No one likes to deal with a crumbling flat roof. Replacing a flat or commercial roof is expensive, messy, and a major headache – but what else can you do? You could get it coated instead of replacing it.

Roof coatings are protective layers applied over existing roofing systems to increase their waterproofing and lifespans. Roof coatings are affordable, don’t require tear off, and often come with great warranties. A roof coating could save you anywhere from 40 to 60% when compared to replacement while offering many of the same benefits.

If a roof coating sounds right for you, you need to learn more about different coating types and what type of roofs they’ll work best with. Let’s review 4 of the most common types of roof coatings, their pros and cons, and how to get started with a roofing coating today.

1. Silicone

Silicone roof coatings are arguably the most popular type of coating in the US, thanks to its strength, weather resistance, ease of application and cost.

Silicone Coating Pros

  • Excellent at withstanding ponding water
  • Easy to Apply
  • Affordable for most building owners
  • High elasticity helps silicone stretch and bend with changing weather pattens. This property means silicone won’t become tough or brittle like other coating options.

Silicone Coating Cons

  • Can be too expensive for low budget projects.
  • Doesn’t repel dirt well and might look ‘dingy’ over time.

2. Acrylic

Acrylic coatings were originally used as a protective layer for sprayed foam roofing but have now become a stand-alone choice for roof coatings. Acrylic coatings are tough as nails and are known to resist hail better than most other types of coatings.

Acrylic Coating Pros

  • Acrylic is tough. It can resist UV damage, wind, and is known to stand up against hail storms.
  • Natural reflective properties direct solar energy away from your building and could help you save on your utility bill.

Acrylic Coatings Cons

  • Bad at withstanding ponding water
  • Loses thickness over time. Driving precipitation and other natural forces will wear the coating away over time.

3. Polyurethane

Like acrylic, polyurethane got its origins as a top layer for sprayed foam roofs but has now become popular as a stand-alone roof coating. Polyurethane use two different formulations for a base layer and topcoat.

Polyurethane Coating Pros

  • Polyurethane is great for roofs that need extra durability like roofs that receive heavy foot traffic.
  • Polyurethane holds its color longer when compared to other coatings.

Polyurethane Coating Cons

  • More expensive than other coating options.
  • Not very flexible. Can crack under extreme weather fluctuations.

4. Asphalt / Rubber

A mixture of emulsified asphalt and liquid rubber can be added to existing roofing systems. Also known as asphaltic rubber coatings.

Asphalt / Rubber Pros

  • Unlike all other coatings an asphaltic rubber system is sprayed on as one monolithic piece. A single piece provides superior waterproofing.
  • Asphalt / rubber coatings are among the cheapest of coating options.

Asphalt / Rubber Cons

  • Gaps in Quality – There are several low-quality asphalt / rubber products on the market. Choosing the wrong one will leave a poor finished product.

Choosing the Best Roof Coating

There are a few different roof coating options and what works best for you depends on your budget, roof, needs, and more. If you’re ready to learn more about the best options give Roofcorp a call today.

We can inspect your flat roof free of charge and help determine what type of coating, if any, will work best. Don’t wait for your aging commercial roof to spring a leak or cause more expensive repairs, give Roofcorp a call for a free inspection and estimate today.