What Is a Silicone Roof Coating?

Defining Silicone Roof Coatings

A silicone roof coating is a simple, affordable, and energy-efficient solution to prevent leaks.

These coatings are sprayed on, forming a seamless barrier over the roof that seals leaks and protects from UV rays. Its reflective surface also improves energy efficiency, saving you money on utility expenses.

The coatings can be reapplied every ten years or so for continued protection. These coatings are also used as an alternative to a roof replacement.

Roof Sealant vs. Roof Coating

Most commercial structures have a flat roof, and if drainage isn’t working correctly, that flat roof can become a swimming pool quickly. A silicone roof coating and a silicone roof sealant will do an excellent job of making the roof watertight. 

The key difference between the two is how and where they are applied to the roof. A silicone roof sealant is excellent for creating a watertight seal around the air vents and vent pipes, over the screw heads, and along the roof edges, whereas the coating goes over the whole roof.

Roof Coating Installation Process

While silicone roof sealant comes in a tube and is applied directly where needed, like around the vents and vent pipes, along the roof edge, etc., a silicone roof coating is applied with a paintbrush or paint roller over the entire roof.

This method provides even coverage across the whole roof. Coatings can also be sprayed on.

The Value of Roof Coatings

A silicone roof coating is not the answer to every commercial roofing problem. There is a place and time when it is the best solution. If you want to provide added protection to a new roof, a roof coating is ideal.

Some facility managers also choose roof coatings as an alternative to replacement. This is possible if there is minor damage on the roof.

Some benefits of a silicone roof coating are:

  • Investment protection: On a commercial roof with a steep slope metal roof, a silicone roof coating will extend the lifespan of the metal. 
  • Budget-friendly repair: Roof leaks are not always in sync with the budget, and a silicone roof coating can provide a temporary patch until the budget is ready for the expense of a new roof. 
  • Energy efficiency increases: An application of cool silicone roof coating can ease the energy used by minimizing HVAC usage.
  • Low installation costs: Compared to roof replacement, which costs on average about $11-$15 per square foot, a roof coating costs between $5-$8 per square foot.

FAQs Regarding Silicone Roof Coatings

How Long For a Silicone Roof Coating to Dry?

Generally, a silicone roof coating is thoroughly dry within eight to 24 hours of application. The weather conditions can affect this drying time. For example, in humid weather conditions, it will take a silicone roof coating longer to dry, but on a sunny and dry day, it will probably be dry within eight hours. 

How Long Does a Silicone Roof Coating Last?

A properly applied silicone roof coating with the recommended maintenance can give a commercial roof 15 years of service. If choosing to go with a silicone roof coating, always use a contractor with experience.

The application process and the thickness are vital to getting the most mileage from a silicone roof coating. The quality of the coating will affect its longevity.

What’s more, the silicone coating can be reapplied after 10 to 15 years. The coating can be reapplied indefinitely, extending the roof’s lifespan.

How are Silicone Roof Coatings Cleaned?

You can clean the roof coating with a gentle power wash after removing all the loose dirt, leaves, and debris. There are specialized cleaners made for these coatings. 

Can Silicone Roof Coatings Be Painted?

A silicone roof coating can be painted only after thoroughly cleaning and drying, but it isn’t easy.

However, the coverage may not be what you expect, so it would be best to leave this project to a contractor who has worked with a silicone roof coating because the coating requires a special type of paint that won’t damage the coating or the roof. 

Can you Walk on a Silicone Roof Coating?

You must exercise caution if you’re expecting foot traffic on your roof, such as for HVAC maintenance. Silicone coatings are slippery. Walkpads are necessary to walk over a silicone-coated roof safely.

How Thick Should Silicone Coatings Be?

Silicone is usually thicker than other coatings like acrylic. When applying silicone, you’ll have to consider the warranty length.

For a 10-year warranty, you want to apply 20 mils of coating, while for a 15-year warranty, you’ll want 25 mils of coating. For a 20-year warranty, you need to install 30 mils of coating.

A gallon of silicone covers about 50 square feet of roof.

Do Silicone Roof Coatings Crack?

One of the many reasons facility managers like silicone roof coatings is that the coatings are very durable. They won’t crack, chalk, or degrade because of prolonged exposure to the sun.

In addition, they take longer to degrade than other types of elastomeric coatings without becoming stiff or brittle. They can also be installed on almost any type of roof, from modified bitumen to TPO.

Finally, they are sprayed over SPF spray foam to protect the foam from cracking and damage from the sun and weathering.

Understanding Silicone Roof Coatings

If you’re looking for excellent protection for your roof, especially from leaks, a silicone coating might be the right solution for you.

This article outlines the benefits of these coatings while answering common FAQs regarding their value and longevity.

As a top-rated roofing company in Fernandina Beach, FL, we have unique insights and expertise to help homeowners better understand the process.

Silicone Roof Coating