Flat commercial roofs are typically made of a membrane that is waterproofed against leaks. This waterproofing typically needs to be reapplied every few years in order to ensure the longest lifespan of the flat roof. When maintained properly, commercial roofs can last decades before a replacement is needed. Know your waterproofing options so you can make an informed decision when maintaining your roof.
Membranes are the longest lasting option when it comes to waterproofing your roof. Polymeric membranes, in particular, are becoming an industry standard because they can last a couple of decades with minimal maintenance to prevent leaks. The membrane is installed over your existing flat roof after any necessary repairs are made. It is sealed in place along the edges and the overlapped joints. Ongoing maintenance primarily consists of resealing joints and monitoring for tears in the membrane so they can be sealed.
2. Roof Coatings
There are many options when it comes to roof coatings. Although they need to be reapplied more often than a membrane, they are durable, inexpensive to apply, and can extend the life of your roof for many years if you reapply them before leaks or damages form. Most coatings consist of either bitumen or a polymer mixed with a mastic. This creates a strong coating that withstands damages and leaks. The coating can be applied hot, which means they bind with the tar or concrete roofing beneath, or they can be applied cold if you do not have a tar or concrete roof. Generally, hot apply coatings last longer.
3. Paint Sealants
The least expensive option when it comes to waterproofing your roof is painted sealants. These are either rolled or sprayed on, depending on the sealant and the size of your roof. Painted sealants only have a short lifespan, typically less than 10 years, but they can be worth it if you plan to replace the roof or sell the building in the next five years or so. A paint sealant must be put on in multiple layers, so it can take some time for the job to be completed since each layer must dry before the next is applied. After the final layer is put down, fine sand is applied to coat the roof. This helps provide protection for the sealant so it lasts as long as possible.
Contact a commercial/industrial roofing service for more help when it comes to deciding which waterproofing option is right for you.