As discussed in our previous article, TPO roofing Is it Green?, there are many advantages and disadvantages to TPO roofing, including the short service life. As the end of the service life nears, the roof will need to be either restored with a liquid applied membrane or torn off and replaced. At this point, you will need to ask yourself, is my TPO roof a good candidate for liquid applied restoration?
A liquid applied restoration foregoes the need to fully replace your roof, therefore extending the life of your current roof with a great deal of savings for the building owner, while also maintaining the productivity of the company because of the efficiency of a liquid applied restoration compared to a full replacement of the roof. It can extend the life of your roof by decades. A liquid applied roof restoration consists of components that come together to form a fully adhered and seamless membrane.
Can You Coat A TPO Roof?
Your answer to these 6 questions will determine if you can restore your TPO roof.
What is the age of the roof?:
The age of the roof determines if the roof will be able to be repaired or needed to be fully replaced. The older the roof, the higher likelihood of damage. Be on the look out for exposed scrim as well as separated seams. These are all areas that will need extra preparation.
What is the condition of the roof?:
The condition of the roof needs to be assessed to determine the needs of the roof. The condition of the roof includes erosion, leaks, and if the roof has already been restored or repaired. Depending upon the condition of the roof, more preparation steps may be necessary. If there are leaks in multiple areas and the budget allows, you can always use an asphalt based primer or emulsion in order to waterproof the roof prior to adding your protective top coat.
Is scrim showing?:
Scrim is a non woven material used for reinforcing roofing. If scrim is showing on the current roof, this may indicate that there are bigger issues with the roof and it may not be a good candidate for liquid applied restoration. BUT if just the right amount of scrim is exposed, this may help increase adhesions, especially if an acrylic coating is being used.
Is there wet insulation? (Identify roof leaks):
If there is any wet insulation or leaks, this more often than not will show that your roof is not the best candidate for liquid applied restoration. These issues can accelerate the deterioration of the roof cover and may have led to leaks and mold growth.
What roof coating materials can be used?:
Is acrylic the most appropriate coating to use in our restoration system? What about silicone? What are the pro’s and con’s of each? Do we need a primer? - These are just a few of the questions you need to be asking yourself as you evaluate a roof for a restoration system.
First, we need to determine what it is that we have to accomplish on the project. Like stated before, if there are multiple leaks throughout the entire roof, an emulsion system is something to explore in order to ensure a watertight roof prior to application of your protective coating. Three Coursing all of the seams with a polyester fabric is also an option based on the condition. If waterproofing is a concern a silicone coating may be another option to take a closer look at. Depending on geographical location silicone may also be more beneficial. Silicone is less sensitive to cold weather and moisture, giving the contractor a larger application window. This benefit however, does not come free of charge. The cost of a silicone coating can oftentimes be close to twice the cost of an acrylic in material price alone.
Acrylics also have some added benefits when compared to other coating options. One of the added benefits of an acrylic is compatibility with other roofing materials. Silicone can be a bit tricky later down the road to repair or recoat. Once a roof has been coated with silicone you are married to that coating for the duration of the roof’s life. Acrylic on the other hand, is oftentimes easier to repair and recoat simply due to a broad range of compatibility. The acrylic resins used are also harder than that of a silicone, resulting in a coated roof that stays “white” for longer. Acrylic coatings resist dirt pick up more than silicone coatings which means your roof will be reflective and “cooler” for a longer period of time. It also means you don’t have to stare at a dirty roof!
Adhesion: Do We have it?:
Once you have decided that your TPO roof is a good candidate for a coating restoration, we must determine that the coating used has adequate adhesion to the substrate. Because TPO’s are so smooth and impenetrable, we must go the extra step to make sure that the chosen coating will stick. Titan Applicators always requires an ‘On Roof Adhesion’ test when recoating Single Ply roofs. Before we move forward, we will do on site pull tests in conjunction with the manufacturer to ensure the coating will remain intact and adhered through the duration of the warranty period. All of this information will be documented and recorded in conjunction with the Manufacturer’s Warranty.
Our commercial roofing roof restoration products include: spray foam roofing, silicone roof coatings, and elastomeric roof coatings. Titan Applicators has partners with the leading industry manufacturers to provide our residential and commercial clients with top of the line foam and coating materials.
Contact us today!