Why It’s Worth Investing In New Roof Technologies

By Hawaii Renovation Posted in: ExteriorRoofing
Leakmaster Roofing
December 25, 2011

Leakmaster Roofing has always been a leading innovator of roofing technologies during its 22 years of existence. In particular, the company has been early adopters of cool roof coatings — reinforced with polyester fabric — that have proven to be popular here in the last few years.

Leakmaster’s philosophy has been to research the latest products making a name on the mainland, then try them here on a limited basis. If the products hold up well after a few years of harsh local conditions — ponding water and strong UV rays — then they are ready for prime time. Leakmaster’s own roof at its showroom on Cooke Street in Kakaako is a virtual lake — a perfect incubator for accelerated testing.

Leakmaster installs all types of roofing systems — shingle, shake, metal, single ply, coatings, asphalt, tile and more. The company believes that everyone has their own budget and aesthetic taste and that most roofs have a special niche where they shine. Leakmaster Roofing believes in letting you know all the pros and cons of each system and letting the customer make up their own mind.

Here are the latest observations on emerging roofing technologies:

Acrylic vs. silicone coatings

In the last three or four years silicone roof coatings have made a big dent in the local market. Their appeal lies in the claim that they can withstand extreme ponding water and that they do not chalk or “sacrifice” over time, as water-based acrylics do.

Leakmaster has put down some smaller jobs over the years as a test, including its own roof, and patiently watched the results. It remembers the Butyl Roof coating craze that rolled into town about 10 years ago and was also supposed be effective against ponding water. After six months of exposure to the sun, the coating yellowed and started to develop numerous surface cracks. Quickly, its popularity faded.

So far, Leakmaster’s results for silicone are very encouraging. They show no bubbling or de-lamination because of standing water, and any mildew growth on top is easily cleaned off and does not appear to penetrate the coating. It appears to be working so well that Leakmaster recommends this system in areas of heavy standing water.

Energy Star-rated shingles and metal tiles

Why are Energy Star-rated roofs so important? For one thing, they qualify for up to $500 in federal tax credits and they make your home cooler. It is also generally assumed that the cooler your roof surface stays, the longer it will last. Why? Just like your car engine, heat can break down your roof over time. If it heats up during our hot summer days, then quickly cools down when a shower passes by, the result can be “thermal shock” — the quick expansion and contraction of your roofing material that can cause it to degrade.

The popular CertainTeed Landmark Solaris shingle comes in two different versions. The Gold version achieves a reflectivity of 25 percent versus the Platinum at 40 percent. Both qualify for the tax credit and will cool down your home a bit. One homeowner who carefully measured before and after temperatures noticed that while the Gold shingle did help, it still wasn’t cool enough for his taste. He added some solar roof vents later, which further lowered the temperature.

If you really want to cool down your home, however, consider a pure white ceramic roof coating with a solar reflectivity of 80 to 90 percent.

The Energy Star-rated Metro metal roof tile also is a premium system that qualifies for the tax credit. It has a beautiful stone pebble finish and, like its long-time competitor Decra, Metro will last 40 years or longer in Hawaii’s climate. It has an elegant, upscale look that is virtually maintenance-free. While it is cooler than its predecessor, Leakmaster recommends that it be installed with roof vents if you truly want to beat the heat.

To discuss any of these topics further, call Leakmaster Roofing at 591-1900 or visit its showroom, located at 575-G Cooke St. in Kakaako.

ADDRESS: 575-G COOKE ST.
CONTACT: 591-1900
WEBSITE: www.leakmaster.com

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