Having a roof over our heads has become a staple of basic human life. Thanks to the development of technology, time has availed the opportunity to appreciate how diversely we can enjoy this necessity, adapting our homes to different environments and aesthetics. Roofs have major roles in this by being the first line of defense against precipitation and exposure to the sun. This makes it essential to have a roof that will last and also make the conditions of the building more welcoming.
There are several ways to do this, such as selecting the type of roofing material to employ, but can be taken a step further by adding a coating, which (depending on the type of roofing material) can produce several effects. Here, we will take a deeper look into the types of roofing coatings for different roofs, and the effects they have in aesthetics and purpose.
Before You Apply
There are several factors to consider before applying a new roof coating.
- Some coatings may release toxic fumes before or negatively react when they come in contact with skin. Protective equipment should be worn to prevent harm, for anyone applying the coating or within the immediate area.
- Environmental and weather conditions. Choose a coating that will be able to handle these conditions, as the wrong one can end up degrading (peeling, changing color) much faster than intended, and give a bad aesthetic.
- Make sure the roof you want to apply the coating to is clean and dry. Oil-based coatings will have a problem adhering to the surface if it is not properly prepared.
- Ensure the roof is in good condition when applying the coating. Coatings are not made to repair the roof, but to maintain its (good) condition and protect it from harsh/changing weather conditions.
With these simple but essential preparations done, you can now go ahead and choose the type of roof coating that is a good fit for you.
Types Of Roof Coatings
There are various types of roof coatings to choose from, some with the same base but totally different uses. The main categories used to classify roof coatings are:
Acrylic coatings were originally developed to protect against ultraviolet radiation. Their default substrates (materials on which they are applied) are single-ply membranes and metals, but can be found for many more. They have a shiny appearance, are flexible, and provide good dirt and water resistance. They are also pocket friendly, lightweight, and come in a variety of colors.
These coatings have been engineered to be temperature (fluctuation) resistant. This feature is enhanced thanks to the rubber -a poor conductor of heat- component in them, as well as adding some elasticity to them. Using asphalt coatings in combination with other roof coatings makes for a very durable surface, and come in black, with options to aluminize for a metallic look.
These are coatings made exclusively out of silicone. This makes them highly elastic, and also very adhesive to the surface they are being applied on. They are effective in protecting against UV rays and discoloration. More expensive variants are resistant to metal corrosion and most weather conditions, especially rainfall/wetness.
Among these roof coating types; polyurethane coatings provide the best protection against physical impacts and abrasions. There are two main types of polyurethane coatings: aromatic – which provides less UV protection because it breaks down under the radiation, and aliphatic – which is more UV stable than its aromatic counterpart. Polyurethane coatings also hold color much longer than other roof coating types.
These roofing types come in a variety of modifiable specifications. You should consult with the personnel you have doing the roof coating on the best type for you. It should also be noted that some preferred traits (for example flexibility and partially heat conductive) will require the application of more than one type of coating. The coatings can also be applied in layers to amplify their intended effect. All of this is however dependent on the state of the roof itself. Some coatings may temporarily seal cracks by preventing them from widening when others sensitively respond to changes in temperature by expanding and contracting. This can instead cause further damage.