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Which Roof Coating Should You Pick?

man on roof

A properly maintained roof is one of the best ways to keep your building stable and secure. Especially if you want to avoid leaks or cracks, a roof coating is a good idea. This special type of coating goes on over your existing roof and helps to repel water and UV damage. In addition to protecting your room from damage, they can also make your building more energy efficient. There are a lot of different types of roof coatings, so it’s important to weigh your options before selecting a coating. Here are the pros and cons of some of the most common roof coating types.

Acrylic Roof Coatings

Acrylic roof coatings are one of the most popular and widely-available choices. An acrylic coating consists of a water-based substance that dries to have a plasticky, flexible feel. The main perk of acrylic coatings is that they are very budget-friendly, and installing them is fast and easy. They work on almost all roof times and dry very quickly too.

For most users, an acrylic coating provides an excellent blend of affordability and protection. The final result is extremely reflective, so it bounces back UV light and reduces building cooling costs. Acrylic-based coatings are also very strong, so they protect the roof from hail and other types of projectile damage.

Just keep in mind that acrylic roof coatings don’t do well in areas with constant, extreme weather. Frequent moisture, cold, or bright sun can all degrade acrylic. It is not recommended if you have a roof that frequently has standing water on it. As the coating wears out, it gradually gets thinner and thinner. This diminishes its protective capacity. Ultimately, people with acrylic coatings may need to get their roof coating redone a little more frequently. However, if you’re fine with more frequent recoating, this type of roof covering is affordable and convenient. It is especially useful for situations where you want a highly reflective roof to lower your cooling bills.

Silicone Roof Coatings

These roof coatings are made up of a rubber-like polymer. Silicone can be applied to all sorts of roofing substrates including single-ply, metal, concrete, and spray polyurethane. It usually rolls on as a liquid and takes around three to 12 hours to fully dry. This coating comes in many colors, and it is particularly popular for covering industrial buildings.

Silicone is a very effective material for protecting your roof. Unlike some other materials, it won’t become hard or brittle in extreme weather. Silicone is very flexible, so cracks and other issues are unlikely. It is also highly water-resistant, so it can be used in areas with ponding water. When new, silicone roofs are highly reflective, so they can greatly reduce your building’s cooling costs.

The main drawback of silicone is just that it is on the pricier side. Not only are the materials themselves more expensive, but the application process is lengthy and a little tricky. In addition to the costs, the other problem to be aware of is that silicone attracts dirt. Over time, dust will stick to the silicone and reduce reflectivity. You will need to be prepared to pay a little more upfront and remember to wash your roof annually, but if you can manage these issues, silicone is one of the best roof coatings out there. It is ideal for areas with a lot of moisture.

Polyurethane Roof Coatings

One of the most durable types of roof coatings is polyurethane. This is a plastic-based coating that is slightly elastic. Polyurethane roof coatings are available in two separate types. Aromatic coatings are more affordable while aliphatic coatings are more UV protection. To get the benefits of both types, many people choose to apply an aromatic coat as the base layer and an aliphatic coat as the top layer.

The biggest perk of polyurethane is its durability. Compared to other roof coating types, it is particularly impact-resistant. This makes it useful for roofs where people will be walking around a lot or working with heavy equipment. Polyurethane also flexes well during extreme temperature changes, so you might want it if you’re worried about sudden highs and lows damaging your roof. This study coating can also handle UV rays and pooling water.

Despite these benefits, polyurethane does have some downsides. It smells a little stronger than other coatings, especially when new, so it might not work well if you have offices right underneath your roof. Though the odor isn’t harmful, it can be quite noticeable. Application is also tricky. The components cure quickly, so spraying it evenly takes a lot of practice. This coating tends to work best in industrial and commercial settings where roof protection is a priority.

Bitumen and Asphalt Roof Coatings

Asphalt and bitumen are both types of tar-like substances that may or may not have sand and other gritty aggregates mixed in. They’re often used in combination with each other to create a roof coating. Asphalt is a somewhat older roof coating material. Though it’s frequently ignored in favor of more modern materials, it still has a few decent features that make it worth your time.

The biggest advantage of asphalt or bitumen is that it is affordable. Once it is cured, this material does a great job of protecting your roof from UV rays or impact damage. Unlike options like silicone, it is also a highly walkable surface.

Despite these perks, asphalt is slowly falling out of favor. This material doesn’t react well to fluctuating temperatures, so it can crack in high heat or intense cold. It also has a very long curing process, so it can be a while before your roof is usable again. Furthermore, asphalt is not reflective. It can actually absorb heat instead of deflecting it, so it doesn’t usually help much with your building’s energy efficiency. Though most other roof coatings will work a little better, asphalt is still a sound choice if you need something as affordable as possible.

Fluoropolymer Roof Coatings

A fluoropolymer roof coating is an innovative coating material that creates a very thin coating over the whole roof. The water-based material can be sprayed over roofs to create a very flexible, durable roof coating.

Fluoropolymer roof coatings do a great job of handling extreme weather. Even under harsh UV light, they still maintain their color fastness. They also adhere to the roof very well, so you can use them on unusual roof shapes. Since these coatings resist dirt and mildew, they maintain their reflectivity without requiring frequent washings.

Just keep in mind that fluoropolymer coatings usually only work with certain surfaces like metal. Therefore, they aren’t an option for all types of roofs. They also take a little longer to dry than other types of coatings, so you need to keep the roof dry for at latest 24 hours after application. As long as you have the right type of roof though, these coatings work very well.

Ultimately, each roof coating style has its own unique benefits and disadvantages. If you want to find the right coating for your property, Axis Roofing is happy to assist you. We can examine your roof, discuss your options, and help you pick a coating style that best suits your needs. In addition to providing roof coatings, we also offer a variety of other roofing services to Mesa and the surrounding areas. To learn more about our services, give Axis Roofing a call today.

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