Silicone vs. Acrylic Roof Coatings

Silicone vs. Acrylic Roof CoatingsDon’t replace your commercial roof just yet. A roof coating may be just what you need to significantly extend the life of your current roof. You’ll pay far less than you would for a roof replacement, regain the performance of a newer roof and increase your building’s energy efficiency.

Roofing materials degrade over time, and eventually, your roof will need servicing. Replacing roofing is a huge pain and can be very expensive, which is why building owners often put it off as long as they reasonably can. That’s exactly why roof coatings exist. 

Roof Coatings

Roof coatings are fluid-applied roofing membranes that are sprayed or rolled on and can be installed quickly. When a coating is applied, it can shore up a roof that might be developing leaks or prevent them from happening in the first place. There are several types of root coatings, but let’s look at two.

Silicone vs. acrylic roof coating - which one wins the battle?

Silicone & Acrylic Coating Similarities

Silicone and acrylic roof coatings are both used mostly for commercial roofing, and both protect and extend the life of a roof. Coatings can help a roof last 10 or even 20 years longer.

Both materials are highly-reflective and resistant to UV rays, so they both increase energy efficiency and protect the roof from corrosion. This means roofs last longer, and costs for cooling the building are lower. This can in turn improve the longevity of cooling and HVAC systems.  

Silicone Coating Pros & Cons

Silicone is believed by many to be the superior roof coating. Here’s why. 

Silicone is extremely water-resistant. For flat sections of a roof, silicone is unquestionably the best choice of coating. It can hold water for long periods of time without suffering from any amount of corrosion or degradation. 

Silicone is a flexible substance, and that helps it withstand impact damage. Whereas a hailstorm could dent a metal roof or other substrate, it will largely bounce off of the silicone without leaving any real damage. Also, because it’s flexible, it works well at flashing locations and areas susceptible to building movement.

Still, silicone does have drawbacks. The biggest is that it is known to collect dirt and dust. When this happens, the silicone coating can lose its UV reflectivity. That means it needs to be maintained in order to keep cooling costs down. Additionally, silicone is very slippery when wet, and this matters in high-traffic areas on a roof.

Acrylic Coating Pros & Cons

Many roofing contractors lean towards using silicone roof coatings, but acrylic does have its pros.

Acrylic is generally tougher than silicone, as greater impacts are required to puncture or otherwise compromise acrylic when compared to silicone. Also, acrylic is usually the cheaper coating in terms of raw materials. While it is a little harder to apply than silicone, it’s still relatively easy, making it an affordable coating choice.

It is also worth noting that acrylic does not collect dust like silicone does. Your acrylic coating will need far less maintenance over its lifetime.

Of course, there are cons to using acrylic. The largest con is that acrylic is a water-based product, so ponding water can seriously affect the usefulness of the roof. For this reason, acrylic coating shouldn’t be used on low-sloped or flat surfaces.

Also, since it’s a water-based substance, installation doesn’t always work out well when temperatures are below 50°F.

Choosing the Right Coating

Is your roof low-pitched or not? Will there be foot traffic? 

Generally speaking, acrylic is the preferred coating for pitched roofs (or pitched sections of roofs). Its greater strength and lower maintenance requirements make it an easy choice. If water ponding isn’t an issue, acrylic is often the better coating.

However, for any part of a roof that is likely to hold water, silicone becomes the coating you want.  

Let us help you explore your roof coating options. In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, contact Money Roofing and Construction. We can handle all of your residential and commercial roofing installation, repair and maintenance needs. Call us today at 469-342-3330.