WHICH ROOF COATING IS THE BEST FOR YOUR ROOFING SYSTEM?
We have already looked at the fact that roof coatings are not the best roofing option in all situations, but when they are the best roofing option, which roof coating is the best for your roof? Take the time to read the analysis of several roof coatings below and you will be in a much better place to make a decision on your building.
Acrylic Roof Coatings
It is widely believed that the most significant advantage of acrylic roof coatings is the price. While roof coatings are typically the most cost-effective roofing system, acrylic roof coatings are typically viewed as the most cost effect roof coatings. However, this is a common misconception that has cost many building owners a lot of money.
The reason people believe acrylics are the least expensive roof coating is probably because they are often the cheapest material in the flat roofing market. However, it takes more actylic coating to cover the same area as most other coatings, and acrylic often requires a primer upon installation. Acrylic has a much shorter useful life than most other coatings, and must be replaced, which means more cost. Acrylic coatings also do not provide the same protection from the elements as other coatings, so repair and energy costs are often higher.
Acrylic coatings are extremely common in the flat roof market today, mostly due to the misconception of the true costs. They are also often chosen thanks to their reflectivity, which keeps the interior of the building cooler, but this characteristic is available in all roof coatings.
Acrylic coatings do not have a high tensile strength, which means they can be stretched out as the building flexes and become more susceptible to wear and tear. This often decreases the value provided by the coatings as they do not last as long as expected.
In our opinion, acrylic coatings are not right for many situations. They appear to be the less expensive option, but often end up costing more than all other roof coating options would have. On top of their cost structure, they do not provide the same value other coatings are capable of providing in terms of protection and lifespan.
Silicone Roof Coatings
Silicone coatings have many characteristics that make them the best roof coating in most situations. Silicone coatings have a much higher solids content than other roof coatings, which means they can be applied thick in a single coat with losing the integrity of the system.
Silicone roof coatings have extremely low labor costs as compared to other roof coatings. They rarely require a primer to achieve proper adhesion, can often be applied in a single coat, and need less fabric reinforcement than most other coatings.
While the cost of the material for silicone may be higher than other roof coatings, the true cost of the roofing system usually ends up lower than other systems. Thanks to their long lives, life-cycle costs are also very low.
Other benefits of silicone roof coatings include UV resistance and stability, easy installation for contractors, and the lowest VOC content on the market, which is good for the environment.
PVDF Roof Coatings
These roof coatings have typically been used in metal roof applications, but are becoming more popular on other flat roofing systems. These coatings are typically water-based, and one of their greatest strengths and main purposes is to reflect UV rays and resist picking up dirt.
While other coatings can often lose their reflectivity over time, PVDF roof coatings have a special resin in their formula that allows them to resist UV rays for longer without fading or losing effectiveness.
The surfaces of roofs with a PVDF coating, when analyzed microscopically, are extremely smooth. Most roof coatings, and roof surfaces in general, have small imperfections on the surface that can hold onto dirt and other debris, making the roof surface very dirty very quickly. However, PVDF roof coatings are specially formulated to have a very smooth surface once dry, which allows dirt and debris to quickly run off the surface of the roof. For this reason, PVDF coatings are often chosen on buildings where aesthetics and reflectivity are of upmost importance.
Aluminum Roof Coatings
Probably the largest advantage touted by proponents of aluminum roof coating supporters is their reflectivity. This has been an advantage of all roof coatings, so it is not really a selling point of aluminum over any other roof coatings. The reflectivity is an advantage over other systems that don’t provide the reflectivity, but any roof coating can be reflective.
One of the most significant considerations of aluminum coatings are the application requirements. The temperature must be just right for the material to be properly applied. There are also often requirements of primer usage on the roof to obtain proper adhesion.
Aluminum roof coatings are often very aesthetically pleasing when first installed, but that look often fades and they can become somewhat of an eyesore if the building is in sight of others.
Without knowing the specific details of our readers’ buildings, it is very difficult to make recommendations on what roof coating they choose. However, hopefully this post provided enough information that you can use to determine which roof coating is best for your roof. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, contact us. Also don’t forget to subscribe on the right if you want a monthly newsletter with everything we write about delivered to you.