Elastomeric Commercial Roof Coatings - Types and Applications

Elastomeric Commercial Roof Coatings: Types and Applications

Rufus WestRoof Maintenance, Silicone Roof Coatings


Roof coatings are a great way to renew your commercial roof systems while saving time and money for your business. When meeting with a contractor, it’s important to review all of your options before making a decision. There are several types of roof coatings, and each have their own characteristics to help your facility.

At West Roofing Systems, we’ve been restoring commercial roof systems to working order while saving facility owners and managers thousands of dollars in repairs and roof replacements.

Read More: Pros and Cons to Roof Coatings


Metal Roof RestorationWhat are Commercial Roof Coatings?

Many facility owners choose to restore their commercial roofs rather than replace them when the warranty comes to expire. This is a smart choice that can save them money, create energy savings and renew their warranty coverage.

The best way to find out if your facility is eligible for a roof coating is to schedule for a contractor to evaluate your existing roof system. They will be able to recommend the best solution for your facility needs.




Silicone roof coating is elastomeric and made of silicone polymers. It’s known for the great weatherability and UV resistance to protect the roof system underneath. The reflective properties of the bright white silicone contribute to the ‘Cool Roof’ name and provide energy savings for the facility.

The silicone material is preferred for areas with drastic seasonal changes because the elasticity allows normal expansion and contraction with the building structure.


Recommended for:

Silicone coating is good with ponding water, which is why it’s recommended for low slope and flat commercial roof systems. Contractors will use silicone as a top coat for urethane coatings and SPF Roofing installation.

Read More: Silicone Restoration Membrane: Installation and Performance




Acrylic roof coating is a water-based coating made with acrylic resin. If you are looking for a custom color roof coating, acrylic gives you that ability. The elastomeric qualities expand and contract with the roof while forming a seamless seal.

Since the coating is water-based, it has a narrow temperature window for the application (50º F or higher) and slow cure time (7 days) can make it difficult to schedule your project.

See More: Silicone Vs. Acrylic Commercial Roof Coatings [Infographic]


Recommended for:

Acrylic coating doesn’t hold up well to ponding water. Therefore it’s suitable for pitched metal and other steep slope roofing that allows water to run off. Application of acrylic coating on textured surfaces, such as built-up roofing, comes out smooth and clean.




Urethane roof coating is a solvent-based coating that is becoming more popular on the roofing market. There are two types of urethane roof coatings: aromatic and aliphatic. These coatings have the excellent tensile strength to protect high-stress areas (walkways, penetrations, flashings, etc.)


Recommended for:

Urethane roof coatings are more resistant to ponding water that acrylic systems are making it good for flat or low-slope roofing. The poor UV resistance makes urethane better as a base coat with a silicone topcoat added for protection.




Butyl roof coating is solvent-based and serves as an excellent vapor barrier. The superior elongation and high tensile strength make it very durable without cracking. The high volatile organic content is not environmentally friendly and means that it can’t be used in low VOC states.

See More: Volatile Organic Compounds Regulations


Recommended for:

Butyl is recommended to be used over SPF Roofing in cold storage applications. The resistance to UV rays and ponding water makes it a good choice for flat roof repair.


Now that you know the basics about the most popular roof coating types, you are ready to get your commercial roof restored! Commercial roof restoration is a great way to restore your weatherability, building protection and warranty.

Still not sure if your building needs a roof coating? Check out our eBook Should You Repair, Restore or Replace Your Computer Roof? to learn more about your roofing options.

Repair, Replace

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Rufus West