CAN YOU APPLY SILICONE ROOF COATINGS IN THE WINTER?
Many roof coatings, especially water-based coatings, can’t be applied in cold temperatures due to their high water content. We all know that water freezes at 32 degrees, so if you’re using a water-based coating in that temperature, it will freeze or at the very least become thick and unusable. Silicone, however, is different. It isn’t bothered by the cold temperatures like other coatings. Let’s look at when you can apply silicone coating with regards to the weather.
Applying Silicone in the Winter
Silicone is a moisture-cured product, meaning it needs moisture to cure. It starts out with none and then needs to absorb moisture out of the air to cure. Silicone is solvent based, while other coatings are water-based. This foundational difference in the chemistry of the coatings creates a major difference in performance. Silicone can be installed down to 35 or so degrees without a noticeable difference in usability.
As the temperature drops below 35 degrees, the coating will become thicker and harder to use. It’s not impossible to use, but more difficult and the results become less predictable. That’s why we recommend you don’t apply silicone in temperatures below 35 or so degrees – just to be safe. The coating can handle it, but it does feel a little bit different as you’re working with the material. Water-based coatings lose their ability to be applied at much higher temperatures, approaching 50 degrees. That could shorten your roofing season by a month or more depending on your location!
As long as you keep the barrels or buckets of coating warm, silicone coating can go down at almost any working temperature on the roof.
Applying Silicone in the Summer
Silicone can be applied in just about any temperature that your crews can handle. If the temperature reaches limits where the silicone wouldn’t work properly, it’s safe to say there would be no crews on the roof working. They’d all be inside in the AC. Functionally, silicone can be applied in any heat, because the crew is the constraint, not the coating.
Just another facet of the functionality and versatility of silicone is its ability to be installed in a wide range of temperatures. Because it isn’t water based, it isn’t susceptible to the weather quite like an acrylic or similar coating.