December 2006

Considering coatings

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by Bill Kirn and Jim Leonard
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Increasing costs of oil and greater sensitivity to environmental implications of construction practices is forcing the roofing industry to address some new realities. As a result, building energy cost savings from roofs and roof system durability have become important factors.

During the past several years, construction literature has explored how field-applied roof coatings relate to cool roofs and energy savings; roof system maintenance and sustainability; and other specific programs such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System,™ ENERGY STAR® and California's Title 24.

In many cases, the discussion is presented through issues, alternatives and options: What is a cool roof, and what is required of a field-applied coating to make it cool? How do field-applied roof coatings fit in the cool roof marketplace; what benefits do they provide; and what are their limitations? Do field-applied reflective roof coatings provide real value, and are they part of the solution to the energy and environmental issues that face the roofing industry?

Field-applied reflective roof coatings can offer benefits and potentials in the developing cool roof marketplace. Coatings also can extend the useful life of nearly every roof substrate by keeping a roof surface cool and providing a level of protection from the sun and weather. So what do you need to know to select the right coating for a specific purpose; be assured of achieving desired benefits; provide potential energy savings; and produce a positive...

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