COMPARING TOPPS SEAL®TO 100% SILICONE COATINGS

COMPARING TOPPS SEAL®TO 100% SILICONE COATINGS

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COMPARING TOPPS SEAL® TO 100% SILICONE COATINGS


February 27, 2018

 

 

WHICH IS BETTER?

Most everyone who has used a bathtub caulk has experience using silicones. And everyone who has a car with rubber bumpers and tires knows the virtues of rubber with weathering. Both are excellent – for their own purposes. But which has better properties for roofing?

Let’s begin with metal roofing. Both products have nearly identical moisture absorption standards for days on end in ASTM testing with this type roofing which always slopes. They allow almost zero absorption for durations of weather. This means excellent protection against rust and corrosion. Both also provide excellent protection against UV and other elements. However, that’s where their similarities end.

Topps Seal® is preferred for metal because of far superior physical features like elongation and tensile strength. Elongation of Topps Seal for example is 900%. The best quality silicones typically offer about 200 – 250% elongation. Elongation shows the ability to move with a roof and stay unbroken. Metal roof panels can experience more movement. Under this scenario it means Topps Seal is at least 4x more capable in terms of performance when it comes to the additional elongation your roof may need.

Ultimate tensile strength also is a highly regarded property for which elastomeric roof coatings are considered. ASTM and all other norms will measure and require certain minimums. Silicone coatings generally provide strength only in the neighborhood of 300 – 700 psi (~2 – 5 N/mm2). Whereas standard grade Topps Seal can provide upwards of 1500+ psi (~12 N/mm2). Ultimate tensile strength determines a coatings’ resistance to failure when put under stress. Again, another highly revered quality that’s especially valuable with roofing built of metal panels. What’s more, property retention over years of service stays greater for better outcomes.

100% rubber Topps Seal is a better option for this roof type for various other reasons. The silicone coating presents a particularly hazardous situation on every sloped roof when the slightest amount of moisture is present. To their detriment as we all have experienced they are extremely slippery when wet. Residual rain drops, fog, dew, or even high humidity makes those roofs an even more extreme safety hazard for any rooftop equipment repairman, plumber, roofer or other who has to get up on the sloped roof. Sooner or later it is required. For similar reasons including toughness, more athletic shoe soles are constructed with rubber, not silicone. 

While a 100% silicone coating may provide all that’s necessary in some circumstances, their use on metal comes at a considerable expense. They generally are costly. Research shows one can expect to pay nearly double for a good quality silicone alternative compared to the Topps® all rubber option which offers more. This is before factoring in that the physical properties may fall short of your roof’s needs in the first place. Why pay more for a silicone that provides less?

Flat roofs present a better option for silicones, particularly if they hold water for longer periods. The construction of those roofs, not being multiple panels or having much slope, reduces the safety risk considerably, and the potential for leaks associated with roof movement. To the silicone coating’s credit, they can be useful with roofs holding water for extended periods. They also can boast a very high moisture vapor transmission, suggesting trapped moisture beneath plies might escape it. Yet one must consider that silicone products used on bitumen typically require an epoxy primer. Epoxy allows zero vapor passage, so it defeats the moisture transmission value of the coating on top. Because of this, reputable silicone suppliers and roofers won’t coat or provide a warranty over entrapped moisture. The consequence of trapped moisture always is decaying underlayment, loss of insulation, and premature catastrophic roof failure. Virtually all national roofing standards require dry substrates as well. For this reason, infrared or nuclear scans always are strongly recommended before using any roof coating on low slope roofs. If moisture comes in, the epoxy primer most assuredly won’t let it out. This usually makes moisture permeability a moot point.

Finally, there is the issue of shelf life. 100% silicone coatings usually have only a 6-month shelf life kept at moderate temperatures to avoid spoiling. A partial pail that has been reclosed will become totally hard within 24hrs and require disposal. One must factor this into their costs and make certain that they are not using expired silicone coating. Unopened Topps Seal® by contrast has a 2-year minimum guaranteed shelf-life however we have experienced excellent performance even after 7-years of storage. An opened Topps container will remain usable for months when resealed immediately after use.

We have been asked for research about the best roof coating for cooling capabilities, and how silicone roof coatings compared to Topps Seal®. We will address this in a later blog. In general, while they may start off similarly, after only 3 years Topps Seal’s reflectivity exceeds most silicone products by as much as 50%. The retention of physical properties are strong indicators of a coating’s future value.

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HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR GUTTERS TO PREVENT RUST, LEAKS, AND BLOCKAGE

HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR GUTTERS TO PREVENT RUST, LEAKS, AND BLOCKAGE

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HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR GUTTERS TO PREVENT RUST, LEAKS, AND BLOCKAGE

It’s easy to overlook just how much your gutters do to protect your building. Channeling water away might seem like a simple and routine function, but what your gutter system is really doing by finding proper drainage for rain and snow is protecting your roof, walls, and even your foundation from water damage.

When gutters are working properly, we hardly notice them at all, but when they are rusted, leaky, or blocked, they can be a major headache. This is why it is important to perform routine cleaning and maintenance of your gutters and downspouts, restoring them if necessary, and to take preventative measures to protect your drainage system.

 

SEASONAL THREATS TO YOUR GUTTER

Your gutters face a variety of hazards all year round. Here are some seasonal pitfalls to guard against:

Spring

Heavy, wet spring snows can weaken joints and seams, and fluctuating temperatures can cause freeze-thaw cycles that widen seams and gaps. Accumulated dirt and debris from fall and winter can cause blockages.

Summer

Persistent or heavy rainfall can leak through compromised seams. Water exposure can lead to rust.

Fall

Leaves and other debris can clog gutters, resulting in blockages, which can lead to rust and water accumulation on the roof.

Winter

Freezing temperatures can lead to ice accumulation, which can compromise seams. Freeze-thaw cycles can exacerbate damage from built-up ice. Persistent freezing temperatures can lead to ice dams, causing blockage. In warmer climates, persistent winter rainfall can lead to rust and water accumulation or overflow.

 

PREVENTATIVE CARE: MAINTAINING YOUR GUTTER

The best way to treat damage to your gutter is to avoid it in the first place. Here are some ways to head off gutter damage.

Clean Regularly

The most important thing you can do to protect your gutters and downspouts is to clean them regularly to avoid blockage and moisture accumulation. For most drainage systems, this is as simple as removing gutter debris using your hands or a trowel, and flushing downspout blockages. Other systems may require more thorough cleaning methods.

Self-Clean? or Hire A Pro?

When it comes time to clean gutters, many people elect to do it themselves, while others pay to have it done professionally. What’s the difference? While most people can adequately clean their gutters DIY, a professional service will use specialized equipment that cleans more efficiently and effectively, and will typically go through a routine checklist of tasks for a meticulous clean. For this reason, the pro’s job will be quicker and more thorough. Additionally, for buildings that are especially large or tall, a professional service may be the safest way to go.

Install Gutter Screens

If your building is located in an area with lots of trees or other sources of debris, you may choose to install gutter screens to keep litter out of your gutters. These devices range from simple metal grates that filter out large debris, to nylon screens that do a more thorough job, to foam filters that allow water through your gutter while bouncing litter away.

Trim Trees

At least once a year, you should trim any overhanging tree branches to reduce leaf litter come fall.

Clean Roof

Keeping your roof clean is a good idea for a variety of reasons. One of them is that the more debris that’s on your roof, the more that can find its way into your gutters.

Check Gutter Pitch

Pour a bucket or two of water into your gutters to ensure that they are properly sloped and water is indeed draining.

Apply A Sealant

A quality rubber sealant can protect gutters from rust, maintain seam integrity, and facilitate better drainage, reducing blockage.

 

PROACTIVE CARE; RESTORING YOUR GUTTER

Even with regular maintenance, your gutters can suffer damage and wear from the elements. It’s a good idea to inspect your drainage system for trouble spots at least once a year, and to address damage with a restoration process.

Find Leaks

Leaks are generally apparent during rainstorms and snowmelt, but you can also inspect for them by pouring a bucket or two of water into strategic areas of your gutter system. Leaky seams should be sealed with a caulking compound, while small holes can be patched with roofing cement. If a segment of gutter is especially leaky, it may warrant replacing.

Remove Rust

It is important to treat any rust before it does serious damage to your gutter. Remove light rust using a wire brush, and be sure to flush or vacuum the resulting debris. You can also use a rust-removing solvent before power washing your gutters.

Reline Your Gutter

After fixing leaks and removing rust, you should consider relining your gutter with a rubber sealant. This measure can keep seams from leaking, prevent rust, and limit blockage from debris.

 

CONCLUSION

Our gutters work hard to maintain healthy drainage around our property, but they’re constantly exposed to small hazards that can wear them down over time. It’s crucial to keep drainage systems in good condition with regular maintenance and cleaning, and by addressing small damages before they become huge problems.

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SILICONE AND CONTINUED ROOK LEAKS – NOT A COMPATIBLE MATCH

SILICONE AND CONTINUED ROOK LEAKS – NOT A COMPATIBLE MATCH

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SILICONE AND CONTINUED ROOF LEAKS – NOT A COMPATIBLE MATCH


February 28, 2018

When having a contractor evaluate your roof or when doing the work yourself, there are many things to look for. One of the most often overlooked problems is determining what the product is that was used to patch or coat the roof previously. Silicone is often used to glob fasteners or even to coat the entire roof itself. Most products can be cleaned and applied over when dry. Silicone, on the other hand, must be completely removed as nothing will bond to it. Before applying any product over suspected silicone, you should apply a test patch to check for adhesion.

When a silicone repair fails, it must be completely removed, as well as the residue it leaves behind. That may mean grinding it off of a metal roof, or scraping it off of other substrates. Once that’s done, use a 100% rubber repair compound, such as Topps Polyprene®. That will get the job done right, the repair will be long-lasting and you won’t continue to experience call-backs.

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erent properties.

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