Roof Coatings as an Investment
The Benefits and Limitations
Like any investment on a building asset, the benefits must always outweigh the limitations so the net result is an excellent return on investment. Commercial property owners, whether developers or business owners who own the property that house their business(s), are utilizing roof coatings for their buildings as a wise investment in building restoration. As owners have looked for more choices in dealing with their aging properties, high performance roof and wall coatings are becoming more popular due to the wide applicability to solve building issues. What are the two biggest reasons for this shift in thinking? The answers are sustainability and overall cost benefit.
Sustainability basically means that the initial investment can be sustained over much longer periods of time, without replacement, compared to a more traditional approach. Overall cost benefit refers to the cost points in this investment: initial installation cost, maintenance cost and refurbishment or replacement costs. In most cases coatings have a lower cost at all three investment points.
So, what are the 6 major benefits of coatings?
1. Increased Roof Lifetime
The life of the roof is increased through UV reflection, waterproofing characteristics, long-term postponement of roof replacement, and overall reduction in roof leaks.
2. Expensed Rather than Capitalized
Roof replacements must be depreciated over 39 years. The cost of the coating can be expensed the year of the investment.
3. Micro Climate Management
Recently we installed a spot treatment coating for a customer. His manufacturing process occasionally exhausted very hot, but light debris on the roof. We installed a heat resistant coating on a portion of his EPDM(rubber) roof in order to protect the membrane from damage.
4. Overall Waterproofing
The right coating can keep the water out, just like any traditional low slope roof system. In particular, coatings can make a metal roof on a pre-engineered building perform like a watertight low slope system. A coating can literally turn an old, worn-out metal building into a viable piece of commercial property with some real value!
5. Construction Debris and Building Impact
The installation of coatings create very little debris compared to roof replacement. Besides the obvious waste reduction benefit, the impact on the building occupants is minimal as the process is less odorous, less noisy and often faster than traditional projects.
6. Energy Savings
Recently we installed a coating on a roof owned by a well known east coast grocery chain. The owners goal was to reduce energy costs by coating his black rubber roof with a light-colored coating. There are hundreds of roof coatings on the market that market on this one benefit. Unfortunately many of these coatings are not meant to last. We installed a system that would actually restore the roof and give them the reflectivity they needed for big time energy savings.
What are the Limitations of Coatings?
The success of a coating on your roof or wall will depend on the following important limitations, and how they are dealt with:
- Select the right contractor/consultant. This person should have a long track record of designing and being involved in the installation of a wide variety of coating applications with much long term success.
- Select three choices for the design, then test each product/system on your roof or wall before you commit your money.
- Buy a maintenance service with your initial investment on the coating. Maintenance is the only way to ensure you get the most out of your investment.
- Key in on the installation quality as the most important factor in the success of the coating. Many, many coatings that are installed simply are poor investments because the installation was so mediocre. I cannot stress enough how important this stage of the process is in ensuring the success of your investment.
- Warranties…pay no attention to manufacturer warranties. They are not relevant in analyzing this investment decision and do nothing to ensure you are getting your money’s worth.
Roof Management Services Recent Coating Projects
Roof Management Services Recent Roof Coating Projects:
Completed this Spring
When Grover Gundrilling needed a solution to protect their manufacturing equipment investment, Roof Management Services was there to help. Through a series of inspections and testing, RMS developed the best solution for the roof problems on this building. We designed a system that would strengthen the existing metal roof panels then completely waterproof the roof with a liquid system supplied by Republic Powdered Metals. Head engineer, Jim Barrows is ecstatic with the results.
Jones and Vining
Completed this Spring
RMS recently completed the complete restoration of the Jones and Vining roof. Their existing metal roof was the original roof, and had been patched hundreds of times. It was in very poor condition when Roof Management stepped in. We did a full battery of testing, and came up with an optimal solution to restore this metal roof system. This has transformed the building from an old facility with many roof leaks, to a facility with a considerably brighter future.
Restoring roofs using roof coatings is the most underutilized solution use when investing in asset restoration. All building owners should consider this extremely attractive choice of investment.
Rick St. Hilaire is the President of Roof Management Services. He’s been developing improved techniques and systems to enhance and lengthen the Service Life of commercial roofs and building envelope systems. He’s been involved in the commercial roofing industry for over 25 years. IRC Roof Management Services is the only company in Maine specializing in delivering these techniques and systems and is part of the IRC family of companies. Rick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may reach him at the Lewiston, Maine office.
23-year old entrepreneur opens Sea Hag Seafood, boosting Maine’s economy and creating new jobs. **IRC recently completed the roofing and siding on this new lobster plant.
IRC Expert Veteran
Stan Barnies is a foreman for Roof Management Services, and has been a member of the IRC family for over 34 years. Stan always puts the needs of the customer first and sets out to exceed their expectations on every job. Stan has seen and worked on every type of roof system, and would have a doctorate in roof leak investigations if one existed. Stan lives in Auburn with his wife Laurie. Stan has three grown children, Travis, Troy, and Carrie, as well as two grandsons. Stan’s son, Troy, plays professional basketball in Finland after a successful college career at the University of Maine in Orono. Stan is a true roofing professional and an asset to IRC.
Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building-Bangor,ME:
Waterproofing Project To Be Completed this Fall
Roof Management Services has been awarded the waterproofing job of the parking deck at the Margret Chase Smith Federal building. This project consists of 40,000 square feet of Soprema Antirock High Density waterproofing membrane, installed over the existing roof deck. The project will be underway soon and will be completed by this Fall. This is a true testament of the diversity of the offerings that Roof Management Services can provide.
Current Fall Projects
UNE Alfond Athletic Center
IRC has recently completed the EPDM roofing, the metal siding and the composite panels on the UNE Alfond Athletic Center. The roofing is a 22,000 square foot mechanically attached EPDM roof system with 4″ of ISO and a 100 psi �” HD cover board. This system was designed to withstand the high snow drifts from the surrounding metal buildings. The siding was 14,850 square feet of shop-formed concealed fastened wall panels, with reveals that add color and design to the exterior walls. There is also 2000 square feet of custom made wood grained composite metal wall panels, that accent the aluminum glazing. All metal siding was fabricated in our own shop.
Industrial Roofing started work on the retro fit of the Backyard Farms Packhouse.This project was the epitome of why you should work with a contractor you know and trust, rather than putting your project out to public bid. This roof was originally installed as a metal roof, installed by four different roofing contractors. The quality of the workmanship involved showed through the numerous leaks and poor R-Value. Our final design was to add insulation in between the ribs and install a layer of mechanically attached EPDM over the top. This will not only protect the interior of the building from water entry, but will raise the R Value of the roof and assist in melting the snow into their water recovery system.
This project was a bid between two local Boston area contractors and IRC. We looked to try and offer different solutions that might save the customer money and still give them the best overall design. This project was also a year in the making. Even after the initial approval of design, we had to redesign when the concrete deck failed the “pull tests” for the foam adhesive. This forced us to install a ballasted roof system. This project is extremely difficult as there are a vast number of penetrations, combined with ammonia and gas lines. This forces us to work slowly and take an extraordinary amount of care in each square foot.
Army National Guard
To Begin this Fall
Solar Roof Systems has recently secured a photovoltaic system with the Dept of Defense. The project is located at the Army Aviation Support Facility, Building 260 Hangar A, in Bangor and will be installed in October of this year. The 43.2kW array includes Sharp 240 watt modules, Solectria Inverters and a SunLink aluminum racking assembly.