Roof coatings start out as liquid polymers that dry and form a seal to maintain your roof as waterproof. “Polymer” is an unusual word. It sounds and feels more like a mythical sea creature than anything related to roofs, right?  However, polymers could be the answer to your latest roofing issues.

The term “polymer” pertains to the molecular structure of some materials, many of which you are probably already familiar with. Polymers include silicone, nylon, rubber, and PVC, to name a few.

So, how does this relate to roofs? Polymer technology has had an impact on nearly every industry on the planet in recent years. Polymer technology is now found in everything from garments to tools and equipment. In the roofing industry, polymers are used to provide additional roof protection through the use of roof coatings. Coatings help support homeowners and business owners in lowering energy consumption and extending the life of a roof. Best of all, the process can be completed in as little as one day.

What is Roof Coating?

A roof coating, also known as a roof covering, is an added protectant that goes over the roof’s outermost layer. Roof coatings are extremely versatile, and can be applied to metal sheeting almost as easily as asphalt membranes. When finished, it forms an ultra-smooth rubberized layer that covers the entire surface of your roofing substrate.

The liquid application process of a roof coating is its most appealing feature. Roof coatings are applied as easily as a coat of paint when used with a unique roller or hose. Some of them are even brushed on! Roofers can now work at lightning speed, presumably applying thousands of feet of coating in a single day.

Roof coatings must also completely fill each and every crack, gap, or leak which may exist. The polymer liquid will cure to form a new watertight seal, undoing any minor damage to your roof. Roof coatings can’t solve all your roof problems; larger holes must be repaired before the coating can be applied. A good coating, on the other hand, can go a long way toward addressing roof deterioration!

Benefits of Roof Coatings

A variety of factors, like sunlight and weather conditions, have an impact on our roofs. Due to their greater durability, some roofing materials, like asphalt, will be simpler to treat. Metal roofs, in particular, are well-known for their longevity.

Roof coatings, however, are distinct from the underlying material used to construct a roof. Coatings are what keep your roof in good condition in the face of external factors. Here are some of the benefits of roof coatings:

  • Enhanced Protection

Roof coatings can help you safeguard your roof from severe weather conditions, particularly hail. Roof coatings provide an extra layer of protection, especially since hailstones can cause significant damage to your roof.  Minor leaks can also be easily addressed by a good roof coating.

  • Cost- Savings

A new roof can cost several thousand dollars. Roof coatings usually cost only 30% to 40% of the expense of a complete tear-off. Roof coatings can extend the life and reduce wear on your roof’s underlying system, saving you money on roof replacement.

  • Energy Saving

These coatings can assist in lowering the amount of energy required to cool your home. Most roof coatings are reflective, which means they will reflect the ultraviolet (UV) rays that strike your roof and cause it to heat up rather than absorb the heat.

Types of Roof Coatings

We hope we have highlighted that the advantages of roof coating are significant enough to justify having it done on your property.  However, in order for it to function properly, you must first make a decision about which type of roof coating you need.

To learn the best way to use roof coating, consider the advantages and disadvantages of the most common types:

  • Silicone Roof Coating

Pros:

One of the best things you can do to maintain temperatures low in your home or building without spending a great deal of money on cooling systems is to protect your roof with this material. One of the primary advantages of silicone roof coating is that it can reflect a large portion of the UV rays that are brutalizing your building, dramatically altering the atmosphere inside.

Silicone roof coatings are also extremely adaptable to temperature, weather conditions, and other factors. It can endure pooling water on the surface and can withstand hot and cold weather. To make matters even better, it’s quite versatile, so cracking points are less likely to form over time.

Cons:

Sadly, it has a few drawbacks. Because it tends to attract dirt and debris, it must be cleaned on a routine basis. It can also be slippery when it’s wet, so exercise extreme caution when walking on it. Finally, the third major disadvantage is that other materials do not adhere well to it, so you must frequently remove fragments if spraying another material in the same area.

  • Elastomeric Roof Coating

Pros:

Because this material is close to silicone in many ways, it should come as no surprise that one of the main advantages of elastomeric roof coating is that it can reflect UV rays to maintain your building cool. Furthermore, it is strong, simple to maintain, and reacts well to having small patches repaired when necessary.

Cons:

However, there is one significant disadvantage to an elastomeric roof coating. That is, it does not react well to pooling water. However, this does not have to be a deal-breaker as there are things we can do to avoid ponds from forming on your roof.

  • White Roof Coating

Pros:

Many coating materials are available in white, so this isn’t generally a unique type, but we are frequently asked about the advantages of white roof coating. The color is advantageous for UV ray reflection, and the additional energy savings often can help you meet the criteria for green building accreditations.

Furthermore, if your roof is visible, it can give your property a clean, appealing, and modern appearance.

Cons:

The main disadvantage of white is that it shows dirt and stains more frequently. Maintaining its cleanliness should be a separate concern, but this could be an issue if the roof is noticeable and has substances splashed on it.

  • Acrylic Roof Coating

Acrylic is yet another popular roof coating material as it is simple to apply, inexpensive, and highly reflective.

The two major drawbacks are that it can become brittle if there is a huge amount of ponding on your roof and that it cannot be installed in colder weather, which can complicate the first application and any necessary maintenance.

Now that we know the advantages and disadvantages of some of the most common roof coatings, you may be asking yourself, is my roof eligible for a roof coating?

Roof coatings are not suitable for all roofs. You can’t change the oil in your car till the car explodes and stops running. You also simply can not wait until your roof is in bad shape to perform roof maintenance to extend its life. So, it’s crucial to consult with a roofing expert to determine the best solution for your roof.

The Bottom Line

It’s important to keep in mind that these are only a few of the many roof coatings available for you. There are several types and numerous variations of those types. Roof coatings are also a difficult task to do on your own. A roof coating is an excellent choice for either an old or new roof. For many years to come, an additional barrier will help reduce leaks and wear. Coatings also help to save energy by controlling the temperature of the building. Consider which material better serves your specific needs and climatic condition when selecting a coating. Don’t forget to consult with professionals to determine what type of roof coating solutions are best for your roof.