The History of Roof Coatings and Restoration

Western Colloid History of Coatings
April 17, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.

By Anna Lockhart.  

Roof coating methods have significantly changed over the years. Experts from Western Colloid share their knowledge of the past methods of roof coating and how it has evolved into the materials we use today.  

In the first episode of Understanding Roof Restoration podcast, Karen Edwards sat down with Greg Hlavaty and Hal Leland from Western Colloid to discuss a very important question: What is the difference between roof coating and a full roof restoration system? Greg and Hal had the answer as well as some insights about the range of roof coating types that are available.  

Greg, president of Western Colloid, shared a bit of the history behind roof coating systems and how they came to be. “In the 1960s into the early '70s, they started using roof coatings as part of a commercial built-up roofing system... They found that if they took asphalt, mixed it with bentonite clay and water, they could make a very stable, long weathering surface.” This process and the materials were then reinforced with fiberglass mats placed down in thick layers. 

Over time, the mats of fiberglass were replaced with a sprayable compound of chopped glass strands that could easily be mixed into the coating mixture, a system that became very popular called Monoform. Western Colloid’s own founder created his own version, the Glass-Shield, as did other competitors on the market. Those who didn’t use the traditional materials turned to acrylics, which worked to reflect UV rays from hitting the roof directly.  

These methods of roof coatings are done in an effort to repair a roof and Band-Aid it, in a way, to help stabilize the existing roof rather than replace it from scratch. This also is beneficial environment wise. According to reports, 15% of landfills in the United States are filled with roof tear off waste. Greg commented on how repairing roofs prevents such waste. “There's no reason to tear off a roof, because when a building owner needs the walls done, they don't tear them down and put a new wall up. They paint it, they wallpaper it or they put texture coats on it. When the floors are getting old, they don't chisel up the floors and put down the new floor or pour more concrete. They put tile overlay. They put carpet. They put other things. So, they restore it to a new condition.” 

Greg continued, “We're changing that perception like they do with the rest of the building. Let's keep it in place and modernize it and weatherize it.” 

Have a question? Ask A Roofer. 

Find your local roofing contractor in the Coffee Shop Contractor Directory.  

Want to learn more about Western Colloid and the differences between roof coating and a full restoration system? Listen to the full podcast!

About Anna

Anna Lockhart is a content administrator/writer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When she’s not working, she’s most likely to be found with her nose in a book or attempting to master a new cookie recipe. 

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