With roofing in high demand, it is essential to address any particular roofing issues to provide customers with the long-lasting protection they require for their substantial investment. A common question asked in the commercial roofing realm is, “What is the best type of roof coating to use?” The answer varies based on the factors being considered.
What Is the Best Roof Coating?
Determining the best roof coating does not have a clear-cut answer, as it relies on what the intent of the coating is and what type of roof the coating is being applied to. The variables under consideration include the coating’s suitability for the style of roof, how long it is required to last, and how well it performs in its duties during that time.
These elastomeric roof coatings come primarily in four different variants, each best suited for different roof types. The types include:
- Silicone Roof Coating – This coating works wonders in addressing weathering issues on polyurethane foam roofs, making it the best choice for these types. It is also an effective re-coater agent, being very effective at being reapplied to previously coated roofs.
- Polyurethane Coating – This type of coating does not require PH rinses, making them ideal for EPDM rubber roofs, as well as single-ply rooftops and modified bitumen.
- Butyl Coating – This coating type is optimal for low sloping or flat rooftops, typically composed of built-up PVC or single-ply. Not only does it serve as a tremendous vapor buffer, but it also is highly resistant to water ponding.
- Acrylics – This is a more environmentally friendly and longevous coating that is the most commonly used type for over-sloped roofs.
Can You Spray Silicone Roof Coating?
When it comes to spray foam roof coating, a silicone coating is capable of being sprayed onto a designated surface. In fact, it is commonly considered the better application method as it results in a more uniform distribution of coating, mitigating any pools from the coating, and yielding a nicer, smoother final look. On top of that, spray foam roof coatings are applied faster than when they are rolled on since silicone spray equipment can more quickly take care of a bigger coverage area with minimal labor.
It should be noted, however, that there are certain disadvantages. For one thing, spraying the coating is not a highly intuitive skill, meaning that experience and practices are required to achieve a good-looking coating, and it is not something that can be ideally done by a novice. Beyond that, specialized silicone roof coating spray equipment is required to perform the job.
The silicone coating also attracts dirt easily, and, unless regularly maintained, will lose its shine after some time. Because it does a good job resisting water, when moisture is high, the surface becomes very slippery. Covering the roof with silicone is often unadvised if there is heavy foot traffic without incorporating aggregate within the top coat.
How to Apply Spray Roof Coating?
A roof coating can be applied via spray methods, and while this is effective and the quickest method of application, it does take additional equipment to perform. The roof coating spray equipment needs to be learned and used accordingly, as well as being powerful enough to spray the coating agent with at least 2000 psi in order to mitigate any potential clogging issues.
For roof coating spray equipment, the spray tip nozzle needs to be steadily held at about 18 to 24 inches away from the surface of the roof, and steadily applied to the roof surface. While the method is faster than rolling, it should still be approached with diligence and care, applied with an even path, and spread in a slightly overlapping fashion in order to coat all of the work areas.
How Much Does Roof Coating Cost?
Sealing a roof, on average, costs anywhere between 65 cents to $5 per square foot, so the typical roof coating will run around $2.00 per square foot. Roof size, coating material used, locations, roof condition, and amount of time required for the application can vary the installed prices.
Not factoring in roof coating spray equipment and roof sprayer cost, each type of coating material carries a variance in cost to apply.
Roof types and the materials of the roof may influence the costs as well. Then there are brand names to consider, with some of the top-tier names costing significantly more per sq/ft than others.
Do Spray Foam Roof Coatings Stop Leaks?
The average life of a roof is about 20 years, but that life can be extended by restorative applications of coatings rather than having the roof degrade to the point of a very expensive roof replacement. The main point of roof coatings is to seal up the roof in order to stop potential leaks, which is one of the biggest problems with old, inefficient roofs.
If the roof has only a couple of leaks, they might be repaired by individual sealings in particular areas. However, if the roof is older and suffers from extensive leaking problems, coating the roof will apply resistance to water to the extent that it can almost entirely eliminate leaking problems, restoring the roof to good defensive shape, and save money on having to patch up new leaks as they are found.
What Is the Best Roof Coating Product for Roof Leaks?
There are too many factors at play to be able to name one all-around superior roof coating material. Polyurethane is the strongest, but also the hardest to apply, while silicone coatings are great for the fastest application and good water resistance, but also have the highest price point.
When considering which roof coating material to use for a particular project, there are a few important roof properties to consider about the coverage materials. These include:
- Tensile strength
- Resistance to moisture
- Heat release
Every material has its own benefits and flaws, and its use is entirely situation-dependent. Certain roof types are best suited for certain materials, and the necessitation of the roof coating is a big factor in which material is best suited for a particular situation.
Looking to learn more about spray foam roof coating and the equipment used for it? Sign up for Roofing School.