If you have a metal roof, you can already appreciate its durable, strong construction. However, you may not realize you can enhance your roof's summer-time insulating characteristics by applying a special elastomeric coating containing ceramic particles. This coating provides added protection against the elements, but most importantly, its special reflective characteristics prevent heat from passing through the roof into your home. Applying the coating is a simple do-it-yourself task for most homeowners, and below is what you need to know to get it done:
Insulate your metal roof with a ceramic coating - tools, supplies and materials needed
- Elastomeric coating containing ceramic particles – this can be purchased from some hardware or home improvement centers, but you may need to buy it from online specialty retailers. It is usually sold in various sized containers ranging from a gallon to much larger amounts.
- 12-inch deep nap roller cover – choose a roller cover that has a ½-inch deep nap for best results; 12-inch roller covers are more expensive than 9-inch covers, but using them will reduce the time needed to complete the task.
- Wide roller frame and extension handles
- Paint tray
- Pressure washer
- Plastic-bristled brush
- Rooftop safety system – this should include a harness, safety line and anchor point.
- Eye protection
Insulate your metal roof with a ceramic coating – a step-by-step procedure
1. Prepare to work safely on the rooftop – rooftops pose a serious fall hazard to workers and do-it-yourself homeowners, so be sure you are prepared for safety. Always wear a harness anchored to a secure location whenever you work on a rooftop; an entire rooftop safety system is available for less than one-hundred dollars, and this small investment could save your life.
2. Clean the rooftop – before applying the ceramic coating, it's important that your metal roof be cleaned to remove all traces of oil, tar, grease, tree sap, leaves, limbs and animal droppings. Otherwise, the coating will not properly adhere to the metal, and you will be forced to repaint it within a short period of time.
A pressure washer with a nozzle producing a fan-shaped spray pattern will provide a thorough cleaning. When spraying, be careful not to direct the spray toward seams and under flashing around chimneys or other rooftop structures. In addition, always wear eye protection when using a pressure washer to avoid introducing debris into your eyes, and do not spray in the direction of power lines.
The pressurized spray should remove most of the contaminants from the roof, but you may need to scrub stubborn spots. A firm plastic-bristled brush will eliminate any remaining debris.
3. Inspect and repair roof damage – after cleaning the roof, the next step should be looking for and repairing any damage noted. For example, all loose fasteners should be removed and replaced, and any other areas, such as deteriorated gaskets or flashing, should be repaired. Once the roof coating is applied, these areas will be more difficult to address without causing harm to the coating.
4. Apply the coating – once the roof is cleaned and all damage repaired, then it is time to apply the coating. The ideal conditions for applying most ceramic coatings are warm, but cloudy, days with low relative humidity. This will permit the coating to dry at a moderate pace and prevent overly-rapid drying that interferes with proper adhesion.
To apply, begin by thoroughly mixing the coating inside its container. Next, pour the liquid coating material into a paint tray suitable for use with rollers. Dab the roller in the coating, and apply it to the metal roof at a rate of around 100 square feet per gallon. Don't roll the paint on too thickly, but keep your coats relatively light. Most coatings will dry to the touch in a few hours, but subsequent coats should be applied no sooner than the following day.
5. Maintain the coating – once applied, you can expect your metal roof's coating to last for several years. However, it will need an occasional wash-down with a garden hose to remove dirt and accumulated debris; these contaminants can lessen the reflective properties of the coating. Otherwise, enjoy the energy savings provided by your enhanced metal roof.
If you are nervous about performing any of the steps above, then contact a roofing specialist from a company like American Building & Roofing Inc to do this project for you.