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Commercial Metal Roof Coatings: How Do They Work?

Commercial Metal Roof Coatings: How Do They Work?



Roofs; we don’t think about them much, but they’re easily one of the most important parts of every building. They keep Mother Nature out and protect interiors from rain, snow, shine, pests, and more.

One time we do think about roofs is when we need to replace them. Replacement is one thing home and business owners dread. It’s expensive, time-consuming, and obstreperous. Well, what if we told you there’s a way to protect your roof and delay roof replacement by decades?

Roof coatings are inexpensive, quick, and will reduce maintenance costs and boost the life of your roof dramatically. If you’re new to coatings and want to learn more about them and how they can benefit your commercial facility, read on! We go over commercial metal roof coatings, how do they work, and much more below.

What Are Roof Coatings?

A commercial roof coating, also known as a roof covering, is a thick formula that contains high-quality resins. This formula is spread evenly on top of an existing roofing system. You can think of roof coatings like the Teflon coating on your cookware or the sealants used on hardwood floors—they provide a layer of protection that keeps the material underneath safe from dents, scratching, and other forms of damage.

How Do They Work? What Do They Do?

Commercial metal roof coatings: how do they work? During a roof coating application, roofers will fix any minor issues with your roof. Then, they’ll power wash it, prime it, and finally use a spray, roller, or brush to apply the coating. Coverage rates range from 1 to 2.5 gallons per square, which is 100 square feet.

So, what does this new coat do? A few things, actually! Coatings create a seamless membrane that resists moisture, which means no leaks and minimal ponding. Coatings also reflect the sun’s rays. This has two benefits; first, it prevents the color of your metal roof from discoloring or fading; and second, it keeps your roof cool. The latter ensures that your building will stay at a manageable temperature without heating or cooling.

Reasons To Get a Commercial Roof Coating

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, there are several other reasons that make commercial roof coatings an appealing repair option. Coatings are a fantastic option for commercial buildings that are:

  • On the younger side
  • Have only been minimally or moderately damaged

During application, roofers will fix the existing problems with your roof, and the coating will prevent further damage and extend the life of your roof considerably. In most cases, a coating will dramatically lower the need for maintenance and can tack 10 or more years onto your roof’s life.

Commercial roof coatings are inexpensive thanks to the minimal labor and materials involved, and the application is quick and nondisruptive, which can’t be said for re-roofing and roof replacement. Coatings are also eco-friendly because they don’t involve sending old roofing materials to a landfill and because they minimize your building’s energy usage.

What Kind of Coatings Are There?

Not all commercial roof coatings are the same. These coatings come in various types, each with its own pros and cons. To help you choose the best coating for your metal roof, here’s a brief overview of the most common commercial coatings.


Elastomeric coatings are made from acrylic, titanium dioxide pigments, and other materials. These coatings are durable and highly moisture resistant. They’re one of the most inexpensive and easiest to apply of all the coatings.


Acrylic coatings are made from 100% acrylic and contain multiple forms of acrylic powder. They’re resistant to radiation and to hail.


Also known as cutback coating, this coating is durable and great for large commercial roofs. However, since it contains asbestos, roofers need to be careful during application to ensure it doesn’t harm the base roof materials.


Silicone, or rubber coating, is moisture-resistant, UV-resistant, and temperature-resistant. It doesn’t require a primer to apply. The main downsides are that it’s difficult to clean and tears easily.

Asphalt Emulsion

This is a water-based coating containing a blend of clay and fibers. Asphalt emulsion coatings are one of the easiest and quickest to apply and cost less as a result.


Originally intended for use with sprayed-in-place roofs, this coating is now used for all sorts of roofs, including commercial metal roofs. Polyurethane coatings are impact-resistant, UV-resistant, and dirt-resistant, making them ideal for flat roofs that see heavy foot traffic.

The best coating for your roof depends on several factors, including the materials, size, and slope of your roof as well as the weather and climate where your building is located. A coating specialist can inspect your roof and determine which coating options will suit your roof and your commercial facility’s specific needs.

How Do You Prepare the Roof for Coating?

You don’t have to do much at all. Your roofer will handle this step for you. Prior to installation, your roof needs to be repaired and thoroughly cleaned with a power washer. Once the roof dries, a primer is applied, and once the primer dries, the seams, fasteners, and all protrusions are sealed. Then, the topcoat goes on. It’s a quick, effective, and minimally disruptive process.

What Happens When a Coating Wears Off?

Coatings don’t last forever. What do you do when yours wears off? Most coatings last 10 to 15 years on average. Once that time is up, you don’t have to remove the coating or replace your roof; you can spray a new coat on top of the old coat to get all the same benefits the initial coating provided.

Your roof needs to be cleaned prior to application, but no primer is required the second time around. This second coat will extend your roof’s life by another 10 to 15 years, depending on the thickness of the new coat.

If you’re in need of commercial metal roof repair, you’re in the right place. Armour Roof Co. can handle all your commercial metal roof repair, replacement, and coating needs. We have years of experience in the business, and, more importantly, we’re a friendly and responsive team that will be with you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule repairs.

Commercial Metal Roof Coatings: How Do They Work?


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