ARE THE COMMON SILICONE COATING PROBLEMS REALLY PROBLEMS?
As a silicone coating manufacturer, we have heard lots of complaints about silicone and reasons to not buy. Most often, we hear these comments from people who have had one bad experience with silicone and have sworn it off as a roofing system. Rather than giving silicone another shot, or considering that the contractor may have a made a mistake or that the roof may not have been a good silicone candidate, these detractors completely write off silicone as a worthless product. Well, we disagree with that assessment, and here are some responses to common arguments we hear against silicone.
Silicone is Hard to Work With
We’ve heard too many people to count say that silicone is hard to work with. They say that it’s messy, takes too much training, and that they’d prefer to use another, easier product. Well, silicone is really easy to use. It takes some practice, but if you can paint a wall you can coat a roof with silicone. It can get messy, but if you have proper cleaning equipment (towels, mineral spirits) handy, it won’t get too messy.
You Can Only Install Silicone with Expensive Equipment
This argument is just plain wrong. Yes, you can buy sprayers that can cost more than $10,000, but you can also install silicone with nothing more than a paint roller. It can be applied with a squeegee and paint roller and you can get a great roof. The bottom line is that you don’t have to have the expensive equipment to produce a nice roof.
Silicone Washes Off in the Rain
You can always tell that someone is used to working with acrylic coatings when they say this. If you apply an acrylic coating and it rains within a couple hours, you’ll find your material washed off the roof and in the parking lot before long. Acrylic coatings are known to wash off in rain. Due to their chemistry, silicone coatings cure faster in the presence of moisture, so rain isn’t a problem. They don’t wash off. There is simply no truth to this myth.
Silicone Breaks Down and Wears Away in the Sun
Very few things on earth can completely withstand UV rays, and silicone is no exception. Over time, yes silicone will wear down and degrade, but it lasts longer than any other coating on the market. Silicone doesn’t chalk off and degrade like other coatings, but it will slowly wear over the course of 20-25 years.
Do You Have to Use Primers and Fabric with Silicone?
Again, this is a complaint common among those who have worked with acrylic coatings in the past. Silicone doesn’t require primers or fabric for strength or adhesion. This argument is actually the exact opposite of what is true. Acrylic coatings require more work (primers and fabric), while silicone coatings do not.
Silicone Doesn’t Resist Ponding Water
Someone with only a cursory understanding of coatings may bring up this objection. They may have heard that certain coatings break down in the presence of ponding water, and think silicone is no different. But silicone is different! Silicone coatings can resist ponding water because they’re a moisture-cured product. The more moisture the better, and after a certain point silicone can’t absorb any more water. The water cannot break down silicone because it can’t penetrate it.
Is Silicone Easily Torn?
Other people believe that because coatings are flexible, they are weak and will tear easily. Yes, if you have a loose piece of coating and cut it with a knife, you can tear through it pretty easily. But in the real world, silicone is fully adhered to a roof and there’s no way for anything to get a grip on it to tear it. If you’re worried about knives or tools being dropped on your roof, that’ going to impact any system, not just silicone.
Loses Its Reflectivity Over Time
Like we said about breaking down in the sun, nothing can resist the sun completely. While silicone does lose some reflectivity over time, it retains its reflective properties better than other coatings. Through independent testing, silicone coatings are found to be more reflective after three years than any other coating.
Must Be Recoated with More Silicone
The last objection is the one that we consider the most legitimate. Once you have a silicone coating on your roof, it is true that you must recoat with silicone in the future or remove the silicone. Removing the silicone is indeed difficult. However, we truly believe that this is a very effective product and we don’t think you will want to use a different system once you have a silicone roof.
There are many objections to silicone coatings that we have heard in the past, and most of them are just plain untrue. There are some objections that have some credence, but as a whole what people say to us as reasons to not buy is not true. If you have an objection that isn’t on this list, give us a call today and we’ll give you some reasons that you’ll love silicone.