Roof Coating Systems—What They Are and How to Calculate Just What You Need

By Dawn Killough 05-11-2021
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

Even structurally sound roofs may show the effects of weathering and UV damage. Roof coating systems can help protect and extend the life of existing roofing systems.

What kinds of roof coatings should you consider for your roof? And, just as importantly, how do you know how much coating you need for your roof?

Types of Roof Coatings

GAF offers a variety of roof coating systems made with acrylic, silicone, and polyurethane. Below are the key features of each type of system.

  • Acrylic coatings are an ideal solution for structurally sound roofs in need of restoration. Products such as GAF's RoofMate coating can be used on a variety of substrates to help protect the substrate against weathering and UV damage. Additionally, some acrylic coatings systems are fabric-reinforced for an extra layer of protection.
  • Silicone coatings, like GAF's line of Unisil silicone coatings, help protect the substrate against weathering and UV damage while also providing protection against leaks due to ponding water. Silicone coatings provide strong adhesion to many substrates, and come in both high solid and low solid varieties.
  • Polyurethane coatings, like GAF's line of Elastuff coatings, provide an excellent balance of tensile strength, elongation, and hardness. Their hard finish makes them well-suited for installations that require high abrasion, impact, and chemical resistance.

Calculating How Much Coating You Need

The amount of coating a project calls for will depend on a number of factors, including the type of coating, the size of the roof, the substrate being coated, the specific needs of the building, the goals of the owner, and the desired warranty or guarantee coverage. Installers can refer to GAF's Quick Specs and GAF's Application & Specifications Manuals to determine the number of coats and the dry film thickness required to meet the desired warranty or guarantee term. The application manual is also a great reference to identify proper substrate preparation and application techniques.

GAF has a new resource to help contractors, building owners, and distributors estimate the amount of coating needed for a particular project. According to GAF Product Marketing Manager Dave Rubin, the coverage calculator will help when "a contractor is out in the field or in their distributor's showroom and they need to quickly run a calculation."

The calculator is available to help estimate HydroStop acrylic membrane as well as Unisil silicone products. For Unisil silicone products, the calculator is located on the bottom of the individual product web pages. There's no sign-up required, and the tool is accessible from any device that has Internet, including mobile phones and tablets.

To calculate the amount of coating needed, follow the prompts in the tool. You'll need the following information:

  • Project name (optional)
  • Whether the project is located in Florida (and therefore subject to certain specific local code requirements)
  • Type of substrate
  • Square footage of roof to be covered
  • Linear feet of perimeter
  • Linear feet of curbs and penetrations
  • Parapet wall height in feet
  • Desired warranty period

With the information above, the tool can help estimate the amount of coating, fabric, and flashings needed for a project based on the information provided. The report can be saved as a PDF or printed for your records. (For privacy purposes, none of your project or contact information is stored in the system.)

The calculator provides plenty of additional help to assist customers with their calculations, Rubin says.

"We help guide you through the process and give you information about how to properly measure a roof, if you need some guidance on that," he says. "The menu takes you to our preparation guides that provide detail behind the proper prep work needed before you're ready to apply a roof coating—including if primers are needed, what type of primers are needed, and how to properly clean the roof."

It's important to note that the results provided by the calculator are an estimate of the required amount of coating. The accuracy of the estimate depends on the accuracy of the information entered and is for guidance purposes only. Always confirm quantities prior to ordering and ensure you are following local building code requirements.

Coating Calculations Made Easy

GAF aims to support commercial roof installers and building owners with a quick and easy estimate of how much material they'll need for their project. Installers will still need to reference the Quick Spec and application guides for specific information on substrate preparation, application instructions, coverage rates and required thickness and warranty or guarantee options—but Rubin says GAF hopes to give contractors more confidence in their calculations and make the process simpler.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dawn Killough is a freelance writer in the construction, finance, and accounting fields. She is the author of an ebook about green building and writes for construction tech and green building websites. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband and four cats.
Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
Up to 25% of the United States experiences large hail episodes—and when they do, hail can cause severe damage to roofs and the HVAC equipment stored there. Hailstorms account for 70% of the average annual property losses from severe convective storms in the US. Building owners can protect their buildings and equipment by designing their buildings and roofs to withstand the damage caused by large hailstones.
Ya sea que estes comenzando en tu negocio o te consideres un profesional con experiencia , GAF tiene la capacitación para contratistas de techos que te ayudarán a tener éxito. Es por eso que la empresa fundó el Centro para el Avance de la Educación en Techos(CARE) con el éxito del contratista en mente.
In business, time is money. With advanced roofing technology, you can save time, improve your team's efficiency, and boost your company's bottom line all at once. Ranging as widely as business management systems that streamline productivity and digital measuring tools, here are a few roofing products and solutions to incorporate into your business so you can work smarter rather than harder.
It's never good to run out of room. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to the Shafter Learning Center in Shafter, CA, one of the many communities across the country that GAF calls home. That's when the local community, Project for Public Spaces (PPS), and GAF partnered with the Shafter Learning Center to design and build the Shafter Learning Center expansion. The additional space will ensure that the Library & Learning Center is able to meet the community's needs today and into the future.
Roof systems require a number of performance properties, in addition to keeping water out of a building. Those properties include fire resistance, wind resistance, impact resistance, and R-value of the installed system, to name a few.
Business owners have a unique opportunity to leave a legacy on their industry through their business, even after they've retired. Frank Zehna, a 25-year veteran of general contracting and the roofing industry, shared some tips in a recent webinar* for preparing to sell your business. In it, he offers a range of advice, including how to create a plan for making your roofing company profitable and why it's important to implement certain steps right now.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.