Roof painting improves looks and increases value
A roof is one of the most important parts of a building. It protects the interior from the elements; wind, rain and, most importantly in Australia, sun. Your roof needs to be a solid barrier between your building and nature, and a roofing failure can lead to thousands of dollars of damage and repair or replacement work. The quality of your roofing system impacts your investment and assets. One way to protect it is with professional roof coatings. Roof paint does not only waterproof, protect from the sun, and prevent deterioration, it also improves the cost and energy efficiency of your building. It is also the least expensive way to improve the looks of the building and increase its value. The roof painting cost is also small compared to the costs of replacing a roof.
When the job is done well, with the right product, roof painting is beneficial. However, a poor quality roof paint and sloppy application may turn out to be very costly. In this article we will outline the different types of roof paint, which is best for your needs, and where to buy roof paint products or find roof painting specialists in Australia.
Flat or pitched roof? – The roof type defines the best roof paint
The coating type you choose for a roof project depends on the roofing material and the slope of the roof. Flat roofs and pitched roofs have different needs and there are different materials suitable for each. Windy, rainy, snow-prone or sunny environments all have different demands.
- Pitched roofs: These allow for shingles and tiling, meaning water and snow can easily drain and there is less risk of leaks. Tiling also has the benefit of allowing spot fixes, where fixing a leak may be a simple case of fixing the tile. When applying roof tile paint, the aim is to waterproof and provide UV protection for the tiles themselves, extending the life of the actual tiles.
- Flat roofs: These are more common for commercial and industrial buildings. They are the most cost efficient roof shape because they have a smaller surface area and so need less material. The danger with flat roofs is leaking and water pooling, so the main goal in coating them is to create a waterproof barrier. A roof coating on a flat roof is applied over the pre-existing membrane, usually asphalt or rubber.
Choose the best roof paint for your rooftop
Roof coatings provide a seamless (“monolithic”), unbroken and smooth surface to the roof. They cure to a rubber-like waterproof membrane, which can be reinforced with additives or secondary materials for additional tensile strength or protective properties. Roof coatings can be applied over most roof materials, including asphalt, concrete, metal, bitumen, felt, and more. Each manufacturer and roof coating company has their own formulation, but these are the 4 basic roof coatings:
Polyurethane, Polyurea, and Polymeric Roof Coatings
These coatings (also known as “cold liquid applied” roof coatings) are applied to a roof as a cold liquid, forming an elastomeric waterproof membrane. They are capable of stretching with the substrate without being damaged. Cold applied liquid coatings are rapid curing even in winter, have excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, and are cost-effective. Polyurea especially has excellent physical properties and can resist permanent standing water conditions. An excellent option as roof tile paint.
Advantages: Excellent tensile strength, high resistance to temperatures from -40°C to 80°C (Especially high temperature resistance is required from roof tops in Australia), stretch with the substrate, chemical resistant, UV resistant, more traffic and impact resistant than other coatings. Good for ponding water conditions. Can be applied as roof tile coating.
Disadvantages: More expensive than acrylics, pricey compared to roof tile paint cost, wear at the same rate as acrylics.
Bituminous and Modified Coatings
Also known as asphalt or coal-tar pitch, bituminous coatings are highly sticky and viscous organic liquids used for waterproofing roofs. Aluminium pigments can be added for reflectivity, and the bitumen can be modified with polymers for improved physical qualities.
Advantages: Versatile, can be applied to asphalt. concrete, asbestos (for encapsulation), cement or metal sheeting, and built-up felt. With aluminium can deflect UV and heat from the roof. When modified can last 10 to 20 years. Mostly used as industrial roof paint.
Disadvantages: Not as flexible as other coatings (unless modified), requires heat to cure.
Water-based Acrylic Roof Paints
This is the most cost effective of the liquid waterproof roof painting systems. A single component system, water-based acrylics are applied 5-10 times thicker than a house paint. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is added to make the coating more durable and heat reflective. The white colour reduces the temperature of the roof, reflects sunlight, and so reduces the temperature of the interior and air conditioning costs. By reducing temperature and UV radiation TiO2 also protects the roof from deterioration, increasing its life. A zinc oxide additive (ZnO) can also improve reflectivity, as well as resisting mildew and algae growth.
Advantages: They are highly reflective, UV resistant, cost effective, and easy to work with.
Disadvantages Acrylics will lose thickness due to weathering, require temperatures above 10°C for application, and typically do not perform well in water-ponding situations.
Eco-Friendly Silicone Coatings for Roofs
Inorganic, moisture-cured coatings made of liquid silicone. Silicone coatings can expand and contract with a substrate, providing thermal shock protection through temperature changes. Suitable as a metal roof paint.
Advantages: Highly UV resistant, elastomeric, impermeable, environmentally friendly, withstands ponding water, good weathering capabilities.
Disadvantages The most expensive coating option, and they lose their reflectivity over time. If the roof needs recoating it must be done with silicone or the previous silicone coating must be removed completely before roof painting. Not resistant to tearing.
If your project includes asbestos encapsulation, the best roof paint is in a liquid form. The liquid paint can provide you with the least difficult method of dealing with it. Attempted removal of asbestos can release the asbestosis-causing material, but with a liquid coating you can seal in the asbestos without having to disturb it, and protecting it from further interference.
Additional properties for the best roof paint system
The basic roof coatings can also be give extra properties to increase their functionality. Even though for example acrylic roof coatings are heat reflective, also other systems can be modified into heat reflective roof paint.
Roof paints also have a rubber-like film which is generally easy to clean. However, to ease the cleaning even more the most innovative manufacturers have brought self cleaning roof coating onto the market. These coatings make use of nanotechnology and its dirt repelling properties.
What to expect from roof painting cost and what it includes
A roof painting quote is based on several factors. Roofs are not all the same, and the condition and type of roof you have will affect the final number. The factors that affect the roof painting cost are:
- The size of your roof
- The complexity of your roof design
- Difficult access or steepness (especially if extra equipment like hoists need to be hired)
- The condition of your roof
- The materials the roof painter uses – quality always costs more
- The state you live in – the average hourly rate changes between states
A roof painting service is a full package – it includes damage inspection, tile replacement, pointing ridge cap tiles, pressure cleaning, as well as several (normally 3) coats of paint. These costs add up, and the cost of labour needs to be tacked onto that too. Taken separately, roof painting costs are made up of three big costs: preparation, paint, and labour. Size and condition of the roof can therefore hugely impact the final price.
The hourly rate for roof painters ranges from $35/hr in Queensland to $45/hr in New South Wales. The paint itself, providing you choose to use a high quality option, will cost a couple of hundred dollars per drum. For example, 10L drum of Dulux Roof & Trim is $232 and covers 16m2 per litre. Factor in the need for extra coats and primers and you quickly realise that paint alone can cost upwards of $1000 for a just simple single storey roof job. Add on labour costs and it is easy to see why anyone charging less than $2000 for a roof painting job may be cause for suspicion.
All in all, the cost of roof painting will set you back between $2000-6000, depending on all the various factors. Given that a roof replacement will cost you up to $20,000 and a roof paint application comes with a 10 year warranty, it seems a small price to pay.
Find roof painting specialists across Australia
If you are planning to buy roof paint or hire a roof painting specialist, it is a smart move to request several quotes from different contractors to form an idea of the total roof painting cost and the options you have. Though it may be tempting, just choosing the cheapest option is not always the best option, and you will come to regret it when poor quality paints fail or shoddy preparation leaves damage unchecked.
Given the importance of roofing to the stability of a building, it is unsurprising that roof coating services are available from many providers across Australia. There are also plenty of products available for those looking to protect their shingles from the elements. Flat roof coating, however, is a specialist application job, requiring the expertise and training of professionals. If you would like more information, or want to be connected with one of our coating partners, contact us! Our experts are here to help. Get in touch by clicking the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article.
We in Australia are always looking for local suppliers or specialists when it comes to paints and coatings. Just check out our city related information and contact your local roof painting specialist.
- Roof painting Sydney specialists
- Roof painting Perth specialists
- Roof painting Melbourne specialists
Roof painting professionals – check for certification
Roof painting has a somewhat negative reputation in some parts of Australia, due to many ‘self-educated’ roof painters without proven track record or certification. One way to make sure you have found a reliable party to apply roof coating is to check for their certification. Such certificates include for example CPC30611 Certificate III in Painting and Decoration – RPL.
An overview of some of the best roof paint products
In Australia there are plenty of waterproof roof coating, sealant, and tile roof paint suppliers. Whether you are looking to protect, decorate or repair your roof; there is a product to suit your needs. In the table below you can find a small selection of the best roof paint products in the Australian market accompanied by the indication of roof paint cost. Keep in mind that a large roof coating job can be difficult without proper equipment, knowledge and preparation. If you’re not sure, we’ll recommend one of our partner-approved applicators to come and do it for you! Take advantage of our 100% free quote service by clicking the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article and let us connect you with the coating solution for your project.
|Roof paint product||Price (RRP)||Packaging||Theoretical coverage|
|Roof exterior paint (Dulux Roof & Trim)||$223.00||10L||16 sq.m/L|
|Heat Reflective Roof Coating (NXT CoolZone)||$346.95||20L||4 sq.m/L|
|Nano Technology Coating (Nutech Tileflex)||$212.95||20L||4 sq.m/L|
|Exterior Acrylic Emulsion coating (Nu-Flex)||$178.95||20L||4 sq.m/L|
|Surface filler (QA High Build Filler)||$140.00||20L||–|