15 Mar 2021

The truth about roof coating "scams"

The truth about roof coating "scams"

Recently customers have expressed concern about various web articles and websites condemning roof coatings and "roof coating scams".  Whilst it is certainly true that there have been some questionable claims and selling practices by a few rogue traders, there is a real danger of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater".  After all the double glazing industry had a reputation for dodgy traders  but no sensible person would suggest that all double glazing is bad.  We therefore thought it was time to bring some "Kingfisher" common sense to this "debate" as a respected manufacturer of structural waterproofing products and trainer of installers.

Roof coatings are just another tool for home maintenance like masonry paint for walls, and as with all surface coatings correct preparation is essential to the success of the job.    We are therefore careful to train our "approved applicators" to follow a system which delivers consistent results.  We appreciate that not  everyone buying our roof coatings is "approved" or necessarily experienced which is why we detail the procedures in our product data sheet published on our website for anyone to read.    This covers pressure cleaning the roof, remedial repairs, surface biocide treatment and correct methods for coating.  You will find a good deal of commonality in recommended preparation across all manufacturers.

Some commonly asked questions and improtant points:

1.  Will pressure washing damage my roof tiles?

No, not unless they are in exceptionally bad condition to begin with, which is somewhat rare.  Of course there is a partially destructive element to all surface preparation whether it be sanding timber or abrading rusty steel and having embarked on the preparation it is naturally sensible to follow through and complete the job.  After all a car bodyshop wouldn't repair a rusty panel and leave it unpainted!

2.  How do I find a reliable roof coating contractor?

Approach a reputable roof coating manufacturer and ask for the names of a couple of contractors in your area. 

3.  How much does it cost?

It varies according to the type, condition, pitch and size of roof, access and geographical location.  An average 100 sqm roof with normal access will typically take 2 operatives, 2 days to clean and re-coat weather permitting. There may be additional time for replacing any damaged tiles or re-bedding the ridges if required.  With material cost of around £250+VAT plus equipment overhead and trade labour rates averaging around £15 to £18 /hr a contract price of £800 to £1200 is perhaps a reasonable guide. As always if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!

4.  I have been told that I can get a "thermal" insulating roof coating, does this work?

No, this really is a scam.  Heat reflective coatings will only reflect heat away from the roof i.e the sun's rays.  Roof coatings applied on the outside of roofs do not insulate!   Avoid any contractor or salesperson pedalling this concept!

5.  How long does it last?

Kingfisher "Approved Applicators" can offer a 10 year guarantee.

6.  Will a roof coating stop moss growing on my roof?

Moss needs both moisture and a nutrient source to grow.  Old saturated concrete tiles provide both but "Kolourseal" coated tiles resist moisture ingress and isolate the organism from the nutrient (sand in the concrete).   Over time of course wind-borne dirt accumulates in crevices on your roof so beware sellers who tell you moss will never grow on your roof again but be confident that your newly coated roof will retain its appearance for years to come.

To sum up, roof coatings are just another part of building maintenance.  They can provide cost effective water-proofing and a vast improvement in the appearance of your home without rippiing off tiles which are otherwise perfectly serviceable.  But beware the cowboys!