Silicone roof coating is an excellent way to protect roofs for a plethora of reasons. It’s one of the best defenses against rain and water, and the industry’s 4.1% CAGR is another clear indicator of its quality and constant high demand. At the same time, it stands up to UV rays, decreasing the roof’s temperature. However, if there’s one downside, that’s the fact that neither silicone roof coating is of eternal quality. Due to various factors, such as weather conditions, you’ll eventually need to repair the coating after a certain period.
Does that mean you will have to replace the whole coating or handle just a couple of leaks? Here’s everything you need to know about silicone roof coating repairs!
Before You Begin
When you notice just a couple of ruptures or splits on the roof, you may be easily tempted to seal them up with silicone and think your job is done. This is definitely the easy way out when there are just one or two cracks to worry about.
Nevertheless, the question remains how soon it will be before silicone gets damaged in other places? Eventually, repairing leaks with silicone one by one can cost you more than if you repaired the whole roof altogether. By coating the entire surface, you’ll ensure sealing every leak and preventing future damage.
Repairing Roofs with Silicone: Basic Steps
The very first thing you should pay attention to is that the silicone you’re using for repairs is the same as the one that you’re repairing. Silicone is an amazing substance and it can stick to a wide variety of materials, yet it’s best if you use the same types. If unsure about the product reactions, i.e. adhesion levels, apply a small amount of silicone to the coating to check how much it sticks.
When you find the most suitable silicone coating for the purpose, it’s time for action!
Step 1: Prepare the Materials
Before you start repairing your silicone roof, here’s what you need to collect:
- The most suitable silicone type
- Commercial cleaner
- Reinforcing fabric
- Plastic container
- Wiping cloth
- Acetone solvent
- Abrasive scrubber
- Top-quality rollers and brushes
Once you gather everything, it’s time to hit the roof.
Step 2: Cleaning
Silicone is an excellent roofing material. It’s water and chemical-proof. The only disadvantage would be that it picks up the dirt rather fast, and you can’t have the best repair results if you apply new silicone to dirty coating.
To wash the roof coating, first, use the commercial cleaner and water. If you notice any loose coating at this point, remove it so it doesn’t interfere with the process later.
The next step is to clean the area with solvent and a (clean) cloth. Don’t use recycled thinners as they have more water and impurities.
Step 3: Scrubbing Time
Once everything is peachy clean, you can perform mechanical or physical scrubbing. You’ll know when to stop when the surface becomes rough to the touch, i.e. you feel the coating texture. This is crucial for better adhesion.
When you finish scrubbing, clean the area of any debris with solvent and let it dry.
Step 4: Splash Out on the Silicone
It’s time to apply silicone coating to the scrubbed surface, and one of the most important tips is that you don’t try to save on it! You’re repairing the roof coating, not redoing it, but if you wish for the following reinforcing process to go smoothly, you’ll just have to saturate the roof well enough. 24 wet mil should be your silicone base coat’s thickness.
Step 5: Reinforcing
While the area is still wet, apply the reinforcing fabric. Pre-cut the reinforcing fabric to the right size before you dip them into silicone coating and apply to the surface. You should spread the reinforcing fabric 2 to 4 inches beyond the repair area.
Step 6: Ready for the Final Coat
It’s time for the final, and very much self-satisfying step. Apply the final coat of silicone coating and make it thick enough that you can’t even notice the reinforcing fabric any longer. That’s usually 10 to 16 wet mills over the fabric.
Just in case the fabric pattern is noticeable in some areas, pour some extra coating on them.
Depending on the weather conditions, your new silicone coating is going to take between 8 and 24 hours to dry thoroughly.
Now that you’re familiar with the process, here is some advice on how to make sure you make use of the best silicone roof coating to the maximum. Continue taking regular care of your restored silicone coating:
- Limit foot traffic — silicone is a superb material, but it’s not meant for frequent walks. They can easily tear the surface.
- Be careful about the tools and machinery — in case you’re going to have some work done on your roof, such as installing HVAC systems or setting up an antenna, do require from the crew that they are careful with their equipment. Emphasize that they need to protect the roof from their tools, impact, and abrasion.
- Only plastic shovels for snow removal — and even at those times, you need to pay extra attention to the curbs. Snow blowers or sharp-edged shovels are not permitted.
- Avoid any harmful solvents — silicone coating is resistant to lots of chemicals, but…Don’t expose the silicone roof coating to petroleum, oils used for maintaining air conditioning, any animal fats or any other harmful chemicals.
- Install a safe drainage system and keep the roof clean of debris (leaves, paper, twigs, etc.).
With proper care, you should have at least 10 lovely years between your first and second roof coating.