July 2023 - Giromax Technology
blog post July

The benefits of using low VOC roof coatings

Giromax® has always believed strongly in lessening our impact on the planet. Our products have always been solvent-less with low VOCs, when compared to similar products in the market. But we all have a role to play in reducing our environmental impact, especially in industrial sectors. A proactive approach is key and it’s all in the detail. Choosing products with fewer harmful chemicals helps everyone in the long run.


The danger of VOCs

Nowadays, roof coatings are made from a variety of different chemicals and elements. These can typically range from silicone, polyurethanes, styrene-acrylics, fluoropolymer, butyl resins, silyl terminated polyether (STPE), polyester, polyuria, and more.

Certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be emitted as gases from specific chemicals used in roof coatings. VOCs can cause adverse health effects in the short and long term. Short-term exposure of high levels of VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Long-term exposure can lead to serious illnesses such as cancer, liver and kidney damage, and central nervous system damage.

When contractors are using roof-coating products containing high levels of VOCs, they will be exposed to elevated concentrations. It’s worth noting that VOCs can remain in the air long after the roof-coating application is completed. They can also contaminate soil and end up in wastewater flows, causing harm to our wildlife and oceans.

By comparison, our solvent-less products contain fewer VOCs, which makes them much safer for use by contractors and better for the environment. Our products also do not contain silicone, which is a slippery substance and can be dangerous for contractors. It is also prone to bird attacks and more susceptible to mould, dirt and dust. The production of silicone uses hydrocarbons derived from petroleum, which is non-sustainable.


What’s the best coating for a metal roof?

As roof coatings in the industrial sector are used on metal profiled roof systems, it’s important to use a solvent-less product with low VOCs and a good lifespan. By choosing a roof coating with a guaranteed lifespan of 15, 20 or 25 years, you won’t need to repair the roof for well over a decade. That means fewer vehicles and materials being used repeatedly to maintain a roof, reducing your long-term carbon footprint and repair costs.

Your choice of coating will depend on the type of issue you are looking to remedy. Here’s our two top-rated products and how they can be used on metal profiled roof systems:

  • Giromax® Edgecoat – this innovative, BBA-certified, cut edge corrosion coating system treats the cut edges of a metal roof. Moisture tolerant, this formula uses laminar flake technology and can be applied in damp conditions. Giromax® Edgecoat is an affordable, weatherproof solution that will extend the life of your industrial roof for up to 15 years.
  • Giromax® Roofcoat – is a next generation, polyurethane hybrid coating for profiled metal roof sheets, which also uses laminar flake technology. Highly resistant to UV rays and extreme temperatures, this product offers long-term protection against the elements. Similar to Giromax® Edgecoat, this product is also moisture tolerant, so it can be applied in damp conditions, and will extend the life of your roof up to 25 years.

Our range also includes Giromax® Roofcoat for use on asbestos cement roofs, Giromax® Guttercoat for gutter repairs and Giromax® Rooflight Clearcoat for rooflight repairs.

By using Giromax® products you will be helping to reduce your environmental impact, and you will be keeping your contractors safe too. Our low VOC products have always been solvent-less. As the original leader in the commercial roof coatings market, we continually test and develop our products. Our aim is to ensure the quality and safety of our coatings.

If you need technical guidance on any product in the Giromax® range, please speak to our team or call 01455 558969.

Get it right first time: Industrial roof coatings application

It’s how you apply the coating that matters…

Coating issues usually arise when contractors are inexperienced, untrained, or theyre rushing to get the job done. It’s important that the application is carried out steadily and conscientiously with regular inspections to ensure a consistent coating is achieved. Always check the coverage rates for coatings beforehand and quote your project accordingly.

You also need to check the environment and the ambient temperature range to apply our products over 5 and below 35 degrees. If the coating is applied in hot temperatures, the product will cure too quickly and won’t adhere properly. During the summer months, if the ambient temperature is 30 degrees, the temperature of a metal profiled roof could be 50 degrees. Likewise, coatings will also not adhere properly in heavy rain or icy conditions.

Sometimes contractors can feel overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the project at hand. This can result in a hurried approach or even cutting corners, such as the surface not being adequately prepared. We have seen contractors adding extra thinners to coatings, which can severely impair the coating’s effectiveness. You need to be able to spot any issues before they occur, so you can remedy before any coating has been applied.

Remember, once the trigger has been pulled on a paint spraying gun, there won’t be a second chance to get it right. An incorrect application could result in having to go back to the start of the job, which includes preparing the substrate again from scratch. Good preparation is the key to a high-quality coating application.


Preparation for coating applications

Before any coating is applied, the substrate must be prepared to the correct standard. First, you would carry out a thorough clean. This would be followed by either manual or mechanical preparation to the specified standard.

If you are treating cut edge corrosion, for example, you would need to remove any non-adhering rust stains, along with any swarf, dust and debris. Using the Swedish Standard ST3, you would clean the corrosion until you achieve a bright metallic surface. Make sure the surface is not polished; any remaining coating edges must be firmly adhered and well feathered. Use Giromax® Panel Wipes to clean the surface, so it’s free from grease or oil.

Plastisolcoated roof systems can pose different challenges. We often come across heavily delaminated roofs that need intensive mechanical and manual cleaning. Typically contractors will want to ensure the finished job has the smallest amount of edge curl.

When high-pressure power jets (3,000 psi) have been used to clean away old coatings from roof sheets, islands of the original plastisol can remain. These areas need to be feathered out to lessen the risk of edge curl after the new coating has been applied. Otherwise, expensive lead edge repairs will need to be carried out.


Our Application Consultant

One of the main reasons we have a specialist Application Consultant within our team is to ensure contractors work to our standard. This ensures our guarantees can be obtained.Tony Butterworth, our Application Consultant, has over four decades of experience in industrial coatings application. Working alongside our Technical Services Managers, Tony can advise contractors by checking the correct application of our Giromax® coatings.

If necessary, Tony will create a sample area, which acts as a reference guide for the site manager and the contractors. This ensures the standard of application can be replicated across the whole of the industrial roof. Tony also delivers training onsite to contractors, including full assessments and competency cards. By ensuring the correct application of our coatings, you can deliver a successful project. Read more about Tony’s expertise...

At Giromax®, we have a team of multiskilled Technical Services Managers and our specialist Application Consultant on hand to support our clients. As the original leader in the industrial roof coatings market, we continually innovate, test and develop our product range.

If you need technical guidance on Giromax® products, please speak to our team or call 01455 558969.

Documents selected (13 downloads)
Giromax® Data sheets + Specifications, Girocote Data sheets.