10 Reasons to Coat a Commercial Roof

When assessing the condition of a commercial roof, it’s important to keep in mind that there are other options besides the typical repair or replace. In fact, coating may be the best choice. Here are some reasons to choose to coat a commercial roof instead of replacing or repairing it:

  • The roof is sound, but needs reflectivity. As long as the current roof is sound with no wet insulation or active leaks, then coating can help. Coating extends the life of the roof membrane by protecting it from harmful UV rays that can cause “alligatoring,” as well as reducing heat that causes thermal expansion and contraction. Excessive thermal expansion and contraction can prematurely age the membrane, causing cracks, split seams, and blisters.
  • To provide energy savings by reducing heat transfer into the building and therefore reducing air-conditioning costs. A dark roof can reach temperatures of over 150°F.  A cool roof could drop that temperature by 50°F or more.
  • To help improve the inside comfort of the building especially with un-air- conditioned spaces.
  • To improve the appearance of the existing roof by changing it to white or adding a color.
  • To avoid inconveniencing tenants if the building is occupied. With a tear-off, tenants may need to relocate for a period of time or deal with noise, dust, and other issues that can affect their business productivity.
  • To reduce the risk of exposing the roof. Coating does not require a tear-off and therefore does not expose the roof to the elements. If the roof already has up-to-code insulation, it’s not necessary to tear it off to bring the roof up to code.
  • There is a tight budget. Coating can be a lower-cost choice while still giving the roof the proper protection it needs.
  • There are many penetrations or equipment on the roof that would be difficult and costly to change, such as air-conditioning systems.
  • There is a plan to sell the building in a few years. Coating is a good choice if an owner doesn’t want to invest much in the building, but still wants it to look better and extend the life of the roof until they sell.
  • To simply add an additional level of protection from leaks.

Coating is a cost-effective solution to extend the life of the roof. Plus, there may be rebates and potential tax advantages since coatings are often considered a maintenance item. If you decide coating is right for your building, check with a certified contractor to properly evaluate your roof before doing any work. GAF has a number of TOPCOAT® Coating solutions for your commercial roofing needs.

Related article:

Pros and Cons of Different Coating Types

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  1. Vince

    Great article! These are some of great reasons to coat a roof. Another, being it’s a maintenance item, it comes with huge tax advantages in addition to cost savings and less disruption to the end user!!


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