Is Coating a Roof a Good Idea?

A new roof coating is being applied to a low-slope roof

Invest in Commercial Roofing Maintenance

Owning a commercial building in Dallas, Texas can be a sign of prestige. It can also be a headache when it comes to maintenance and upkeep. Which is why a quality roof coating is so important. Okay, but what is roof coating?

Roof coating is applied to a commercial roof surface that provides a level of protection from the elements that can lead to water leaks. Roof coating is typically made from acrylic or elastomeric materials, and can be applied to asphalt, concrete, metal, or a variety of other roofing surface types. 

What Types of Roofs Can Be Coated?

There are six types of commercial roof materials that are eligible for roof coating. Those six types of roof material substrates that a roof coating can be installed:

  1. Modified Bitumen:  This is a rolled-on roofing surface that is asphalt-based and has an excellent response to a roof coating. 
  2. EPDM: This is a single-ply roofing material that is rubber-based and common on many commercial structures in Dallas, Texas. EPDM roofing is ideal for a roof coating once it has been cleaned and a rinseable primer has been applied.
  3. Metal:  This roofing material will have excellent performance with a professionally applied roof coating. They will need to give the penetrations, seams, and screws special attention. 
  4. TPO:  Thermos-plastic single-ply roof material, aka TPO, is a very common roofing material on commercial structures after applying a single-ply primer.
  5. Built-up roofing: Also known as a “tar and gravel” roofing surface, BUR can have a roof coating applied in certain circumstances after the gavel has been scrapped off.  
  6. Spray foam roofing: This is considered to be one of the best roofing surfaces for a silicone roof coating. 

What Types of Materials Are Used to Coat Roofs?

There are four different types of roof coating materials. There are benefits and drawbacks to each and a professional roofing contractor is the best source of information that determines which one is needed. Those four common roof coatings are: 

  • Acrylic
  • Foam
  • Silicone
  • Thermoplastic

What Benefits Does Roof Coating Provide?

Overall, the benefits you can expect from having a roof coating installed on your commercial structure include: 

  • Keeps the structure interior cool – a big bonus in Dallas!
  • Reduces energy costs – because you won’t need the air conditioner on as much!
  • Adds a green reputation to your building and company
  • Protects roof from leaking
  • Extends the lifespan of the roof by 10 years

How Long Does Roof Coating Last? 

A professionally applied roof coating can last between 10 and 20 years. At that time, the roof can be inspected, and another roof coating can be applied in most cases. 

What is the Cost of Roof Coating? 

The cost of a roof coating will depend on the type of existing roofing material, the type of roof coating used, and the condition of the roof. Any repairs needed should be completed first and will add to the cost of the roof coating job. And most of all, the size of the roof. With all of these factors in consideration, the roofing contractor will provide you with a per-square-foot cost or the final cost. 

How is Roof Coating Applied? 

For small, damaged areas, your maintenance crew can apply a roof coating in six easy steps: 

Step 1: Pressure wash and sweep the entire roof to remove contaminants and dirt. This will maximize the roof coating adhesion. 

Step 2: Allow the surface to completely dry, typically between 1 and 4 hours. 

Step 3: Repair any cracks and damages using a fiberglass mat. 

Step 4: Apply the first round of roof coating using a professional roller or a brush if the area is small. 

Step 5: Allow the roof surface to dry, typically 24 to 48 hours. 

Step 6: Apply a second round of roof coating. 

What Safety Precautions Should be Taken When Applying Roof Coating? 

If your own maintenance crew is going to apply the roof coating, you should make sure all protective steps are taken for their safety. This includes protective eyewear, glasses, and safety belts. Have a spotter on the ground while the rest of the crew is on the roof. 

The crew members on the roof should make sure to remove branches and large debris, then sweep the roof with a thorough power wash. Wait between one to four hours before starting the roof coating application. 

Topping It Off

When you get a roof coating application, you may wonder just how does roof coating protect a roof from the elements? Roof coatings reflect the infrared radiation of the sun along with the UV rays away and back into the atmosphere. 

This process keeps the roof cooler which keeps the inside of the building cool.  This helps keeps utility bills down because you’re not needing the air conditioner as much. This also extends the lifespan of the HVAC system, lengthening the time before a replacement is needed.