Do Roof Coatings Work on Shingles?

Homeowners often look for ways to protect their homes. They want to shield their houses from the weather’s elements. An important question that comes up frequently is: do roof coatings work on shingles? This question is at the intersection of new ideas and old warnings, putting people who hope for better roofs against experts who know the industry well. The goal is to make shingles last longer and to save energy, but this must be balanced against what the experts and the materials themselves say.

Roof coatings are seen as a good way to maintain a roof by many. But, their use on shingle roofs is up for debate. Asphalt shingles, which protect most homes, are right in the middle of this discussion. Some experts say adding a roof coating can help these shingles last longer, especially as they get older. Others, like the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) and top makers like GAF, say no to this. They worry that roof coatings could make the shingles worse. They’re afraid it could make the shingles pull back, lose their outer layer, and hold too much moisture.

Key Takeaways

  • The effectiveness of roof coatings on shingle roofs triggers diverse opinions among professionals.
  • Some view coatings as a home improvement tactic to avoid complete roof replacement.
  • ARMA and GAF caution against field-applied coatings, noting potential harm to shingle durability.
  • Risks include coating shrinkage, granule loss, and problematic moisture retention.
  • Roof coatings hold potential for energy efficiency, but may not be suitable for shingles.

Exploring the Effectiveness of Roof Coatings on Shingle Roofs

The debate over using roof coatings on shingle roofs continues. It’s because their success varies depending on the type of roofing system used. Typically, liquid-applied roofing systems and other coatings are known to help low-slope roofs last longer. They do this by making a barrier against weather. Yet, their effect on traditional shingle roofs is seen with doubt and care by experts.

One big worry about these coatings on shingle roofs is their impact on the roof’s health. If you put on roof coatings, they might stop proper air and ventilation. This can trap moisture, leading to harm. Instead of preventing small leaks or helping with energy use, it might actually cause damage to the roof itself.

  • Roof Life Extension: Though coatings can add years to roof life, they might not work as well on shingle roofs.
  • Roof Coatings Effectiveness: There could be problems when using coatings on shingles. This can include bad reactions that lower air circulation and raise moisture.
  • Liquid-Applied Roofing Systems: These are great for flat or low-slope roofs where they can provide strong protection for longer.

Most experts advise against using roof coatings on shingle roofs. They say it’s risky and might not be helpful. This is because the potential damage could be more than the cover’s protection.

In the end, homeowners should talk to roofing pros before choosing any roof treatment. This is especially crucial when thinking about liquid-applied roofing systems for shingle roofs. The aim is to pick an option that will keep the roof healthy for the short and long term.

Professional Perspectives on Coating Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Applying coatings to asphalt shingle roofs is controversial among roofing professionals. They share expert opinions based on their roof assessments. These assessments show problems that happen after coating.

  • Many inspectors find sticky residues which suggest a quick fix to extend the roof’s life.
  • They also see uneven tar-like substances that can weaken the roof.

Well-known roofing groups advise against adding coatings to asphalt shingles. They warn it can cause shingle shrinkage and roof deck rot. This may lead to the need for more roof maintenance or a new roof.

Inspectors often find coated roofs that are already worn out. Instead of a short-term fix, they recommend getting a new roof. This approach can prevent bigger issues later on.

Roof coatings aim to protect, but they might not work as expected. In some cases, they can even make things worse. This could mean needing to do bigger and more expensive repairs sooner.

Scientific Evaluation of Roof Coatings on Shingle Durability

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) bulletin underlines the challenge of reviewing shingle roof evaluation with added coatings. Research on roof coating provides a fresh take on the pluses and minuses of applying these coatings.

There’s a lack of solid evidence in scientific roofing studies, leaving some doubt on the benefits claimed by coating supporters. Such benefits include a longer roof life and better energy use. But, there are also worries about how these coatings affect the shingles. They can make the shingles shrink and lose their surface, leading to early roof wear.

  • Shingle roof evaluation often spots the danger of less breathable roofs, which can trap moisture.
  • Roof coating research usually mentions that coatings which aren’t permeable can stop proper roof air flow.
  • The findings from scientific roofing studies agree with ARMA’s warnings in recent bulletins.

The ARMA bulletin suggests that homeowners and contractors think carefully about these key points when picking roofing solutions. They say it’s vital to check all available scientific info. Making the wrong choice in coatings could lead to big problems. For example, it might cause harm to the roof deck because of the trapped moisture.

Understanding Roof Coating Types and Their Compatibility with Shingles

Choosing the right roof coating is vital for better performance and lasting roofs. There are several options like acrylic coatings, silicone coatings, and polyurethane coatings. It’s crucial to consider how they work with shingle roofs, especially asphalt ones.

Silicone coatings stand out for resisting weather and moisture well. They are best in places with lots of rain. Acrylic coatings help save on energy through their reflectivity. And, polyurethane coatings are tough against physical damage and wear.

  • Acrylic coatings are water-based and provide excellent UV resistance and color retention properties.
  • Silicone coatings excel in environments with extreme weather conditions due to their moisture-curing properties.
  • Polyurethane coatings offer heightened impact resistance, suitable for areas facing frequent hail or mechanical wear.

The advantages are clear, but not all coatings are good for shingle roofs. Leading experts like GAF and ARMA warn against applying GAF coatings or similar types on asphalt shingles. It can harm the roof’s ability to breathe and its performance.

So, getting advice from roofing professionals is essential when choosing coatings. They can evaluate the roof’s specific needs and make sure the coatings help without causing harm.

Homeowners and contractors need to be cautious. They must consider what’s best for their roof and the environment it’s in. This balance ensures their roofs last longer and perform well.


When keeping shingle roofs lasting long, smart choices are key. Experts warn not to use roof coatings for a quick fix. The risks outweigh the unproven benefits of making a roof last longer or save energy.

Sustainable roofing means taking care of the roof without changing its basics. Roofing pros, makers, and ARMA all say the same. They recommend regular care and, when needed, getting a new roof. For some roofs, coatings are good, but not for asphalt shingles. This shows how specific roof care needs to be.

Homeowners should choose what’s best for their roof’s health. Good maintenance and the right help are better than using the wrong coatings. With expert advice and proper care, a roof can stay strong and work well. This can avoid the costs and trouble of doing the wrong thing to the roof.

Call M&J Roofing today at (856) 205-4162 for a free estimate!

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