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Acrylic Vs. Silicone Roof Coating: What is Right for My Roof?

Feb 24, 2022

Commercial Roofing

acrylic vs silicone roof coating
Both silicone and acrylic roof coating can have various financial and energy-saving advantages for your aging commercial roofing membranes. However, choosing one over the other can be stressful. As a manufacturer of silicone and acrylic roof coatings, we understand the benefits and drawbacks of each chemical. Below, we have given a brief overview of acrylic roof coating vs. silicone roof coating and discussed how they compare.

Silicone Sealant Vs. Acrylic Sealant

Silicone sealants are made from silicone polymers, while acrylic sealants are made from acrylate polymers. Both materials function as a sealer and a barrier, and they have great adhesion, but silicone sealant is believed to be better as it’s more flexible, durable, and long-lasting. The key difference is that silicone sealant cannot be painted over, making acrylic sealant the ideal choice for filling gaps and sealing around areas that need to be painted.

Acrylic Vs. Silicone Roof Coating: How They Compare

Let's compare the two chemistries according to various factors.

1. Cost

Acrylic coatings generally cost less than silicones, as silicone products often cost two to three times as much as acrylic counterparts. This is due to silicone coating being relatively new in the market.

2. Longevity

Silicones last longer than acrylics as they have inherent superior UV and moisture resistance.

3. Reflectivity

Both silicone and acrylic roof coatings have a thermal reflectance between 80-90%, meaning both of them perform similarly in terms of reflectivity. However, acrylic has the upper hand over silicone roof coating due to the fact that silicone coats tend to get dirty within 6 to 12 months.

4. UV Stability

Silicone roof coatings are far superior to acrylics in terms of performance in exposure to the Sun’s harsh UV rays. Unlike acrylics, silicones do not chalk, degrade, or become brittle when exposed to the sun's intense UV radiation for an extended period of time.

5. Durability

Despite having comparable tensile strength, silicones are more durable than acrylics in the long term. Acrylic coatings just do not have the durability of silicones. Acrylic coating systems, in fact, are known to lose thickness as they age. Related: Silicone Roof Coating: What You Need to Know

Resistance to Ponding Water

Silicone coatings are most renowned for their ability to withstand standing water (water that remains on the roof surface for more than 48 hours), thus making them far better than acrylic coating.

When to Use Silicone Coating

  • A structure has a flat roof with ponding water problems.
  • Waterproofing is critical.
  • Applications in cooler climates.
  • UV stability, durability, and longevity are of utmost priority.
  • Roof aesthetics are not an issue.

When to Use Acrylic Coating

  • A steep-sloped metal roof covers a structure.
  • Application can be made at temperatures above 50°F.
  • Prolonged aesthetic appearance is a priority.
  • Building owners and/or contractors desire easier application.
  • Concerns about the environment must be addressed.
  • Material cost is a concern.

Our Verdict

Both acrylic and silicone roof coatings are viable options for your roof membranes. While acrylic is less expensive and can be painted over, silicone is more durable, stable, and long-lasting. However, knowing which is best for you is dependent on your specific commercial roofing restoration requirements. Still unsure which type of coating to go with for your commercial roof? Contact us to schedule your free onsite roof evaluation with Applied Roofing Services. Our roofing contractors will examine your roof precisely to select the best coating option for your roofing needs.
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