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When to use Flat Roof Coatings (TPO, PVC, Torch, ETC.)

When to use Flat Roof Coatings (TPO, PVC, Torch, ETC.)

When to use flat roof coatings? People have a lot of questions when it comes to coating. Many business owners have been screwed over with misleading information. We want to help educate you as a consumer to make the best decision for your roof. In this blog we are going to be answering the following questions:

  • When are coatings good for you?
  • When are coatings bad for you?

Table of Contents

Our Disclaimer

In this blog, we are coming at this from a non-biased contractor perspective. Coatings are simply an OPTION. It is only a solution for certain roofs.

Your decision is going to be based off of these questions:

  • What is the age of your roof?
  • What is your budget?
  • What is causing the leaks?
  • What do you want your roof system to look like for the next couple of years?

Cons of Coatings

The reason why we are hesitant when it comes to coating being the solution for your roof from other contractors, it requires the least experience to use the material!

It has been the easiest material for new roofing companies to get involved into because they think it is just applied on like paint. This doesn’t mean that all contractors are just trying to sell you an “easy fix” but if they don’t understand how the material works they could be offering a bad solution.

A repair using the same material is usually the best option.

Here are some reasons why a contractor will sometimes offer a coating instead of a repair:

  • They don’t understand how the materials works (PVC, TPO, Modified Torch)
  • They don’t have a proper equipment to install the material

TPO can be repaired with TPO patches. Modified Torch can be repaired with Modified Torch rolls and so forth. When done properly by a certified roofing company the repairs can only take a couple of hours and last you 5-10 more years.

Certain circumstances where coating is not the right solution:

  • Your roof is young (5-10 Years Old)
  • If your roof can be repaired with the same material
  • If you only have 1-2 leaks it is best to repair with the same material

When you are applying coating, you are building up a roof system. This can be great but not a single type of coating will last you very long with no issues. Especially, if you live in the Houston area. We have crazy heat (100 degrees+) and heavy rain. The coating will eventually deteriorate and the material will crack.

 

A repair using the same material is usually the best option.

Here are some reasons why a contractor will sometimes offer a coating instead of a repair:

  • They don’t understand how the materials works (PVC, TPO, Modified Torch)
  • They don’t have a proper equipment to install the material

TPO can be repaired with TPO patches. Modified Torch can be repaired with Modified Torch rolls and so forth. When done properly by a certified roofing company the repairs can only take a couple of hours and last you 5-10 more years.

 

Once you have applied coating you can only repair it by applying more coating.

For example, if you have a TPO singly-ply membrane roof and you have a leak coming from a boot. If you have already applied coating and it has started to crack and leak again, the only solutions would be to apply more coating because you can no longer weld a TPO patch and properly stop the leak. TPO will only weld to other TPO material. Or to completely remove the materials and install a brand new roof system.

Pros of Coating

One great circumstance where coating might be a great option is if your roof is old (25-20 Years Old) it can be a great option to just extend the life of your roof a couple more years. At this point, the roof material can be so worn down that we are unable to use the same material for a repair so applying coating can EXTEND THE LIFE it is not a long-term solution.

One great example where coating was a viable option for our client:

He was an owner of a restaurant that was having multiple leaks. He had a previous contractor come out and they tried to install patches all over the leaking areas, but the PVC material is so old that it was worn down and has started to crack. He had two options:

  1. Install a brand new Duro-Last Roof System
  2. Apply Coating all over entire section where leaks are coming from

Installing a brand new roof system would give him a roof system that would last 25+ years but it would be very costly.

Applying Coating to build up a new temporary roof would give him several years with no leaks and only be 1/8 of the price.

After discussion and weighing out both options the owner wanted something affordable to stop the leaks right now until he can save for a brand new roof system.

Want to speak to a certified commercial roofing specialists?

HHH Roofing Inspection