Roof Coatings: What, Why and Should You?

roof coatings

We get a few questions about roof coatings, such as, what is it, why should one apply roof coatings and whether is it necessary to apply these coatings.

To put roof coating in a few words, it is a layer applied with the intention of extending the lifespan of a roof. It can help prevent leaks, revive old roofs and save you a bit of money. However, it is not a reliable solution by itself unless paired with others.

In this article, I will try and answer the following questions.

  1. What is roof coating?
  2. What are the types of roof coatings?
  3. Should you consider it?
  4. Is the roof coating bells and whistles?

As roofers, we are aware of how important a well-maintained roof is to the security and lifespan of your home. Regular maintenance is necessary to keep your roof strong and functional and to protect your house from the weather.

Adding roof coatings to your roof is one of the ways to increase its longevity. By adding further protection against weather, UV rays, and wear and tear, these specialist treatments are intended to increase the longevity of your roof.

What is Roof Coating?

Roof coating or roof covering is a process of giving layers to the roofs to extend their lifespan. Roof coatings are formulated to protect the roofs from getting damaged by certain elements such as wind, water, ultraviolet rays, etc.

Roof coatings have solid content thus they are thicker than normal paints. Additionally, they contain high levels of top-quality resins. This resin makes the roof coatings elastic, hence this elasticity provides them durability.

Know the difference: A roof painting is a thin layer of coating that is used to change the color of the roof hence it does not protect against weather elements such as rain, ultraviolet radiations, or sunlight. Roof coating is a thick layer of coating that provides protection and enhances the roof’s lifespan.

Types of Coatings

Again things are not as simple as they seem. There are a few types of coatings and which one to use depends on the type of the roof.

I will try and explain, briefly, the main types of roof coatings here.

Acrylic Coatings

These are water-based coatings. They are very efficient and good for the roofs that are in those areas where the temperature is moderate. Although they are not very suitable in wet environments. This is because they have low water solubility capacity.

Acrylic-based materials provide excellent resistance to UV rays and are best at reflecting the sun’s rays. These coatings are also affordable.

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coating is best known due to its high water resistance capacity. It has a highly elastic material that provides excellent adhesive power. Also, it provides excellent Ultraviolet protection in extreme environments. Silicone is available in many colours that provide high reflectivity.

Polyurethane coatings

Polyurethane coatings provide the best rates of all coatings that are mainly used for resistance and foot traffic.

Asphalt coatings

The asphaltic rubber material combines the elastic property of rubber with the waterproof and weatherproof, characteristic of highly refined emulsified asphalt. They are mostly used on flat and low-sloped roofs.

Why Consider Roof Coating?

The question arises why one should consider roof coating. Let’s put it this way, there are more benefits than disadvantages. However, before deciding on roof coating it is best to speak to a professional roofer who has worked with all types of roofs.

That being said, roof coating can protect and revitalise your roof. Let’s talk about a few benefits

Help extend roof lifespan

Think of roof coatings as a protective layer that will take the impact of heat from the sun and moisture from rainwater before they reach your roof. For the argument sake, if a roof is supposed to last 10 days in a given environment (sun and water), it will take 1 extra day for the environmental impact to reach your roof.

So instead of 10 days, your roof will last 11 days. I am reluctant to give an idea of lifespan extension as there are a lot of factors that can impact the roof. It is not just coatings, UV rays, rainwater or the roof itself.

In a way, roof coatings act as a barrier between water, sun and your roof.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Roof coatings can reflect the intense heat from the sun which can help keep your home nice and cool. This feature can be debated if you are just relying on nothing but roof coatings. So again, speak to your roofer before coating just for the purpose of energy efficiency.

Revive Old Roofs

A fresh coating can improve the appearance of the roof. When your roof starts looking a little worn out and you have a tight budget then roof coating can refresh the roof.

Ok, now let’s come to the main question.

Should you Coat Your Roof?

This question can be best answered by your roofer. I would recommend hiring someone (or us) to inspect your roof and make a decision whether to coat your roof or not.

I will highlight a few pointers that can give you an idea of when to consider it. But, in no way, you should base your decision solely on this article.

Age and Condition of Your Roof

If your roof is new and it doesn’t have coating then you must speak to roofers to understand why they didn’t apply a coating. There can be a range of reasons and can be best explained by them.

If your roof is old and it was coated, the decision to recoat your roof depends upon the exposure of the roof to sunlight or rain, as well as its appearance.

Depending on the type of coating applied, it should be good for 10+ years. If it has been 10+ years and you would like another coating (given no other issues with the roof) then I don’t believe there should be any issue applying a new one, so go for it.

You need to understand roof coatings do not fix leaks it helps prevent them. If your roof leaks speak to a roofer to find the cause and fix it.

I will briefly leave a few more pointers before finishing this article

  1. Not all coatings are suitable for all types of roofs. A roofer will be able to tell you the type of coating needed for your type of roof.
  2. For proper application, proper conditions are required. For example, in the rain and cold weather applying roof coating will not work. It will need dry and warm weather for it to adhere properly.
  3. The lifespan of roof coatings is about 10 years or so. So sooner or later you will need another coating.

This sums up the roof coatings. It is important to understand before doing with your roof you should consult a professional. Roofs are expensive and complex and you don’t want to take another mortgage just to fix the roof.

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