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An Ultimate Guide to Spray on Roof Coatings

top view of worker applying the roof coating
| 7-minutes Read

The roof on top of a business takes much more of a beating than most people realize. Between the sun’s powerful UV rays to fluctuating, extreme temperatures, and intense storms, there’s a lot threatening the structural strength keeping everyone inside safe. 

There are many things that a roofing contractor will suggest you do to maintain your flat roof to keep it strong. One of those things includes spray-on roof coating, which comes with a list of benefits — the most important being long-term protection from the elements. 

Below we’ll walk you through everything there is to know about spray on roof coatings, including how to know whether or not your existing roof system is eligible for a proper roof coating.

What Exactly Is Spray On Roof Coating?

Put simply, spray-on roof coating is a special sealant designed for flat roofing. It’s more formally referred to as a silicone restoration membrane (SRM) as it’s essentially a silicone metal with the same consistency as paint and will last anywhere between 10 to 20 years.

Spray on roof coating is typically applied to the surface of an existing roof to create a layer of protection that’s both seamless and impermeable — which is what makes it weatherproof. Since it’s applied as a liquid substance, the coating easily fills holes and cracks, which also strengthens your existing roofing system. 

While roof coatings are primarily found in silicone form, here are several types you can choose from:

  • Asphalt roof coating: Asphalt roof coating can be either solvent-based or water-based. They’re most effective at providing your existing roof system with a nice thick and flexible barrier. They also work best for roofs that are already asphalt-based. 
  • Polyurethane roof coating: Polyurethane coatings are designed to be used a thin topcoat to help mitigate UV damage. They also work well to create a moisture barrier, which is important for roofs that see a lot of foot traffic.
  • Acrylic roof coating: Acrylic roof coating is always water-based, which is part of what gives them such a flexible application. They can be used for all kinds of environments and climates, and they can be customized to the color of your choosing or for your specific UV impact needs. Acrylic coating is also very tough, flexible, cost-effective, and long-lasting (up to 20 years).
  • Silicone roof coating: Silicone roof coating has a base made primarily of solid materials, which is what makes it exceptionally durable and adhesive. These types of coatings work well in all kinds of weather conditions, and they can stick to most construction surfaces. Just like acrylic coating, silicone coating is built to last — often more than 20 years.

The Benefits of Roof Coating

As mentioned earlier, roof coatings come with several notable benefits that make it an easy choice for property and business owners to utilize. 

Here’s an overview of those benefits:

  • Improved protection: Roof coatings add an extra layer of protection for your flat roof to give it more of an oomph when it comes to withstanding harsh UV rays, weather events, and climates. This includes hail storms and heavy snowfall. This added protection also prevents water from seeping in and heat from escaping, keeping indoor temperatures comfortable and your building’s structure moisture-free. 
  • Easy Application: Roof coatings are also an addition to your roofing system, not a repair. Therefore, there’s no need to tear your roof off and replace it with a new one before the coating is applied — unless of course, your existing roof system is in shambles. The application itself is simple as it only requires an initial inspection to ensure your existing roof is in good condition and sufficient cleaning and measurements are carried out before the spraying. From there, all it takes is about 24 hours to dry and cure, and your roof is reinforced.
  • Prevention of future roofing issues: One of the greatest benefits of having a roofing coating is that it primes and protects your roof for the future. Since they add a protective layer to your roof, they help to stave off weather damage as well as the overall wear and tear your roof sees from the elements, foot traffic, and more — which gives it an even longer lifespan. 
  • Better energy costs: Roof coating also works to reduce the amount of energy your building or properties require to heat or cool their interior rooms. Most roof coatings are designed to have reflective properties, which combats the UV rays constantly beating down by reflecting them versus allowing the absorption of their heat. This means better energy savings throughout the year and a longer lifespan for your HVAC system. 
  • More future savings: Roof coatings only cost about half the amount of the average roof replacement. This is largely due to there being fewer materials, tools, time, and labor required. Not only does this make roof coating very affordable, but it also shields your existing roof from harm, which means you’ll have to make fewer repairs (if any) down the road. 
  • Reliability: Another excellent benefit of having a roof coating is that they’re highly resistant to cracks, peeling, and mold. Since these coatings aren’t susceptible to damage, they also eliminate the need for consistent maintenance and early roof replacement. There’s also the added bonus of extra insulation while making it impossible for moisture to penetrate through your roofing system.

Is Your Roof Eligible For a Roof Coating?

It’s very common for property, facility, and other business owners to invest in roof restoration rather than complete replacements when the time comes. Roof coating is part of that restoration investment, and from the benefits listed above, it’s easy to see why. However, not all roofing systems will be eligible for a roof coating, especially if they’re nearing the end of their lifespan.

So, how do you know if your flat roof is eligible for the application? Here are a few indicators:

  • Your existing roofing system is made from metal, modified bitumen, EPDM, or TPO materials
  • There are little to no saturated areas
  • Your roof’s insulation is completely intact and is also at least 75% dry
  • Your roofing seams are also intact with no cracks, holes, or other weaknesses
  • The overall structure and materials are in good condition

Of course, the best way to determine whether or not your roofing is currently eligible for a coating is to schedule an inspection with a trusted and reliable roofing contractor that specializes in spray-on coating applications. Not only will they be able to tell whether your roof is in the proper condition, but they’ll be able to recommend the best course of action for your needs — which may include any commercial roof repairs prior to the coating. 

How Much Do Silicone Roof Coatings Cost?

Roof coating costs range between $5 and $8 per square foot, which includes basic materials and labor. However, there are a variety of factors that come into play to determine the ultimate costs, including:

  • The total square footage of your roofing system
  • The existing roofing material
  • The roof’s shape and slope
  • The roof coating formula chosen
  • The roofing company performing the job (labor, materials, supplies, equipment, etc.)

Ultimately, if you own a business or several businesses with flat roofs, there’s no reason not to invest in spray coating. These applications not only perform well, but they increase the durability and lifespan of your current roofing system, which can take you further into the future and save you a lot of time, energy, and money on damages and repairs. 

Of course, you’ll need professional roofing contractors who are right for the job, and Premiere Roofing & Gutters has just what you need. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our roofing services and to schedule your free inspection!

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