Best Use Cases for Silicone Roof Coatings

By Karen L Edwards 10-08-2020
QUICK SHARE
Tag Icon

Silicone roof coatings are known for their ability to provide excellent UV, water, and weathering resistance. This can make them a great choice for many low-slope roofs.

Here's a look at the strengths of silicone roof coatings and the use cases they're best suited for.

The Benefits of Silicone Roof Coatings

Silicones are high-performing polymers that can be found in many consumer products, paints, and coatings. Silicone-based roof coatings are a popular choice for low-slope roofs because they:

  • Are stable at a wide range of temperatures
  • Help protect against leaks caused by ponding water
  • Provide resistance to biological growth like algae and mold
  • Adhere well to many different substrates
  • Can provide a reflective coating if white or light colors are selected

Types of Silicone Roof Coatings

Silicone roof coatings are available in a few different formulations, including formulations with high solids.

High solids coatings have fewer solvents in their formulation, meaning the product will experience less evaporation during installation. It might be slightly more expensive than other formulations, but because of the high solid formulation, you'll probably use less product overall to achieve your desired dry mil thickness.

Solvent-based silicone coatings may be desirable because the incorporation of solvent in the formulation can result in faster drying times than water-based coatings. They can also be stored and applied at lower temperatures without risk of freezing. However, the solvents are highly volatile, so care must be taken to keep vapors away from sparks or flames to avoid combustion. Solvents can also be odorous, so additional steps may be required to ensure the safety of workers and building occupants. it is important to close building air intakes during installation.

Use Cases for Silicone Roof Coatings

High Solids Coatings

High solids coatings may be a suitable choice for low-slope roofs in high-moisture areas. The coating will perform well even in roof areas that are subject to ponding water.

High solids silicone coatings can also be installed with minimal disruption to building occupants. With low VOC content, they could be an ideal choice for high-occupancy buildings like healthcare facilities, nursing care facilities, daycare centers, and schools.

High solids silicones can be used over many types of existing roofs, including metal, structural concrete, single-ply membranes, and asphalt roofs. They are also a good fit for installing over polyurethane foam on new or existing roofs.

Solvent-Based Coatings

Solvent-based silicone coatings also perform well in areas where high moisture and humidity are present. The evaporation rate of the solvents is not affected by the amount of moisture in the air.

Solvent-based coatings are a versatile option because they can be installed in temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 °C) to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.33 °C). They also enable flexibility in their application method, allowing for use of a brush, roller, or sprayer.

When to Consider Other Coating Types

Keep in mind that silicone coatings, whether solvent-based or high solids, form a slick surface that might not be suitable for roofs with high foot traffic. They do not resist dirt pickup as well as other types of coatings and may require cleaning to maintain reflective properties.

If you are unsure which type of roof coating will be the right fit for your roofing project, GAF can point you in the right direction. Or, you can learn more about the roof coating options available to you.

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
LATEST UPDATES
Ventilation is defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as "the exchange of indoor and outdoor air." This sounds simple enough, but if your home's attic is not properly ventilated, excess heat and moisture cannot escape and can lead to a plethora of concerns for your home, your roof, and your wallet.
You can change the world by helping your neighbor, and the folks at JF Lopez Roofing are living proof. In partnership with the GAF Habitat for Humanity Contractor program, the company — based in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin — pledged what it calls the Legacy 100: the goal of installing 100 roofs on Habitat for Humanity homes over 10 years. With roof number 55 completed by the close of 2022 and more slated for 2023, these roofing heroes are already more than halfway there.
Think that your roof doesn't need protection against hail? Think again. Severe hail events are increasing in geographic footprint and are no longer just in hail alley. The geographic region that experiences 1 inch or larger hailstones has expanded to be nearly two-thirds of the United States. Nearly 10 percent more U.S. properties, more than 6.8 million, were affected by hail in 2021 than in 2020. Coinciding with the increase in properties affected by a damaging hail event in 2021, there was also an increase in insurance claims, which rose to $16.5 billion from $14.2 billion in 2020.
To get a firsthand account of what it's like to be a roofer, GAF spoke with Trenton Wisecup, president of Arrow Roofing Services in Michigan, and David Laurain, Arrow Roofing's vice president, to learn about their experiences in the roofing industry.
Historically, commercial skylights have gotten a bad rap. "The old joke was: 'if it's not leaking now, it will be soon,'" says Brian Grohe, a 13-year vet of the skylight industry and a commercial sales manager at industry leader VELUX. Fortunately, technology has changed that old tune for the better, turning commercial skylights into a golden opportunity for roofing contractors.
Around the globe, excess heat collects in urban areas and can contribute to increased heat-related death and illness, diminished quality of life, and reduced economic opportunities. Such areas are known as "urban heat islands." Fortunately, cooling strategies are now available and being used in initiatives like the GAF Cool Community project to help mitigate urban heat island effects. Such cooling strategies are supported by products such as such as GAF StreetBond® pavement coatings with Invisible Shade™ — named by TIME magazine as one of its Best Inventions of 2022.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.