Hangout With Us In Vegas!

It’s hard to believe that the HD Expo is a month away! This years event is taking place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.

We’ll be at the show from May 15th through the 17th, showing expo attendee’s what is possible when using VFI’s urethane rubbers and sprayable hard coats.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the show!

Volatile Free, Inc. Joins NPCA

Volatile Free, Inc. (VFI) is proud to join the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA) as an Associate Member.

Founded in 1965, the NPCA was created to connect manufacturers and suppliers involved in precast concrete through educational, leadership and networking opportunities.

“We’re excited to become part of a great organization,” says Nancy Hochmuth, President of VFI. “We are looking forward to collaborating with manufacturers and working with them to provide the highest quality products for their molding and casting needs.”

Today the organization remains dedicated to expanding the use of quality precast concrete and providing members with the programs and information required to operate a successful precast plant.

Use of the NPCA trademark does not evidence an endorsement of any product by the National Precast
Concrete Association.

Acrylic vs. Silicone: A Better Understanding

 

Understanding the differences between different roof coatings can be confusing. Today numerous liquid coating options exists, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. Two of the most popular coating options are acrylics and silicones.

The right information can make selecting the correct coating easier. By knowing the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of each you will be able to make an informed decision on which will protect and extend your roofs life for years to come.

Acrylic Roof Coatings

Benefits

Acrylic roof coatings are an excellent restoration solution to many types of substrates including metal, modified bitumen, built-up, single-ply and spray polyurethane foam. These coatings offer many benefits such as cost effectiveness, high reflectivity, UV resistant properties and ease of installation.

Cost Effectiveness

Acrylic roof coatings are extremely cost-effective, hence their popularity. These coatings installed usually run between $0.20 -0.75 per square foot. Property Managers and building owners can save thousands of dollars when installing this type of coating system.

 Reflective & UV Resistant

Building owners can save money during the summer months by reducing their cooling costs, thanks to acrylic coatings highly reflective and UV resistant properties. Not only do building owners get to reap the benefits of an acrylic coating, the environment and surround area that they are built in do too! Surrounding air temperatures can be reduced, limiting the affect of urban heat islands.

Ease of Installation

One of the biggest attributes of acrylic roof coatings are their ease of use. These coatings can be sprayed or rolled onto a roof’s existing substrate. No tear off is necessary, allowing day-to-day operations to take place and limiting disturbances to building owners.

Limitations

There is no such thing as perfect, the same can be said about acrylic roof coatings. While acrylic coatings give multiple benefits it is important to discuss their limitations to insure your roof is a good candidate.

Ponding Water

Acrylic coatings can provide your roof with many long lasting benefits, but ponding water remains an issue. These coatings are water-based and lack performance when exposed to ponding water for prolonged periods.

If exposed for a long period the coating can become brittle and delaminate from the roof. Before applying an acrylic coating make sure to consult a specialist who can determine if the roofs structure will encounter problems with ponding water.

Cold Temperature Applications

Acrylic coatings should not be applied in extreme cold. Because these coatings are water based they can lose performance when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Cold temperatures will slow down the dry time and make it harder for the coating to properly adhere to the roof.

Silicone Roof Coatings

Benefits

Silicone roof coatings are highly regarded and for good reason. They are extremely UV stable, provided a high level of flexibility and durability and are made from high solids. Silicone can coat many substrates including metal, modified bitumen, built-up, single-ply and spray polyurethane foam.

Excellent UV Stability

Silicone coatings are highly reflective and can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Most silicone coatings are CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) approved. In many climates cool roofs can reduce the cooling load of a building, providing owners and occupants many benefits. These benefits include increased occupant comfort, reduced air conditioning use and decreased maintenance costs.

Extreme Durability & Flexibility  

Silicone coatings provide seamless membranes that can withstand wind-driven rain and sand, oxidation and extreme temperatures. Unlike acrylics, silicone is a moisture cure substance and his highly effective on protecting structures from ponding water.

High Solids

As a high solid component silicone requires less material to reach a desired film thickness when coating a roof. This allows applicators to apply more coating in a single pass saving time and labor.

Limitations

It is just as important to understand the limitations of silicone in order to insure you are getting the most out of your liquid applied roof coating.

Dirt

Dust and dirt are easily attracted to silicone roof coatings. If building owners or property managers fail to routinely maintain the roof and keep them clean, the coating system can lose its reflective properties. This in turn can negatively impact cooling costs and increase internal building temperatures.

 Slippery When Wet

Silicone can become slippery when wet do to its water resistant properties. VFI would recommend using VFI- Walk Pad in safety yellow to insure maximum slip protection in highly foot trafficked areas on silicone coated roofs.

Conclusion

Acrylic and silicone coatings are great options for roof restoration. In order to determine which product is right for your roof contact us. A VFI representative will help you make the proper selection.

 

 

 

 

Preventative Roof Maintenance

With the weather becoming warmer, spring is the perfect time to conduct preventative maintenance on your liquid applied roof system.

Conducting proper maintenance will ensure your roof system is functioning properly and provide building owners with a greater return on investment.

Volatile Free, Inc. recommends doing this twice a year, once in spring and fall. Inspecting your roof after any large storms, high winds, hail or other damaging conditions is also recommended. For your roof maintenance checklist, click here >

 

Dana Gustafson Hired as Sales Manager

 

Volatile Free, Inc. is proud to announce Dana Gustafson as Sales Manager.

Dana has over 15 years of experience in sales and business development and is highly skilled in territory development and cultivating strategic sales partnerships. Prior to joining VFI, Dana worked at Spancrete, serving as Business Development Manager.

Dana’s main role at VFI will be to use his business development and account management skills to help VFI, expand market share with OEM manufacturers in the construction industry.

Stop Metal Roof Leaks Once And For All

SEALGUARD VFI-990 Silicone be applied to a metal roof.

Metal Roofing is one of the fastest growing segments in the roofing industry. Most metal roof manufacturers offer warranties of 40-50 years. Structurally these roofs will last for that time period, however most will fail and begin to leak before then.

These failures usually occur due to poor craftsmanship and improper maintenance of the roof. Common issues that building owners experience with metal roofs are:

  • Failure at the seams: This can be caused by the metal panels being formed incorrectly, improper installation and failure of the sealant or butyl tape. Thermal shock as well as overloading can lead to separation or deflection of the seams.  All of these can lead to water and debris penetrating your structure.
  • Fastener back-out: As the temperature swings, metal roof panels expand and contract causing shear force on the fastener. Shear is accomplished when two adjacent parts of the fastener are pushed in opposite directions to their contact surface. Eventually, this force will cause the fastener to back-out prematurely leaving a hole in the roof and the metal panel unsecure. Washers used to create a seal beneath the fastener can age, harden, become brittle and crack leading to roof leaks at the fastener point.
  • Rust leading to roof failure: Metal panels can rust prematurely if they are damaged during installation. If a screw is used with the incorrect drill point, little metal shavings called, pigtails are created. These pigtails are hot and can melt their way into the paint system and protective coating, exposing the metal panel to the elements. Hail can damage the factory finish of the metal panel causing rust or premature degradation of the surface.
  • Deterioration of flashings: Flashing is a material that guides precipitation off of a roof. It plays a critical role in maintaining a roofs integrity. Flashing is installed anywhere a roof joins another structure such as skylights, roof vents, pipe penetrations and chimneys. If a roof system’s flashing fails, multiple problems can occur including water damage, causing it to begin to rot and further structural damage down the line. If water comes in contact with a ceiling wall building owners run the risk of mold developing.

After continuous repairs that never seem to work, most building owners grow tired of throwing money at the problem and replace the roof entirely, which is no small expense and disruptive to every day activity.

Liquid applied roof coatings provide building owners a cost saving solution compared to a full roof replacement.  By applying a Silicone or Acrylic roof coating system, a roof can perform properly, prolonging its life for another 10-15 years with continued sustainability available with a future reapplication of the coating system. A majority of leaks on metal roofs are the result of failures at the seams, fasteners or flashing. VFI’s liquid applied roof coatings will seal your roof and eliminate leaks.

Our coating solutions are:

  • 100% Seamless
  • Encapsulate fasteners, a main area of concern for water penetration.
  • Liquid applied coatings are elastomeric meaning no gaps in the roof surface.
  • Stops and prevents rust.
  • Self-Flashing

If you have a building with a metal roof and are tired of costly roof repairs contact us. Our knowledgeable experts will assist you in seeing if your roof is a good candidate for liquid applied coatings.

Different Types of Concrete Stamps Require Different Materials

Concrete stamps can take a basic concrete project and bring it to the next level. These stamps are used to enhance a surface and make it look decorative by providing a textured detail imitating stone, brick, wood and much more. They are most often used to create decorative walkways, courtyards, patios, decks and on decorative vertical concrete applications.

Most stamps are made out of urethane rubbers as this material provides a range of Shore Hardness options, while remaining flexible and providing maximum abrasion resistance.

Producing stamps can be expensive, that’s why it’s important to understand how to pick the correct rubber for your needs. Stamps come in numerous types and flexibilities ranging from floppy to rigid. Three common types of stamps are stamp rollers, texturing skins and concrete mats.

Stamp rollers are used as imprinting tools on large scale projects, on slab corners and boarders where detail is not as critical. These stamps are popular with contractors because of their ease of use and can cover a lot of ground quickly.

It’s important to have an understanding of what to look for in regards to the type of rubber your stamp roller is made out of. Rollers work best when the concrete is still very soft. Because of the roller application, a harder durometer rubber is needed to imprint detail quickly. VFI would recommend our 3170 or 3180, for this application. This will help to insure maximum detail will be transferred to your project’s surface.

Texturing skins are used in vertical and decorative applications where flexibility would be necessary. These stamps are usually thin to reduce weight and make them more maneuverable on the job-site. Semi-rigid rubbers are used to allow the stamp to be more pliable and capture the curvature of a structure. These skins work best on surfaces with undulations, sloped areas and in flare ups like driveway aprons. VFI-3150 and 3160 provide the perfect amount of flexibility for challenging applications while still providing great casting detail.

Concrete mats are rigid and extremely firm. These mats are very large, and most of the time will have handles to help contractors lift and move them into place. The rigidity of concrete mats will help to leave a highly detailed impression. The polyurethane used in these stamps will range from a Shore A Hardness of 80 or higher (VFI-3180).

Interested in making your own concrete stamps? VFI has Technical Service Representatives willing to answer all of your stamping questions. Contact the VFI team at 1-800-307-9218.

Benefits of Liquid Applied Roof Coatings

 

Nothing lasts forever. At some point a building owner or property manager will have to confront the issue of fixing a failing roof.

When a roof starts to fail, most people immediately think their only option is to fix the problem by tearing off the roof completely and replacing it with a conventional roofing system.  A roof tear off and replacement can be extremely costly and is one of the biggest capital expenditures that building owners and property manager’s face.

Multiple studies have been conducted on complete roof replacements, with the costs ranging from $3.50 to in excess of $6.50 per square foot. If we take the average dimensions of a 10,000 square foot roof that replacement could range from $35,000 to $65,000.

Unless you own a machine that prints money, those figures are pretty scary. Up until recently many people were not familiar with liquid applied roof coatings. These coatings can provide building owners and property managers another solution to deal with failing/leaking roofs.

The main types of liquid applied roof coatings are silicone’s and acrylics. Each of these coatings provides its own unique benefits, but for the purpose of this article we will be focusing on liquid applied coatings in a general sense.

Cost Savings

A major benefit of liquid applied coatings is their cost savings. Compared to other roofing methods liquid applied coatings on average can reduce the cost of a roof retrofit  up to one half when compared to traditional methods. Referring back to the example above, a 10,000 square foot roof coating installation would range from $1.75 and up per square foot with acrylic coatings to $2.50 per square foot with silicone coatings based on the system.  The total retrofit cost savings based on these figures would range between $17,500 to $25,000, a significant savings.

Provides a Seamless Membrane

The more penetrations or seams in your roof system, the greater the potential for water to infiltrate your structure. Liquid applied roof coatings are sprayed or rolled onto a roof’s surface, are self-flashing and provide a seamless monolithic membrane. Unlike other roofing methods, liquid applied coating systems do not require additional materials to flash around penetrations in the roof. Liquid coatings can be applied around any hard to reach area.

Time & Labor

Unlike traditional roof systems, liquid applied coatings do not require the roof to be torn off. Instead the coatings are applied directly over the existing roof substrate. This eliminates the removal of old materials from the job-site, excess waste deposited in landfills and fee’s associated with the old roof’s disposal.

Exposure & Convenience

Traditional methods of roof replacement require the roof to be taken off before the new one can be installed. Because liquid applied coatings can be installed over the existing roof system, building owners to do not have to worry about exposing the inside of their building to the elements. Tenants of the building can also remain in the structure while the coating process takes place. There is no need to close down during the re-roofing process or move expensive equipment into storage facilities.

Energy Savings

Many liquid applied roof coatings are CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) rated. A cool roof is designed to absorb less heat and reflect more sunlight than traditional roofs. A CRRC rated roof provides many benefits to a building such as reduced energy bills, improved indoor comfort and decreased roof temperatures that can lead to early aging and failure.

Cool roofs also benefit the environment and the surrounding areas that they are built in. Local air temperatures can be reduced limiting the effect of urban heat islands.

Sustainable & Renewable

Liquid applied coating systems are sustainable and can be re-coated multiple times offering your building another 5 to 10 years of protection. Less materials are used in liquid applied coatings meaning when the project is done, materials headed for the landfill are reduced.

Conclusion

Liquid applied coatings provide multiple benefits to building owners. If you would like to learn how VFI’s products can benefit you give our technical experts a call at 1-800-307-9218.

 

 

Determining Shore Hardness of Rubbers & Plastics

Shore Hardness is the resistance a material has to indentation. Determining a materials Shore Hardness requires the use of a durometer, which is a device that measures the depth of an indentation in the material by creating force through a presser foot.

In order for people to have a point of reference on how hard a material is different shore hardness scales have been created. There are 12 different Shore Hardness scales depending on the type of material that is being measured.

When dealing with rubbers and plastics two scales are used. The A Shore Hardness scale is used to measure flexible rubbers commonly used in molds. Hard rubbers, semi-rigid plastics and hard plastics are measured using the D Shore Hardness Scale.

Both of these scales have ranges from 0-100. The lower the Shore Hardness is on the scale the softer and more flexible the material will be. As you increase upwards on the scale materials become stiffer and less flexible.

When selecting a rubber or plastic to use for your mold making needs there are a couple of things that should be taken into consideration.

How delicate is the item that you’re molding. 

If you’re making a mold of an item that has sharp undercuts, thin parts or protrusions it is recommended to use a material that provides greater flexibility and stretches easily. This will insure that you’re able to extract your model from the mold without it breaking.

How much detail is needed for your project.

When using rubbers and plastics detail is directly related to the hardness of the material that you’re using. The harder a material is the greater casting detail it will provide. For example, if you were making a mold for a stone back splash you would want to use a harder material to pick up textural detail within the rocks.

Abrasion Resistance

Abrasion resistance refers to a materials ability to withstand any method of wearing down or rubbing away by means of friction. This point should be taken into consideration if you are planning to use a rubber or plastic mold for construction applications. Some of these application would include architectural precast concrete, cast veneer and flexible form liners. In construction applications you want your material to provide enough flexibility, while being durable and insuring a long useful life.

Have an upcoming project? Have questions or need assistance selecting the right material for your job? Give us a call at 800-307-9218. Our team of technical experts and sales representatives are happy to help!

 

 

 

Say Hi To Us In Louisville

We’re happy to be exhibiting for the first time at The Precast Show being held at the Kentucky International Convention Center located in Louisville.

The Precast Show is is the largest precast-specific trade show in North America and the one place where you can find the industry’s most important suppliers and foremost equipment experts under one roof.

This years show will run between February 28th through March 2nd and will provide a great opportunity to see new products, network with industry professionals and have a little fun too!

If you’re at the show stop by Booth #1251 to learn about our mold and casting materials, caulks and sealants, deck coatings and much more!