Roof Coating FAQ: Everything You Need to Know

man painting green coating on roof

Roof coatings offer a number of benefits to homeowners when installed properly. However, each roof has a different pitch, size, and system, which will determine the specific price. Learn more about the different roof coating options, various costs, advantages, and more.

We answer...


How much do roof coatings cost?

Roof coatings cost between $1,000 - $2,500 for a professional installation.

One gallon of roof coating material costs around $25 per gallon, and a gallon covers about 150 square feet. Each roof has a different pitch and size, which will determine the specific method and price of your application. The sealant product used will also affect the material cost and installation cost.

Type Material Cost per Square Foot Installation Cost per Square Foot
Acrylic $0.15 - $0.75 $0.50 - $1.00
Polyurethane $0.50 - $2.00 $1.50 - $3.00
Bitumen $0.75 - $1.50 $0.50 - $1.00
Silicone $1.00 - $1.50 $0.50 - $1.00
EPDM $1.50 - $2.50 $0.25 - $1.00

How does my roofing material affect the cost of coating?

roof slope can help determine price

Flat roof coating

Flat roof coatings cost between $0.15 to $2.00 per square foot for materials.

This cost will depend on what you choose (and an additional cost for labor). These prices are for coatings over a pre-existing roof system, such as rubber and metal roofs.

Pitched and sloped roof coatings

Coatings are not necessarily recommended for these systems because most pitched roofs have asphalt shingles or tiles.

However, there are exceptions and considerations when dealing with certain roofs.

Metal

Metal roof coatings typically cost between $2 - $4.

Coating a metal roof costs slightly more than coating other pitched roofing systems because they require multiple layers. Metal roofs on residential homes can use an elastomeric coating to resist corrosion and to extend the life of the roof.

Asphalt Roll

Bitumen sealants cost between $15 - $20 per gallon.

These sealants can be used for small leaks and tear repairs on asphalt-rolled roofs. Repair fabrics can be used alongside bitumen sealants for a proper repair.

Asphalt Shingles

Damaged shingles should be repaired or replaced rather than coated to provide the best long-term solution.

Bitumen and elastomeric sealants can be used around flashings, vents, and skylights on asphalt roofs, but they should almost never be used to coat the entire roof.

However, if you’re set on coating your shingles, there are a few options:

  • Envirosafe shingle roof coating comes in a variety of colors and is backed by a 10-year warranty. Envirosafe runs about $230 per 5-gallons.
  • Armor shingle roof coating is a breathable, waterproof sealant that is clear and colorless. Armor coating runs about $380 per 5 gallons.

KEEP READING: 


Why do homeowners choose to install a roof coating?

Roof coatings can be a necessary form of maintenance for a lot of roofing materials, as it can extend the life of the roof by up to 20 years. Roof coatings also can reduce utility costs by lowering temperatures and improving the curb appeal of your home.

There are a variety of roofing sealants available, each with their own pros and cons. Most assist with waterproofing, extending the life of the roof, and reducing utility bills. Corrosion and chemical protection sealants are also available.

Cool roofing properties

White roof coatings help reflect solar radiation, which reduces cooling costs by significantly dropping the internal temperature of the home. Acrylic, silicone, EPDM, and polyurethane all come in white options; however, silicone will lose its reflective abilities. Sealing a previously installed roofing membrane will reduce the cost to about $1.00 per square foot.

Waterproofing

Roof coatings will aid in protecting your roof from leaks and moisture damage. They are not a cure-all, but they are greatly beneficial. Silicone and polyurethane withstand ponding water better than other sealant options. The best coating for your roof will depend on its material, the climate you’re in, and the roof’s pitch.

Extend roof life

All roof coatings claim to extend the life of a roof, and they do, to some extent. But silicone and polyurethane offer the best protection. They cost almost twice as much as other options, but if sealed properly, they can extend the life of your roof by 10 to 20 years.

Resist corrosion

Silicone, acrylic, polyurethane, and EPDM are all highly resistant to corrosion. Coatings that help prevent corrosion are a priority for homes with metal roofs near saltwater.

Roof coatings are a great option to protect your roof on a budget. Coatings are much cheaper than a complete tear-off and replacement. In addition, coatings can be applied over two layers of roofing material without compromising local building codes.
 

Find an experienced roofing contractor


What are the different types of roof coatings available?

Acrylic

Acrylic is the most affordable and popular elastomeric coating. While cheaper, it does have a higher failure rate than any other type of coating and will need another coat every ten years or so. Acrylic coatings are great for DIY projects and short-term sealing needs.

Polyurethane

Polyurethane requires a base primer and two additional coats. It’s a new sealant on the market and has the best insulating properties while also being the most durable of the five sealants listed.

Bitumen

Bitumen is an asphalt-based sealant primarily used around flashing, skylights, and chimneys on asphalt shingle roofs. Bitumen is not used as a complete roof coating but can be used by itself on built-up roofs or modified bitumen roofs.

Silicone

Silicone provides both excellent durability and long-lasting weatherproofing. Silicone often doesn’t require a primer, but it does lose its UV rate faster than other types of roof coatings.

EPDM

Liquid EPDM coatings create a monolithic roofing system as opposed to sheeted options that leave seams in the roof. EPDM can be used on almost any roofing system so long as the right primer is applied. EPDM is a thicker coating than most and costs about twice as much.


Get more answers to your roofing questions: 


How can I prepare my roof for a coating application?

Roof coatings and sealants won’t properly adhere to a roof if it’s covered in debris and dirty.

Without proper adhesion, the coating won’t be able to provide any of its benefits.

Most sealants suggest power washing the roof prior to application. At the very least, brush off pine needles, leaves, dirt, and other organic matter before the coating is applied. Keeping the roof clean helps to extend the life of the roof, plus it helps the coating reflect more sunlight.

Find an experienced roofing contractor

Hometown Roofing Contractors pairs homeowners with experienced roofing contractors. Customers can find licensed roofers, request quotes from different companies to find the best rate available, and see how other customers reviewed their experience.