The Secrets of Installing Silicone Roof Coatings

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Whether you want to install it yourself -or have a pro do it- The Cool Roof Store can show you why a Silicone based roof coating may be the last roof you will ever need. Whether you have a flat roof or a shingle roof, silicone can last the test of time.

Look around any neighborhood in Hawaii and you will see a real change taking place the “Cool Roof Revolution.” Instead of tearing off your old asphalt roofs and hauling it to the dump every 10 to 15 years you can choose to save money by simply having your existing roof coated with a long lasting coating that is warranted up to 50 years.

Silicone coatings have so many positive points that it’s easy to see why they are growing in popularity every day. In fact, they have become the leading roof system that the Cool Roof Store has sold in the last year. Lets look a just a few reasons why:

  • They will withstand heavy ponding water —indefinitely. Because they are not water based like Acrylic coatings, they don’t absorb any moisture at all. While the top end Acrylics, when they are reinforced with Roof Fabric, can withstand moderate ponding water, silicones are in a whole different league.
  • They won’t chalk off over time. Silicone is a “non-sacrificial” coating–meaning that it won’t slowly shed as the years go by. How long? Gaco, the oldest and largest brand, offers a 50 Year Material Warranty against defects in the coating. If you have your silicone roof installed by an authorized contractor you can get up to a 20 Year Manufactures Labor and Material Warranty–the industries’ gold standard.
  • The entire roof doesn’t need to be reinforced with Roof Fabric. This saves a lot of time and money. In some cases homeowners may want to reinforce a few “weak knee” areas like the perimeter drip edge, or a skylight curb with roof fabric. However, in most cases it’s not needed. The Gaco “Peel and Stick” Roof Fabric is an easy and inexpensive way to do this. Even easier is the Gaco Liquid Roof Tape, a thick buttery caulking, which is simply applied with a brush.
  • Because you need less material–as little as 2 gallons per 100 SF if your roof is smooth–the cost is about the same as a quality Acrylic roof system which needs 4 to 5 gallons per 100 SF.
  • What are the things you need to watch out for?

    If you have a rough, dry “cap sheet roof” you may need to first apply a base coat of either silicone or acrylic coating to seal off the thirsty roof below.

    Only apply the silicone when the roof is absolutely dry, including any base coats you may installed. Don’t forget, silicone is a vapor barrier, which is great as a protection against ponding water, but may bubble if the roof below is wet. Not to worry, any bubbling can be easily and inexpensively fixed by popping the bubbles and touching up with a dab of coating.

    A coated silicone roof is slippery when wet. The moment it even sprinkles you want to get off the roof before it becomes a slippery slide. Leave those mangoes for another day.

    Always reinforce loose roof seams and the entire perimeter drip edge-with reinforcing roof tape. All flat roofs have a tendency to unravel over time along the edge and rot the fascia board below. Don’t forget, you are preparing your roof for 20-50 years of service before you have to coat again.

    However, with any luck, you will never again have to pay to tear off your old asphalt roof and haul it to the dump. The cycle of obsolescence will have been broken. That is the beauty of the Cool Roof Revolution.

    If you want to see some samples of coated roofs up close visit the Cool Roof Store at 575 Cooke St. in Kakaako and see for yourself.

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