April 20, 2024
Roofing Coatings

Roofing Coatings: Choosing the Right Option for Your Roof

Over time, roofs can deteriorate due to exposure to the elements like sun, rain, snow and wind. This is where roof coatings come in. These products provide protection to your roof by sealing out moisture and preventing damage. But with different types and brands available, choosing the right roof coating can be confusing.

Spray or Roll-On Application
Roofing Coatings come in either spray or roll-on versions. Spray coatings are applied using commercial spraying equipment which allows for faster application over large roof surfaces. However, spray jobs require hiring professional contractors and have higher upfront costs. Roll-on coatings come in 5-gallon pails or smaller kits that are brushed, rolled or spread over the roof using rollers, brushes or paint pads. While roll-on application is cheaper and simpler to do yourself, it is more time-consuming over bigger areas. Choose spray for large commercial roofs and roll-on for smaller residential roofs.

Elastomeric vs. Bituminous Coatings
The two main types of roof coatings are elastomeric and bituminous. Elastomeric coatings, also called acrylic or silicones, are water-based and offer flexibility and durability. They remain elastic over a wide temperature range and effectively seal seams and joints. Bituminous coatings are asphalt or tar-based and are thicker with excellent waterproofing capability. However, bituminous coatings are not as elastic as elastomeric and may crack over time with roof movement. Elastomeric coatings are better suited for roofs made of metal, tile or shingles, while bituminous works well for built-up and single-ply membrane roofs.

Color Options
Roof coatings come in different colors to match your roofing material and aesthetics. Light-colored or “cool roof” coatings contain special pigments to reflect more sunlight and reduce heat absorption. This helps keep attics cooler and saves on energy costs for air conditioning. Standard colors include white, tan or grey, but some manufacturers also offer custom color matches. Choosing a light shade can lower your roofing temperature by up to 100 degrees F in summer. However, cool pigments may fade faster over time than standard colors. Select the coating color based on your roof material, climate and energy efficiency needs.

Reflective vs. Protective Coatings
Within elastomeric coatings, there are reflective and protective varieties. Reflective coatings contain cool pigments as mentioned earlier and are suited for already weatherproof roofs. Protective coatings come without cool additives but provide a thicker layer of weather protection to seal and extend the life of aging roofs. They shield against water damage better than reflective types. While protective coatings offer robust sealing, they absorb more heat. Choosing between reflective vs protective depends on your roof’s existing condition and weather resistance requirements.

Acrylic or Silicone-Based?
The two primary chemical compositions for elastomeric coatings are acrylic and silicone. Acrylic coatings are water-based, easier to clean up, and more budget-friendly. However, acrylic is not as durable or weather-resistant as silicone over the long run. Silicone coatings contain no volatile organic compounds for better performance. They last longer – up to 20 years – due to superior flexibility even in extreme temperatures. But silicone is more expensive and harder to remove if you need roof repairs. Pick acrylic for tight budgets or light wear, and silicone for superior endurance.

Warranties and Reflectivity Ratings
Always check the warranty period and solar reflectance rating of a roof coating before purchase. Warranties typically range from 3-15 years and guarantee the coating’s performance against blistering, cracking, peeling or leaks. Look for coatings with higher Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) ratings to leverage maximum heat protection – values over 78 are considered excellent. Confirm the warranty exclusions too so there are no ambiguous terms later. Manufacturer reputation and customer reviews also indicate product reliability over time.

Application Tips
Proper surface preparation and application method ensure roof coatings work effectively. Clean roof surfaces of dirt, mildew and other debris. Patch cracks or holes first before coating. Apply on a dry, cool day for best bonding. Use a roller, sprayer or brush as per instructions. Apply in thin, even coats versus thick ones. Two thin coats provide better longevity than one thick one. Allow proper curing between coats as per temperature. Take safety precautions too when working at heights on roofs. Following manufacturer directions closely delivers maximum performance and value from your roof coating investment.

Roof coatings help revive aging, damaged roofs when applied correctly. Evaluating your specific roof type and needs helps narrow the options and select from the different product variants discussed above. Consulting local roofing experts, reading reviews, and choosing trusted brands further cement the best choice. With the suitable roof coating maintaining your roof’s protection for years to come.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it