4 Commercial Flat Roof Problems You Can Solve By Applying A Spray-On Coating


Even if you spent tens of thousands of dollars to install the best and most durable flat roof you could afford, it's always possible for the roof to wear out before its usual lifespan due to manufacturing defects or installation issues. Depending on what's wrong with the roof, you may be able to save money by applying a spray-on coating product instead of completely or partially replacing the roof. With the right product, you can solve any of these four common commercial roof issues.

Standing Water

Although they're called flat roofs, these commercial installations are subtly sloped to direct water to built-in drainage channels. If there are major issues with the slope of the roof that are causing water to pool and stand on the surface for 48 hours or longer, your roof will deteriorate quickly. The most common forms of damage caused by standing water include

  • Scratches and tears in the surface of the roof membrane due to ice crystals or debris that are rubbed against the material by the water
  • Crushed insulation or structural damage due to the immense weight of just a few inches of water
  • Growth of plant material that can fill up the drainage channels and dig roots into the roof membrane.

Since completely re-sloping a roof is a major structural repair, it's far easier to use a silicone-based spray coating. The silicone allows the water to stand until it can evaporate without allowing the moisture to damage the material below. However, silicone alone is not enough to prevent crushing damage due to the weight of water. If you're concerned about your roof not be able to hold up the extra weight, you'll need to invest in re-sloping instead of just covering the existing roof with a spray coating.

Growing Algae

Whether there is standing water or not on your roof, it's relatively easy for algae and fungus to start growing on a commercial roof once the membrane is a few years old. Without the right coating, the tiny roots of these plant-like growths will quickly break down the material and cause it to degrade faster than usual. It's essential to keep algae and fungus off the roof, but pressure washing and scrubbing the material can also accelerate wear and tear. Applying a coating with known resistance to these infestations, such as a thermoplastic product, saves you a lot of time and money on routine cleanings on top of what you'll spend on eventual repairs.

Developing Leaks

This is perhaps the most desirable use for spray-on coatings because it can be extremely difficult to locate and patch a leak the usual way. However, not all coatings work for this use, so it's essential to look beyond the marketing materials and check the technical specifications for a product before assuming it will solve your leak problems. In order to prevent moisture penetration issues, you need a monolithic application that evenly covers every inch and conforms to fill in cracks or gaps in the existing material. These applications involve a fiber reinforcement sheet to make sure the new coating stays intact for years.

Let the professionals applying the spray choose the right product based on your need for leak control and the type of flat roof material on your building. Matching the wrong spray to your type of roofing will interfere with the bond and leave the roof just as leaky as before.

Increasing Heat

Finally, are you tired of dealing with high energy bills in the summer because your building is heating up dramatically with the sun beating down on the roof? Transform that black heat-absorbing material into a white or metallic reflective surface as quickly as possible with a cooling spray coating. Some of the reflective coatings are based on foam sprays that add extra insulation at the same time, allowing you to save even more on cooling. Insulating spray coatings also cut down on heat loss through the roof in the winter, resulting in energy savings all year long.

You can click here to contact a roofing company to learn more.

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