Seal it with silicone

Silicone roof coatings can be a cost-effective option for roof system restorations

Restoring and extending the life of an aging but still structurally sound roof system not only saves money, it also is faster, easier, more environmentally responsible and less disruptive to building occupants than replacing it. So it's no surprise the use of white reflective coatings has dramatically increased during the past decade. Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc., Beloit, Wis., estimates the annual percentage growth in this industry segment to be in the high single digits.

In the past, water-based acrylic coatings and solvent-based urethane and SEBS-type coatings have been the go-to choices. These products have decades of successful use in the field. But increased use has revealed their limitations, such as longer cure times in cold weather. The high-solids 100 percent silicone roof coating systems found in the current marketplace provide another option that can deliver years of energy-efficient, low-maintenance, watertight performance while alleviating many of the drawbacks associated with other technologies.

Water-based and solvent-based

Water-based and solvent-based coatings offer the following advantages:

  • They are compatible with a wide variety of roof systems.
  • They provide long-lasting performance. Roofs that remain structurally sound can be recoated to extend their lives.
  • When "cool roof" colors are used, the coatings deliver excellent solar reflectance and emissivity, helping keep buildings cooler during the summer and helping mitigate the "urban heat island effect," according to the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC).
  • Acrylic coatings are particularly contractor-friendly, offering a strong cost-performance balance, easy application and quick, simple clean-up.