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Shingle Roof Coatings

Coating shingle roofs is a relatively new process that has become an attractive option for those homeowners and commercial property owners with a pitched roof. Depending on the product, there are many benefits that can be gained from the use of this system including extending the life of the roof, reducing rooftop and attic temperatures, wind uplift resistance, reduced cooling costs, mildew and algae resistance, and a variety of available colors to match existing home or shingle colors.

The 2 principle methods of application for this system are called surface coating and seal coating. In a surface coating system, 2 to 3 coats of the product are applied to the exposed shingle surface, but the shingle tabs and seams are not coated. The appearance of a shingle roof is maintained, but this system does require more frequent upkeep to maintain performance. In a seal roof system, 2 coats are applied to the entire shingle surface. The coating cures to a weather proof membrane effectively sealing the shingles from the elements. While this certainly gives better protection, the shingle look will be greatly diminished as will the ability of the roof to breathe. Surface coating is like staining a deck while seal coating is like painting a room.

Of course with these products, there are several key factors to consider. The most important is whether the home has proper ventilation. For example, a seal coating without proper ventilation could theoretically cause leaks. If warm air from your home can’t escape and hits the roof deck, especially in colder weather, condensation will form. Vaulted or cathedral ceilings especially often require additional venting to prevent moisture accumulation between rafters. Also, applying these products will in most cases void your warranty from the manufacturer. Therefore, these products are not intended for new roofs. However, shingles that are too far deteriorated or roofs with heavy leaks are not recommended for coating either. Careful research of the product is important too, in that some are not intended for climates that experience heavy moisture, snow, or ice. If you decide to get a color to match your existing home, consider that lighter coolers reflect heat while darker colors absorb it. Finally, consider the pitch of your roof. A steep pitch will create problems with the application as well as be a safety issue for the installer.

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About the Author

Chuck Anania, Certified Roofing
360 Bloomfield Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042

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