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Silicone or Acrylic Roof Coating: Which Is Better for Me?

When it comes to your business, you try to minimize costs as much as possible to help keep your profits high. You can find these savings in a number of different places, such as finding better prices on goods, increasing efficiency in your day-to-day operations, and making smart staffing choices. However, most business owners don’t think about how their roofs could end up saving them money as well.

Most commercial properties are built with flat roofs, although this name is a little misleading. Because all roofs are slightly tilted to allow water to drain effectively, it’s usually more accurate to refer to these roofs as “low-slope,” with a pitch of less than 2/12, meaning it rises less than 2” in height for every 12” of horizontal distance.

These roofs are typically constructed from either a built-up bitumen material or with a single-ply membrane stretched across the surface. Depending on the construction, you can expect your roof to last between 15-40 years. However, your roof’s lifespan can be extended significantly when you apply a roof coating.

While roofs are built to withstand the punishing elements, including the harsh rays of the sun, a roof coating adds to the qualities that make a roof so durable. With the right roof coating, you can increase the strength of your roof while lowering your utility bills by reflecting sunlight away from your building. Here’s some more information to help you decide on the right roof coating for you.

Types of Roof Coating Material

When you work with a reputable roofing company like Modern Roof Co. you’ll have the choice between two different roof coating materials: acrylic and silicone. While the two materials are similar in how they’re applied, the different materials provide distinct differences in how they protect your roof, as well as different price points. Let’s look at some of those differences.

Acrylic Roof Coating

An acrylic roof coating may look like paint when it’s first applied. However, acrylic roof coatings contain a liquid polymer that, when it dries, forms a durable, waterproof plastic membrane that’s permanently adhered to your roof. And unlike paint, which forms a barrier around 3-5 mils thick, your acrylic coating will create a barrier that’s about 30 mils.

Acrylic coatings are available in a number of colors, allowing you to make your roof coating silver, white, or even clear. When you choose a light color, you’ll reflect more sunlight from your roof, making your building cheaper to keep cool. And because acrylic coatings resist dirt, your roof will stay looking cleaner longer.

Silicone Roof Coating

Silicone roof coatings are applied almost exactly like acrylic coatings. The main difference is the resulting product, which is much more like rubber than the hard plastic shell created by an acrylic. You’ll notice a number of advantages to this product, which help justify the higher cost:

  • More resistant to mold and algae growth
  • Water is less likely to pond on your roof
  • Less likely to crack from variations in your roof over time
  • Better UV resistance compared to acrylic
  • Higher durability rating

Just like with acrylic roof coating, silicone options are available in a range of colors. While most businesses choose to make their roof coating white or another light shade, you can select any color you’d like.

Which Roof Coating Should I Choose?

While there are a number of factors that go into choosing between an acrylic or silicone roof coating, the most significant factor is usually cost. Both will provide protection, but a silicone coating will usually hold up better over time in these categories:

hotel with commercial roof coating

Durability

While both acrylic and silicone coatings add to the durability of your roof, silicone is more likely to stand up over the long haul. Because it isn’t as hard as acrylic, it’s also slightly less brittle. Acrylic sealants will hold up well, but once a crack develops, you’ll need to repair it. With a silicone coating, you’re less likely to have cracks.

Sealing and Preventing Leaks

Both products work well at sealing existing leaks. Because they’re applied as a liquid, they can penetrate and fill small holes and cracks in the surface of your roof. But because silicone resists ponding, it usually provides superior waterproofing over time.

Energy Efficiency

Both types of roof coating will provide good UV resistance, although silicone is slightly more efficient. Both coatings will reduce your overall utility bill better than paint, which won’t withstand the sun and weather as well as a roof coating. What’s more, adding a light roof coating can contribute up to seven points towards LEED certification.

Your Roof Coating

When you’re deciding on a roof coating for your business, you can trust the experts at Modern Roof Co. to help you make the right choice. Contact us today to schedule your commercial roof inspection!

Learn more about our roof coating services.