Cold-Process Roof Restoration: What It Is, How It Is Applied, And Its Benefits

Posted on: 27 June 2018

Commercial roof restoration involves many different approaches to restoring leaky or damaged roofs. You are probably most familiar with asphalt coating and gravel roofs for commercial buildings. There are many restorations processes for commercial roofs, but there is one in particular you may not know much about. This restoration process is called "cold process" roof restoration, and it is definitely an option worth looking into when you need to fix the roof on your commercial building. Here is more information about what this process is, how it is applied, and some of its impressive benefits after application. 

What the Cold Process Is

The word "cold" in this restoration technique may throw you for a loop. Perhaps you are envisioning ice or refrigerant as a means of applying something, but that is not the case. Instead, "cold" refers to the fact that, while asphalt is a material in use here, it is already cold and hard. The asphalt is no longer hot, tarry, or sticky. This makes this roof restoration quicker and easier to apply and complete than a hot tar application.

To start with, sections of roofing felt are coated in hot tar, offsite. The manufacturers of these materials first dip the roofing felt in a more liquid sort of tar. When that cools, they dip the sections into a thicker hot bitumen. Then they dip the coated roofing felt into a final coating of glass fibers (a sort of thin fiberglass insulation) or mineral granules. It is preferential to have the side of the dipped felt that faces the sky coated in mineral granules to either deflect or absorb precipitation. Your commercial roofing contractor then purchases giant rolls of this stuff and slices it up onsite before securing it to the roof.

How It Is Applied

These rolls of coated roofing felt are rolled off the length of the roof. Typically, a circular saw with a diamond or concrete cutting blade is used to trim any excess material from the edges and/or ends of the rolls. Before it can be secured, the contractor may use either a liquid rubber on the bare roof, or apply rubber roofing coated with liquid rubber. Then the previously cut rolls of cold process coated felt are rolled out on top of the liquid rubber to secure the cold process material. Crew members spend time rolling weighted rollers back and forth over each section of cold process felt and liquid rubber to make the area nice and flat. The process is repeated until the entire roof is coated this way.

If your contractor uses solid rubber under the liquid rubber and cold process felt, he/she is sealing out all current and potential leaks. No water can get through the roof when the layers of materials are applied in this manner. Liquid rubber can do something similar, except that liquid rubber alone will eventually crack and create potential leak areas over time. The solid rubber as the base layer prevents that from happening. 

Usually, the contractor is not finished with the job after a single layer of cold-process felt. His/her crew will use additional fastening means to secure this first layer of cold-process felt. Then they will apply 1-2 more layers of this stuff, following the same procedure and order of materials as they did with the initial layers. This creates a very solid, thick, and extremely durable restoration of your commercial roof. 

Benefits of the Cold Process

Installation is faster, taking only about a day or two, depending on the size of the roof on your building. The restoration job is easier. The materials used in this process are very durable. The materials not only stop any current leaks, but they will also prevent multiple future leaks.