‍Roof coatings play a crucial role in protecting commercial buildings from the elements and extending the lifespan of the roof. But what exactly is roof coating, and how does it differ from roof paint? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of roof coatings, their benefits, and the application process. Whether you are a facility manager or a homeowner, understanding roof coatings can help you make informed decisions to maintain the integrity of your roof.

Understanding Roof Coatings

Roof coatings are specialised layers of materials, such as acrylic or silicone, that are applied to an existing roof to provide an extra level of protection. Unlike roof paint, which focuses primarily on changing the colour of the roof, roof coatings are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions, temperature fluctuations, and UV exposure. They serve as a durable shield against the elements and can significantly extend the life of a roof.

Types of Roof Coatings

There are several types of roof coatings available, each with its own unique properties and applications. The most common types include: Title:  What is Roof Coating: A Comprehensive Overview | Newcastle Roofers Meta-description: What is Roof Coating Description: Different types of roof coating
    • Acrylic Coatings: Acrylic coatings are widely used due to their ease of application and cost-effectiveness. They provide excellent resistance to UV radiation and hail damage, and they can reduce surface temperature when exposed to direct sunlight. Acrylic coatings are compatible with various roof membrane surfaces, making them a versatile choice.
    • Silicone Coatings: Silicone coatings offer exceptional durability and weather resistance. They are 100% waterproof and can withstand long-term exposure to ponding water. Silicone coatings have excellent UV protection and are available in a range of colours. However, they can be more expensive than other options and may lose reflectivity over time.
    • Polyurethane Coatings: Polyurethane coatings are often used on sprayed-in-place foam roofs but can also be applied to other roof membranes. They provide high impact resistance and can withstand foot traffic. Polyurethane coatings come in two types: aromatic and aliphatic. Aromatic coatings are durable but offer limited UV resistance, while aliphatic coatings are UV stable and retain colour for longer periods.
    • Asphaltic Rubber Membrane Systems: These systems utilise a combination of rubber and emulsified asphalt to create a seamless, fully adhered membrane. They are applied as a fluid and provide instant waterproofing and weatherproofing capabilities. Asphaltic rubber membrane systems are ideal for cold-process applications and can extend the service life of existing roofs.

Benefits of Roof Coatings

Roof coatings offer a range of benefits that make them a wise investment for both commercial and residential properties. Some of the key advantages include:
    • Increased Roof Lifespan: A well-applied roof coating can add several years to the life of a roof, saving you money on premature roof replacement.
    • Energy Efficiency: Many roof coatings have reflective properties that reduce heat absorption, keeping the building cooler and reducing energy consumption.
    • Waterproofing and Leak Prevention: Roof coatings create a seamless barrier that prevents water infiltration and protects against leaks, even in areas prone to ponding water.
    • Weather Resistance: Roof coatings provide a protective layer against UV radiation, hail damage, and extreme weather conditions, helping to maintain the integrity of the roof.
    • Cost-Effective: Compared to roof replacement, roof coatings are a more affordable option. They require less labour and materials, resulting in cost savings.

Roof Coatings vs. Roof Paint

Title: What is Roof Coating: A Comprehensive Overview | Newcastle Roofers Meta-description: What is Roof Coating Description: Side by side comparison of roof coating vs roof paint Roof paint is primarily used to change the colour of the roof and has minimal functional benefits. It is applied thinly and does not provide the same level of protection as roof coatings. Roof paint does not increase the lifespan of the roof or provide significant energy efficiency benefits. It requires regular reapplication and is prone to cracking and peeling over time. On the other hand, roof coatings are specifically formulated to protect the roof from the elements and extend its lifespan. They are thicker than paint and designed to withstand temperature fluctuations, UV exposure, and other external stresses. Roof coatings create a durable, flexible seal that can bridge small cracks and seams in the roof, providing superior waterproofing and weather resistance.

The Application Process

Roof Inspection and Repair

Before applying a roof coating, a thorough inspection of the roof should be conducted to identify any existing damage or defects. It is crucial to address these issues before applying the coating to ensure a solid foundation. Common repairs may include fixing leaks, replacing damaged materials, and reinforcing weak areas.

Roof Cleaning

To ensure proper adhesion, the roof surface must be clean and free of debris, dirt, and contaminants. Pressure washing is often used to remove any residue effectively. Cleaning agents may be required to remove stubborn stains or substances that cannot be removed by pressure washing alone.

Primer Application

A coat of primer should be applied to the roof before the actual coating to enhance adhesion. The primer creates a bond between the roof surface and the coating, ensuring a strong and long-lasting seal. The type of primer used will depend on the specific roof material and the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Roof Coating Application

Once the primer has dried, the roof coating can be applied. The coating should be applied evenly and at the recommended thickness, usually multiple coats are required. The number of coats and the thickness will depend on the specific product and the climate in the region. It is essential to allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next coat.

Additional Considerations

During the application process, it is crucial to consider factors such as weather conditions and temperature. Roof coatings should not be applied in freezing temperatures or when precipitation is expected within a specified period. Ideal curing occurs in warm weather and low humidity conditions. Following the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations is essential to achieve the desired results.


Roof coatings offer a reliable and cost-effective solution for protecting and extending the life of your roof. Unlike roof paint, which focuses solely on aesthetics, roof coatings provide superior durability, waterproofing, and energy efficiency benefits. By understanding the different types of roof coatings and following proper application procedures, you can ensure that your roof remains in optimal condition for years to come. Whether you are a facility manager or a homeowner, investing in a quality roof coating can provide peace of mind and long-term savings. Remember, when considering roof coatings, consult with a professional roofing contractor to assess your specific needs and recommend the most suitable product for your roof type and climate. With proper maintenance and regular inspections, your roof coating can provide reliable protection against the elements and help you avoid costly repairs or premature roof replacement. For more information or assistance with roof coating solutions, feel free to contact Newcastle Roofers, your trusted source for roofing services in Newcastle, Australia. We connect you with reputable companies specialising in roof repair, metal roofing, roof restoration, and guttering. Protect your investment and ensure the longevity of your roof with quality roof coatings.