8 Most Common Silicone Roof Coating Problems for 2022

Silicone Roof Coating Problems

Although silicone roof coatings are a smart choice for many reasons, silicone roofing problems are quite common. On the bright side, they have a very high solids content, so they don’t necessarily have to be applied in multiple layers to provide adequate protection. Of course, this will save money and time. For another thing, they can save even more time and money if they don’t need a primer, as is often the case.

These, and other reasons, are why many commercial buildings have silicone coatings protecting their roofs. However, silicone roof coatings are not perfect – no type of roof coating is. It has its inherent flaws. As a contractor, property manager, or business owner, you should know how silicone roof coatings can fail and their most common problems. That way, you will know what kind of maintenance your roof needs and whether or not a silicone roof coating will be suitable for your building in the first place.

Silicone Coated Roof

Key Takeaway

Silicone roofing problems include compromised reflectivity, vulnerability to tearing, shorter warranties, and difficult installation.

In the following post, Roofer’s Guild will examine some of the most common silicone roof coating problems.

1) Not All Roof Materials Adhere to Silicone

When it comes to selecting the best roof coating, you must consider your circumstances. Right off the bat, this could be a big problem. Not all existing roof materials will adhere to silicone. A lack of adhesion means you must remove the entire surface or opt for materials that will stick to silicone. Investing in adhesive materials can drive up your installation costs. 

2) It’s Not The Best for Heavy Foot Traffic

An ideal candidate for silicone roof coating is a roof that will not see much foot traffic. There are a couple of problems that can arise if a silicone roof coating is applied to a roof that gets a lot of foot traffic:

  • Silicone becomes more slippery than other roof coatings when it gets wet. Such a condition can present a safety hazard for people on your roof. 
  • Frequent foot traffic can damage silicone before its time.

Foot traffic may not be an issue for you if your building’s roof rarely gets visitors. If you frequently need roof-top HVAC maintenance, have people working on skylights, or your roof requires a lot of care, this may be a problem. 

3) Compromised Reflectivity

One of the main advantages of getting a silicone roof coating installed is that it can reflect a lot of UV light, saving you money on cooling costs. However, this is not an infallible advantage. Silicone roof coatings attract dirt and dust more than other materials. Dirt and other build-ups will compromise its reflectivity and negate energy savings. 

While investing in regular roof cleanings can negate many of these concerns, doing so adds more maintenance to your property.

4) It is Limited to Flat Roofs

A silicone roof coating will not work very well on pitched roofs. We know that very few homeowners are clamoring to install a silicone roof coating for their houses, but not all commercial roofs are flat. Silicone will not hold up or perform as well as other roof coating systems if you have a pitched commercial roof. 

5) It Typically Has Shorter Warranties

While some other types of roof coatings typically come with warranties that last up to 25 years, the warranty you are likely to get from a silicone roof coating is significantly shorter. You can usually expect a warranty period of only ten years. While some manufacturers/contractors may offer you 15-year warranties for silicone roof coatings, you can also expect to pay more for them. 

6) It is Prone to Tearing

Silicone roof coatings are inherently prone to tearing. They are not as durable as some other types of roof coatings and should not be installed in areas where hail, foot traffic, and abrasion are common. Hail and debris whipped up by the wind could create a tear in the coating and expose the substrate. When a tear occurs, the entire coating can become compromised. 

Tears can occur in many ways, including hailstones, heavy tools hitting the surface, pest infestations, falling debris from trees, and more. 

7) They are More Expensive

One of the most unattractive silicone roof coating problems is that it is typically more expensive to install than other materials. For example, the typical cost to install a silicone roof coating is around $2 to $3.50 per square foot. On the other hand, the average price to install an acrylic roof coating is only about fifty cents to a dollar per square foot. 

Since they need to be cleaned more and are more prone to tears, silicone roof coatings are also more expensive than other coating options. When it comes time to replace your silicone roof coating, you are likely to pay more because the entire surface may have to be removed depending on the replacement materials.

8) Silicone can be Difficult to Install

The fact is that a lot of roofers don’t like to work with silicone because it is messy and difficult to apply correctly. Many contractors offering silicone coating installation have undergone special training, which will drive up the installation cost once again. 

On the other hand, when you have an inexperienced contractor installing a silicone roof coating, you could face more problems. That’s because improperly installed silicone roof coatings can damage your roof.