What is the Best Coating for a Metal Roof?

A metal roof is a strong, long-lasting material that can help protect your home and property for decades. However, regular maintenance is required to keep it in good condition and from suffering damage due to the elements. It would help if you used a coating to protect and preserve your metal roofing system to get the most out of your investment. 

The best way to maintain a metal roof is with a quality coating. Coating products will help keep the roof free from rust, corrosion, weathering, and other forms of damage. There are many types of coatings for metal roofs, each offering different benefits and features depending on the environment where the roof is located. 

Types of Metal Roof Coatings

Metal roofs are built to last, but coating your metal roof with a protective layer can help ensure it stands the test of time. There are various coatings for metal roofs, each designed to provide strong protection against the elements and everyday wear and tear. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of metal roof coatings and the pros and cons of each to help you decide which layer is best for your metal roof.

Acrylic Coatings

Acrylic roof coatings are one of the most popular coatings used on metal roofs. They provide superior waterproof protection, superior UV protection, and superior durability. Metal roofs coated with acrylic have a higher resistance to corrosion, fading, chalking, and damage from everyday wear and tear. Acrylic coatings are also highly reflective, meaning they can reflect a significant portion of the sun’s rays away from the roof and reduce energy costs associated with cooling your home or business. Acrylic roof coatings come in many colors and can seamlessly integrate with other roof surfaces. Generally speaking, acrylic roof coatings are the best choice for metal roofs as they can last up to 20 years when properly maintained.

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coatings offer increased durability for metal roofing applications through a thick, elastomeric finish that resists UV, water, and temperature exposure. Additionally, silicone coatings can protect against corrosion and dirt accumulation and provide a superior reflection of solar rays. This makes them suitable for the long-term protection of metal roofing materials in commercial applications such as factory roofs, school halls, and hospitals. They are often the first choice coating when it comes to metal roofs that need superior weather protection properties. Silicone coatings have excellent resistance to ozone, heat aging, and weathering. Combined with their thick elastomeric nature, they make them ideal for areas that experience harsh climates or year-round exposure to corrosive elements.

Most silicone coatings form an almost impervious membrane on metal roofs, meaning less maintenance is required as drying out or cracking is unlikely – ultimately protecting metal roof sheets from abrasion over time due to extreme weather conditions such as heavy rainfall and intense winds. Silicone coatings provide great flexibility in application methods, making installations easy with airless sprayers or brushes/rollers commonly used to apply the regulated thicknesses depending on the area being treated – typically between 2 to 8 mils (500 microns to over 200 microns). It’s essential, however, that the suitable coating is selected according to each project’s individual needs, which ensures it can be achieved by discussing specific requirements with a qualified coating specialist.

best coating for metal roofs

Elastomeric Coatings

Elastomeric metal roof coatings are a popular choice for many homeowners looking to revitalize their metal roofs. Elastomeric coatings offer superior flexibility compared to other metal roof coating materials and provide a protective layer of weatherproofing which helps keep any metal roof from corrosion and fading over time. They are also relatively easy to apply, making them a great starting point for first-time DIYers.

These coatings are typically made from acrylic latex and plastics, providing the necessary flexibility that ensures the coating adheres well to the curves of the sheets, forming a uniform layer of protection for your metal roof. Elastomeric coatings also boast superior adhesion rates compared to oil-based alternatives, making them more durable overall. In addition, elastomeric surfaces are highly resistant to chalking, which UV rays on an unprotected roof surface can cause. This self-cleaning property of elastomeric coatings means they don’t require frequent washing or costly maintenance over their lifetime.

Finally, elastomeric coatings are easy to touch up as needed since they come pre-mixed and ready to apply with a simple spray or roll-on applicator.

Polyurethane Coatings

Polyurethane coatings are widely used to provide a long-lasting, durable protective shield on metal roofs. These coatings are applied in liquid form and are cured via an exothermic reaction when exposed to air. When fully cured, polyurethane coatings form a hard, durable surface that is highly resistant to cracking and blistering.

Polyurethane coatings are available in various colors and textures for increased protection from the elements. Some polyurethane coatings are designed with added UV protectants, making them even more effective at shielding against the wind, UV radiation, extreme temperatures, and environmental pollutants. Generally speaking, polyurethane coatings require minimal upkeep, making them an ideal choice for protecting your metal roof over long periods. To maximize the effectiveness of your polyurethane coating, it’s essential to ensure proper surface preparation before application.

Without proper surface preparation, the protective barrier will not be able to properly adhere or seal the underlying metal substrate, leading to potentially serious issues, including corrosion and premature failure of your metal roofing system.

best metal roof coating

Benefits of Metal Roof Coatings

Metal roof coatings are an excellent way to protect and extend the life of your metal roof. They come in various materials, which provide additional benefits to the roof. Metal roof coatings are easy to apply, cost-effective, and highly resistant to UV rays, moisture, and other elements. Whether looking for protection from the elements or adding a new aesthetic to your roof, metal roof coatings are the perfect solution. Let’s explore the benefits of metal roof coatings in more detail.

Improved Energy Efficiency

Metal roof coatings are an excellent way to improve the energy efficiency of metal roofs. Metal roofs — both new and old — can benefit from specialized coatings. This relatively simple installation can have significant benefits in terms of saving energy, protecting the environment, and saving money on utilities. Metal roof coatings help to reflect sunlight and act as a barrier against heat transfer. This reduces the energy used to cool a building, reducing energy costs. The reflective qualities of some metal roof coatings also help to reduce what is known as the “urban island effect” – or the trapping of heat near ground level that can increase air conditioning needs. The coating also helps protect against UV rays, which can cause the deterioration of wood and other materials below it.

Additionally, this feature benefits those looking for a green roof solution as it helps reduce urban runoff by using solar reflection instead of absorbing heat from solar radiation. Another critical benefit of metal roof coatings is the protection against moisture infiltration into a building’s structure. Moisture intrusion between panel joints and seams can lead to reduced insulation performance and water damage within walls or ceilings, causing structural damage over time.

A well-sealed metal roof coating system adds a layer to provide protection from moisture and against extreme temperature variances due to seasonal changes or conditions experienced within specific geographic regions. Sealants have more excellent elasticity when exposed to extreme temperatures, enabling them to stretch and flex significantly better than non-coated panels resulting in improved energy efficiency within the overall system itself!

Increased Durability

A metal roof coating offers many benefits that strengthen and protect your structure. When you choose to have a roof coating installed on a new or existing metal roof, you save the roof from exposure to temperature changes, UV rays, rain, and snow. The surface of the metal is protected from corrosion and rust, which helps extend the roof’s life and prevents premature failure. This also helps reduce wear and tear on the underlying structure caused by environmental factors—which can be pretty costly to repair or replace. In addition to increased durability, a metal roof coating helps increase energy efficiency.

The reflective property of a coating allows it to act as an insulating layer, keeping homes more relaxed in the summer and warmer in the winter. Not only does this help cut down on cooling costs in hot climates, but it can also help homeowners save money on their heating bills during cold winters. Ultimately, applying a high-quality protective coating onto an existing or new-installation metal roof will provide years of additional protection against extreme weather conditions while helping maintain its structural integrity over time.

Increased Reflectivity

Metal roof coatings are designed to improve metal roofs’ durability, weather resistance, and thermal performance. One of the primary benefits of reflective coatings is increased reflectivity, which lowers your building’s cooling load by reflecting much of the summer sun’s heat. And it doesn’t stop there—modern reflective coatings also offer improved protection against moisture damage and wind uplift, increased outdoor noise reduction, and even improved fire ratings for structures located in wildfire-prone areas. 

Reflective coatings are available in a wide range of colors with varying levels of reflectivity. For example, some excellent roofing products have as much as 90% total solar reflectance (TSR)—meaning that 90 cents out of every dollar spent on energy bills are used to cool the building rather than heat it up due to absorbed solar radiation. This type of coating can help reduce a building’s urban heat island effect while providing additional energy cost savings. In addition to increasing a roof’s overall reflectivity and improving air conditioning efficiency, other benefits include an increase in structural integrity due to thicker coating layers; a decrease in dirt build-up; better protection over time; enhanced color retention; improved safety features; extended warranties; and better looks overall—all great reasons to consider investing in metal roof coatings!

Improved Aesthetics

Metal roof coatings can do more than just improve the appearance of a metal roof; they also create a protective layer that can improve the roof’s lifespan and reduce energy costs. Metal roof coatings provide an efficient and environmentally-friendly way to protect your roof. A properly applied metal roof coating dramatically improves the aesthetics of any existing building. While many paint colors are available, a metal roof coating allows you to choose from various textures, finishes, and even reflective surfaces that won’t fade or corrode over time like paint.

Roof coatings also make it easier to maintain your building’s curb appeal with fewer touch-ups and to repaint for years to come. In addition to improved aesthetics, metal roof coatings offer several other advantages for businesses looking to install or upgrade their existing structures. They are highly durable and resistant to high temperatures, direct sunlight, UV radiation, high winds, snow, rain, and other extreme weather conditions, creating problems in uncoated roofs.

The reflective quality helps reduce heat gain in warmer seasons while keeping heat contained in colder months. This helps reduce overall energy bills by decreasing the electricity used for AC/Heater operation annually. This can offer significant cost savings and help promote eco-friendly practices for businesses looking to go green!

metal roof coating application

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Metal Roof Coating

When it comes to protecting your home’s metal roof, a suitable coating is essential. Many types of coatings are available, all of which have unique benefits and drawbacks. To make an informed decision, it’s important to consider critical factors, including durability, weather resistance, and cost. This article will provide a comprehensive look at all the elements you must consider when selecting a metal roof coating.


Cost is always a factor when making decisions about home improvements, and metal roof coating products come in a range of prices. Before you start shopping around, it’s essential to understand the differences between each option so that you can make an informed choice. Cheaper options may not provide adequate protection against weathering and corrosion. They may need to be applied more often than a more expensive roof coating product.

When deciding which type of roof coating best suits your needs, it is worth bearing in mind that the least expensive option is not always the best. It is also worth considering whether any potential savings on installation costs are enough to cover the extra coatings needed over time with cheaper products. 

Additionally, suppose you’re interested in upping your property’s value with eco-friendly features such as reflective coatings. In that case, these usually carry higher costs upfront but can save money in bills over the long term.


When choosing a metal roof coating, it is crucial to consider the climate in which it will be installed. Different regions and climates require roof coatings with extra durability, flexibility, and resistance to ultraviolet (UV) rays, heat, precipitation, and temperature changes.

Hot or cold environments may require layers that have superior thermal protection or resist high temperatures. Coastal climates may require corrosion-resistant coatings to prevent rusting. Understanding the weather characteristics of the region where your metal roof will be installed is essential for selecting the best layer for your needs.


The color of the roof coating you choose will significantly impact your bottom line. One of the main factors to consider when selecting a color is the local area’s climate. Choosing lighter colors means that your roof will be less exposed to intense heat, and darker colors deflect more of it away from home. 

In most areas, lighter colors are better for cooling the home than darker ones. Another factor that must be considered is how visible the roof line is from a distance. If it is easily viewed, you will want to use a coating that reflects more bright light to add more impact to your overall aesthetic design. 

For added visual interest and appeal, combine contrasting dark and light shades for an eye-catching combination. In climates with very low visibility (i.e., foggy or misty days), selecting a medium gray or green shade will help mask the roof with natural tones matching those of its environment. For instance, in urban settings where industrial buildings often stand, a medium gray or bronze color can be used as the base color for metal roofs. Additional tertiary colors can be applied around window panels or small areas.


Durability is one of the most important factors when choosing a metal roof coating. It must withstand all types of weather, including extreme temperatures and humidity, heavy snow and ice. The best coating for metal roof systems should also be UV-resistant. It won’t quickly deteriorate or peel off due to exposure to rain or sunshine. A layer with added insulating properties can also provide extra protection against energy loss and further reduce heating and cooling costs in cold and wet climates. Additionally, look for coatings that contain additives that protect them from chalking, fading, dirt retention, and staining.


The best choice for coating a metal roof should depend on your needs, climate, and budget. Acrylic elastomeric coatings are generally the most popular choice for metal roofs due to their ability to reflect solar energy, excellent durability, and affordability. 

Fluoropolymer coatings provide superior protection against chemical corrosion but are much more expensive than other options. Silicone polymers offer excellent UV protection but may require more frequent recording to keep them in top condition. 

In all cases, it’s essential to check with the roof’s manufacturer or contractor before applying any coating, since some products may damage specific painted surfaces or sealants used on older roofs.