Of all types of roofing, the liquid roofing is perhaps the strangest. It has multiple meanings, multiple material choices and certainly deserves further investigation.

Understanding liquid roof options

Until the middle of the 20th century, liquid roofs existed in the middle of the 19th century, but in a completely different form than today. It used to be bitumen (dense mortar) mixed with fillers such as sand, straw and later felt paper.

The only limit was that the bitumen had to be applied hot. The hose is hot to form a liquid that can be evenly distributed. – And it was dangerously hot because sometimes there were fires. It’s not good, but it was the norm until 1960.

The era of plastics begins, consisting of plastic and rubber in liquid form and glued to the roof:

From 1960 to the present day there is a wide range of materials such as acrylic, EPDM, asphalt and polyester urethane. There are many names and technical variants, with liquid EPDM probably being the most popular, although there are certainly competitors.

The main difference is that all these new generation materials are applied cold, which means that they do not need to be heated in order to be placed on the roof surface. They act as a membrane, sealing the roof with a waterproof layer and protecting what’s underneath.

Liquid roofing is very popular for do-it-yourself roofing, but also for commercial roofing that provides extra protection on flat roofs. However, they work just as well for houses with flat or slightly sloping roofs. If you are new to liquid coverage, see the application procedure below:

Cost and value

Liquid roofing is also called waterproofing or spraying the roof over an existing flat roofing.

Houses probably have previous materials on the roof that have a number of known problems, such as B. Water leakage or accumulation.

So the question of costs – what are the costs of waterproofing roofs? And the answer is that that’s gonna change. – This depends on the material to be sealed (or removed, or simply cleaned thoroughly with a high-pressure cleaner), the new material, the actual pitch of the roof, and the experience and guarantees that the installer can offer.

A fair guideline for a low-budget application can only be $1,500 for a liquid roof covering the entire roof surface. Probably as little as $800-1000, and less if you choose DIY, which has obvious disadvantages for the inexperienced.

Do-it-yourself application :

More than $1,500 would be incredible, but it’s possible if you don’t just stick a liquid membrane on a flat roof with virtually nothing sticking out of it. – Please note that the above prices reflect the cost of hiring a craftsman to do the work.

Professional installation :

If you choose to use a professional roofing company that issues building permits, does everything by the book and supports their work, the cost is likely to be several thousand dollars when the liquid roofing is professionally applied to a typical house or on a low roof.

Medium to high quality liquid sprayable roof coatings

Prices for the professional application of hedging fluids are likely to be as follows:

  • Polyurethane foam upholstery can cost as little as $3 to $5 per square foot.
  • Acrylic coating costs between $5 and $7 per square meter.
  • Silicon is the negotiated price for a primary spray application, but the cost of the material can be as high as an installation cost of $10 to $12 per square foot or more.

Return on Investment Details :

With value we want to show a return on investment (ROI). In the next section on benefits, we present the positive values resulting from such a roof application. The return on investment depends on the chosen material and the quality of the application.

On the whole, one can expect 10 years of quality sealing. Any other solution would be bad application and would mean a poor return on investment.

Liquid roof coatings with solar reflection

Costs of materials for do-it-yourselfers

With an energy-efficient liquid roof, your entire roof can be covered with a reflective material that can make your roof more energy-efficient and durable.

There are many liquid roofing products on the market, with an average price of about $100 per 4.75 gallon container. A typical container can be used to cover about 250 square meters of roof area.

If you want to have your entire roof covered, you can purchase a pallet of sixteen 4.75 gallon containers with a liquid roofing product, such as Henry Solar-Flex white roofing, from The Home Depot for about a thousand dollars.

A typical job of professionally applying a liquid sealant to a low pitched roof is likely to cost several thousand dollars for a typical residential project.

Is adding a reflective roof a good investment?

Yes, the application of a reflective roof is an excellent investment.* Although the costs of installing a reflective roof (which vary) are slightly higher in some situations, the long-term benefits can easily provide an interesting return on investment for the installation:

  • Longer roof life and better coating resistance protect the roof substrate from harmful UV radiation.
  • Maintenance costs are reduced over the life of the roof and the coating can provide the added benefit of a water repellent barrier.
  • Improved budget management by predictably extending the life of the roof (possibility to rebuild the roof instead of replacing it).
  • Reduction of installation risks
  • Minimal inconvenience to residents, work during application, construction progress, cost savings in areas other than roofing and the application itself.
  • A more desirable and comfortable working environment within the building.
  • Ability to take advantage of energy credits, tax savings, discounts.

*Roofing is considered a renovation, not the installation of a new roof system. As a result, they can generally be made in the year in which they are made, rather than amortising the costs over the life of the roof (as is the case for the installation of a new roofing membrane). – This can be an important tax benefit for some builders. Consult your accountant or CFO to properly apply this information to your own roofing situation.

Is a special contractor needed for the installation of reflective roofs?

An experienced roofer should install reflective roofs.

Although the coating may resemble a traditional architectural coating, its successful application and long-term performance requires good preparation, repair of leaks or damaged areas and, finally, the correct choice of primer and coating system.

Advantages and disadvantages:

What we like

Or rather, the second part of the understanding of the issue, because much of what we have not yet touched, we will now touch.

Synthetic roofing membranes are generally applied in two ways. They are mechanically fastened with screws or nails or glued with glue. Liquid roofing is the second method, but it avoids having to apply the roofing material with an additional adhesive.

The most important advantage of the liquid roof is therefore that it offers a monolithic roof covering. That means no stitches. Because of the connections, water and other weather elements have a chance to penetrate and seep into the top layer of the house. A liquid roof prevents this.

In the case of flat roofs, which are technically not flat but are close enough to each other, the constant problem is the accumulation and spread of water on the roof surface.

A high-quality installation on a flat roof minimises the risk of puddles forming. However, certain elements, such as people walking on the roof, will affect the roof surface and leave some kind of bumps.

Today’s liquid roofs use materials that actively counteract water accumulation. Another important advantage of liquid roof coverings is their resistance to stagnant or pool water, including freeze-thaw cycles.

Even if bumps occur over time, which is unavoidable, the lack of connections makes it impossible for water/elements to infiltrate beneath the surface.

One of the best known advantages is that liquid coatings can be used to cool the roof. Normally a white roof reflects the UV rays. And while all colours can be used for liquid roofing, white, grey and black are popular choices.

Liquid asphalt roofs can be given an aluminium colour that is probably the most reflective. This means that warm air stays outside and cooler temperatures stay inside, which is desirable for energy efficiency in warm climates.

Another unique advantage is the slow curing time, i.e. the time needed to fully bond and cure the liquid material to the roof deck. At first glance this seems like an inconvenience until you realise that the material forms an impenetrable barrier, even when wet.

The real advantage, however, is that this curing process is slower than that of other materials. In general, during roofing work, especially when installing membrane roofs, an air fall is created between the material and the underlying material (the substrate).

With slow curing, cracks are slowly filled with the material so that a more even layer is applied after curing.

Due to the fast curing that is standard with other materials, the air gaps result in an uneven surface that is more prone to impact, especially in heavy rain or hail.

The other advantages can be summarised quite briefly, such as B. :

  • Only one layer is needed (no primer is needed).
  • Extreme temperatures (tolerates both low and high temperatures)
  • resistant to ozone, acids, lightning and animals.
  • Very little or no maintenance

Disadvantages

There are some, but liquid roofs also have some disadvantages. Mainly due to a lack of proper installation, which even a professional can sometimes go wrong.

For good curing, it is very important that the material to which the liquid roof coating is applied is clean and dry. If this is not the case, the material will still work, but in some areas it will be different.

Moreover, the equipment is relatively new, so guarantees of more than 10 years are a reason for scepticism. If it is an established company, there is less reason to be skeptical. If the new company offers a long-term guarantee, take it with a grain of salt or pay the highest possible rate from a more reputable company.

Depending on the material, it can become brittle and break over time. A new coating is usually a sensible solution in this case, but needs to be checked. Although regular maintenance is not necessary, there are reasons for a routine inspection.

The diaphragms are usually fixed with a depth measured in millimetres. For liquid coatings, 15-20 millimetres are typical, although they may be higher if the material requires it or if the professional roofer deems it necessary to comply with the warranty.

Although this material has the great advantage of being seamless, it also has the disadvantage of not being as insulating as other roofing materials. However, this applies to the roof covering and not to the main material of the roof system.

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