What Is the Best Type of Roof Coating?
Every building needs a roof, and in order to keep yours in great shape, there is a huge burden of knowledge. It seems unfair that owning a building requires you to become a roofing expert. While that may be a small exaggeration, it certainly feels true.
In the quest for roofing knowledge, you’re going to learn about a ton of materials and practices that are worth very little to your building because they are intended for different climates or roofing designs. In the DFW area, you can ease the burden of knowledge by focusing on a small part of roofing: roof coatings.
The right roof coating will protect your building from sun and weather. Fortunately, there aren’t too many coatings you need to know about in order to make a good decision. For the most part, roof coatings can be broken into four categories, each proving itself the best depending on what your roof needs. Let’s explore these roof coatings and see what they can offer you.
Acrylic coatings are a top choice for many roofs. For starters, acrylic scores higher than just about any other coating in UV resistance and reflectivity. In hot regions with intense sunlight, acrylic will last longer than other coatings and do more to lower cooling costs.
Acrylic is also a low-cost option with good results. It is easier to apply than most coatings, and because of this, it is frequently used to restore metal roofing. Acrylic can be used on other roofing materials too, and it will get the same benefits.
The drawbacks to acrylic are low tensile strength and low water resistance. Acrylic should not be used in areas where frequent ponding occurs, and it is suboptimal for roofing areas with high foot traffic.
Butyl rubbers can include a range of materials, but they all involve fluid-sprayed rubbers. The specific mixture will depend on the desired material properties, but in general, butyl rubbers offer the same major benefits. Because of their adaptability and ability to be applied to a wide range of roofing materials, they are commonly used in patch and repair work. They can create a vapor-resistant seal wherever it is needed.
Butyl rubbers have high tensile strength, making them great against impacts.
Their drawbacks are that they don’t hold color well and they can be difficult to apply — driving up the cost.
Silicone is quickly becoming one of the most popular roof coatings for a number of applications. This is largely due to two factors. First, silicone is the best of the best for handling ponding water. It is incredibly hydrophobic, and it is resistant to corrosion and embrittlement. A silicone coating will prevent ponded water from leaking for many years.
The other major advantage of silicone is its UV reflectivity. Silicone doesn’t wither under years of UV exposure, and it rivals acrylic for total reflectivity. This makes it ideal in sunny areas and on flat roofs.
There are two reasons why silicone is not always the best choice. The first is tensile strength. While it does hold up reasonably well to water, silicone can easily be damaged by heavy weight, and it is a poor choice for roofs with heavy foot traffic.
The other drawback to silicone is cost. It has a high installation cost. Despite that, it is often a cost-effective choice in the long term, but the up-front expenses can be prohibitive.
Urethane coatings are a bit of a gold standard for roofing. They have incredible impact resistance and tensile strength. They also come in the middle of the pack for total cost. Because of this, they are the best option for roofing with heavy foot traffic.
In other metrics, urethane coatings have good UV resistance (but not the very best) and overall longevity. Urethane is in many ways the roofing coating that is used as the measuring stick for all others, and it is likely to remain a popular choice for many more years.
There are plenty of other rooftop coatings that are worth considering. Asphalt variants come in many different packages, and each is suited for a number of niche applications. If you want to be sure you consider all of your options and have access to the perfect coating choice for your roof, contact Money Roofing. We regularly work in all of these media, and we know what is best for Dallas-area conditions. Once we look at your roof, we can make professional recommendations that get you the results you need at a competitive price.