ROOF COATINGS

Are Roof Coatings Only for Commercial Buildings?

Commercial buildings often get roof coatings applied to them. These coatings provide benefits like resistance to abrasion, UV light reflectivity, additional water resistance, and more. They are especially popular on flat-roofed buildings that would otherwise wear out quickly under typical use.

Roof sealant is also popular on commercial buildings. Flat roofing materials are more likely to spring leaks than shingles, and even worse, it can be all but impossible to tell just where a leak is coming from. Roof sealant can stop the leak and keep the roof useful until it is time to redo the entire thing.

Because these things are mostly of benefit to commercial roofs, homeowners often don't realize that there are also coatings for residential roofs. In residential usage, however, the purpose of the coatings is usually different.

One of the most popular types of residential roof coatings is used to reduce the amount of heat that gets in from outside. As you can expect, these are big hits in subtropical climates! However, they can also be useful here in Halifax, where the summer sun can make a house very hot if there is full exposure. Here, putting an anti-UV coating on the roof can reduce or even eliminate the need for air conditioning.

Coatings that are meant to stop leaks often aren't recommended for residential roofing because it's easier to find and properly fix them. Even so, the coatings can extend the life of metal roofs, so they should be kept in mind if you want to stop leaks while you save up for a replacement.

Most residential homes do not need the anti-abrasion coating that commercial roofs do. That's because commercial roofs are often walked on by a variety of maintenance crews. These crews work on refrigeration units, air conditioning units, and other equipment that is often put on the roofs of commercial buildings. Residential roofs don't have these things, so they don't have the foot traffic that would make a special anti-abrasion coating necessary.

Roof insulation is one product that both commercial and residential roofs can use. It helps prevent heat transfer from the roof, so it can lower your energy bills even if your house or building already has a normal amount of insulation on the inside of the attic or ceiling. Roof insulation is typically installed under the visible roofing layer, so it is applied as part of a re roofing job.

As you can see, some coatings do cross over between commercial and residential roofs. Therefore, it's a good idea to ask your roofer about them if you want to improve your roof's performance.