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.

 

 

 

 

Case Study: Farha Roofing uses SEALGUARD SILICONE system to restore an EPDM roof!

Roof History

Farha Roofing got the call to come out and inspect an 80,000 square foot shopping center type facility. The owner explained that the Single-ply, EPDM, roof was out of warranty and starting to leak. Farha Roofing found that in addition to leakage there was also some ponding water, making SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE an excellent choice.

Before: EPDM roof with ponding water

The Solution

Farha Roofing chose to use a Volatile Free, Inc. Roofing solution. This included:

1.  VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer

2.  VFI-Butyl Tape

3.  SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE

Primed roof with VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer

The Installation

First, Farha Roofing thoroughly cleaned the EPDM roof. Second, they applied the VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer for the best adhesion. Third, Farha used Butyl Tape to seal seams, termination and penetrations that needed extra reinforcement. Last, they spray applied SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE to complete the project.

Butyl tape installed on necessary seams to prevent leaks

The Result

This system stopped all leaks, restored integrity to the roof and saved the business a costly tear off.

After: SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE coats the entire roof!

Product Information

VFI-#11 Water Epoxy Primer is a general purpose, two component, water based, epoxy primer. It provides excellent adhesion and superior strength to most metal, mod bit/BUR, single-ply, concrete and wood.

The SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE is a cool roof coating and is UL, Energy Star, Miami Dade, FM and T24 certified. SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE is also  a single component, high solid roof coating. it forms an elastomeric waterproof, white membrane and protects your roof from water damage and UV deterioration.

Case Study: Washington Roofing uses new Polyurethane Basecoat with Silicone Topcoat!

Roof History

Bailey Hall at Fort Scott Community College was experiencing roof seam leaks. The Modified Bitumen roof was starting to alligator where past repairs had been made with asphaltic material.

Before image of Mod Bit Roof

The Solution

Washington Roofing & Insulation chose to use the ultimate Volatile Free, Inc. Roofing System. This includes:

  1. VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer
  2. VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam
  3. VFI-3600 Polyurethane Basecoat
  4. SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE

The Installation

Washington Roofing & Insulation used VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam around the perimeter of the roof, roof units and all protrusions.  They then treated every seam with VFI-3600 Polyurethane Base Coat for the best security and to make them water tight. Last, they coated the roof with UV Stable High Solids SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE.

VFI-727 sprayed around perimeters and VFI-3600 applied on all seams

The Result

This roof had been leaking for quite some time into the classroom below. This system stopped all leaks, restored integrity to the roof and saved the college a costly tear off.

VFI-990 topcoat over VFI-3600, VFI-727 and VFI-#11

Product Information

VFI-#11 Water Epoxy is a general purpose, two component, water based, epoxy primer. It provides excellent adhesion and superior strength to most metal, mod bit/BUR single-ply, concrete and wood.

VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam is a spray applied, polyurethane, roofing insulation foam. When combined with SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE, it forms a superior barrier that can extend an existing roof’s life. VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam is UL certified.

VFI-3600 Polyurethane Basecoat is a two component, aromatic polyurethane coating that forms a tough elastomeric membrane, that provides waterproofing and impact resistance when applied to the existing roof substrate.

The SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE is a cool roof coating and is UL, Energy Star, Miami Dade, and T24 certified. SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE is also a single component, high solid roof coating. It forms an elastomeric, waterproof, white membrane that protects your roof from water damage and UV deterioration.

Case Study: The Ultimate Roof Coating System with Washington Roofing & Insulation!

Washington Roofing & Insulation, Inc. use VFI Silicone and Spray Foam

Roof History
Over the last 30 years, Cottey College has worked with Washington Roofing & Insulation on several roofing projects across campus. For this project, they were looking to repair the roof over the college’s gym and pool area.

The roof was originally completed with a spray polyurethane foam and silicone top coat. The roof had become worn over time and the customer was looking at restoration options. They also wanted to incorporate large solar panels. Washington knew it would be important to use a quality spray polyurethane foam and silicone system to make the roof as smooth as possible.

Mod/bit roof before Foam and Coating

Washington Roofing specializes in spray polyurethane foam and elastomeric coating applications and have completed millions of square feet of roofing and waterproofing projects in their 30 plus years of experience.

The Solution
Washington Roofing & Insulation has had a strong relationship with VFI representative, Adam Scheafbauer for years. They chose to use VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam and SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE due to the longevity of these products.

Installation Details
The process included removing about 1-1.5 inches of old foam and replacing it with VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam.

1. Power wash roof area
2. Scarify roof area
3. Apply 2.5 gallons per 100 square feet of SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE coating
4. Apply .5 gallons per 100 square feet of SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE with broadcasted granules

VFI-727 Polyurethane Spray Foam

 

SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE over VFI-727 Spray Foam

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

 

 

Case Study: SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE over a Single-ply and Mod Bit Roof.

Henryetta High School and Middle School were in desperate need of roof repair. The current roof on both facilities was getting to the end of its life expectancy, was out of warranty and started to have some leaks. A local architect had concluded that both roofs needed a complete tear off.

Coontz Roofing, Inc. along with Adam Scheafbauer from VFI, offered a better more cost-effective solution. 

Henryetta High School included 60,000 square feet of a mod bit substrate and Henryetta Middle School included 40,000 square feet of single-ply TPO substrate. Both substrates required a four-step process; clean, prime, repair and coat. First, clean the roof with VFI- 1009 Cleaning Concentrate. Second, prime the roof with VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer. Third, repair the roof with VFI-993 Flashing Grade Silicone. Finally, coat with SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE.

The SEALGUARD VFI-990 SILICONE is a cool roof coating and is UL, Energy Star, Miami Dade and T24 certified. SEALGUARD VFI-990 is also a single component, high solid roof coating. It forms an elastomeric, waterproof, white membrane that protects your roof from water damage and UV deterioration. VFI-#11 Water Based Epoxy Primer is a two component, water based, epoxy primer, which provides excellent adhesion and high strength to concrete, mod bit/BUR, metal and single-ply surfaces. It can also be used to fill small pits and holes to create a level surface and promote even flow of roof coatings.

VFI has specialized in products that protect your roof and insulate your home or building for over 20 years. Currently, VFI manufactures a variety of protective roof coatings including; Silicone and Acrylic Coatings. VFI also manufactures roofing spray foam and open cell and closed cell spray foam for commercial and residential properties. In addition, VFI offers top of the line epoxy primers that are compatible to all VFI roof coatings and substrates.