If you walk down the roofing supply aisle of your local home improvement store, you are bound to see a selection of aluminum coating products that promise to be effective solutions to your roofing problems. However, before you consider an aluminum coating for your commercial roof, you may want to do some homework.
Cons of Using Roof Aluminum Coatings
The main selling point of most aluminum coatings is low initial cost. But is cheaper better in this case? Let’s examine the evidence:
- Inability to Adhere — Aluminum coatings will not bond with water-based coatings. This is problematic, especially if you decide to apply a longer-lasting acrylic product in the future. A solvent-based primer can increase the chances of adhesion; however, this approach has had mixed results.
- Beware of Rain —Aluminum coatings do not provide protection against water, except for hairline cracks.
- Unable to Fluctuate — Aluminum roof coatings do not expand and contract with changing temperatures. The inflexible nature of these coatings can lead to the development of bubbles, cracks, and gaps in a commercial roof.
- Lackluster Warranties —Although warranty options may vary depending on the manufacturer, aluminum coating products typically offer a one to seven year limited warranty.
- Subpar Reflectivity — Composed of asphalt, aluminum paste, fillers, hydrocarbon solvents, and other chemicals, aluminum coatings claim to lower roof temperatures and reflect ultraviolet rays. However, according to the Cool Roof Rating Council—an organization that evaluates solar reflectance and thermal emittance—these roof coatings are 20% less efficient in solar reflectance and thermal emissivity than acrylic coatings. In as few as three years, aluminum roof coatings can be up to 50% less efficient than most acrylic coating products. For building owners, this decline translates into higher energy costs over their roof’s lifecycle. In addition, without proper UV reflectivity, a roof is vulnerable to ultraviolet degradation.
- Difficult to Clean — Cleaning is part of routine roof maintenance. But if you have an aluminum coating, cleaning can be tricky. During the cleaning process, aluminum flakes can slough off, exposing the substrate below and releasing aluminum particles into the environment.
- Apply with Caution — Because they are solvent based, aluminum coatings can have a high Volatile Organic Content (VOC), which means noxious odors are emitted during application.
- Frequent Recoating Needed — With aluminum roof coatings, be prepared to re-coat often. The product’s lifespan is approximately three to four years.
The Benefits of Conklin’s Acrylic Elastomeric Roof Coatings
With an exceptional 35+ year track record, Conklin continues to be a trusted name in the commercial roofing industry. Their revolutionary elastomeric roof coatings are formulated to cover any type of roofing substrate. Once the fluid-applied product dries, it creates a seamless, water-tight membrane on top of the pre-existing roof, making it look and perform like new.
Conklin coatings also meet third party standards for energy efficiency, including LEED standards, ENERY STAR® qualification, and Cool Roof Rating Council standards. They reflect up to 85% or the sun’s rays and can save owners 15% or more on annual energy costs.
Conklin elastomeric coatings have numerous other advantages:
- Withstand hail, strong winds, heavy rains, fire, & more
- Completely restore an old roof
- Renewable, non-prorated warranty coverage for up to 18 years
- Respond to changes in outdoor temperatures
- Elastic properties allow the product to expand & contract with ease
- Fully adhered, durable, cleanable membrane
- Can add decades to the life of a pre-existing roof