Which is Better?
When considering roof restoration products, many people look into silicone and acrylic coatings. Both coatings have positives and negative, but is one “better” than the other? In this blog post we will look at Silicone vs Acrylic coatings and identify which is the superior coating.
The first thing to note is that silicone is an inorganic coating. This means that it is not water based, and therefore will not break down under ponding water. Acrylic coatings are organic, meaning they will break down under ponding water. This short video does a good job of explaining this difference. In a nutshell, if your building has a flat roof, organic (acrylic) coatings are not a great option.
Additional benefits to silicone are that it is flexible, which helps it withstand impact damage. For example, hail could dent a metal roof, but it will largely bounce off the silicone without any real damage. Additionally, this elasticity will allow the coating to expand and contract during changing seasons. You can read our blog on freeze thaw cycles and its affect on PM Silicone here.
There are many more benefits to silicone including:
- Great tensile strength
- UV reflectivity
- Ease of application
- Environmentally friendly
- Tax deductions
You can find more information on all of these benefits and more on our website!
Cons of Silicone
Critics of silicone may say there are some drawbacks to using a silicone coating. Dirt and dust collection are something you may read about online. We don’t consider that a major issue however. This can be easily alleviated with a quick powerwash of the roof. Others say that silicone is very slippery when wet. Although this is true, we have created a specialty walkway coating to make silicone as safe as any other roofing substrate. Our walkway coating and granules create a non-slip surface even on wet silicone! This short video shows just how we were able to make this possible.
Acrylic is usually the cheaper coating in terms of raw materials, but the old idiom that you get what you pay for should be considered here. 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.
Acrylics can be useful on a steep-slope metal roofs that are visible from the ground, and acrylics don’t collect dust like silicone does, which means it will need less cleaning over its lifetime. But acrylic systems are also prone to losing thickness as they age and can be susceptible to freezing at colder temperatures.
Additionally, acrylics typically require two coats, which means double the labor time it would take compared to a silicone installation.
Although acrylics are suitable in some cases, silicone is best for modern commercial roof restoration. Its superior waterproofing and durability cannot be matched by acrylic coatings. For any building with a flat roof and ponding water issues, silicone is really the only option you should consider. Acrylics can be beneficial and cheap when in need of a quick fix on a sloped roof, but silicone is far superior when comparing longevity, durability, and ease of application.