What are Roof Coatings?

A Roofer Sprays an Acrylic Coating on a Roof

Roof Coatings’ Most Valuable Function is Extending the Life of Your Current Roofing System.

The life of a commercial rooftop is simple. There’s installation, followed by many years of minor maintenance. Then comes a series of increasingly frequent repairs, until the roof is close enough to the end of its life cycle to be replaced. The end? Maybe not! Roof coatings allow thousands of business owners to extract additional value from their existing roofing system. They also come with several alluring benefits to help you save.

Today, we’ll discuss how roof coatings work, find out which types of roofs are eligible for coating,  then break down the most popular coating solutions for your consideration!

What Does a Roof Coating Do?

Roof coatings have a two part function: restoring worn roofing materials, and protecting them from further damage. When a fresh coating is applied to your rooftop, the solution fills in minor cracks and holes to stop water leaks. This is especially valuable for flat roofing systems, which chronically suffer from ponding water problems.

This extra layer of protection also defends the underlying layers from UV rays, which naturally degrade all types of roofing over time. The most popular coating materials reflect a high percentage of sunlight to both cool the building and slow the deterioration of the roof. There are some additional hazards that these coatings can tackle, but we’ll get into those later.

Roof Coating Options

There are countless roof coating products available on the commercial market. The most popular solutions are generally elastomeric roof coatings. What is an elastomeric roof coating? These products have a rubbery (or elastic) nature that allows them to expand and contract throughout the year. Your roof naturally does this with the changing of the seasons, so it’s critical your roof coating does to. This rubbery material also does a better job at absorbing impact damage from hail.

Popular Types of Coatings

  • Silicone 
  • Acrylics
  • Polyurethane
  • Asphalt

What is Silicone Roof Coating?

Special Coating Around the Base of an AC Unit

Waterproofing is Particularly Important For Roofs With Many Seams. Consider Silicone in This Case.

Silicone specializes in water-resistance, which makes it the perfect roof coating for flat roof systems that regular leak. Do all flat roofs leak? Not all flat systems leak, but enough do to make the issue a major concern among business owners. Silicone can easily take on the challenge of protecting the underlayers from water damage. 

Silicone shows very little weakening in the face of constant sunlight. Other coatings tend to chalk or become brittle under the harsh ultraviolet rays of sunlight. Not silicone! The material may start to lose it’s reflectivity over time, but it will certainly continue to provide ample waterproofing and UV ray protection for the full life of the coating.

What are Acrylic Coatings Useful For?

Next comes one of the most popular and affordable roof coatings on the market. Acrylics are a water-based solution that provide excellent water light reflection. For companies that really crave those attractive energy savings, acrylics are a great option! Installation is also very easy to accomplish within a short 24 hour period.

Acrylics are not for those who are most concerned about waterproofing. Because the material is water-based, it doesn’t function well in environments with pooling water. That being said, acrylics are certainly worth the cost of investment! One additional note: because acrylic hue can be customized easily, a coating can provide a vibrant burst of color to a faded roof. If you’re wondering “How much does it cost to paint a roof?“, that will depend on the brand, product color, and the size of your roof. In other words: ask a professional!

What Does a Polyurethane Coating Do?

Polyurethane coatings often come in a two-part system. First, an underlying is applied to act as a base. Then a second layer is applied on top with stronger resistance to UV rays and impact resistance. This durable system also provides great waterproofing benefits. Overall, polyurethane coatings provide a wide variety of benefits, though they tend to be more expensive.

What Should I Expect From a Roof Coating?

Spraying an Acrylic Roof Coating

The More Sunlight a Coating Reflects, The More Energy Savings it Provides.

When you add the roof coating layer on top of your existing roof, the coating will quickly work to mend the minor damage (scratches, abrasions, cracks, etc.). For maximum coating effectiveness, it’s generally recommended to stick with whites and other light colors. Now once the coating is installed, your business should start to notice better energy efficiency for your commercial HVAC system, which won’t have to work as hard to cool the building.

The coating layer starts to absorb and deflect damage that would have impacted your existing roofing system. As a result, your rooftop lasts for a considerably longer time while offering enhanced performance. Many businesses see their roofing system last for an additional ten years!

Ask for Your Roof Coating Estimate Today!

As commercial roofing experts, our professionals get a lot of questions.

  • What is the best type of roofing material for a flat roof?
  • When should I replacement my roof?
  • Is it worth getting a roof coating?

While the first two questions vary from case to case, it’s almost always worth getting a roof coating if you can. The additional lifespan and the energy savings are well worth the cost. Installing a roof coating in cold weather can be a bit of a challenge, so make sure you schedule your rooftop restoration before winter’s in full swing. Talk to one of our experts at Sunshine Roofing, LLC today. Call and ask us about roof coatings and flat roof repair in Palm City and Port St. Lucie, FL.