Comparing the Three Main Types of Roof Coatings

Roof coating is a type of sealant that is placed on top of your roofing material and is designed to prevent damage, reflect sunlight, or act as a secondary barrier against water damage. Understanding the differences between the three most common types of roof coatings can help you figure out which one is the best fit for your property's roofing requirements.


Acrylic roof coatings are well-suited for property owners who are looking to reduce their air conditioning bills. Acrylic coating is highly reflective and can be applied just like paint, reducing the amount of work necessary to have them put into place.

However, acrylic does not stand up well to constant water exposure as this will cause the coating to begin to lose its reflectiveness and to physically break down. Acrylic also has problems in colder climates, partly because of the seasonal snow melts and the moisture it causes. The cold temperatures will cause the coating to contract and crack.


Silicone coatings are designed to be highly durable and are able to withstand massive amounts of moisture, humidity, cold and hot weather, and other environmental factors without cracking or otherwise becoming physically damaged.

However, silicone has the tendency to become physically marred over time with dirt and grime even if the structure of the coating stays in relatively good condition. This means that the coating will get less reflective and visibly filthy over time. This reduces the coating's ability to reflect heat and can affect the curb appeal of your property if your roof can be seen from the street. Furthermore, you can't simply apply silicone coatings over one another, which makes the high durability of silicone coatings a potential fault. You'll have to remove the old coating first, which can be time-consuming and difficult to do.


Finally, roof coatings that are made out of polyurethane provide a highly durable barrier to your roof. These types of coatings are designed to physically prevent damage from occurring to your underlying roofing materials. As such, they are well-suited for commercial roofs that have people walking on them constantly as they can help protect the structural integrity of your roof. They are also well-suited for residential roofs in storm-prone areas as they can help reduce damage from falling debris.

However, polyurethane roof coatings are materially more expensive than acrylic or silicone coatings, which can quickly become a problem for larger roofs that require more material to adequately coat.

Talk to roofing contractors in your area, such as Troyer  Roofing & Construction, if you aren't sure which roof coating is best for your property.