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If you have a business in a hot area that receives a great deal of sun all year round, then you may notice that your rubber roof absorbs a great deal of this heat. Flat rubber roofs are generally made out of EPDM materials that are created with ingredients that include ethylene, propylene, and diene monomer. The rubber roofing material is naturally black in color. This coloring is what contributes to thermal absorption. Luckily, you can reduce the amount of heat that the roof absorbs by adding a coating over the surface of it. A few examples for you to consider are outlined below.
Many surface coatings that are sold for use on EPDM roofing materials are made with rubber compounds. These materials help to create a protective and waterproof barrier over the surface of the rubber. The coating also assists in filling in small cracks and openings and covering dry areas of the roof. The sealer is very similar to the EPDM rubber roof itself, especially due to its flexible surface. To create a consistent surface color, the sealant is typically black. While most rubber-based sealers are dark, some have aluminum additives mixed into them. The aluminum creates a shiny and reflective surface that forces the sun's rays away from the roof. This reduces heat gain across the structure. The sealer also help to reduce UV damage across the rubber roof to keep the roof from drying and cracking in the future.
Aluminum sealers can be applied with either rollers or sprayers. Just make sure that you do not purchase the wrong product when you go to complete your roof sealing project. Many sealer products contain petroleum and asphalt. Both of these materials are not compatible with rubber materials, since they will eat through the roof. If you accidentally use a petroleum sealer, the sealed area will need to be cut away.
You can find a variety of white sealers on the market that are available for EPDM roofs. White is an excellent color to reduce heat gain and UV damage across your roof. White is considered a cool roof color that is environmentally efficient in terms of energy loss and gain. When you choose a white sealer made from elastomeric materials, you can also be sure that your roof will be able to flex and shift much like the EPDM material underneath. Elastomeric sealers made with polymer fibers are also quite durable. However, the material can peel over time. To reduce this concern and to also ensure optimal strength, look for a sealer product that comes with ceramic beads. This is ideal in areas that experience hurricanes or tropical storms.
Elastomeric coatings can be added with rollers or spray guns much like other types of sealing products. Make sure to add two layers of the material for the best protection.
Once you add your sealer to your roof, you can further increase the energy efficiency by spreading a layer of roofing granules over the surface. These granules are small ceramic and mineral stones that reflect UV light away from the roof. While the granules are typically seen on asphalt shingle roofs, they can be added to any roof surface where energy absorption and heat gain are a concern. Choose white granules to reflect the most energy.
You can spread roof granules over the roof sealant as it cures or you can use an adhesive to secure the minerals afterwards. If you decide to use an adhesive, purchase a polyurethane product. Spread the adhesive over the sealer in small sections and then sprinkle the granules over it. You will want to add a layer of minerals so the granules touch one another. They should not overlap or build up though, or many of the granules will simply blow away.
For more information and options, talk with commercial roofing companies, such as Bell Roof Co, about heat reducing coatings.