Acrylic or silicone? Every commercial roofing contractor has discussed this question over the years, but which coating system is better?
Roof coatings can be a great opportunity to reduce the cost of a full roof replacement, but it’s important to mention that you need to do your research concerning the condition of the roof, location, slope, exposure to chemicals, heat, and UV rays.
Saying this, both restoration systems (acrylic and silicone) can save you time and money when you are facing commercial roof projects.
Instacoat Premium Products and systems are a perfect solution for those roofers and commercial roofing contractors that are looking for a safe and durable solution for a leaking and aging roof.
We’ve been working with commercial roofing contractors for over 20 years.
Throughout the years, we have learned all the factors involved when it’s time to decide which is the best coating system for your project.
However, we need to consider the other different aspects like damages to the existing roof system, roof repairs, and your client’s budget before deciding which option is the best for your commercial roof restoration.
To respond to this question, we will analyze each roofing system first and show you the silicone and acrylic pros and cons so we can help you make a more informed decision.
Why use Acrylic for Commercial Roof Restoration?
The main difference between these two roof coatings is that silicone systems are made up of silicon, the 14th element of the periodic table and the second most abundant element in the earth’s crust, while acrylic is water-based instead.
Some acrylic roof coatings can maintain their reflectiveness for a longer time than silicone and probably one of the best benefits but we can’t say that about all products.
Additionally, just like silicone, acrylic is easily applied via rolling or spraying onto any existing substrate of the roof with basic single-component equipment.
However, thanks to its water base composition, acrylic roof coatings has three major disadvantages:
- Can become brittle and delaminate from the roof when exposed to ponding water.
- Acrylic coatings cannot be applied when temperatures drop below fifty degrees.
- Acrylics will lose mil thickness with weathering.
- Hold up in a variety of climates
- Organic materials
- Lower budget solution
- UV resistant
- May lose reflective properties over time
- Multiple coat applications
- Higher labor costs
- 1 week full cure time
- Low solids content
- Higher cost per mil
Why use Silicone for Commercial Roof Restoration?
For many roofers, one of the reasons to believe that silicone is a superior product it’s because of the high solid properties.
It only requires one coat application on the roof and you can apply the required mils in one single coat; which could be enough to secure your roof.
This means fewer labor expenses, better quality work, and being able to move on to the next project sooner.
As well as holding to the structure of the roof when extreme temperatures cause the roof to move and expand.
Both systems are fluid-applied and can be rolled and sprayed with single-component equipment that many commercial roofing contractors use.
- Reflects up to 88% of UV rays
- Lowers utility bills
- Withstands downpours and oxidation
- Unaffected by ponding water
- Reduces “heat island” effects
- Fast cure time
- High solids content
- Could attract dirt and dust
- Could lose its reflection over the years
- Slippery when it’s wet
- It could require a walk pad in highly trafficked areas
As stated, silicone is not the right choice in every situation, and acrylic will occasionally be a better fit.
Silicone coatings are better at protecting structures from ponding water than acrylic coatings.
*The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) specifically defines roof ponding as “water that remains on a roof surface longer than 48 hours after the termination of the most recent rain event”.
However, it’s essential to say that to protect the lifespan of both systems; you need to establish a roof maintenance routine at least two times a year.
Acrylic roof coatings have VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) levels almost 3 times lower than silicone systems, and also have less odor given off.
Determining which roofing system is better than the other one will depend on your particular point of view and expertise.
Every commercial roofing project is different, and all of them require certified applicator advice to come up with the right roof coating system.
Also, remember to have the best communication possible with the roof coatings manufacturer to learn everything about the product and applications.
Instacoat is ready to help you with all your commercial roof needs or projects.
So there you have it. Both Silicone and Acrylic roof coatings are very good options.
But if you’re interested in learning more about silicone or placing an order with us, contact us on any of our social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) or use the chatbox to contact any of our sales representatives.