GE Silicones Vs TPO Vs Capsheet: Everything You Need to Know.
Updated: Jan 14, 2022
Let's be honest, roofs have a hard time out there. Time takes it's toll on them, and they constantly have to deal with all the the massive fluctuations in the weather, from the intense periods of rainfalls to the scorching sun rays. All of this, the temperature and even UV radiation, can put a big strain on your roof.
Most people put a lot of detail into their homes and commercial facilities, but they usually overlook one important factor, which is the roof of that building. Your roof crowns your building, prevents degradation caused by the buildup of mildew, algae, corrosion, and mold, determines how long it lasts, and how much energy you’ll end up conserving in the long run, so if you’re going to have a roof (which we hope you will), you better do it right.
When we talk about roofs and roofing options, there are so many options out there, enough options to make your head spin. In this article, we are going to compare GE Silicones, TPO, and Capsheet, the advantages, and disadvantages of using them, and the best options, based on different criteria.
What is GE Silicones ?
Is what you have always wanted is to extend the life of your roof by decades, then the GE silicone is the smart choice. GE Silicones are one of the best roof coatings in the world. It works better for restoration than some single-ply membranes like concrete, asphalt, metal, and foam. You need to note that even though roof silicones have a lot in common, they are all not the same. GE Silicones in particular use alkoxy, which gives it one of the best adhesions you’ll see in roof coatings. They are currently available for purchase in North and Latin America, Middle East, Africa, and Europe.
You’ll likely appreciate GE Silicones for their seamless, long-lasting, weatherproof, and energy-conserving features (up to 35%). GE Silicones are so efficient that in 2018, they saved the Kauai village shopping center from years of degradation caused by heavy rainfall. The restoration project using GE Silicones caused the shopping center to be able to withstand further episodes of dramatically high rainfall. This, and many other reasons, might be why it is still backed by world-class technical support. GE Silicones are very versatile, and they pair well with a wide variety of roofing substrates, like single-ply, metal, parapet walls, modified bitumen, and built-up roofing.
GE Silicones stand out from the most of other silicone roof coating because it doesn’t require stirring before use. It usually doesn’t have prematurely cured material around the pail. There’s no noticeable separation, it is homogenous, it is consistent, and there are no clumps to give you issues when rolling or spraying it.
Pros of using GE Silicones
1. It has a 20 years warranty that is effective even in demanding environments with harsh weather.
2. It protects your roof from dramatic fluctuations in the temperature and keeps the building safe, even in the toughest times of UV exposure and ponding water.
3. It has a 100% silicone formula. So, you can be assured that in high temperatures, the formula allows the coating to expand and contract evenly within the roof.
4. It can be installed with a spray, brush, or roller, as long as it has been done by the appropriate professionals.
5. It mostly requires just one coat application, even though some other
silicones are meant for 2 and 3 coat applications.
6. It has a primerless adhesion to substrates, meaning it doesn’t require the use of a primer.
7. GE Silicones are very versatile. They can serve you in a lot of ways and can be used for both new construction projects and the restoration of degraded roofs.
8. It can be used on a wide variety of substrates like single-ply, built-up roofing, modified bitumen, and parapet walls.
9. It saves the costs associated with labor, primer, and time delay in application.
10. It can be applied in harsh weather and a wide variety of temperatures from 0ºf to 120 ºf (-17 ºc to 49ºc). The good news is that you don’t have to worry about installation in very low temperatures because the GE Silicones will not freeze even at 0 ºc
11. It hangs on without sagging.
12. It is very resistant to the weather and mostly unaffected by ponding water.
13. It has a very low VOC (volatile organic compound content).
14. Due to its high viscosity formulation, GE silicone doesn’t require stirring, making it easy to use.
15. It has a solvent-free formula.
16. It's very easy to repair, because unlike any other silicone, GE Enduris sticks to each other super well.
Cons of using GE Silicones
1. It is relatively expensive compared to some other roof coating options.
2. It doesn’t do so well when it is applied over wet insulation. It can even cause blistering of the silicone.
3. GE silicone is relatively difficult to apply, requiring you to be more selective with the professional you choose to do the job.
4. When it is wet, it tends to get slippery, presenting a hazard to the personnel who work on the roof.
What is TPO?
Let’s start with the obvious fact. TPO is an abbreviation for Thermoplastic Polyolefin. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not necessarily composed of plastic. It is made of a single layer of synthetic that is used to cover flat roofs. They are usually made into 10-, 12-, or 20-feet wide sheets, and most commercial facilities gravitate towards TPO as their roofing choice. This is mostly because they have energy-saving features. TPO is a type of single-ply membrane roofing. Single-ply membranes are made out of sheets of rubber which are usually fastened to insulation to create a layer of protection. The two most common types you can see are TPO and EPDM (ethylene propylene diene terpolymer).
TPO has an R-value of 0.24 to 0.33 per inch of thickness. R-value is the level of heat loss of roofs and insulation. The R-value of TPO can be increased when you install an insulation board such as Polyiso, which is made of polypropylene and ethylene. An average 20,000 sq foot of TPO costs about $5 to $8 per sq. foot. This price varies.
Method of installation
1.Preparation; the substrate has to be prepared, and this is done by cleaning or removing the existing roof.
2.Installation of insulation; there are three popular choices of insulation, and they are;
Expanded polystyrene (EPS)
Extruded polystyrene (XPS)
3.Attachment of the membrane; can be done either by a chemical adhesive or by mechanically fastening.
4.Wielding; After every other thing has been done, a hot air gun can then be used to weld the seams together.
Pros of using TPO
1. TPO has a naturally reflective surface that reflects UV rays.
2. It is recyclable and environmentally friendly. Scraps from damaged TPO can be used again.
3. It is a fantastic choice for insulation since other single-ply roofing options you might be considering don’t have insulation.
4. Fire retardant chemicals can be added to TPO during manufacturing.
5. It saves money in the long run because the reflection of heat and UV rays from the building reduces the energy needed to cool the building.
6. It is one of the cheapest options and the best for people on a budget.
7. It resists the buildup of mold, corrosion, mildew, and algae.
8. It has a good warranty of about 10 years or more depending on how well it is being maintained.
Cons of using TPO
1. It can get dilapidated; its seams can rip open, and there can be punctures in the membrane when there’s no proper maintenance. This means it requires regular inspection, just to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged.
2. Excessive heat can burst its seams, causing cracks and leaks, and when it gets damaged, it needs silicone for restoration.
3. The glues and adhesives used in attaching the membrane to the substrate have an odor that may come off as a toxic smell.
4. When TPO gets badly damaged, it will need to be completely ripped off for a brand new installation.
5. Since it is relatively new, there’s no general acceptable standard for manufacturing yet, especially in terms of thickness.
6. It can typically last for 10 to 20 years, but there is no strong guarantee as a lot of damage can happen within that time.
What is Capsheet?
Here’s a quick riddle. What lies on a flat roof and is also called 90lb roofing because of its heavyweight and layers? A Capsheet!
Capsheets are roofing materials that are commonly used in low slope, thick flat roofing, such as built-up roofing, also known as BUR or modified bitumen roofing. It is also commonly called 90lb roofing because of its layers of asphalt and coatings of mineral granules, which give it durability, strength, and the ability to resist leaks. Technological advancements have now reduced that amount to 72lb in some cases.
If you know a bit about roofs, you’ll know that BUR roofs can easily get brittle or cracked in the case of harsh weather and strong gusts of winds. When this happens, water tends to seeps into the cracks, causing the formation of molds, mildew, and algae. This is where Capsheets save the day. They work by covering and protecting the layers from harsh elements, thereby extending the life of the roof.
You may have seen some Capsheets colored white. Those Capsheets were colored with light mineral surfacing to help reflect heat and send it back to the atmosphere. This goes a long way to conserve energy and reduce utility costs. Some Capsheets have additional materials like rubber added to improve durability. These are called modified bitumen products, and they are usually gray or white.
Methods of application
1.Heat welding to permanently fuse the lower roof layers.
2.Use a gravel layer on top to weigh the built-up roofing down.
3.Lapping asphalt or cement to fuse the sheets.
Pros of using Capsheet
1.It effectively creates a watertight surface. Without it, rain would easily seep in.
2.New materials like rubber can help add flexibility to the roof to cushion the impact of hail and debris, leading to less roof damage.
3.It provides insulation.
4.Capsheets protect the asphalt and layers from harsh elements like the sun, preventing them from cracks that can cause leaks, molds, and rot.
5.It acts as an extra ply that helps to increase the integrity of the roof.
6.It usually comes in three colors (Black, grey, and white), but the white Capsheet can help reduce utility costs by conserving energy.