Image and story by Gaco.
Considering the centuries-long history of roof coatings, silicone might seem like a small part of the timeline. However, silicone has made quite the splash in its short lifetime. With a long list of impactful economic and environmental benefits, silicone has quickly become one of the most popular roofing solutions. Gaco is proud to have provided countless building owners with high-quality silicone roof coatings for the past 30 years.
Gaco’s story began in the late 1930s when Ed Gates, a rubber salesman, experimented with liquid neoprene (rubber) coatings. He went on to found the Gates Company (where the trade name “Gaco” is derived from) and manufacture coatings for various uses, including industrial corrosion protection. While Gaco has traded hands a few times since then, one thing remains the same: an enthusiasm for innovation.
“At Gaco, we constantly look for ways to improve and grow to provide our customers and partners with the best roofing and waterproofing products possible. That’s why Gaco didn’t stop with just liquid rubber,” said Jason Loftus, director, GacoFlex. “Over the years, Gaco has added many new, innovative products to create our comprehensive portfolio of coatings solutions. In 1992, we were proud to be one of the first few manufacturers to incorporate silicone into our offering.”
In June 2022, Gaco’s parent company, Firestone Building Products, announced a rebrand, becoming the new Building Envelope Division of Holcim, a global leader in innovative and sustainable building solutions. The decision to adopt the Holcim name and brand identity will only strengthen Gaco’s longstanding commitment to providing top-tier waterproofing and spray foam insulation for its customers.
Features and Benefits of Silicone Roof Coating
Silicone quickly became our flagship product, and our partners and customers know us best for it. But why is silicone so popular, even 30 years later?
Silicone roof coatings come with a few key benefits. For starters, GacoFlex Silicone Roof Coatings can be applied to almost any existing roof surface*. Whether you have a large, small, flat, low slope, or even a rounded roof, silicone is a great solution to protect against UV light, extreme weather, and ponding water. Silicone also offers excellent mold, mildew, and stain resistance.
For building owners, the cost efficiency of silicone roof coatings is another huge draw. When you use silicone to extend the life of your roof, you don’t have to worry about tearing off and replacing the existing one. Choosing to renew with a coating saves a lot of time and money regarding labor, materials, and landfill costs. Plus, you receive no interruption to daily business operations while it’s installed.
*Always perform an adhesion test to ensure compatibility.
Environmental Impact of Silicone Roofing
Coating a roof instead of replacing it means you don’t have to throw old roofing materials into a landfill (and you don’t have to pay any landfill fees associated with it). Over the last 30 years, we have helped thousands of building owners get the most life out of their roofs and reduce waste.
We believe that conserving energy and providing sustainable solutions is in everyone’s best interest, which is why Gaco silicone roofing solutions also come with a wide range of environmental benefits.
We’re always looking for ways to innovate and improve. As an industry leader in coatings and waterproofing solutions, Gaco was the first to launch solvent-free silicone coatings, which means more environmentally-friendly, lower VOCs, and greater solids content (less labor and product needed to reach a higher film build). Some of our silicone roof coatings come with more energy-reducing benefits. Our GacoFlex S42, GacoFlex S20 and GacoFlex S21 series all feature a highly-reflective, glossy finish that can reduce energy costs by reflecting sunlight and helping your building stay cool. The GacoFlex S21 series is a cleanable, solvent-free 100% silicone coating with a Severe Hail rating. It resists dirt pick-up to maintain a drastically higher solar reflectivity than other silicone coatings, and it contains 37% recycled content.
All three of these Gaco solutions come with a Cool Roof Rating Council Rating, which aids in quick compliance of building codes and programs that require roofing products meet specific radiative performance levels for the reduction of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and/or helping mitigate the impacts of the urban heat island effect.
Gaco Has Had the Opportunity to Help Countless Businesses
With its flexibility and durability, silicone can be applied to virtually any roof, and GacoFlex Silicone Roof Coatings have been used for all kinds of roofing projects. Our silicone roof coatings have seen and covered it all, from high-security correctional facilities to Florida condominium complexes.
Our more unique silicone roofing projects include:
- CalPortland Dome: When a rounded dome building required a creative solution to preserve its roof, our silicone roof coating was up to the task.
- Zumbro Lutheran Church: GacoFlex Silicone Coating helped a church looking for an easy-to-maintain roofing solution for its steep, highly-visible roof.
- Boynton Beach, Fla. Office Space: Metal roofs can be extremely durable, but they are also susceptible to rust and leaking as time passes. Learn how Gaco was able to help this facility restore their leaking metal roof with GacoRoofFoam and a GacoFlex solvent-free silicone coating to create a monolithic roof system.
No matter what type of roof you have or where it’s located, Gaco is here to help you extend its life with our silicone coatings.
Here’s to Another 30 Years and More of GacoFlex Silicone Roof Coatings
“Gaco is exceptionally proud of all we’ve accomplished with our silicone roof coatings over the past 30 years. As we continue expanding our product portfolio and engineer new roofing solutions, we are looking forward to where the next 30 years and beyond may take us,” said Loftus.
When you partner with Gaco, you get a team of experts who combine years of technical expertise and a boots-on-the-ground approach to help you on any job you have. Talk to your Area Manager today.