or silicone spray will provide you the most benefits. Either way, when you add a cool roof reflective coating, your building will need less energy to keep it cool during the hot Arizona summer. Building owners are often shocked at how well these work as a shield against the sun's scorching temperatures, regarding the energy costs and money that they save when these coatings are applied to their roofs when they really only thought they were looking for help with roof leaks.

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