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Comparing Exciting New Roof Technologies | Are They Worth It?

Leakmaster Roofing has been always been a leading innovator in new roof technologies during their 22 years of existence.   In particular, they have been early adopters of Cool Roof coatings –reinforced with polyester fabric– that have proven so popular here in the last few years.


Their philosophy had been to research the latest products that are making their 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–then they are ready for prime time.  Their own roof at their showroom at 575 Cooke St. in Kaka’ako is a virtual lake–a perfect incubator for accelerated testing. ( See enclosed pictures)


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


Here are their latest observations on the new 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 their claim that they can withstand extreme ponding water and that they do not chalk or “sacrifice” over time, as water based acrylics will.


Leakmaster has put down some smaller jobs over the years as a test, including their own roof, and patiently watched the results.  They remember the Butyl Roof coating craze that rolled into town about ten years ago and was also supposed be effective against ponding water.  It was,for a while, but after 6 months of exposure under our hot sun the coating yellowed and started to develop numerous surface cracks.  Quickly, it’s popularity faded.


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


Energy Star Rated Shingles & 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?  Because, 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.  This results in “thermal shock”– the quick expansion and contraction of your roofing material that can cause it to degrade over time.


The popular CertainTeed Landmark Solaris shingle comes in two different versions.  The Gold version achieves a reflectivity of 25% vs. the Platinum at 40%. Both qualify for the tax credit and will cool down your home…a bit. One homeowner who carefully measured his before and after temperatures, noticed that while the Gold shingle did help, it still wasn’t cool enough for his tastes.  He added some solar roof vents later which further lowered his temperature. However, if you really want cool down your home consider a pure white ceramic roof coating with a solar reflectivity of 80 to 90%.


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


If you wish to discuss any of these topics further, please call Leakmaster Roofing at 591-1900 or visit their showroom at 575-G Cooke St. in Kaka’ako.


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