August 2023 - Giromax Technology

Why use solvent-less roof coatings?

Solvents are used in paints and roof coatings due to their ability to improve consistency. They help to dissolve or disperse key components in a formula, reducing clumps or globules on application. A certain level of solvent is needed to ensure a coating can be applied effectively and consistently. But due to innovations in paint technology, market-leading roof coating products have been developed using solvent-less formulas.

At Giromax® we have always produced solvent-less roof coatings. Our technical team continually test and develop formulas to help reduce our environmental impact. Along with solvents, we have also reduced the level of harmful isocyanates in our coatings. Using a solvent-less roof coating is a safer option for contractors and the environment. Our manufacturer is also currently working hard to develop a ‘solvent-free’ roof coating. There are many reasons why we don’t use high solvent formulas in our coatings.


The problem with solvent-based roof coatings

When a coating contains high levels of solvents, this can pose a number of problems. Solvents contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can be harmful to our health and the planet. Read our blog The benefits of using low VOC roof coatings.

Although one harmful solvent, dichloromethane (DCM), has been banned in the UK since 2012, it is still allowed to be used for industrial purposes. This type of solvent is also known as methylene chloride and can be found in a number of coatings. Therefore, it’s important to check the products specified to contractors to ensure they are solvent-less coatings.


We have listed a few common issues to be aware of below:

  • Danger to health
    Solvents give off fumes and, if we breathe in these particles, they can seriously damage our respiratory system, including our lungs. These harmful particles can also be absorbed through our skin. Prolonged skin contact with high solvent-based coatings could cause rashes and burns. Long-term exposure to solvents can lead to serious illnesses such as cancer, organ failure and neurological health issues.
  • More flammable
    Coatings containing high levels of solvents are more flammable, creating a greater fire risk for businesses. This is especially important when there is a lot of dry timber, combustible insulation or other flammable materials onsite at a business premises.
  • Dissolves plastics
    High levels of solvents can damage plastic fittings, causing them to deteriorate and, in some cases, even dissolve. Solvents affect the chemical and thermal properties of plastics, reducing material integrity. This also applies to other materials like bitumen.
  • Toxic to the environment
    Many solvents don’t break down in the soil and can stay present for decades. When solvents leach into nearby waterways, the effect can be devastating to local ecosystems and groundwater aquifers, polluting our natural water sources. Some solvents react to sunlight, which causes them to produce ground-level ozone. This is a major component of pollutive smog, which affects humans, animals and plant life.


Benefits of solvent-less coatings

There are many benefits of using roof coatings containing fewer solvents. The number one reason has to be health and safety above all else. When you specify a solvent-less roof coating, you can be reassured that contractors can carry out their work safely. When it comes to environmental friendliness, using solvent-less coatings ensures your client can adhere to their green agenda. You will be doing your part in helping to protect the planet.

Giromax® roof coatings contain fewer solvents but still offer superior durability and longevity. Our advanced product range has been developed with a next generation polyurethane hybrid solution, which does not emit VOCs. Our roof coatings use revolutionary laminar flake technology, which creates a tough elastic coating to seal and protect the roof. This helps to prevent water penetration, wear and tear, corrosion and superior resistance to UV rays.

Our roof coatings have been designed for easy user application, along with outstanding adhesion properties. With a guaranteed lifespan of 15, 20 or 25 years, your client won’t have to recoat their roof for decades, resulting in easier maintenance programmes.

Giromax® is the original leader in the roof coating market. Our technical team continually test and develop our products with health and safety, user application, durability and the environment in mind.


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

The benefit of roof coatings with low isocyanates

In recent years, there has been a general reduction of harmful chemicals in roof coatings for the purpose of health and safety, and environmental concerns. Companies are increasingly focused on improving their green agenda. When you choose a coating for a roofing system, using products with lower isocyanates will be safer for your contractors and the planet.

Giromax® is fully committed to health and safety, as well as reducing our environmental impact. As well as having low isocyanates in our roof coatings, our products have always had lower VOCs and solvent-less formulas when compared to our competitors.

High isocyanate levels are dangerous

Isocyanates are a class of chemicals commonly used in the production of various polyurethane-based products, including roof coatings. These chemicals are known for their exceptional adhesive and durable properties, making them suitable for coating formulas.

However, high levels of isocyanates can be potent and pose significant health risks to anyone exposed to them. As semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs), high isocyanate roof coatings release toxic aerosol mist droplets, which can stay in the air long after application.

Contractors who frequently spray roof coatings containing high levels of isocyanates are at greater risk of exposure and associated health issues. This can lead to respiratory problems, skin irritation, and flu-like shivers. Prolonged exposure to high isocyanate concentrations may also result in severe asthma and serious respiratory diseases. Isocyanates are classed as carcinogens, which can increase the risk of cancer.

Reasons to use low isocyanate coatings

There are many benefits of using roof coatings containing fewer isocyanates, as follows:

  • Improved health and safety

One of the key advantages of low isocyanate roof coatings is the reduced health and safety risk. Contractors and workers have less exposure to harmful fumes and particulates, minimising the risk of respiratory issues and serious health conditions.

  • Environmental friendliness

Low isocyanate roof coatings are more environmentally friendly compared to high isocyanate alternatives. With reduced emissions of semi-volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), they contribute to better air quality and a healthier environment.

  • Long-lasting performance

Roof coatings containing low isocyanates still offer excellent durability and longevity. They form a protective layer that effectively seals the roof, preventing water penetration, corrosion, wear and tear, as well as superior resistance to UV rays.

  • Easier user application

Our low isocyanate roof coatings are formulated to be user-friendly, allowing for easier application. They have excellent adhesion properties, making them suitable for various roofing materials, including metal profiled roof systems and asbestos cement.

Hybrid polyurethane roof coating paint

At Giromax®, we have formulated a range of innovative polyurethane hybrid roof coatings with low isocyanates and fewer VOC emissions. Our single-coat systems benefit contractors in terms of ease of use, resulting in faster and more efficient application. A high standard of application is achieved only when the correct preparation of the substrate has been carried out beforehand. Our roof coatings have a guaranteed lifespan of 15, 20 or 25 years.

When comparing our low isocyanate roof coatings to competitor products, always consider the levels of isocyanates present. Contractors exposed to high levels of isocyanates are putting their health at great risk. By opting for low isocyanate alternatives, contractors can significantly reduce potential health hazards associated with exposure. A roof coating should never compromise workers’ health.

Health and safety should always be a top priority when it comes to the types of roof coatings used for repairs and maintenance. Low isocyanate roof coatings provide a safer alternative and a healthier work environment, while still delivering long-lasting protection and durability for roofing systems. By using our roof coatings, you will be helping to keep your contractors safe, and you will reduce your environmental impact too.

When it comes to roof coatings, Giromax® is the original leader in this market. Our technical team continually test and develop our product range to improve health and safety, user application and durability.

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

The original cut edge corrosion treatment

The development of Giromax® Edgecoat starts with our late founder, Roy Emmett. An innovative engineer, Roy had a proven background when it came to finding solutions for different problems. Early on in his career, while working for a leading automotive company, Roy invented an efficient new production conveyor.

By the 1980s, Roy had established a pipe-fitting firm, distributing corrosion coatings, and this was where his knowledge of cut edge corrosion began. Roy was introduced to a specialist coating firm with a single yet prestigious customer, British Steel. He subsequently launched this specialist coating to a mass market, developing innovative formulas to treat cut edge steel. As a result, the highly niche, cut edge corrosion market was born. Read more…


The problem with cut edge corrosion

Industrial roofing systems are prone to corrosion at the cut edge of metal profiled sheets. Steel roofing sheets are coated are coated with Plastisol, which provides protection from the damaging effects of weather and UV rays. This durable finish also gives the metal sheets a pleasing aesthetic appearance. At the point where the roof sheets are cut, this can leave the cut edge exposed to air and water. Over time, this oxidises and creates rust, which then weakens the roof integrity.

When a building heats up and cools down, this can cause the metal roofing sheets to expand and contract. As a result, the coating layers around the cut edge can separate slightly away from the metal, resulting in water ingress with capillary action. Damage starts to creep in under the coating, which compromises the metal sheet. At this stage, it’s important to repair the cut edge corrosion to avoid the damage spreading to a greater area.

Corrosion around the lap joints can also cause issues, as the capillary held rainwater can start to penetrate through the protective layers. If left untreated, corrosion at the cut edges can be accelerated, destroying the weather-sealed lap joint and gutter overhang.

When left untreated, cut edge corrosion can be seen in the form of spot corrosion, edge peel, blistering and discoloration. Over time, this could undermine the entire roof’s integrity, leading to serious and costly water leaks. This in turn can cause business disruption if the whole roof needs to be replaced and workers have to be relocated.


Giromax cut edge corrosion treatment

Although strong and robust, metal roofing systems can deteriorate quickly if any cut edge corrosion is left untreated. As the corrosion happens just below the surface coating, it can be hard to spot. It’s important to inspect industrial roofing systems regularly. If cut edge corrosion is detected, however, it can be a simple job to treat.

Giromax® Edgecoat is an innovative, cut edge corrosion treatment. Moisture tolerant, this revolutionary coating system can be applied in damp conditions. The formula treats the top and reverse sides of the cut edges of a metal roofing sheet. Using laminar flake technology and BBA-certified, Giromax® Edgecoat is a cost-effective, weatherproof formula that comes with a 15-year guarantee.

Ideal for cost-effective repairs and dilapidations, Giromax® Edgecoat can be used on metal roofs, cladding and gutters. This cut edge corrosion treatment provides protection and flexibility for external joints. The system is applied using a two-stage process.

When it comes to cut edge corrosion, Giromax® is the original leader in the market. Our continual innovations in roof coating technology have led to a longstanding, loyal client base of surveyors and contractors that spans decades.

Correct application our products enables you to obtain the Giromax Guarantee, giving your client peace of mind when it comes to the longevity of their roofing system. Our Technical Service Managers are on hand to advise you at every stage of the process, so you can focus on delivering your project on time and on budget.

If you need technical guidance on Giromax® Edgecoat or you have a query relating to cut edge corrosion, please speak to our team or call 01455 558969.

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Giromax® Data sheets + Specifications, Girocote Data sheets.