Note: This is cleaning/treatment/restoration only. We do not offer roof repair services.
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What is Roof Coating: A Comprehensive Guide To Types of Roof Coatings

what is roof coating


When maintaining a building’s integrity, the roof plays a crucial role. Yet, many building owners overlook the importance of roof preservation. Enter the world of roof coatings – a solution that can extend the life of your roof and offer several other advantages. Let’s dive deeper and get to know about roof coatings.

Different Types of Roof Coatings

Type of Roof coatings is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The type of roofing material on your building determines the kind of coating it requires. Here’s a rundown:

  1. Acrylic Coatings: Acrylic roof coatings are water-based and cost-effective, most popular for commercial properties.
  2. Silicone Coatings: Silicone roof coatings are Ideal for areas with a lot of rainfall; they offer excellent water resistance.
  3. Polyurethane Coatings: Perfect for high-traffic roof areas due to their mechanical strength.
  4. Asphalt Coatings: Used mainly on asphalt roofs, they protect against UV rays and water.

Different coatings can help protect various roof types, including shingle, metal, and modified bitumen roofs.

Benefits of Roof Coatings

Roof coatings can help as a primary defense against environmental elements as the roof undergoes wear and tear. Coatings provide an additional layer of protection, offering multiple benefits:

  1. Extended Roof Life: A coating system can add years to the roof’s life, delaying a full replacement.
  2. Energy Efficiency: Many coatings reflect sunlight, reducing the building’s temperature and air-conditioning costs.
  3. Cost-Effective: While roof coatings vary, they are often cheaper than a complete roof replacement, offering a more affordable solution.
  4. Waterproofing: Roof coatings provide a seamless barrier, protecting the roof surface from water intrusion.
  5. Improved Aesthetics: Over time, roofs can become discolored or stained. A fresh coat can restore its original beauty.

Type of Roof and The Right Coating

Selecting the appropriate coating depends heavily on the roof type and its specific requirements:

  1. Metal Roofs: Given their propensity to rust, coatings designed for metal roofs often contain rust-inhibiting properties.
  2. Asphalt Roofs: As these roofs age, they lose the oils that keep them flexible. Asphalt-specific coatings can replenish these oils.
  3. Modified Bitumen and Single-Ply Roofs: These roofs benefit from UV-protection coatings, enhancing their lifespan.

The Application Process

Before applying a coating, the roof surface needs to be thoroughly cleaned. This ensures the removal of debris and other contaminants that might prevent proper adhesion. Roofing contractors evaluate the existing roof system and make necessary repairs before applying the coating. This makes the coating most effective, adhering seamlessly to the roof substrate.

Things to Consider

While roof coatings are designed to enhance and protect, they aren’t suitable for every situation. Before deciding, consider:

  1. Age of the Roof: On the brink of failure, Extremely old roofs may not benefit much from a coating.
  2. Roof’s Condition: Roofs with significant damage, like large areas of wet insulation, may first need extensive repairs.
  3. Maintenance Schedule: Even with a coating, regular roof checks are essential.

Final Thoughts

Roof coatings offer a protective shield, extending the life of a roof, improving its look, and increasing a building’s energy efficiency. Before jumping in, it’s vital to consult with roofing contractors who can assess the roof’s condition and recommend the best coating types. Whether you’re trying to defer the cost of a complete roof replacement or optimize your existing roof system, a coating might be your solution. In the vast world of roof systems, knowledge is the key – and now you’re equipped with what you need to know about roof coatings.

Cedar Shake Roof Cleaning in Des Moines Iowa
Cedar Shake Roof before & after cleaning

Meet Bruce

50 Years of Experience &
Over 2,000 Shake Roofs Cleaned

Bruce Sullivan has over 50 years of experience in maintaining, cleaning, and restoring cedar shake roofs. Making him one of the top authorities on cedar shake roofs in the US.

Watch the Cedar Shakes Cleaning Process in Action in this video

Play Video about Roof Cleaning How to Remove Moss, Lichen, Fungi from a Cedar Roof Sullivan Roof


What can I say? Bruce and Keith provided an exceptional service, and they are really nice guys too. Found out at the last minute they were in Minneapolis, and they fit me in for a cedar shake roof cleaning the next evening after their regular job was done. Even cleaned up my gutters, small fence, and small deck at no charge. The place looks outstanding! Highly recommended.

Mike Richards

I highly recommend this business. Due to the work performed we are going to get another 10-14 years out of our cedar shake roof. We were told by some roofing companies that the roof should be replaced in 2 years. I lucked out and found Sullivan Roof Cleaning while researching companies that perform this service, and was pleased to learn that the company does work outside of Iowa. If you need your cedar shakes cleaned, go with Sullivan Roof Cleaning.

Eric Oelrich, 
St Cloud, MN

Bruce did a great job cleaning the whole exterior of my house. The roof has new life! It looks practically brand new. All the mold and moss on the roof, on the gutters, under the eaves, completely gone. He exceeded all our expectations. When he tells you what he can do for your house, you can believe and trust him. Great guy, great service.

Stuart Malone
Kansas City, MO


Cedar shakes are organic. Though a resilient material. Being organic they need to be maintained. Over time, like any organic material that are subjected to weather elements, they reach a stage of deterioration. Like UV exposure, moisture and seasonal changes. Which results in moss, mold, mildew, lichen and brown rot fungi. These infestations need to be removed to further preserve the integrity of the cedar shake.
The proper way to clean a cedar shake roof is from a ladder. By spraying a special formulated solution onto the shakes and then rinsed with a garden hose pressure. Best done by a professional cedar shake roof cleaner. Not DIY recommended.
No. Pressure washer will require walking on the shakes, which will harm them, and even at its lowest setting will also damage the shakes.
On average, cedar shakes should be cleaned every 10 ten years. Subjective to the grade of the shakes and the amount of surrounding tree cover.
Avoiding walking on a cedar shake roof, other than for repairs.
Never seal a cedar shake roof. Cedar shakes need to breathe. They expand and contract in rain conditions. Seal will shorten the lifespan, to the point of premature replacement.
Staining has no real preserve value and can also harm the integrity of shakes, as stated, they need to be able to breathe. Also, if the shakes are not properly cleaned staining can seal the deteriorating infestation within the shakes.
Depending on the grade of the shakes and installation, and if maintained properly, 40 to 60 years.


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