Aluminum roof coatings are becoming increasingly popular as they improve in quality and usage on many different types of roofs increases. Roof coating is a popular choice because it extends the life of the roof while also saving energy because of its reflective qualities.
There are many advantages and circumstantial differences for applying aluminum roof coatings. There are also many types and brands, so we will try to help you make an informed aluminum roof coating decision in this article that describes how to use aluminum roof coating. Although aluminum roof coatings may be used on many types of roofs, we are going to concentrate on its application on aluminum roofs.
Aluminum roof coatings are made to reflect u-v rays and thus help save energy and they extend the life of your roofing, but what they do not do is repair holes, leaks or cracks in your roof. You need to have any necessary repairs made to the roof before applying the primer and the aluminum roof coating. Fix any leaks and potential leaks in the roof prior to applying any primer or coatings. Potential leaks can be identified by finding areas with extensive corrosion, cracks or tears in the aluminum, so patch any such areas before you continue.
Using Primers as an Aluminum Roof Coating
Primers are recommended before applying a surface coating to an aluminum roof, regardless of the roof’s age. Special primers are made for use with aluminum roof coatings for aluminum metal roofing. Some primers, such as zinc-chromate based primers, may be incompatible with certain aluminum roof coatings.
You need to also remove corrosion and dirt from the surface before using primer. Primer is not a substitute for removing corrosion and dirt, instead, it is a needed step in the process of properly coating your aluminum roof. Primer is used to make the coating better adhere to the surface of the roof so the roof will last longer and you will not have to recoat it as often.
Weather & Surface Conditions
When applying primer and aluminum roof coatings to your roof, you can’t just do it no matter what it is like outside or regardless of the surface conditions. You need to make sure the conditions are optimal for coating a roof. Optimal conditions for coating an aluminum roof with primer and aluminum roof coatings are described here.
Generally, you want a nice warm dry day to do this type of work in. If you try to coat your roof when it is too cold, moisture is likely to inhibit adhesion of the coating and both primer and coatings will take longer to cure. In opposite extremes, when it is too hot, the coating can cure to fast causing it to flake.
So what is the perfect temperature for this type of work? Well, it also depends a bit on the humidity, but ultimately it should be between about 60 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, so you have a pretty wide range of temperatures you can perform the work in. In some climates it may be hard to fall in between these temperatures, so just get as close as possible Temperatures that are absolutely too hot would be around 110 degrees and too cold would be below around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but make sure its dry if you do it that cold.
Application of Coating
Application of the aluminum roof coating can be done with a brush, roller or sprayed on. If you use a brush, you need to use a three or four knot brush and make your strokes all in the same direction because the reflective quality is better with nice uniform stokes in one direction. Same goes for rollers.
If using a sprayer, both airless and air sprayers can be used, but it is important to get the proper spray pattern and that the viscosity of the spray is correct for the type of coating you use. You will need to consult the retailer and/or manual of the sprayer and the coating to determine the ultimate settings for your specific equipment and product.
Proper coverage during installation is another concern. Of course you will need to read the manufacturer’s instructions for the brand of aluminum coating you choose, but generally most are designed to be applied in a single even coating that is not too thick or too thin.
The amount used per square can vary from a half gallon to 2 gallons depending on the type of coating, so be sure to read the directions carefully and apply your coating correctly or it may result in premature failure of the roof.
This is just a general guide and further reading of manufacturer’s directions for both the equipment you use and the products chosen is required for doing the job safely and correctly. We intentionally left that specific information out of the article due to the vast differences between different types and brands of aluminum roof coatings, primers and applicators.