How Many Coats of Roof Coating Do I Need?

Southwest Arizona home owners who have rubberized coated roofs often ask, “How many coats of roof coating do they need?” The answer depends upon a few factors but 90% of the time, the answer will be TWO. Roof coating is not cheap. In fact, the best coatings can run over $100 per bucket, but investing in the correct amount of coating to protect your home is always the best choice. Here are some things to consider when asking how many coats of roof coating you need.

Why Apply Two Coats of Roof Coating?

Answering the “why” question always helps a home owner when considering a huge purchase like recoating their roof. When asking, “how many roof coating coats” knowing why two is better than one is always important. Two key factors help determine the why. First, roofs move through the process of expansion and contraction. This movement can cause corners or vents or scuppers or other penetrations to expand and contract and pull and rip the coating. If the coating is thicker it has less of a chance of splitting. The second key to answering why, is knowing that coatings oxidize. Roof coating contractors know roof coatings will oxidize and get thinner over time. This process causes the top microlayer to wash off, ultimately thinning the layer of roof coating. The thicker the coating the less chance of needing to recoat as often. One coat properly applied can last 2-4 years, where two coats of cool coating can last upwards of 5-7 years before needing to be recoated. (See this article for more on “how often should you coat your roof”.)

What Is the Condition of The Current Roof Coating?

If the roof in question hasn’t been coated in more than three years, there is a great possibility the roof will need two coats. Elastomeric coatings oxidize over time and become thinner and thinner in the Arizona sun. When this occurs the coating thins to the point where it starts to crack or show the roof paper through the coating. Sometimes the coating can be so thin that it starts to flake or peel on the top. If that happens, it is definitely time for two coats of premium acrylic coating. If the coating looks thin or you have these issues, its best to apply two coats. A good Tucson roof coating specialist will be able to help you determine the current condition of your roof.

How Much Movement In The House?

As mentioned above, houses expand and contract in the Arizona heat. This process stresses the roof coatings and can cause cracking. The thicker the roof coating the better chance that cracks will not occur. Of course, this doesn’t meant to pile on the coatings as thick as possible because the coatings themselves will crack if put on too thick. It does mean that two coats verses one is always better on house that have significant movement. You can determine the movement in the home by identifying the cracks on the roof. If there are numerous crack around scuppers, corners, penetrations, transitions, etc. That is a good indication one coat may not be sufficient.

What Type Of Coated Roof Do You Have?

The type of roof will help determine how many coats are necessary. A Santa Fe style home with walls that extend above the roof line (these walls are called parapets), doesn’t shed water as quick as a pitched ranch style home. Water causes breakdowns in the coatings if it is allowed to remain on the roof too long. So if you own a ranch style home, there is a greater chance that the coating will last longer and sometimes you can get away with applying just one coat of roof coating.

How Often Do You Want To Recoat Your Roof?

Based on what has already been written it is obvious to note that if a roof is coated with only one coat it will not last as long between recoats as one that was coated with two coats. So the question to ask is, “how often do you want to recoat your roof?” Of course the assumption is that the roof is recoated according to the manufacturer’s standards per coat and the coating itself is a good one. If a roof company doesn’t follow the standards whether it is one coat or two will not matter! Also, if cheaper materials are used, the chance of needing to recoat sooner is high! Homeowners should always get in writing the exact amount of roof coating that is to be applied and what type of coating.

An Honest Roofing Company Will Help You

There are many Tucson roofing contractors that are just out to take your money and run. That is unfortunate because these companies would get so much more business if they did things the right way. An honest roofing company will show photos of your roof and explain exactly why one coat or two coats would be the best option. Avoid roofing contractors that are pushy or who cannot give a clear explanation that makes proper sense on why one or two coats is best. If money is the issue, a good roofing company will work with you and try to come up with a good solution that keeps your home dry and protected.

Our motto at Desert Sky Roofing is “Roofing it right the first time!” We are not going to sell you something that you don’t need. If your roof can handle only one coat, we will recommend it! We approach every client as if they were part of our own family and we give them the same advice we would give our own mothers. If you give us a call and share your concerns we will listen and help you determine what is best for your roof and how best to achieve those results. Call us a 520-444-5218.