How to Apply Roof Coating

Applying roof coating

If your roof is weathered and damaged from years of exposure to the elements, you have the ability to renew it using silicone roof coatings. In many cases you can avoid having to re-roof your structure by applying a UV-resistant, weathertight roof coating that can extend the life and improve the functionality of your roof. From barns to sheds to RVs to commercial and residential properties, nearly any structure can benefit from using a quality roof coating.

Metal roofing

How do roof coatings work?

Roof coatings are made of silicone, acrylic, or urethane and are designed to reflect heat off of the roof's surface while also acting as a barrier for wear and tear that might eventually cause leaks or other damage. Highly reflective white silicone coatings are among the most popular, thanks to their weather resistance, cooling properties, and extended durability. 

Roof coatings can be applied to many different roofing materials and on roofs with a variety of different pitches and slopes. Almost all types of roofs can be coated, including flat roofs, metal, modified bitumen, BUR systems, and more. 

red metal roof

Why should I apply a roof coating?

There are many benefits to applying a protective roof coating, including:

  • increasing energy efficiency and reducing costs
  • keeping the roof and structure cooler
  • reducing damage from weather and other elements
  • promoting an environmentally friendly structure

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Reduce costs

Adding a roof coating that reflects the sun's heat can reduce temperature fluctuations inside the structure, allowing the HVAC system to run more consistently and efficiently. 

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Lower temperatures

Good roof coatings - especially white roof coatings - reflect heat instead of absorbing it. As a result, the building can stay cooler for longer without the use of air conditioning.

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Weather Protection

Not only does a roof coating reflect damaging UV rays, it also seals out water and prevents surface erosion. Roof coatings prevent the decay of roofing material that leads to leaks.

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Environmentally friendly

Reflective roof coatings reduce emissions by limiting the usage of HVAC units. Many roof coatings are VOC-free and produce little to no environmental contaminants.

Can you put roof coating on shingles?

A common question (and hotly debated topic) is whether or not you can apply a roof coating to asphalt shingles. The appeal is in the amount of cost savings in applying a silicone coating versus re-roofing the home. Homeowners should talk to their local contractor or roofing specialist to learn more about the severity of roof wear and their options in repairing it. In any case, if you decide to use a roof coating as a sealant over asphalt shingles, be sure you get a coating specifically formulated for that substrate.

How do I apply a roof coating?

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Clean

The first step in applying a roof coating is surface preparation. Clean the roof using a pressure washer or a hose and push broom. The goal is to remove as much debris as possible to give yourself a smooth surface to apply the roof coating. Once you've cleaned the roof, let it dry.

Applying roof coating

Apply

As long as there are no severe cracks or tears in the roof, you can begin to apply the primer or roof coating once it has dried out from washing. Check the roof coating manufacturer's instructions to see if a primer is required. Using a long paint roller or brush, begin to spread the coating onto the roof. Work in 6' to 8' areas, without trying to do the entire roof at once. Spread the coating on evenly with a thick coating.

cure roof coating

Cure

Once the entire roof is covered, it's as simple as letting it dry and cure. Curing time will vary based on the product and environmental conditions, but the product manufacturer should have information on how long it should take to cure. If color is desired, you can add a top coat once it has fully dried out. With the right coating, you can save money, reduce your environmental impact, and add years to the life of your roof! 

Visit your local Do it Best store for more sealants and coatings, and for connections to local roofing experts in your area!

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