Water damage causes billions of dollars worth of destruction each year. From severe thunderstorms to outright floods and hurricanes. Your roof is the part of your building that is most vulnerable to water damage. Yes, you may have a strong and healthy roof as of this moment, but do you have a waterproof roof? Can you prdict how much damage it will face in the future? Well, of course not, but there are some measures you can take to extend its life.
If you’re trying to stay under your place of business or current home for at least 20 years, keep reading. There’s a way to effectively seal your roof’s surface to create a barrier against sun, snow, sleet, hail, and ice formations. Waterproofing a roof is the untold secret to a leak-proof roof.
Let’s take a closer look at what it means to waterproof your roof.
Why You Need a Waterproof Roof
Residents of the Midwest, Northwest and East Coast will attest to just how punishing rain and snow can be. Even if you dodge some of the big ones (hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, etc.), your roof is constantly tested. A couple months worth of heavy rains and winds each year will loosen shingles.
Cracks can form through the presence of constant extreme temperatures, too. Your shingles may look fine from the outside, but underneath may be different. Heat warps and weakens roofs over time, causing leaks to appear.
When it comes to heavy, wet snow, the roof is at-risk of ice-damming. These are formations that happen when snow melts just enough to collect into ice in cracks and gutters. Usually, a heavy snowfall at night will produce ice damns in the day.
Once you have ice built up in your gutters and crevices, it starts to slowly build up underneath your shingles. Any ice that is melted will produce water damage in your attic and finally the ceiling.
A waterproof roof strengthens your defenses and prevents all of these common environmental threats.
Waterproofing for Flat Roofs
There is no exception when it comes to owners of flat-roofed buildings. These roofs are the equivalent of having giant pools for rain. Most businesses will have a waterproof roof, as there is not an economical alternative to preventing leaks, water damage.
Usually, a sealant gets covered on the entire surface area of a flat roof. Depending on what the roof is made out of, the thickness and viscosity of the sealant will vary. Different sealants are also used for non-flat roofs, as well.
This is important to keep in mind if you’re shopping around for the best waterproofing service for your roof.
The Major Benefits of a Waterproof Roof
Water is, of course, the main concern when protecting your roof, but there’s more to waterproofing. Applying a waterproof roof sealant guards against a list of other threats to roof integrity. Here’s what you’ll also be protected against:
Reflect Ultraviolet Rays
The sun’s rays produce a constant bombardment of radiation onto your roof. If your shingles aren’t specially treated for UV rays, they are at risk. Shingles can degrade, crack, and warp over time. These little defects eventually lead to ways for water to get in a damage your roof.
Even with shingles that have reflective surfaces, it still isn’t comprehensive enough. A waterproof roof coating with UV protection will stand up to the most intense sun exposure.
Most waterproof sealants double as a fire-retardant barrier. Those who do not have metal roofs will find this extra layer of protection relieving. This extra precaution may save your house if nearby houses catch on fire.
Waterproof roof protection means no opportunity for mold or mildew to grow. Even in climates that have high humidity and precipitation, sealed roofs prevent bacteria and fungi. This growth would otherwise degrade shingles over time and allow moisture to persist.
Lower House Temps
Because your roof is more reflective, investing in sealant saves you on cooling. This is especially true when you get into white opaque waterproof roof seals. White roofs have been proven to reflect the sun’s rays three times more than black roofs.
This also translates into a greater reduction of overall environmental temperatures. A collective effort around the globe is being pushed to get more city surfaces painted in white to offset carbon emissions.
While the goal of a waterproof roof is to seal out any and all moisture, it can still allow ventilation of the home. Elastomeric waterproofing wicks all outside water, while still allowing the inside to breathe out. This concept is used in things like tires, paint, and elastic products.
Remember, not all waterproofing works the same. Some products merely coat surfaces, while others work like a membrane. This can be the difference in cost when comparing services.
Cheaper companies may only charge a few hundred bucks, but are they applying improvised paint or commercial-grade sealant?
Types of Waterproofing
Breathable waterproof sealants come in a few different forms. There is not a sole winner among these types of materials. What works best for a flat roof may not be good for a slanted one, or metal one, and etc.
Thankfully, these waterproof roof coatings have become much more affordable across the board. Technology has progressed waterproofing to a more economical investment these days. You can now find popular roof sealants in elastomeric rubber, silicone, urethane, polyurethane, and acrylic.
Waterproof sealant is also used as an alternative to expensive roof repair. Thanks to the elastomeric properties, it can safely fill and strengthen weaknesses. This is a much more accessible solution for those needing expensive roof repairs done.
Depending on the type of damage, waterproof roof professionals could save your roof.
Calculating the Price
Each type of waterproof option will vary in price. Ultimately, the final cost will depend on square-footage, labor required, and the season. If you’re trying to get your roof sealed in the middle of a heatwave or rainy weather, expect an upcharge.
Some sealing jobs require a primer or additional material to reinforce the foundation. You should know whether or not this will be required during the roof inspection. If it is a prerequisite, expect costs to double or triple per square foot.
For large commercial jobs, the cost of labor will also be affected. The amount of time it takes to prepare, apply, and clean up the site can vary based on location. The key is to get the job done without any guesswork or unforeseen costs.
Estimating Long-term Value
Initial estimates of how much it will cost to waterproof the roof may seem exorbitant. This is because it is removed from the context of long-term costs. At best, you’ll pay for minor roof maintenance every few years, at worst, a new roof.
You obviously can’t predict the future, but you can take a calculative guess. Waterproofing the roof isn’t a one-and-done process, but it is very low maintenance. You’ll need reapplications much less often than typical roof maintenance.
The key is in getting quality waterproof roof coatings and knowing you are protected. It’s hard to put a dollar amount on having peace of mind with regards to your property’s roof. Water damage, even in a small isolated event, can cost thousands.
This is just some food for thought when considering waterproofing options. Do some rough estimates on what it will cost over the life of the roof. See if you can spread out the cost into what it translates to monthly.
This method helps put things into perspective regarding the price of protecting your property. As a business, you don’t automatically choose the cheapest insurance for your products. Why would you do that to your property?
Why Businesses Should Waterproof
It is worth emphasizing the importance of waterproofing for businesses, big or small. The benefits are often overlooked in favor of short-term costs. Let’s take a look at the big picture here.
As you have just read, the real savings a waterproof roof provides comes from not just preventing leaks. The abuse of UV rays, water erosion, ice-damning, and extreme temps is protected by the waterproof sealant. Even if you have your waterproof coating re-applied twice, you’re saving tens of thousands or more.
The scale of saving on cooling costs can also be tremendous for businesses. With a good insulation, a reflective coating reduces a major source of heat. Your AC units will work less and their lifespans increase greatly.
A happy worker is a productive worker. In hot climates, you can literally watch moods change the longer someone is stuck in heat. For an office, it might feel objectively cooler than outside temps, but inside is different. A few degrees above normal office temps could mean shorter tempers.
Customers respond the same way. If kept waiting in a building with an inadequate AC, they may spend less. It’s also much harder to maintain focus in a warmer environment.
Reduce Roof Vulnerabilities
Let’s take a look at a waterproof roof under a different lens. We talked about how it protects from minor and long-term damage; what about severe damage? Well, there isn’t much you can do against 40 mph winds, of course.
You can, however, give your business the best fighting chance with a waterproof seal. Any roof vulnerabilities or flaws are amplified under severe weather. A seal keeps things streamlined and uniform, making it harder for wind, rain, and debris to damage your roof.
Application is Straight-forward
Nearly every waterproof application is fast and easy for a professional to install. Roof repairs are usually anything but that. Spraying the coating on doesn’t require heavy machinery, loud movement, or areas sectioned off.
Now, it shouldn’t need to be said, but we know there are some ‘Tim Taylor’s’ out there. Waterproofing technically could be DIY’d, but it shouldn’t and is not worth the risk. The materials aren’t cheap, the equipment can’t be rented, and the technique is often missed.
You can’t just spray it on like a liquid or a paint spray. Elastomeric coating is a unique substance that can only be applied to experience. All of this is further complicated when dealing with slanted rooftops.
It Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
You don’t need to be 100% green energy to make an impact on the environment. If all businesses got with the program, they’d not only save more money but lower emissions. Flat top roofs can act as huge reflectors of the sun’s rays.
Reducing the usage of air conditioners means less electricity and everyone wins. Customers will appreciate the effort of making your building energy-efficient. Maintenance workers will also appreciate the cooler surface temps of the roof, too.
Hire the Best and Most Qualified
If you’re ready to make that move to a better and more efficient roof, then congratulations! We know it can be difficult to invest in something outside your expertise. It’s important to get the job done right and with the best materials.
At Z Roofing, we spare no expense when it comes to protecting your roof. There are a lot of amateurs out there who wouldn’t be able to back up their claims. This is not a fly-by-night company, we have decades of roofing experience.
Whether you need a repair, replacement, or waterproof roof, we can help. If you have any questions about getting work done on your roof, feel free to contact us. We offer free consultations and inspections on your roof.
No job is too big or small when it comes to roofing. Waterproof your shed, your home, or warehouse business. If it has five sides (more or less) and sits outside, we’re the guys to call in Miami.