We have 2 “historic” brick buildings with flat roofs in the central Midwest. They are next door to each other, but are different sizes. The larger is about 1,335 sq. ft. and the smaller around 875 sq. ft…
The larger building is our home, and had a new, conventional, “built-up” roof installed about 20 years ago. It’s been coated once or twice since then with a grey aluminized product that is now badly “alligatored”, with some linear cracks here and there. Recently, at infrequent intervals, there’s been a bit of leakage into a back stairway. Our attempted fix with a few tubes of roofing caulk has proven unsuccessful.
We actually have three problems: 1. A Leaking and deteriorating roof.
2. The cost of heating. 3. The cost of cooling.
When the roof was installed, we neglected to have the air space beneath insulated with fiberglass or cellulose. We’ve spent decades paying for that mistake, and won’t make it again. The weather here gets both very hot and very cold, and if the entire roof needs to be replaced, we’ll certainly blow insulation in there.
However, we’ve considered some modern roofing products that promise to insulate from above. They are ceramic/plastic coatings that reflect most heat during the summer and can help stem heat loss in the winter.
If we decide to re-mop the roof in conventional fashion, to seal out the water again, and then use the ceramic coating on top, would that be a sensible solution?
In other words, can we extend the useful life of this older roof with a combination of re-mopping and re-coating with “space-age” products, or should we start from scratch with an entirely new roof, insulate beneath, and then coat the new roof with the reflective coating?
The second, smaller building, is a simpler question. We bought it after the second foreclosure. It had been gypped, tripped, flipped, and sorely neglected. It took over a year to rehab it, including a brand new conventional roof. The roofers took off over 4 inches of old stuff, including what was probably the original, 1908, material. Fiberglass was blown underneath, so energy efficiency has been much improved. However, there is room for improvement. The makers of these ceramic roof coatings, in addition to claims of efficiency, also say that their products will extend the life of roofs by protecting from extreme temp. shifts and UV exposure.
Since this roof is quite new, not yet two years, it’s clean enough that an application of a coating would be fairly simple. Are the claims for these products substantial? Could they be a useful tool to save money on energy and future repairs?
Thanks for your time and attention.