roof coating system over an existing metal roof

Not Eligible for a Roof Coating System? – Here’s What To Do

Greg PalyaSilicone Roof Coatings

So, you’ve heard of the benefits of a silicone roof coating system but recently found out that you’re not eligible.

What’s the best option now?

The short answer is to install a spray polyurethane foam roofing system.


Because you can still avoid the complete tear-off, you’ll get a seamless membrane, it’ll be at least 1” thick so it will not leak, it will encapsulate all the penetrations, reduce your current energy bills, and give you a renewable roof.

Here’s an article about the benefits of a spray foam roofing system.

But perhaps you want more details about roof coating systems?

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • Why would a building owner want a roof coating system?
  • What makes a roof ineligible for a coating system?
  • What’s the next best option if you’re ineligible for a coating system?

And just so you’re aware, West Roofing Systems has been in the roof coating industry since 1979. We specialize in spray foam roofing, which uses roof coating to protect foam roofs from UV rays.

Every article written is reviewed and edited by a spray foam and coating expert with more than 30 years of experience.

Let’s get started.

Why would a building owner want a roof coating system?


This is simple, a coating system is the most cost-effective option to get a roof leak-free and under warranty.

The price of coatings has gone way up for numerous reasons (raw material shortage, labor shortage, gas prices, etc.) but they still should run you between $5 – $8 per square foot.

In mid-2021, prices were about half that.

Anyways, if you need a new roof right now, a coating system is the most cost-effective option.


A coating system only removes the wet and damaged areas of a roof before the installation process. Minimizing tear-off reduces cost.

Second, the coating is easy to install. It’s fluid-applied with a spray gun, or it can be manually rolled on. It’s very easy to install around pipes, drains, walls, etc.

Rubber sheets or metal panels need custom fit around pipes, drains, etc. This increases the labor hours for a project, increasing the cost.

Third, coating systems can get your roof under a new warranty. Usually, these are 10-20 years. The thickness of the coating determines the warranty length.

In most cases, for a 10-year-warranty, 20 mils of coating are installed. For a 20-year-warranty, 30 mils of coating are installed.

Now that you know why roof coating systems are very attractive, let’s get into why some roofs are ineligible for the system.

What makes a roof ineligible for a coating system? 


One of the problems with roof coating systems is that there’s strict eligibility.

Here are the three main points that determine eligibility:

  1. If the roof has seams, is the adhesion between them in good shape?
  2. Is 75% or more of the roof’s insulation dry?
  3. Has there been at least annual maintenance on the roof?

If there’s a “No” when asked these questions, the roof is ineligible.

Most roofs that qualify for a coating system are ones that initially received a 10-20-year warranty, had annual maintenance on them, had minor repairs fixed promptly, and are reaching the end of the warranty period.

So, what if your roof is ineligible, what’s the best option going forward?

What’s the next best option if you’re ineligible for a coating system?

spray foam roof on commercial building

Now that a coating system isn’t an option anymore, the next best option is a spray foam roof.

There are several advantages of a spray foam roof, including:

  • Minimal tear-off of the existing system
  • Easy to install
  • Reduces energy bill
  • It’s renewable
  • It’s sustainable
  • It’s seamless
  • Its closed-cell insulation

Maybe you don’t believe in a spray foam roof and instead would like to lean in a more traditional roofing system?

If you’re looking at installing a TPO system or metal roofing, please check out this blog post that shares the pros and cons of each system:

Single-Ply Vs. Metal Vs. Spray Polyurethane Foam Vs. Roof Coating Systems


Hopefully, you learned a little more than you used to know about silicone roof coating systems.

Here are some other posts you might find useful:

Here are some roof coating system case studies you might like to read:

  • Midview High School – Learn how a silicone roof coating system gets Midview High School to critical year 11.
  • Gorilla Glue – A silicone restoration membrane on a 25-acre distribution facility in Sharonville, Ohio.
download the silicone roof coating cheat sheet
About the Author

Greg Palya

Greg Palya is the Digital Content Manager of West Roofing Systems, Inc. He has a B.S. in Marketing from the University of Akron and an MBA in Marketing from Walsh University. When he's not trying to teach others about spray foam roofing and silicone roof coatings, you can find him on the basketball court or golf course.