I have been Roofing for 10 years. The one thing that I have always refused to do, is use a bucket of tar to do a repair or patch a leak. However, countless times I have got up on a shingled roof and seen tar. Typically this occurs when the person performing this repair is inexperienced. A shingled roof should never need tar. Tar isn't suppose to be exposed to the sun! When I see tar spread out over the roof it really irks me. Unfortunately the homeowner might have actually paid a "roofer" good money for this repair. The very reason I'm now on that roof, is because its still leaking. I look at a bucket of tar as being the cheap, lazy, improper fix. The truth is, I'm not alone in these feelings. I recently had a good friend of mine, that has been roofing for over 30 years tell me, "If it comes in a bucket, I still frown upon it". I'm not writing this blog to talk about tar though. I want to talk about silicone coatings. That friend of mine thinks differently now. Once he saw our coatings and how amazing they work, he calls us anytime he needs our coatings. If you don't know what silicone roof coatings are, Read HERE to learn the basics.
WHY DO SILICONE COATINGS HAVE A BAD WRAP?
In short: TAR is a coating and its not a good product to fix issues. Silicone coatings can fail too for a few different reasons. Just like anything else in life. A product is only as good as the person using it or installing it. If it's used or installed wrong it's not going to work right. This definitely holds true for silicone coatings. Here are a few things that make a huge difference.
A FEW QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER
Is the surface completely clean and dry?
The surface that the silicone will be applied to must be very clean and free from dust, pollen, dirt and even water. If the surface is dirty or wet, the silicone will not create a strong bond.
Was the product installed using proper installation methods?
Installing silicone isn't as simple as just "clean and apply". It requires understanding the roofing surface and structure, and understanding the way weather and heat interacts with a roof. Knowing how the roof moves is important. Depending on which section of roof the silicone is being used can also determine how it is applied.
Was the right type of silicone product used? Silicone that's to be used on seams, vents, or screws should be a "seam seal" type silicone. These silicone are much stronger and contain fibers. These fiber help prevent the product from tearing or ripping. "Seam Seal" Silicone is often thicker and stickier too!
Was an adhesion test performed? Adhesion test should be performed in multiple areas of the roof. This test will show how strong of a bond the silicone will make with any given surface. If the adhesion test does not pass, a primer is required to be installed before the silicone.
Are all silicone brands created equal? This can be a very interesting question. The very simple and definite answer is: NO. I will cover the science behind that in another post. One easy way to tell the difference is to look at the silicone manufactures warranty labels. Some products have a 1 year warranty against material defects, others have 50 years. This tells you how much a manufacture trust their product.
How can we be sure the entire roof gets coated? While it would be a large task to try to cover every single inch of a roof. This is the only way to make sure there is no place for water to come in. Doing this with a brush or roller would be nearly impossible. This is why professional Coating Companies use industrial spray rigs. This ensures complete coverage and absolute consistency in thickness.
FINDING THE RIGHT INSTALLER
A great product installed by the wrong person will not last. Finding the right installer can be tricky. I encourage you to ask the questions above to the installer and if they seem like they don't know the right answers, don't use them. If they try to act like one of the steps above isn't important, don't use them. If you are still in doubt, just call us and we will gladly point you in the right direction. (883) 747-7471