Acrylic vs. Silicone: A Better Understanding

 

Understanding the differences between different roof coatings can be confusing. Today numerous liquid coating options exists, each having their own strengths and weaknesses. Two of the most popular coating options are acrylics and silicones.

The right information can make selecting the correct coating easier. By knowing the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of each you will be able to make an informed decision on which will protect and extend your roofs life for years to come.

Acrylic Roof Coatings

Benefits

Acrylic roof coatings are an excellent restoration solution to many types of substrates including metal, modified bitumen, built-up, single-ply and spray polyurethane foam. These coatings offer many benefits such as cost effectiveness, high reflectivity, UV resistant properties and ease of installation.

Cost Effectiveness

Acrylic roof coatings are extremely cost-effective, hence their popularity. These coatings installed usually run between $0.20 -0.75 per square foot. Property Managers and building owners can save thousands of dollars when installing this type of coating system.

 Reflective & UV Resistant

Building owners can save money during the summer months by reducing their cooling costs, thanks to acrylic coatings highly reflective and UV resistant properties. Not only do building owners get to reap the benefits of an acrylic coating, the environment and surround area that they are built in do too! Surrounding air temperatures can be reduced, limiting the affect of urban heat islands.

Ease of Installation

One of the biggest attributes of acrylic roof coatings are their ease of use. These coatings can be sprayed or rolled onto a roof’s existing substrate. No tear off is necessary, allowing day-to-day operations to take place and limiting disturbances to building owners.

Limitations

There is no such thing as perfect, the same can be said about acrylic roof coatings. While acrylic coatings give multiple benefits it is important to discuss their limitations to insure your roof is a good candidate.

Ponding Water

Acrylic coatings can provide your roof with many long lasting benefits, but ponding water remains an issue. These coatings are water-based and lack performance when exposed to ponding water for prolonged periods.

If exposed for a long period the coating can become brittle and delaminate from the roof. Before applying an acrylic coating make sure to consult a specialist who can determine if the roofs structure will encounter problems with ponding water.

Cold Temperature Applications

Acrylic coatings should not be applied in extreme cold. Because these coatings are water based they can lose performance when the temperature drops below 50 degrees. Cold temperatures will slow down the dry time and make it harder for the coating to properly adhere to the roof.

Silicone Roof Coatings

Benefits

Silicone roof coatings are highly regarded and for good reason. They are extremely UV stable, provided a high level of flexibility and durability and are made from high solids. Silicone can coat many substrates including metal, modified bitumen, built-up, single-ply and spray polyurethane foam.

Excellent UV Stability

Silicone coatings are highly reflective and can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Most silicone coatings are CRRC (Cool Roof Rating Council) approved. In many climates cool roofs can reduce the cooling load of a building, providing owners and occupants many benefits. These benefits include increased occupant comfort, reduced air conditioning use and decreased maintenance costs.

Extreme Durability & Flexibility  

Silicone coatings provide seamless membranes that can withstand wind-driven rain and sand, oxidation and extreme temperatures. Unlike acrylics, silicone is a moisture cure substance and his highly effective on protecting structures from ponding water.

High Solids

As a high solid component silicone requires less material to reach a desired film thickness when coating a roof. This allows applicators to apply more coating in a single pass saving time and labor.

Limitations

It is just as important to understand the limitations of silicone in order to insure you are getting the most out of your liquid applied roof coating.

Dirt

Dust and dirt are easily attracted to silicone roof coatings. If building owners or property managers fail to routinely maintain the roof and keep them clean, the coating system can lose its reflective properties. This in turn can negatively impact cooling costs and increase internal building temperatures.

 Slippery When Wet

Silicone can become slippery when wet do to its water resistant properties. VFI would recommend using VFI- Walk Pad in safety yellow to insure maximum slip protection in highly foot trafficked areas on silicone coated roofs.

Conclusion

Acrylic and silicone coatings are great options for roof restoration. In order to determine which product is right for your roof contact us. A VFI representative will help you make the proper selection.

 

 

 

 

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