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What Are The Different Types Of Liquid Roofing Systems?

Despite the ever-increasing popularity of liquid roofing systems, many people still believe all liquid waterproofing products to be equal. This is not the case. Not only can liquid waterproof coatings differ in their base material. Those using the same base material can differ in their quality and effectiveness as a liquid coating.

The main types of liquid waterproofing systems are as follows:

Polyurethane Liquid Roofing

Often referred to as PU Liquid. This type liquid coating is created using a mixture of polyurethane polymers with other materials. Compared to other types of liquid system, polyurethane liquid roofing offers high levels of strength and durability. PU liquid roofing is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for roofs that are subjected to heavy foot traffic or vehicular access. Pu Liquid systems also offer the option of adding a top coat to provide extra hardness to endure heavy use. And the ability to add aggregates to provide anti-slip properties.

Not all PU Liquid systems are created equal.  As an example, some polyurethane liquid roofing products are single layer whereas others such MPM Starflex Monotix offer three layer systems. This means where a single layer system offers a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) membrane. A three-layer system consists of a HDPE top layer, a polypropylene (PP) insulation layer, and a bottom layer of HDPE. The insulation layer gives the roof increased protection against the temperature fluctuations commonly seen in the UK. Not only this but it also enhances the energy efficiency of the building it waterproofs. Such 3 layer systems are a good choice for projects which need good waterproofing protection and insulation. Another benefit of the Starflex Monotix system is it has anti-slump properties making it ideal for work which involves complex detail work and upstands.

However, the choice between a single layer or three-layer system is not as simple as saying the three-layer system is better than the single. A single layer system on a domestic property is likely to be more than good enough to provide the longer term waterproofing protection required. And a single layer system can offer this at a far better price point. The key thing to analyse when choosing the appropriate type of polyurethane system are what are the buildings requirements and what is the budget available to achieve these goals.

Another factor to understand with polyurethane roofing systems is how the cure time of the liquid coating can be impacted by the weather conditions. Some well-known systems perform excellently between certain temperatures, but struggle in extreme cold or heat. This can make some otherwise good systems, problematic to install at certain times of the year.

As you can see in just one subset of liquid roofing systems there are a lot of nuances to understand before choosing a liquid system for a project.

Acrylic Liquid Roofing

Acrylic liquid roofing is a type of waterproofing system which is formulated from a blend of acrylic polymers, pigments, and additional ingredients. Acrylic liquid coatings are known for their solar reflectivity, being energy efficient and resistant to weathering. This type of system is not meant for new roof systems. It is only suitable for overlays and repairs. With acrylic liquid roofing it is wise to use roofing fleece in unison with the acrylic liquid coating to maximise life expectancy. If an acrylic liquid overlay or repair is carried out correctly you can expect it to last approximately 5 years. In some cases this can be stretched to 10 years.

The premise with using acrylic liquid roofing is as follows; it is a potential solution, if you want to squeeze a little bit more life out of a roof. Or you want to temporarily fix a problem. However, if you want a permanent roof repair or a system for a new roof we would strongly advise you go for a polyurethane liquid roofing system.

Liquid Rubber Roofing

Liquid rubber roofing is a term which is often misunderstood. Although when finished this type of liquid system has a rubber-like appearance. It is in fact nearly always polyurethane based. When you analyse most of these products the terminology used is "once applied the liquid coating forms a rubber-like elastic finish". For end results of liquid rubber systems the variations of performance are extremely similar to those mentioned in the polyurethane liquid roofing article above. You can therefore class liquid rubber roofing as a derivative of polyurethane systems only differentiated in name for marketing purposes. Perhaps as a play on the hugely popular EPDM rubber roofing and the fact liquid rubber is a good alternative to the system without the use of seams.

Silicone Liquid Roofing

Silicon based liquid systems are similar to acrylic liquid systems in the sense they are designed for temporary repairs only. Using silicone is essentially only good for a short term solution, before a long term fix is needed. The only feasible use case we advise for this type of system is to prevent damage from water ingress in the period you have to wait for a professional roofing contractor to provide a long term waterproofing remedy.

Polyurea Liquid Roofing

Polyurea liquid systems are seamless and based on a type of durable synthetic polymer. This system is perfect for waterproofing due to being watertight resistance to both chemicals and abrasions. It also has superior tensile strength and tear resistance. All of these characteristics combined with it being easy to apply in a spray format make it the perfect product for commercial roofing. It has the ability to endure heavy foot traffic and to be applied without the use of chop strand matting. There are hybrid polyurea systems combined with polyurethane liquids to give an amazing all round roof waterproofing membrane.

Starflex Monotix 100 is one such system and out of all the products we have tested at Alphateq Waterproofing this product is the most complete.

Need Some Help On Choosing The Best Liquid Roofing System

If you are a building owner or a contractor who would like any advice on which liquid roofing system to choose for for your project, please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can contact us through our web form or by calling us on 01277 503 110, one of our liquid waterproofing specialists will be happy to assist you.