DIY Waterproofing and Solar Reflector paint works on roof in Mauritius
May 29, 2019
In this project I will waterproof a roof and apply a sun reflector product as the finishing layer. The whole purpose of this project is to lengthen the lifetime of this concrete roof as it’s already 30 years old and also to reduce the temperatures of the apartment and studio who are right below that roof. In summer especially, it gets extremely hot underneath because of direct sunlight exposure over the whole day requiring my guests who rent these usually for their holidays to use the air conditioner. Especially in the later afternoon the rooms turn hot like a furnace! As of now I cannot foresee how much degrees less warmer it will be in the accommodations, I will know this only after completion of works. According to a friend, he is getting -3°C (That is day temperature less 3 degrees Celsius), even on very hot days, his room is cooler from the solar reflector paint that he used. (He used a product from the brand ABE that is Made in South Africa available in Mauritius.)
I will be listing the products that I am using, but not in detail the tools that we used as most of these you should have handy if you have had or done some works previously on your house. There are no reviews online as of now (May 2019) for products of Mauvilac, Permoglaze and ABE for such a project. Location is Mauritius. Mauvilac and Permoglaze are locally made. ABE is imported from South Africa by a company located in Petite Riviere. I decided to opt for Permoglaze products as my finishing products and I’ll tell you why I decided to use them.
I have assigned my project to one person only. Mr Ted. With whom I will collaborate whenever he needs a helping hand. I didn’t want for this project too many persons on the site and it’s also not really necessary. There will be several waiting times when you have to wait for products to dry. So, in having too many persons on the site, you will be contra productive and not cost effective and I want to reduce the risk of stuff getting broken as the pipe layout on the roof has not been made in an ideal smart way. And one pipe did actually break later on during the works. The surface area we need to work on is 100m² (meters for my US friends!).
We expect to finish the project in 2 weeks.
Today, as I’m writing this article, we have reached day number 5. Apart from Permoglaze which will be the main products to finish with, we also used various other products to prepare the roof.
Why did I choose Permoglaze?
I started my research according to various criteria which included price, durability and accessibility of information and the products. For Mauvilac the advice I got via phone was clear to me that their products aren’t the ones I will use. Maybe a little sales & convincing factor was missing on their behalf to get me to buy. I don’t think their products are in any way more mediocre than the others. You can tell me your experience about their products in the comments section. I was more convinced by Permoglaze technicians via phone, and also on their website it was very practical to download PDF technical sheets of each of their products. Their products are really well documented, it also explains how to use them, and how much surface area each of their products can cover and also depending on the surface you are planning to work on, which products to apply. This allowed me to take my time, read the product sheets and make a budget and do comparisons. There was a determining price difference!
I also inquired with ABE Mauritius. Communication with them in the beginning took a while. My email sent to ABE South Africa was relayed back to Mauritius, getting a feedback was taking too long, whereby finally I got feedback from SA and Mauritius. They’ll have to improve on their communications, but in the end, they answered all questions thoroughly. The reason I didn’t opt for ABE is that they are way more expensive and the products I required aren’t available in stock. I’m sure that ABE products are of excellent durability, but when you have to cover 100m² the price difference matters a lot to products Made in Moris. The only product of ABE I will be using is their ABE Membrane Superlacryl which I will use with Permofix concrete (Sima Lakol).
Preparing the roof
These last 4 days we have mainly been cleaning the roof. At first we just used a broom to sweep the roof and remove items lying around. There were also several older layers of concrete that has been added in the past to fix certain cracks or metal that was showing. Most of these (concrete, not metal) were starting to come off. We removed these too. Then we brushed the roof and scrubbed off moss / fungi growth with a metal brush and plastic brush and also used a lot of water to wash the roof. We then also marked the spots where water accumulates and stays.
Then we also washed the roof in the late afternoon with Javel (Bleach) which we let stay over night. We did that for 2 days.
There are some metals showing in the roof that we painted with a primer to protect it this morning.
Use of Products
Then during midday we started covering these spots with several products.
Permofix (Sima Lakol) from Sofap
ABE Membrane Superlacryl
In one bowl we mixed Jaycocrete Standard with Permofix and then stirred it for a while, after we added Polybond and stirred it for a while to get a nice paste.
In another bowl we mixed Jaycocrete Standard with Polybond, which is sticky, and we placed some of the ABE Membranes in that bowl.
On the roof, the places that needed some fixing, we placed the Jaycocrete Standard with Polybond mixture first, then added the ABE Membrane Superlacryl and afterwards we plastered the concrete mix over the membrane. We might be adding another layer later, that is one more ABE Membrane and some of that concrete mix. I will update this article as we progress. (10.05.2019, 15:14)
This Saturday we added another layer of Polybond first on the parts that we were working on with the membranes, which we let dry for a moment and then added another layer of Permofix (mixed with Jaycocrete). We didn’t add a further layer of membranes finally. So we only used one layer everywhere. We are letting it dry till Tuesday where we will continue. We are planning to do some cleaning with water so I guess it will need another day to dry and we’ll continue with products on Wednesday.
We only did a small check upstairs how the plastered concrete is doing and it seems some spots still need to be covered with a small layer of Polybond. Catch up with you tomorrow. We’ll also be getting products from Sofap.
This morning we just swiped the roof and checked how well the plastered concrete is sticking. So we have run into one issue where we applied the plastered concrete and membrane on a humid surface and this spot, even after 2 days in the sun, didn’t dry up nor hold. So we will have to fix that again.
I called Permoglaze to enquire about using the membrane with their Roof Coat product and if it makes sense to use it. It would cost me quite a lot to cover 100m² with a membrane! In their product description it does mention that the membrane can be used with their roof coat product. A logical thought of mine was, to consider covering the whole roof with it, in hindsight the cost factor got me to think twice! I want to keep my costs low, covering the whole roof with the membrane would be above my allocated budget. So let’s see if it’s really necessary…
Talking to a Sofap technician, they advised me that it’s not necessary nor required to cover the whole roof with it. The membrane is only applied in areas where there are cracks. Since we have already done that previously with Permofix and the ABE membrane, we will not need any additional membrane. They also advised me that the roof should have no accumulation of water for optimal performance of the Roof Coat product. Unfortunately I have around 3 spots on the roof where water accumulates and then dries up. I didn’t plan in this project to create additional water discharges on the roof as it would mean more pipe works and the breaking of some concrete. I have to remain focused on achieving this project first. This would be then part of another project and currently the rainy season has passed so I have some time for this at a later stage. In addition my solar water heater also has droplets of water coming out, some people say it’s normal…
Yesterday a part of the solar water heater started to leak. I thought it might just be some condensation or steam. It kept dripping over the night and I could hear water go down a discharge pipe in the morning. Am glad we were able to fix it and it stopped leaking. The solar water heater is already ten years old and has various rust spots. Also various water stoppers have a lot of rust, some of them, their knobs/lever to open/close them have partly broken. We will put some primer over these rust areas and I hope this solar water heater will still hold for more years to come. Since the roof got partly wet from those drops, we had to let the water dry up and then redo some of the Permofix plastering that we applied the day before. So, this was done in the late afternoon.
Well, in addition to this, the water pump has started to leak as well. Nano, a plumber, came by today to have a look. When we took off the pumps lid we noticed that it has a small leak in there. He knows a guy that fixes such pumps. There is a sort of plastic/rubber seal or kit that needs to be replaced. Currently the leak is very minor, it will increase with time and also cause rust to the pump so I hope we can fix this soon. It’s a Sanyo pump from Japan, silent, a very good pump that has also lasted close to 10 years and still working. This pump isn’t sold anymore in Mauritius and I hope it will last me some more years to come.
Tomorrow we plan to apply an anti fungus product to wash the roof and kill off any remaining moss/fungi/mushrooms. Once it has dried, we can apply the sealer. I hope no pipe will be leaking tonight! It’s kind of interesting that since we started working on the roof, a lot of additional issues have surfaced, guess it was about time that the roof got handled!
This morning we applied the Fungicidal treatment of Permoglaze. 20L were not enough to cover the whole roof of 100m². It should have been enough but I think/speculate that we used a bit more because of its rapid evaporation. Indeed the roof does look a bit brighter with this product. So, it did eat away the small remains of moss.
Afterwards we fixed something else that we discovered. Part of the concrete water tank has a slab that is not properly resting on the tank, so we put in some plastic cover in the gaps and then we filled it with sealing foam. Should have used gloves, some of it got on my hand and it sticks real bad, it will take a few days to come off.
In the late afternoon, or when it was dark, we added a layer of binder over the whole roof. 20L is sufficient. We will continue tomorrow by adding the sealer product. I learnt today that the binder product is quite similar to the sealer.
As of now, am already a bit over budget. I didn’t plan this project too precisely anyway and didn’t consider of any unforeseen costs. It’s something that needs to be done for the long term. Various additional costs so far have also been transportation, and lots of other little items. Neither did we expect pipes to break, solar water to leak, pump to leak and the basins slab to have some gaps. Catch up with you soon.
In the morning remaining binder was added to part of the roof that we didn’t cover yet. Then we also applied primer on various spots of the solar water heater. We will eventually have to also repaint the whole solar water heater in white again as it looks really ugly with the red brown primer over it.
In the afternoon we started to apply the sealer on the roof and we expect by tomorrow morning to apply the roof coat.
We didn’t work during the weekend and it also rained at several occasions. On Saturday I saw that some of that sealer hadn’t dried. On Sunday as well. I got to know that this was some of the binder that didn’t get absorbed into the roof which means it had a good saturation of it. However I also discovered a crack that still leaked during the rain. It’s actually a big crack. So today we have poured some Polybond product over the cracked area and will observe if it flows through. I think it’s too thick todo that. We’ve got some other plans what we will do over the crack. Maybe we’ll use a membrane and additional Permofix concrete.
In the morning it looked quite cloudy and because of rain risk we postponed the work to late afternoon. It’s now 17:30 and we will be adding the first layer of Roof Coat over part of the roof. Part of the concrete water tank sealing is completed. We also need to put some glue at the Solar Water Heaters small cylinder to prevent it from leaking.
We applied the roof coat product today. Put some Permofix concrete mixed with Polybond over the crack area. Added some additional glue to areas leaking at the Solar Water Panel. We haven’t covered the whole roof yet with roof coat. On one side we have already added a second layer. We are planning to complete this by tomorrow.
We repainted the Solar Water Heater, covered the whole roof with Roof Coat and applied another layer. In total we reached on the major part 3 layers and on some remaining parts 2 layers. We are going to apply some more in areas that affected by drops falling off the Solar Water Heater. The major part of the project is now completed. Now what remains is to fix the water pump, reconnect the water pipe with the studio and also put some more glue at some spots on the Solar Water Heater, in addition we also need to put a little discharge pipe at the Solar Water Heater for water overflow.
The apartment and studio underneath the roof that has been treated with Roof Coat really does feel cooler even during the day and late afternoon after the roof has been exposed the whole day in the sun. The difference that I could measure with the thermometer is close to 1-3°C. However we are currently in the winter season in Mauritius and our day temperature averages at 25°C. It will be interesting to see how this products performance is during the peak summer. Am also planning in putting another layer of Binder over the Roof Coat to lengthen it’s life time. Binder will also make a sort of coating over the paint that will allow water to glide away with less friction. I also have to check on a big rainfall if one of the big cracks on the side of the roof still leaks.
Also, I needed to buy way more products than expected. For example the Fungicidal Wash of 20L wasn’t enough. It dried up fairly quickly and we would have needed 40L. Even if 1L can cover up to 10m², depending on the surface, it might cover less! So, when you do your budget, make sure to have a buffer zone. Surprises will come up, I would suggest you to whatever you project in costs, to have a buffer of 50% of that total cost amount for the unforeseen challenges. And stay focus on the goal.