By Stella Amador / Published Nov 2015
At some point, you decided to become a board member in your community and regardless of whether you’re a first timer or a long-time member, this “volunteer” position has many responsibilities. You’re entrusted to make important decisions and to do everything possible to avoid mistakes, which could affect the lives of you and your neighbors. However, when costs exceed budgets, when the economy hits a new low, when your 40-year-old building requires multiple updates, that’s when your “volunteer” position gets tougher.
As a result of the recent economic and housing downturn, we’ve seen many communities and board members who, despite needing new roofs, put off this invasive and expensive project in the hopes of finding more affordable alternatives. So what do you do when your roof is beyond repair, but you can’t afford a new one? What solutions can a roofing company provide that are cost effective?
In today’s world of technology breakthroughs, there are a variety of innovative roofing options that are changing the industry and giving customers more affordable alternatives than ever. Silicone roof coatings, for example, have gained popularity mostly because of their cost effectiveness—costing significantly less than a complete re-roofing project—and versatility.
A silicone roof coating is a coating that can be applied over most roof surfaces. Unlike acrylic coatings, which are water based, silicone is made of polymers and doesn’t contain water. Silicone is a moisture-cured coating designed to reflect the heat of the sun and UV rays as well as protect many types of roofs. While suitable for use in all climates, the 100 percent silicone chemistry is especially suited for extreme tropical environments like Florida, which are exposed to some of the hottest and wettest weather with intense UV exposure in the country. A silicone roof coating is designed to maintain maximum reflectivity of heat and UV rays as it ages. Its moisture curing ability creates an aggressive chemical bond with the roof, which provides resistance to ponding water.
Ponding water often occurs on flat roof systems as a result of rainfall or runoff from equipment. Ponding water for short durations is unavoidable and considered acceptable by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and many roofing manufacturers. However, ponding water in excess of 48 hours can be detrimental to a roof. In fact, most roofing problems arise from poor water drainage and ponding water on the roof. It can significantly impact the longevity of the best roofing systems. Thus, a silicone roof coating is essential in solving water ponding on roofs.
The first step is to contact a reputable roofing company that can do both coating restorations and re-roofing. You want an unbiased opinion and the option to look at both solutions so you can make the best choice based on your needs. The next step is to get a moisture scan; the roofing company you contact can recommend an independent third party to test if your roof has any moisture inside. This step is particularly crucial and sometimes overlooked. However, the results of the scan will provide the roofing company with a map of your roof and will indicate whether your roof can be restored with a silicone coating. If the existing roofing system has less than 25 percent moisture inside, a silicone roof coating can be done. Otherwise, if more than 25 percent of the roof shows moisture, you will need to do a full replacement. For a successful silicone restoration, no more than 25 percent of the roof can have moisture.
Stella Amador, Co-Owner
Vice-President, Florida Quality Roofing
Stella Amador is the Co-owner and Vice President of Florida Quality Roofing, a full-service professional roofing company serving community associations throughout South and Central Florida since 2002. Florida Quality Roofing specializes in helping community associations find the right solutions for their needs and budgets. As a result of their efforts, they have been recognized with two awards by the Florida Roofing & Sheet Metal Association (FRSA). For more information, visit www.floridaqualityroofing.com, call (954) 458-6095, or e-mail Amador at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the moisture survey has been done and the moisture areas are identified, the roofing company can make the necessary repairs to remove the wet areas as indicated on the survey, replace it with new roofing material, and proceed with cleaning and power washing the roof. Once cleaned, the roof is ready for the silicone restoration, which is usually applied in coats (similar to painting). The silicone manufacturer and warranty type will determine if primer is needed and how many coats will be applied to achieve the necessary thickness.
As previously noted, warranties will vary greatly based on the manufacturer and roofing company chosen. They range from 10, 15, and 20 years depending on thickness, primer, etc. The best warranties are the ones that are “system warranties,” which includes a labor and material warranty backed by the manufacturer. Also, most warranties can be renewed after the initial warranted period.
Caution: Avoid extended contractor warranties only and always verify with a manufacturer that the warranty offered will be honored with the scope of work provided.
Condominium (one building), Miami Beach, FL
Condominium (one building), Miami, FL
Condominium (four buildings), Hollywood, FL
The main take away is that regardless of your community’s particular budget, whether good or bad—you have options and a silicone roof restoration may prove valuable. As mentioned above, not all roofs qualify and there are things to consider such as moisture saturation. In the end, you have important decisions to make and knowing what’s available is half the battle.