Commercial Roof Coatings Types

“What commercial roof coatings types are available to me?” A question many business owners or site managers have when faced with a roof maintenance issue. You want to be sure what you’re being offered is the best solution for your building. Conflicting advice from different suppliers and contractors however is common. Whatever your situation is, we’re here to explain roof coatings types in layman’s terms. There might be a bit of science thrown in, but we’ll keep this as brief as possible.

Silicone Roof Coatings

silicone roof coatings
We use silicone based roof coating products such as the above on many of our projects.

Silicone roof coatings have many advantages. Primarily cost, performance and lifespan. Strong UV light resistance means they take much longer to breakdown. This is due to their chemical composition. Silicone roof coatings retain flexibility and water resistance for their full guaranteed lifespan. Guarantees can be up to 25 years. However, even in challenging weather conditions many modern silicone based roof coatings will last over 30 years.


Sustainability is a key factor in more roof restoration projects than ever. Silicone coatings are a cost-effective solution to this. They bring with them a wide range of environmental benefits. Silicone roof coatings are solvent-free, contain a high solid content and little or no amounts of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The fact that silicone coatings prolong the lifespan of a roof system is another valid sustainability attribute.

Silicone Products

Silicone roof coating products include Delcote and Giromax (formerly Girosil), by HD Sharman and Giromax® Technology respectively, both proud manufacturing partners of D&D Coatings. Other manufacturers produce similar products. However Delcote and Girosil are usually our preferred choices.

Polyurethane Roof Coatings

polyurethane roof coatings
Polyurethane roof coatings are highly reflective, strong, UV resistant and in most cases quite aesthetically pleasing.

Polyurethane roof coatings can be used to coat a range of membranes. They are the most robust and UV stable of all commercial roof coatings types and well able to withstand impact from high winds, prolonged sunlight and foot-traffic. Originally developed for spray application on foam roofs, polyurethane roof coatings are most popular on flat roofing systems today. Polyurethane roof coatings consist of two main components, aromatic and aliphatic.

  • Aromatic polyurethane; is typically used as the base-coat, it has excellent adhesion on most conventional commercial roofing substrates, its durable and long lasting when combined with a topcoat.
  • Aliphatic polyurethane; forms the topcoat in polyurethane roof coatings, its highly-reflective, provides excellent UV protection, dirt resistance, holds colour for longer, flexible expansion and contraction, and superior moisture resistance.

Acrylic Roof Coatings

white industrial roof

Acrylic coatings provide outstanding UV resistance and were originally designed for this purpose. Manufactured with 100 percent acrylic these water based protective coatings can be applied in single or multiple coats. Reflectivity and surface temperature reduction is a major feature. They can even reduce energy costs. Acrylic coatings also tend to be cheaper and easier to work with compared to other coating systems.

However there are some drawbacks. Cure times can be an issue. Cold weather, wet conditions and/or high humidity will hinder and even prevent curing. Rain will cause run-off if applied during or immediately prior to precipitation. To counteract these issues modern acrylic coatings now offer rapid curing times.

Asphalt Rubber Membrane and EPDM Flat Roof Coatings

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber) is a synthetic rubber is used mostly in roof applications. EPDM are perfect for flat roof repair and offer long lasting protection against leaks. EPDM has generally taken over from more traditional flat roofing materials such as asphalt, felt and hot melt bitumen.

EPDM roofing has many advantages. However certain drawbacks need to be considered before using it for your roof. EPDM can be easy to damage, suffers from shrinkage and leaks around pipes and vents when not properly installed.

Fluid-applied asphalt rubber membrane roof coatings form a seamless single large block that is extremely durable. It provides instant waterproofing and weatherproofing for the substrate. The membrane also has high resistance to UV radiation. Asphalt rubber membrane roof coatings offer an economical repair method for flat concrete roofs or plaza decks.

Asphalt is one of the cheaper commercial roof coatings types. Its a durable easy to install roofing material able to form the shape of any roof around vents and ducting. On the negative side its heavy, absorbs heat and over time cracks and leaks. 

Other Types of Roof Coatings

There are many other roof coating types made from combinations of different resins. These include butyl resins, styrene-acrylics, fluoropolymer, polyuria, polyester, PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate), STPE (silyl terminated polyether) and SEBS (styrene-ethylene butylene-styrene).

Butyl Resins

Butyl resins are highly adhesive solvent based coatings. They provide a long lasting weather resistant seal for the substrate. The sealant cures to a soft, malleable consistency. It provides excellent adhesion to most common construction surfaces. Due to its non-drying nature its perfectly suited to treating cladding sheet joints in roofing where it maintains a reliable weatherproof seal.


Styrene-acrylic polymers offer excellent hydrophobic characteristics. This means they have excellent water resistant properties compared with all-acrylic polymers.  On the downside styrene-acrylics polymers can suffer from yellowing caused by exposure to direct sunlight.


A fluoropolymer is a fluorocarbon based polymer with strong carbon-fluoride bonding. Fluoropolymer coatings are a blend of high-performance resins and fluoropolymer lubricants. The final product produces a smooth, hard, slick coating. They offer exceptional UV protection, colour retention, corrosion and chemical resistance.

PMMA (Polymethyl methacrylate)

PMMA is a solvent free coating rapid-curing liquid applied membrane system. Usually applied in a 2-component configuration PMMA is a fast reactive waterproofing resin coating system. PMMA roof coatings provide outstanding waterproofing for large areas. Curing times are typically 20 minutes. PMMA will adhere to most surfaces, its tough yet flexible and can be applied in cold weather conditions. There is no need for trims or flashings as PMMA is self terminating. This saves time and money.

PUMA (Polyurethane methacrylate)

PUMA is a cold-applied system ideal for providing rapid curing and waterproofing, in as little as 30 minutes. They are colour stable, acrylic based chemically resistant coatings. Typically used on flat roof refurbishment, concrete decks and car parks, PUMA is designed to have strong adhesion and supreme abrasion resistance. This waterproofing system is also ideal for split-slab paver systems, planters and vegetated roof structures. Installation can be carried out in sub-zero conditions. PUMA are not the cheapest systems but they do have a long lifespan of around 10 to 15 years.

Polyester Powder Coatings

Polyester powder coatings are applied by spray gun. Free-flowing dried powder is then electrostatically charged on contact with the substrate material. Steel roof sheets coated with polyester paint have a longer life-span, typically 20 years at least under normal conditions. They are a robust alternative to conventional paint coatings, especially when application speed is a factor. Polyester powder coatings are commonly used on profiled components such as steel cladding for commercial buildings, community centres and retail units. They form smooth, textured, metallic or pearlescent finishes for galvanized steel, mild steel, aluminium and other metallic materials.

Silyl Terminated Polyether

Silyl terminated polyether is solvent free, low in toxicity polymer that when combined with hardening agent provides excellent durability. Used to make coatings, sealants and adhesives, Silyl terminated polyethers offer excellent heat and cold resistance. Generally containing the base polymer, catalyst, filler, plasticizer and a variety of other additives they are often referred to as a hybrid or modified polymer.

Silyl terminated polyether are also known as silane modified polymers and silane terminated polymers. Other qualities include good adhesion to a wide range of substrate materials. SMPs are frequently used in cut edge corrosion treatments on steel roof systems and are ideal for this due to their low toxicity compared with polyurethanes, silicones and solvent-based products.

SEBS Roof Coatings

SEBS (Styrene Ethylene Butylene Styrene) is a solvent-based, elastomeric commercial roof coating. Its primary function is metal roof repair and restoration. SEBS is commonly used on warehouses, retail units, factories, agricultural buildings and other metal clad structures. SEBS roof coatings are more robust compared to other fluid applied coatings like acrylic or silicone-based systems.


When it comes to commercial roof coatings types its horses for courses. Whether you need a protective coating for a roof, wall cladding or car park deck there should be a coating in listed above on this page for you. It can be a challenging decision especially when you consider the cost of purchasing a coatings system. Its a decision you need to right first time or you risk wasting a lot of money.

However, rest assured we’re here to help! If you have any questions or would simply like to pass the decision over to an expert like ourselves then please get in touch today. Our team here at D&D Coatings can take on all the hard work for you. We work with coatings manufacturers and get the best prices. This means cost and time savings for you. And we are approved and accredited applicators too! Which means if we install a roof coating system for you, it comes with a guarantee of up to 25 years. Contact us today to find out more…

Further Reading

Seamsil Applicators across the UK & Ireland

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