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.

 

 

 

 

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.

VFI and the Cool Roof Rating Council

Did you know that Volatile Free, Inc. is a member of the Cool Roof Rating Council?

Currently, VFI has three products that qualify for the CRRC rating. These include:

  • SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE
  • SEALGUARD VFI-991 SILICONE
  • VFI-605 Acrylic Top Coat

How to qualify
VFI had the solar reflectance and thermal resistance tested to qualify each product. These are rated on a scale from 0 to 1, where 1 is the most reflective or emissive. The CRRC measures these two properties for roofing products, both for the product’s initial values and after three years of outdoor exposure. See image below:

SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE

 

 SEALGUARD VFI-991 SILICONE

Cool Roof benefits for Building Owners

A cool roof will reduce overall utility costs. Your building will remain much cooler thus decreases your use of air conditioning during the hot summer months. The incorporation of VFI’s cool roof coatings will reduce maintenance costs and extend the overall roof life. The average energy savings range from 7-15% of total cooling costs.

The diagram above shows the sun hitting a cool roof substrate. The roof will absorb some of the heat, but solar reflectance and thermal emittance will come into play projecting the heat out.

VFI’s cool roof coatings can be applied on Metal, Mod Bit/BUR, Single-ply and over our VFI-727 Roofing Foam.

Contact VFI today for more information! You could avoid a costly roof tear off and simply re-coat with our Silicone or Acrylic Roof Coatings.

Check out The Cool Roof Rating Council web site for more information: Cool Roofs