Advantages and Disadvantages of Roof Coatings

Advantages and Disadvantages of Roof Coatings

Maintaining your roof is an important part of property ownership for both homeowners and commercial real estate investors. Properties with flat, low-slope, or metal roofs can see their roof system last several decades if properly maintained.

A great way to maintain your roof and extend its life another 10+ years is by applying a coating over your existing roof. A roof coating is a great way to protect your flat, low-slope, or metal roof from water, UV rays, and storm damage.

Types of roof coatings

  • Silicone – silicone coatings are applied over the entire surface to create a single membrane over your roof. Silicone coatings can be applied over EPDM, TPO, PVC, Modified Bitumen, and standing seam metal roofs. Sol Vista uses Gaco products (among others) for our Denver, CO silicone roof coatings.
  • Acrylic – acrylic coatings are highly adhesive to your flat, low-slope, or metal roof. Compared to silicone, acrylic coatings shed dirt slightly better but are not as good at withstanding ponding water for prolonged periods. We primarily use Tremco for Denver, CO acrylic roof coatings.
Denver Metal Roof Coating
Denver Metal Roof Coating

Advantages of roof coatings

  • Ponding water – silicone coatings can withstand permanent ponding water which can remove concerns about potential for roof leaks.
  • Sun reflectiveness – your roof coating can greatly improve the reflectiveness of your roof, which can keep your property cooler in the heat of summer. Because the coating will reflect the sun’s harsh UV rays, the UV rays do not cause cracking or shrinking in the coating surface like they can in other roof materials.
  • Cost effectiveness – a properly installed roof coating can extend your roof’s life by 10+ years, but costs much less than a roof replacement (sometimes half as much!).
  • Smooth surface – your roof coating creates a smooth roof surface that offers great resistance to mold, mildew, and staining.
  • Energy savings – because of the increased reflectiveness, your property will need less air conditioning during the summer. The National Roofing Contractor’s Association (NRCA) and Oak Ridge National Laboratory created a roof savings calculator that estimates a 100,000 square foot roof could save up to $5,000 per year after a new roof coating. Also, a roof coating can earn your property 7 points towards LEED certification.
  • Flexible uses – coatings can be applied to small homes or large commercial buildings alike. A Denver, CO roof coating can be applied over the entire roof, or just a portion of the roof where water ponding occurs.

Disadvantages of roof coatings

  • Dirt – silicone roof coatings can hold dirt more than other roof types or coatings. However, acrylic coatings can shed dirt.
  • Ponding water – acrylic coatings are not able to be applied in areas of ponding water. However, silicone roof coatings CAN be used in areas with permanent ponding water with no loss of material integrity.
  • Reflectiveness is not permanent – silicone and acrylic coatings can lose some of their reflectiveness over long periods of time. Newly applied coats can regain the original reflectiveness.


Are you wondering if a roof coating might be the right solution for your commercial property or for your home? As a top Denver, CO roof coating contractor, we can assess your roof and provide our opinion on whether a coating would be a good option. Contact our team today to get started.