Silicone roof coating has grown in popularity over the years due to its efficiency in protecting and insulating various roof types including concrete decks, metal, single-ply, modified bitumen, and many more.
You might have heard about this coating type and how good it is but how much do you know about the pros and cons of silicone roof coating?
In this post, we are going to break down the advantages and disadvantages associated with silicone roof coating. We will also discuss the following essential aspects:
- What is silicone roof coating?
- Cost of this coating type.
- Silicone vs. Acrylic roof coating.
- How long does silicone last on a roof?
Keep reading to find out more about this roof coating material and whether it is for you or not.
Table of Contents
- Main Pros of Silicone Roof Coating
- Main Cons of Silicone Roof Coating
- What is Silicone Roof Coating?
- Cost of Silicone Roof Coating
- Silicone Vs. Acrylic Roof Coating
- How Long Does Silicone Last On a Roof?
Main Pros of Silicone Roof Coating
• Resistance to Ponding Water
One of the most appreciated features of a silicone roof coating is its ability to resist ponding water. This is because silicone coatings have been expertly formulated with solid substances that do not absorb water after curing. This enables it to hold water even for prolonged periods without deteriorating in quality or breaking down.
Roofs are constantly exposed to hot and cold temperatures and as such, experience their fair share of expansion and contraction.
Silicone forms a flexible membrane that can expand and contract while maintaining its strength and quality. The coating’s impermeable nature also allows it to withstand dust and dirt particles blown to the roof by the wind.
• Weather Resistant
You can trust your coating to defy extreme weather elements and remain in pristine condition even when exposed to storms, heavy downpours, and even snow. This display of stability makes it an excellent choice for any roofing material type.
Silicone roof coatings reflect sun rays due to their white color and prevent the overheating of the roof and the interior. This reduces the amount of energy consumed by air conditioning during warm seasons and ultimately lowers the amount of money you pay towards your energy bill.
• Highly Reflective and UV Resistant
The roof coating’s ability to reflect UV rays prolongs the life of your roof. Silicone is also resistant to sun rays and cannot depreciate in quality, crack, or become extremely hard because of prolonged exposure to sunlight. There aren’t many roof coating substances that can boast of this quality.
• High Solid Composition
Modern silicone coating brands are highly concentrated with solids: this allows for less coating to be used to achieve the thickness of protection you desire. One or max two layers are enough to provide the level of protection your roof needs. This means that the application procedure will be fast and won’t require a lot of labor.
• Environmentally Friendly
Most silicone roof coatings in the market today have high solid content and are solvent-free. They also contain very low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).
These are compounds that are considered unstable or inflammable. States have also come up with regulations concerning the safety of silicone coatings meaning that they are safe for you and the environment.
Main Cons of Silicone Roof Coating
• Requires Application By an Expert
Solvent-based coatings like silicone are difficult to apply with hydraulic spraying tools. The equipment has to be cleaned properly so that the application can be done smoothly every time.
Most contractors prefer spraying to the use of rollers because it offers a more efficient application. Since hydraulic sprayers require a certain degree of pressure to apply silicone coating effectively, it is advisable to hire a professional for optimum results.
• Unpleasant Smell During Application
Silicone emits a very unpleasant smell during application. Although most brands have been certified as safe, it would be best to protect oneself or move away from the site until the coating has cured completely.
• Holds Dirt
Silicone attracts dirt and dust particles. These materials collect on the roof surface over time and cover up what was supposed to be a white cover. This reduces its reflective ability. If UV rays aren’t being reflected off the surface of your roof, you will begin to experience high temperatures in your building’s interior.
That is why we recommend power washing your silicone-coated roof at least every six months after installation.
The pressure will help to remove even stubborn and heavy particles and allow for your coating to perform at its best. Most contractors add this maintenance solution into the services they offer because the entire process demands the expertise of a professional.
• Slippery When Wet
Silicone coatings are very slippery when wet. This can be potentially hazardous for people walking on them. As such, we recommend marking pedestrian areas and even installing walking pads that absorb moisture and make it easier to walk on these coated surfaces.
• Weak Warranties
Most roof coating materials offer warranties of up to 25 years, allowing the client a long period to enjoy their investment. Some even have warranties extending up to 50 years or more. Silicone roof coatings offer between five to fifteen years of manufacturer’s warranty.
• Only Works On Flat Surfaces
Silicone roof coatings are best applied to flat roof surfaces. They can be applied to slanting roofs as well but their effectiveness cannot be guaranteed in such situations. The silicone coating is even prohibited for certain types of roofs.
• Potential Roof Damage
When applying a silicone roof coating to your building, it is best to hire a contractor who is licensed, insured, and bonded. This is because the improper application of the coating may do more harm than good to your building.
Choose a reputable contractor company with years of experience, that way, you are assured of quality service. If the application procedure goes awry, the insurance will help you recover any damage done to your property.
What is Silicone Roof Coating?
Silicone roof coating is a layer of silicone that is sprayed or rolled onto an existing roof system. This procedure is done to repair leaks, cracks, and seams on commercial roofs. The coating provides a protective layer against weather elements and increases the durability of the roof.
Cost of Silicone Roof Coating
It costs between $2 to $4 to install a standard silicone roof coating system per square foot. This price approximation is drawn from commercial roofs that cover about 20,000 square feet. However, there are several factors to consider when calculating the cost of silicone roof coating. They include:
• Roof Repair
Most businesses consider silicone roof coating when their roof is aging or has leaks. In this case, repairs may be recommended before getting on with the coating application. The labor and materials may range between rates of $0.70 and $1.40 per square foot.
• Power Washing
Your roof cannot be coated with silicone without proper cleaning. Dirt that has accumulated on the roof surface may affect the adhesiveness of the coating material and its quality.
There are two types of roof power washing: reclamation washing and traditional power washer. Reclamation washing may cost you $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot while the traditional power washer ranges between $0.20 and $0.35 per square foot.
• Seam Reinforcement
Most professionals will recommend some sort of seam fortification before application of the coating. This normally helps the coating to adhere to your roof surface better and last longer.
Coated polyester mesh goes for between $2.20 and $2.50 per square foot while self-adhesive tape reinforcement costs between $4.00 and $4.50 per square foot.
• Silicone Coating
The coating itself is sprayed or rolled throughout the surface of your roof for rates between $1.40 and $2.50 per square foot.
• Warranty Fees
The charges you will have to pay for the warranty depend on the manufacturer and the duration of your warranty. For example, you may pay between $0.06 and $0.10 per square foot for ten years warranty and between $0.10 and $0.15 per square foot for fifteen years.
Silicone Vs. Acrylic Roof Coating
Silicone and acrylic roof coatings are the most common elastomeric roof coating types. They provide a quick and convenient fix for property executives who want an uncomplicated solution for old or leaking roofs. Both options are popular because they generally extend a roof’s lifespan and quell any leak issues.
One’s preference for a coating over the other one depends on the conditions of your roof such as your roofing system and the temperatures at the time when you want it applied.
You may even find that one option suits your roof restoration needs better than the other one. However, you need to assess the strengths, downsides, and shortcomings of silicone and acrylic roof coatings before choosing what’s best for you.
Strengths of Silicone
Silicone can stand their ground against UV rays. They reflect around 90% of sun rays, thus reducing the cooling burden on your roof, lowering your electricity bill, and increasing the comfort of one’s home.
They are highly concentrated with solids which make them durable and flexible. This feature ensures that even a single coating application serves the purpose, saving both labor, time, and money.
Silicone coatings can defy heavy rainfall, oxidation, and harsh temperatures. They are also more effective when it comes to the protection of structures from pooling water.
Downsides of Silicone
Silicone coatings are prone to dust and dirt particles which reduce their ability to reflect UV rays. This necessitates regular maintenance to clean your roof. The coating also gets extremely slippery when wet and may even require an upholstery in areas where people move around a lot.
Strengths of Acrylic Coating
This roof coating is a great choice for several types of roofing surfaces. It is inexpensive and has a high reflective ability and UV defiance. Applying an acrylic roof coating is also pretty easy: you can roll or spray it onto your roof substrate.
Downsides of Acrylic Coating
Just like silicone roof coatings, these too have their limitations. Acrylic coatings are water-based, making them a not-so-excellent choice for roofing in areas that experience storms and heavy rainfall. The coating weakens and may even peel from the room if exposed to water for prolonged periods.
You have to schedule an acrylic roof coating when there is warm or sunny weather. Low temperatures extend the time the coating takes to dry and affect its ability to stick to the roof. As such, this roof coating cannot be applied if the temperature is under fifty degrees.
This is more of a comparison than a debate on which coating material is better than the other. Both roof coatings have their pros and cons but the ultimate decision lies with the buyer. You can review our brief outline to help you decide which roof coating would best serve your home or property.
How Long Does Silicone Last On a Roof?
Silicone roof coatings are said to stay in place for more than a decade. This significant durability is coupled with regular annual inspections and maintenance especially if there has been an occurrence of extreme weather conditions.
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