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What Are Shingle Roof Coatings?

January , 2024 | 7 min. read

By Cassie Findley

birds eye view of asphalt shingle home with pool

Shingle roof coatings are like special armor for your roof. They're designed to add an extra layer of protection to your existing shingles, shielding them from the harsh realities of Mother Nature. Whether it's the blazing sun, relentless rain, or the occasional hailstorm, a good roof coating keeps your shingles safe and sound. This added protection not only helps in extending the life of your roof but also plays a part in maintaining your home's curb appeal.

At RoofCrafters, we know that choosing the right shingle roof coating can be tricky. You need to consider the unique challenges your roof faces, like the climate you live in or the age of your shingles. In the end, the goal is to boost your roof's durability, enhance its energy efficiency, and maybe even give it a bit of a facelift. With the right coating, your shingles will be ready to face whatever the weather throws their way.

So, if you’re interested in learning more about how these coatings work, you’re in the right place! Stick around until the end of this article to learn exactly what shingle roof coatings are, the types to choose from, how long they last, and their benefits and drawbacks. Let’s get started!

What Are Shingle Roof Coatings?


4 different types of asphalt shingles side by side

Shingle roof coatings are protective layers that you can apply to your shingle roof. They help to extend the lifespan of your roof by providing an extra barrier against the elements, such as UV rays, moisture, and temperature changes. Coatings can also help to improve the energy efficiency of your home by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption.

They're a great option if you want to enhance the durability and performance of your shingle roof. The lifespan of a shingle roof coating can vary depending on factors like the type of coating used, weather conditions, and maintenance. Generally, a quality coating can last anywhere from 5 to 10 years.

When it comes to choosing the best fit, there are a few popular types of shingle roof coatings that homeowners often consider. One common type is acrylic roof coatings, known for their durability and flexibility. They provide excellent protection against UV rays and can help extend the life of your shingles. Another popular option is silicone roof coatings, which are highly resistant to weathering and can withstand extreme temperatures. They're great for areas with harsh climates. 

Additionally, there are asphalt-based coatings that offer good waterproofing properties and can enhance the overall performance of your shingle roof. However, it's important to note that regular inspections and maintenance can help prolong the lifespan of the coating. It's always a good idea to consult with a professional roofer for specific recommendations based on your roof's condition and the type of coating you choose.

What Are the Benefits of Shingle Roof Coatings?


Birdeye view of a CertainTeed Landmark Pro shingle of a custom home

Shingle roof coatings can provide many benefits, especially: 

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Weather protection: Shingle roof coatings provide an additional layer of protection against the elements, including rain, UV rays, and temperature fluctuations. This helps extend the lifespan of the shingles by preventing damage from exposure to harsh weather conditions.

Reflectivity: Some roof coatings are formulated to reflect a significant amount of sunlight, which can help reduce the heat absorbed by the roof. This reflective property is known as "cool roofing," and it can contribute to energy efficiency by keeping the interior of a building cooler, especially in hot climates.

Waterproofing: Roof coatings act as a waterproof barrier, preventing water from seeping into the underlying layers of the roof. This is crucial for maintaining the integrity of the roofing structure and preventing issues such as leaks and water damage.

Mold and algae resistance: Certain coatings contain additives that inhibit the growth of mold, algae, and other microorganisms. This can be particularly beneficial in areas with high humidity, where these organisms are more likely to thrive and cause unsightly stains on the roof.

Color enhancement: Roof coatings may be tinted or pigmented to enhance the color and appearance of the shingles. This can be especially useful for older roofs that have faded over time.

Energy efficiency: Reflective coatings can contribute to energy efficiency by reducing the heat absorbed by the roof. This can lead to lower cooling costs in buildings, as the interior temperature is easier to control.

What Are the Drawbacks of Shingle Roof Coatings? 


White home with weather wood GAf Royal Sovereign 3-tab shingles

While shingle roof coatings offer several benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks and considerations to keep in mind including:

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Cost: Quality roof coatings can be relatively expensive. When considering the cost of the coating itself, along with the labor for proper application, the overall expense may be a significant factor for some homeowners.

Application challenges: Applying roof coatings can be a complex process that requires careful preparation and attention to detail. Improper application can lead to issues such as poor adhesion, uneven coverage, or a shortened lifespan of the coating.

Maintenance: Coated roofs may require periodic maintenance to ensure continued effectiveness. This can involve reapplication of the coating or addressing any damage that may occur over time. Neglecting maintenance can diminish the benefits of the coating.

Compatibility issues: Not all roof coatings are suitable for all types of shingles. It's crucial to choose a coating that is compatible with the specific material of your shingles. Using an incompatible coating can result in reduced adhesion and effectiveness.

Limited lifespan: While roof coatings can extend the life of shingles, they have a limited lifespan. Over time, they may degrade, lose their effectiveness, or require reapplication to maintain their protective properties.

Appearance changes: Some roof coatings can alter the appearance of the shingles. While this may be intentional for aesthetic reasons, it's essential to be aware of any potential changes in the roof's look before applying a coating.

Potential for moisture trapping: If not applied correctly, some coatings may trap moisture beneath them, leading to issues like rot or mold growth. Proper installation and ventilation are crucial to avoid this problem.

Environmental impact: Depending on the formulation, some roof coatings may contain chemicals that can have environmental implications. It's essential to choose coatings with low volatile organic compound (VOC) content and environmentally friendly ingredients when possible.

Before deciding to apply a shingle roof coating, it's advisable to schedule an inspection with a trusted roofing contractor. They can help guide whether a coating is necessary, which type is suitable for your roof, and ensure proper application to maximize its benefits.

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Choosing Shingle Roof Coatings: Yay or Nay?


All in all, shingle roof coatings are a smart investment for homeowners looking to protect and extend the life of their roofs. Not only do these coatings provide a barrier against environmental elements like UV rays, moisture, and temperature fluctuations, but they also improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. With a proper roof coating, you can reduce cooling costs by reflecting sunlight and heat away from your roof, keeping your home cooler during those hot summer months.

Not to mention, the variety of coatings available means there's a solution for every type of climate and roofing need. Whether you choose acrylic, silicone, or asphalt-based coatings, you're adding a layer of durability that can help prevent costly repairs down the line. A well-coated roof can also enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home, adding to its value and curb appeal.

Ultimately, by opting for a shingle roof coating, you're not just maintaining a house; you're preserving a home. It's a proactive step that can save you money, worry, and time, giving you peace of mind knowing that your roof is in top-notch condition, ready to withstand whatever the weather throws its way. If you’re interested in shingle roof coatings for your beloved home, be sure to hit the “Schedule an Inspection” button down below!

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Cassie Findley

My name is Cassie, and I’m the Content Manager here at RoofCrafters. I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, and made my way out to Florida post-college graduation. I’m incredibly passionate about writing and creating valuable content that helps others with the collaboration of my marketing team. When I’m not working, I enjoy shopping (a little too much), spending time at the beach, and reading!