Roof coatings and liquid applied roofing materials are probably the fastest growing segment in the commercial, industrial and flat roofing market today. There's a reason for that, but what we want to do today is take a look at some of the primary liquid applied roof technologies that are out there, and the differences in some of the physical properties of those.

The four we're going to look at today are acrylic, silicone, asphalt emulsion, and synthetic rubber. Specifically we're going to take a look at the puncture resistance differences between those, which is going to be a combination of the elongation and the tensile strength. Let's have a look at some of these tests that we do and the difference between these products, and why they're gaining different traction in the market.

roof restoration systems being rolled on

Let's start with the exciting, fun test first. We coated small watermelons with four commonly used roof restoration products. We let them cure for two weeks, and then drop them from 25 feet.

A bare watermelon, on impact, is obliterated.

Asphalt Emulsion

The first product we tested is a commonly used asphalt emulsion for both roofing and waterproofing. It was applied to the melon at 60 mils or 1.5 millimetres. Unreinforced asphalt emulsion has no elongation or tensile strength, resulting in very poor impact resistance. The watermelon didn't fare much better than the first one.

Acrylic

Next up is an acrylic roof coating widely used in the industry. Applied to the 3rd melon at over 40 mils, or 1 millimetre. The forces created inside the melon on impact quickly split open the acrylic coating.

Silicone Roof Coating

Third is a very popular silicone roof coating. It was applied to the melon at 50 mils. While silicone has higher tensile strength or tightness than acrylic, the impact test shows how easily silicone tears once a split or tear begins. With both silicone and acrylic you can see that even 100 to 300 percent elongation does not allow for much movement when fully adhered.

Synthetic Rubber

Finally we have synthetic rubber manufactured by Triton, called Tritoflex, applied to the melon at 80 mils, or two millimetres. Not only does the rubber withstand the forces upon impact, it nearly retains its original shape after the melon has broken inside.

Considering the Tritoflex rubber was not damaged, we dropped it a second time this time next to a broken uncoated watermelon for comparison. The properties of over a thousand percent elongation and 600 psi tensile strength, were evident in this demonstration.

Let's take note of the value of these tests, because you may be thinking these are a little extreme... What kind of roof experiences these kinds of forces? And that's an appropriate thought. But if you think about, it roofs do experience a lot of extreme forces. They experience hail, foot traffic, dropped tools and equipment, high wind speeds and underlying structural movements.

Though those underlying structural movements may not be big in distance, they can be very big in force. And therefore that's why it's important when you're choosing a roof membrane in your design, that it performs more like a skin and not like a paint.

On to the second test, which is a simple yet effective puncture resistance test to demonstrate the forces required to puncture through a coating or a membrane.

First up asphalt emulsion.

The material has no elongation or strength, resulting in a quick break.

Next acrylic.

This first one is about 40 mils, or one millimetre in thickness, and cured for two weeks. There's minimal stretch in the force required to cause a puncture was minimal.

This next acrylic is thicker, about 60 mils or 1.5 millimetres in thickness, and cured for two weeks. With the increased thickness, there is minimal increased puncture resistance.

Now we have silicone.

This one is approximately 60 mils in thickness, 1.5 millimetres, and cured for two weeks. You can see the strength is higher than acrylic requiring more force to stretch it over the pipe, but once the silicone breaks it results in a very quick tear through the entire sheet. While the tensile strength is higher than acrylic, the actual tear resistance is poor.

Synthetic rubber membrane called Tritoflex

Last is a synthetic rubber membrane called Tritoflex. This sample is approximately 80 mils, or 2 millimetres in thickness, and cured for 2 weeks. The test shows both the high elongation properties of synthetic rubber combined with the high tensile strength. This requires a much higher force to puncture the membrane.

All right now that we've done the test let's summarize these four product technologies that we showed you, and where they're most used and some of the differences that are important to know between them.

First we'll look at cold process asphalt emulsion.

It's called cold process because it's applied at room temperature, or ambient temperature, unlike older asphalt technologies and roofing that are heated up in hot kettles and applied at very high temperatures. This is typically a water-based product that's used often for damp proofing. And in roofing it must be reinforced because you can see here the elongation at break properties and the tensile strength properties, are quite low. And so reinforcement is used in that in order to make it more like a membrane. And so asphalt emulsion is used often as a base layer for a lot of acrylic roof restoration systems. And I have a small sample of some commonly used asphalt emulsion roof coating here, and you can see that the strength, there's not a whole lot of strength here as our videos demonstrated, but if you reinforce it with a polyester fabric then it it has no elongation or flexibility but now all of a sudden it's it's a very tight, stronger membrane.

Now asphalt emulsion is not UV stable, so it needs to be top coated. And there's a certain window in which it needs to be covered otherwise the UV will damage it. And asphalt emulsion does not do well with freezing temperature. It has terrible freeze-thaw flexibility and a low temperature bend of flexibility in those tests. So it's commonly used in warmer year-round climates like southern California in the southwestern united states, as part of an acrylic restoration system used to extend the life of a roof. Obviously the cost of an asphalt emulsion product and system is very low, even though it's applied often at 40 to 100 mils total thickness, including the polyester reinforcement.

So then we moved to acrylic. And acrylic is a very commonly used roof restoration product, has been for decades as a topcoat on spray foam, as a top coat over asphalt emulsion. It's also used directly on existing roofs to extend the life of that roof. Because acrylic has good reflectivity, so it provides great UV protection to preserve the integrity of the underlying roof components such as the waterproofing membrane, and the insulation. And so acrylics are great for that purpose as sort of a sunscreen to protect the existing roof from UV damage, and to preserve the integrity longer, and protect it from that heat gain and the heat aging.

Acrylic is typically applied at 20 to 30 mils, or sometimes it may be higher. You have to be careful with acrylic going to thick because it is a very permeable product, it will absorb water doesn't do well under ponding water. It will wrinkle up and it will allow for vapor transmission. It is a breathable product, therefore it's not used as a waterproofing membrane. It's used as a uv protection coating. And it's also a very sustainable, because acrylic can be easily repaired and easily renewed with time. And so by using an acrylic roof coating you can create a sustainable system and continue to preserve the life of that roof, indefinitely, when used properly.

Obviously the properties of acrylic are like a high grade paint. There's not a lot of stretch, though some roofing acrylics have some good tensile strength, but they can be torn quite easily and there's not a whole lot of elongation at break there. So you have to think when something is fully adhered to a surface you're going from absolutely no distance to a far distance when you have that expansion and contraction. Here's a very thick acrylic which would absorb a lot of water and again not a whole lot of flexibility there. Again, it gets stronger the thicker that you put it on but again the tear resistance on that is is quite poor. But it is inexpensive, so it's a great way to extend the life of roof when you don't need a new roof membrane or a new waterproofing layer on the existing roof.

So next we move the silicone

Silicone is also a breathable product, it has a 5 perms rating, but it does hold up well to ponding water. That's why it's become popular as an alternative to acrylic, because it does better under ponding. But I put the asterisk there because it's still a permeable product. If water sits on silicone long enough, it will absorb through, and and can get beneath the silicone film, and so that's something important to know.

Silicone is also bright white, like acrylic, so it's good for reflectivity for UV protection, for energy efficiency, but I put an asterisk on there too because silicone is notorious for having a bad dirt pick up compared to acrylic. While acrylic has a good dirt pick up resistance, it stays a white for many years, silicone can tend to yellow and discolor because it has a high dirt pickup. It's stronger than acrylic, as you can see here, and has a little bit more kind of a stretchiness or rubberiness because silicone is a part of the rubber family, but like I showed in the video that once a tear does start, it peels apart almost like cheese. Almost no pressure at all will cause the silicone to tear. And that's because of the type of chemical matrix that silicone has. And so that's something to be leery of in areas where you may have hail, and if you have a split into the silicone, that split can easily tear and continue through the entire roof surface. So that's something you have to be a concerned with regarding silicone. It's also very difficult to repair. Silicone has a very low surface energy compared to acrylic, so acrylics will stick to other acrylics quite easily - emergency repair patches, asphalt mastic, rubber mastic, urethanes will stick to acrylic. None of those materials will adhere to silicone because of the low surface energy. Only silicone will adhere to silicone. So it makes it very difficult to repair, very difficult to re-coat, because the right silicone has to be matched up in order to do a re-coat.

Also, with that low surface energy makes it a very slippery product. So if there's any dew on the surface, any rain on the surface, it can be a big safety hazard. And it's also not a true waterproofing membrane. Typically it's only applied 20 to 36 mils dry, but it is an economical choice. The reason why this has become more more popular than acrylic, because of a little bit of that increased tensile strength, but mostly because it holds up better under ponding. But you do have to sacrifice some of that reflectivity with time when you go with the silicone.

And then the fourth liquid applied product that we tested was a synthetic rubber material produced by Triton called Tritoflex. It's typically applied at 60 to 80 mils dry, it has over a thousand percent elongation at break, with over 700 psi tensile strength. And it's 0.1 perms, so it's considered an impermeable or non breathable product. So it is considered a waterproofing membrane.

With the elongation and tensile properties that makes it very durable, and makes it resistant to hail, foot traffic, a lot of different things that a roof does experience including underlying structural movement, if you think of, for example, an existing metal or steel building. It withstands ponding water indefinitely, not just for a certain period of time, like silicone. It is also renewable, both on its own, exposed to UV, because synthetic rubber produced here is a UV resistant product, but when you use the acrylic topcoat you can continue to sustain the life of that roof indefinitely, which is a great savings in value for a building owner long term.

The non breathability can be a pro in a con. It's good because you know that it's completely watertight, it's not going to allow any moisture transmission or air or gas transmission to the underlying roof or structure. But it can be a con in some situations. If they're if you're just trying to extend the life of the roof short term, and acrylic may be better because if you have some residual moisture in the roof system and acrylic will allow that breathability. A synthetic rubber membrane will not; it'll trap any moisture in in an existing surface and will allow that to breathe out.

And it is synthetic rubber is black in color, so that's a downside. So these are already white, this is black. But again, this is used as a waterproofing membrane for durability, flexibility, to create a long-term 15, 20, 25 year roof system. When combined with an acrylic top coat, you can achieve that reflectivity, the sustainability and then with that sacrificial layer you can continue to renew the life of that roof indefinitely.

And here I have some examples of the synthetic rubber on its own, so you can see here the elongation and recovery, but combined with the tensile strength makes it very difficult to pull apart, but fully adhere to a roof it makes a lot of difference when you have the combination of good flexibility with the tensile strength.

And then of course combining it with a reflective topcoat, you're able to achieve the goals that you have here, while having a strong durable seamless membrane underneath. As you can see here this is acrylic on top of the rubber, that the acrylic splits apart with any of that stretch. So this would be similar to an acrylic directly on a surface that has some expansion and contraction and movement.

So essentially as you look forward to considering a roof restoration system for your building, you have to take a look at the technologies that are available. The technical data behind those and what's most appropriate for your roof system. Do you need something that's going to protect your roof long term? Are you looking for simply uv protection and a short-term extension of life? Or are you looking for a long-term new waterproofing membrane to protect your structure?

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How Much Do Commercial Roofs Cost to Repair? Looking at the price quote process

We all know a commercial roofing project can be a daunting task. Today, we're going to cover how technical reps customize a quote for you. So let's walk through the steps of creating a custom roof quote.

After speaking to a prospective customer and establishing that they need a commercial roof repair quote, we'll send our technician out to their location. we come out and do a field inspection on their roof in which we will pull cores out of the roof to determine the existing make up of the building's roof.

We'll ask some questions to find out what kind of roofing solution they have in mind. Things like what they're looking for, what their real big problems are that they're facing. Then we will take that information along with our measurements, and field drawings, and photos to be able to take it back to the office and pull a proposal package together.

When we get back to our office we'll take that information and begin to compile it. And the first thing we want to do is develop the cost. Once we've come up with that number, we put together a scope of work for the building which will detail and outline, from start to finish, what we're going to do on your building which will include all the different things that we are going to propose that need to be removed, replaced, changed, or gone over.

We break down all that data and try to determine what the best solution is going to be. Every roof is unique, so they're not all the same. Each one has a different logistics challenge. Each one has a different insulation, or drainage, or multiple units on a roof, so each one is custom designed to that facility and to that owner's needs and wants, so we take all that into consideration.

The package that is put together includes the survey report, a drawing of the roof, that may differentiate the different areas and different things that we found on the roof during the survey, to a comprehensive scope of work and proposal.

After that process is done, it gets sent to the customer or we deliver it to you and kind of explain and go over exactly what it is we're proposing to do. The information can be presented in person or over the phone. Typically it's sent through email process and then discussed in a phone meeting.

So once that roofing proposal is delivered, hopefully within a week or two we hear back and the decision is made to go forward with the work we recommended. At that point, we may go into a negotiation phase because it's possible that the building owner wants to do some areas and not others. so we may have to go back and revise some pricing and whatnot.

In the end, we want to give you the best service and the best price for what you want and need. To get to that point, we need to work together with the customer as a team to make sure we have the same end goal.

Price Variables on Roof Repairs

As you can see from the video below, no matter where you are, getting an estimate on a commercial roof repair involves a lot of variables, so it's not an easy thing to answer straight away over the phone.  But with a bit of information, we'll do our best to give you an idea of what you're looking at.

Transcript

hello there my name is Steven from London flat roofing when I'm answering the phone number off the last how much did the new flat roof cost well the answer to this is really down to a number of factors it's not an easy one to answer straight away however with certain information I can come up with an approximation of how much a flat roof would cost some of this information that I really need is what is the area of the roof how much difficulty is there involved with the roof what's access like to it what's the substrate line.i what is it actually which is on the roof at the moment is it new build is it an old roof is it Asheville all sorts of different questions like that really helped me make my mind up on what I can do for you and how we can reroute that roof for you now do you want to strip the roof or not and that's an interesting run because today if we strip a roof we actually have to insulate the roof there's a building regulation part l-1b of the building regulations says but if you strip a roof you must insulate afterwards so if you don't want to trigger there then we really should be using an overlay system so all this information I can gain from you on the phone once I've got that information I can then work out using a meter ridge ray how much the roof is going to cost you so if you take this roof behind me as an example I really need to know the links and the width of the main area so I can calculate this it's square meter ridge then I need to know the details around the side the flashing details now in this particular roof the roof actually goes up and over the parapet walls so therefore I need to know what area that is and would calculate that slightly different than the main area because the main area we've done at one cost that will be done at a slightly greater cost because there's more effort in doing that and you naturally see the men behind you going around and doing that first that takes a lot more time than it does just laying out the main roof once I've got that kind of information I can then work out square meters right and I can give you a proximate price of the roof over the phone my name is Steven from London flat roofing if I can help you my details are on screen now

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showing the need for commercial roof repair on a Tucson roof

Roof Repairs Can Be an Alternative to a Complete Commercial Re-roof

If your commercial building is suffering from roof leaks or other problems, it might be time for a new roof, which can be a major expense to deal with. However, sometimes a knowledgeable commercial roof repair contractor can show you affordable alternatives to the expense of re-roofing your entire building.

The vast majority of phone calls from facility managers asking for prices for re-roofing end up where the building in fact does not need an entire new roof, but rather some repairs coupled with ongoing preventative maintenance.

One thing we all know - commercial roofs at some point in time will suffer some corrosion and will leak. And commercial roofs, at some point in time, will need to be replaced. A good commercial roof contractor can assist you in planning for that expense when the time comes, but in the mean time, preventive maintenance will make your roof last longer. Preventive maintenance will eliminate the headaches caused by water getting into your facility, and preventive maintenance will in fact lower the eventual cost of roof replacement.

By getting your flat roofing waterproofed and keeping water out of your roof assembly - for example out of your roof insulation - you can maintain the integrity of the roof insulation and reuse it when it comes time to re-roof. So it's extremely important to keep water out of your roof assembly.

Another element when it comes to budgeting for, and actually re-roofing buildings, is the concept of partial roof replacements. If you're dealing with, for example a 100,000 square foot facility and monetary restraints keep you from re-roofing the entire facility, you can do a part of the roof. You can do 25,000 square feet or 50,000 square feet at this time, and then simply tie into that new section at some future point with the balance of the roof replacement.

5 Common Causes of a Leaking Commercial Roof

Transcript

Weather plays a big role on your roof it's outside in the elements harsh weather freeze tall rain when everything takes its toll on your roof hi my name is David Mann I'm a service technician here at west roofing going on my 25th year and today we're talking about the five common causes of a commercial roof leak signs of a leaking roof is obviously some stains yellow stains brown stains whatever the water stains may be if you see water on the floor or dripping from the ceiling that's obviously yes tell sign there's also an odor I mean a pungent odor strong I mean mold does kind of smell and you can definitely smell it as long as you've had any in your home or anywhere else and you have to smell the smelly you-you'd it's hard to get rid of something that has poor drainage it could go back to your gutters you can go to your drains as far as just drainage itself standing water it can actually seep into there and they can bill open your gutters you can get underneath layers and also go down inside your pipes of your drains and actually freeze and thaw and freeze until the break pipes to an open penetration means there's a vent or something coming through the roof where they had to go around that when they're putting on the membrane penetrations could be a gas line coming through could be all water lines could be HVAC a vent pipe a drain pipe anything that comes through your roof roof flesh is kind of go hand in hand with penetrations because when you do have penetrations or a wall changing you're gonna have flashing flashing is are not always metal they could be part of the real system that they use up there and they can use a termination bar to terminate that damaged membrane is the actual surface that you walk on is on your roof a lot of foot traffic and kind of damage and crush anything like that it can get through the membrane and then throw four into your insulation then all the way down if you have a small area that's damaged it's easy fix the longevity of a commercial roof is based upon the amount that you put down what you put down the material you put down there are different thicknesses of everything there's different thicknesses of rubber everything that you put on there determines your longevity to minimize any kind of damage more inside on the thirst equipment or anything like that please move everything out of the way as quickly as possible if at all possible if you can please mark any point of entry so when the service techs get there you can point out where it was um if you seen it move if you've seen it travel coming out of a ductwork coming out of a light fixture anything like that any more information you give the service tech when they get there would be very helpful it's always good to look around you never know if that's your only leak you might have one ten feet away if you have a leak like right by a wall go into the next room to see if it's leaking in there also so after you've maintained everything moved everything out of the way you want to call your roofing contractor at that time to get the problem fixed as soon as possible so if your building has received any internal damage it's probably best that you get your insurance company involved and if you can't at all possible look for your warranty information and if you don't have it our service tech will be able to help if your roof is under warranty depending on what the damage is it could be no charge to you no matter how you treat a roof leak it's a serious problem and it can grow larger here at West roofing systems we have a Mars program which is the maintenance repair of service there are different levels different tiers involved in that and if you call in for a roof leak we'll get the paperwork in order as fast as we can we do have a 24 hour on call service when you call in you'll leave a message and it'll get sent and just back to the person that's on call that eating and you'll receive a phone call possibly within a net 10 to 15 minutes you can also visit our online learning center to learn more about what causes roof leaks and what you can do to prevent them in the future you

An experienced commercial roofing company analyzes a particular building and identifies unique solutions, from making use of an energy audit to recommending highly energy-efficient solutions for your rooftop. It is best to hire a licensed, professional roofer to carry out the inspections and maintenance of the roof, as typically the plant owners have no knowledge or experience in the commercial roofing trade.

There are a lot of commercial roof options for flat roofs when it comes to materials, some of which include metal roofs as a common commercial roofing system, restoration options over your existing roof include spray foam, modified bitumen, reflective roof coating roof, built-up roofing (BUR), single-ply coating systems, Torch Down, EPDM rubber (ethylene propylene diene monomer), single ply membranes, TPO Membrane Roofing system, TPO over gravel and more. For more information on the best commercial roofing products and services, contact us today.

Tearing down the roof usually means limiting your business activities for at least a few days, which can cost you even more in revenue. If you want to maximize the life expectancy of your roof and get the most out of your investment, consider implementing a commercial roof repair and maintenance program.

When it comes to commercial roofing repair, you have a lot of options. Compared to a full roof replacement for your property, the money you pay compared to the time, work hassle and cost you'll save on a full new roof installation makes for an easy choice. Whether you decide to request a scheduled maintenance plan where qualified roof contractors with professional equipment will provide regular, complete service inspections to ensure your flat roof is in good shape going forward is up to you. But it's an important point to understand that having a professional roofing company inspect your roof today rather than waiting for some big storm to call your insurance company to learn what kind of best estimate they'll offer you can take a lot of future stress out of your business life. Don't wait to see water leak or other problems develop - get a regular inspection and roof maintenance team on your roof at least once a year and prevent future damage before it's too late.

When it does come time for a repair, remember that not all roofing contractors are the same - there are different types out there. Make sure the one you hire offers solutions using high quality industrial materials on your project and that they have the experience to apply them properly. Check to see that previous customers are happy with the work they have done by checking with the Better Busines Bureau (BBB). Doing so will ensure that you get many years of hassle free use from your roof.

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