Why use solvent-less roof coatings? | Giromax

Why use solvent-less roof coatings?

In recent years, the evolution of roof coatings has seen a move towards using fewer solvents in product formulas. But why use solvent-less roof coatings and what are the benefits? As companies continually assess ways to reduce their environmental impact, every aspect of building maintenance is being re-examined from an eco-perspective.

Myles Emmett Web
30 Aug 2023
3 minutes

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.

Myles Emmett Web

What is it you do at Giromax

I work as the Managing Director

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