What is Waterproofing?
Waterproofing is the process of adding a liquid-applied waterproofed membrane to the roof’s surface. It protects your roof and adds to its longevity. This lowers the roof’s temperature when it is exposed to direct heat from the sun. After that, when it rains, shingles are in their weakest state and more susceptible to breakage, water seepage, and mold growth.
One of the main benefits of roof waterproofing is that it protects your roof from the sun's harmful UV rays. Without waterproofing, your roof may crack from the sun’s heat repeatedly beating down on it. Luckily, you can do something about that. These DIY waterproofing tips might give you the best chance at slowing the progression of your roof's degradation.
Fluid-Applied Roofing System
Replace your roof’s material system if needed. If the expense is a concern, consider using fluid-applied roofing. Many of the flat roofs that have been around for a few decades have a bitumen roofing membrane that’s torch applied. This is also known as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer (EPDM) rubber on the surface. These types of roofs are excellent candidates for liquid waterproofing solutions.
Check Roof and Material Compatibility
The liquid product and the existing roof must be compatible. Otherwise, you could lose your monetary investment. An acrylic elastomeric-coated roof and a urethane liquid coating aren't compatible. The acrylic will soften and blend with the urethane.
Another type of compatible waterproof material to take note of is silicone. Roofs with silicone surfaces need silicone coating. No other type of coating adheres to silicone roof surfaces except silicone. The benefit of silicone is that it resists ponding and can help with preventing water damage. The drawback is that once you use silicone, you’ll have to stick with it forever.
Properly Clean the Roof Surface
Thoroughly clean the roof before you apply the liquid material so the application can adhere properly.
1. Pressure wash it.
This technique does two things well. It efficiently cleans the roof and brings any damaged shingles to light. Make sure any shingles are repaired before you waterproof.
2. Prime the roof.
A professional painter uses a primer before applying the paint. This principle applies to successful waterproofing. Priming allows you to obtain professional results whether you’re a pro or novice.
After priming, be sure to wait until the surface is completely dry. It's common for contractors to use blow torches or air blowers to speed up the drying process.
3. Reinforce the detailed areas to avoid leaks and improve liquid membrane adhesion.
The “detailed areas” include things such as vents, pipes, and drains. The details are also the corners. These are both inside and outside of your building structure on the roof and near the roof. Skylights, HVAC units on the roof, edge flashings, or anywhere water gets through.
Where possible, treat them with reinforcing the fabric that has a sealant of flashing grade or embeds the fabric in the liquid membrane. Allow the roof appropriate curing time when you're finished with the details. Taking care of the important details helps prevent bond-breakers which cause roof leaks. Use a water repellent for masonry walls or cap up the parapet, low building walls.
4. Apply the liquid membrane.
Plan how you’ll apply the coating. Some liquid applied membranes require the use of a fabric mat. Be ready to coat your roof in at least two layers. Along with these tips, the manufacture’s instructions are your best bet to use as guides.
These factors affect the consumption rate of the product, so examine the specifications regarding:
- Application method
- Porosity of substrate
5. Make each phase of the application process inspection-ready.
A victorious liquid membrane application requires thought prior, during, and after each step. From the cleaning phase to the application phase, inspection is important. This includes visual examinations of the cleaning, repairing of the single-ply, and application.
Be sure to buy enough liquid membrane material. Too much applied at once won’t allow the material to cure, skimming on the product can lead to membrane failure. Inspection by the roofing contractor at various phases impacts the project's success.
Contact Cloud Roofing for Maintenance Today
Inspect your roof at least twice annually. Doing this will reveal any needed repairs and ensure drains are functioning as they should. It’s also good to clean your roof regularly to keep it in a cool state. If debris covers the roof, it loses its effectiveness.
Long term performance is something to consider before you buy. Materials may cost more than labor, but re-coating, after the warranty expires, may be more costly. This is due to the higher cost of materials years later. In those cases, a solution that is at a higher price may be more cost-effective to re-coat later in the long run.
Roof waterproofing is well worth it when you research, plan, inspect, and maintain your treated roof. Looking for help with your roofing needs? Our experts at Cloud Roofing are ready to help. For more information and a free roof evaluation, contact us today.