Liquid roof at its inception saw the use of natural bitumen being mixed with straw, jute, rag felt and various other man-made things in order to provide a useful, functional roofing solution. It was not until the early twentieth century that liquid roofing was finally being used on a wide-scale basis and this is when liquid roofing found its footing as a widely performed commercial activity. The earliest known liquid roof was executed using liquefied rubber. During 1960s and 1970s, other materials found their way into being used for the purpose of liquid roof, namely styrene butadienes, acrylics, acrylic emulsions and unsaturated polyesters. These methods of liquid roofing proved largely successful due to the fact that this improved the quality of roofing and appeared rather durable.
As technology progressed further, the first liquid based elastomeric roof coating was introduced in 1975, when it proved to be hugely popular. Elastomeric materials are those which are elastic in nature and tend to resemble rubber. These materials have the property of resuming their original shape when a deforming force is removed from it. Since the end of 1980s, the progression of technology saw the development of a single component moisture cured polyurethane which was then applied as a coating on roofs. Till today, this method forms the basis of most of the modern day liquid roof solutions.
The process of liquid roofing involves applying a liquid based coating which comes in the form of a fully bonded monolithic liquid. The coating is generally applied in hot form, and when it cures, it assumes the form of a rubber-like membrane which is elastomeric and waterproof in nature. The key advantage of liquid roofing is that its membrane is capable of stretching as and when needed and can return to its original shape without any problems. It should also be noted that when liquid roofing is used, it is generally reinforced with another material. Glass reinforced plastic is a popular choice as a secondary material to reinforce this liquid roof and this provides additional tensile strength, adding to its stretching capabilities even further. It can also be successfully applied on most of the roofing materials already in place, be it concrete, asphalt, felt or bitumen.
A liquid roof has many advantages, such as it is an extremely cost-effective way of constructing a new roof, or making an existing roof waterproof. It is highly durable and long lasting, since it can provide around 25 years of protection, given that the correct liquid roof method is used. Liquid roof solutions offer versatility which very few other solutions can compete against. It can be used in conjunction with high performance materials which can be independently tested in order to verify their strengths and compatibility. Another advantage is that it doesn’t involve the use of heat-based methods, like the ones involved with asphalt, bitumen or felt membranes. The coatings are applied in cold form and therefore eliminate the hazards of fire risks.