Roof coating protects buildings from UV rays

Protect your real estate with the right roof coating

A roof is one of the most important parts of a building. It protects the interior from the seasons, wind, rain, and importantly in the UAE, sun. Your roof needs to be a solid barrier between your building and the elements, and a roofing failure can lead to thousands of dirhams 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 roof coating or roof paint.

In the United Arab Emirates, liquid coatings are the fastest growing sector of the flat roof refurbishment market. Roof coating not only waterproofs and prevents deterioration, but also improves the cost and energy efficiency of your building. In this article we will outline the different types of roof paint, which is best for your roof, and where to find roof coating solutions and waterproofing membrane in the UAE.

Choose the right roof coating based on the roof type

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, or sunny environments all have different demands yet the roof coating has only one protective purpose: to act as a weather- and waterproofing membrane. UAE knows mainly two types of roofs, which both have their own requirements:

  1. Pitched roofs: These allow for shingles and tiling, meaning water 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.
  2. 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 paint on a flat roof is applied over the pre-existing membrane, usually asphalt or rubber.

4 roof paint types to choose from

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:

1. Polyurethane, Polyurea, and Polymeric Coatings

Roof coating protects from sunshine and UV rays

In the UAE the most important task of roof coating is to protect from heat and UV radiation.

These coatings (also known as “cold liquid applied” roof coatings) are applied to a roof as a cold liquid, forming an elastomeric waterproofing membrane. They are capable of stretching with the substrate without being damaged. Cold applied liquid roof paint is rapid curing, has excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, and is cost-effective. Polyurea especially has excellent physical properties and can resist permanent standing water conditions.
Advantages: Excellent tensile strength, high resistance to temperatures (-40°C to 80°C), stretch with the substrate, chemical resistant, UV resistant, more traffic and impact resistant than other coatings. Good for ponding water conditions. Can be applied on as roof paint for tiles.
Disadvantages: More expensive than acrylics, wear at the same rate as acrylics.

2. Silicone Coatings

Inorganic, moisture-cured coatings made of liquid silicone. Silicone coatings can expand and contract with a substrate, providing thermal shock protection through temperature changes. Therefore suitable for metal roofs.
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. Not resistant to tearing.

3. 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.
Disadvantages: Not as flexible as other coatings (unless modified), requires heat to cure. When modified can last 10 to 20 years. Mostly used as industrial roof paint.

4. Water-based Acrylic Coatings

This is the most cost effective liquid waterproofing system. 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.

Additional properties of roof paint

The basic roof coatings can also be given 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 coating which keeps the inside air cooler and reduces the need for use of air conditioning. For example TEKNCOAT Cool Roof is an insulating roof paint system which consists of thermally resistant polyurethane foam and rubberized bitumen coating which together form a heat reflective waterproofing 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.

A selection of roof paint products

In the UAE there is a whole range of waterproof and UV resistant roof coatings, sealants and roof tile paints available. Whether you are looking to protect, decorate or repair your roof; there is a product to suit your needs. Keep in mind that a large elastomeric roof coating job can be difficult without proper equipment, knowledge and preparation. If you’re not sure, we’ll recommend one of our partners approved applicators to come and do it for you! Make use of our 100% free quoting service by clicking the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article.

Roof coating productPrice (MSRP)Packaging sizeTheoretical coverage
Anvil Paints and Coatings Anvil ROOF-TEC Ultradh1,099.005 Gallon80-100 sq. ft. per gallon
Anvil Paints and Coatings Anvil ROOF-TEC Acrylic White Elastomeric Roof Coatingdh819.005 Gallon60 sq. ft. per gallon
EverBuild Everbuild 90505 All Weather Roof Coatingdh310.005L1.25m2 per Litre
KST Coatings KST063600-16 Elastomeric Roof Coatingdh367.001 Gallon50-100 sq ft per gallon
Henry Company Henry TV205693 Henry Co Premier Fibered asphalt Roof Coatingdh1,119.005 Gallon60-100 sq ft per gallon

Note that there are also many roof coating suppliers in the Emirates that did not make to our overview. For more information on companies like Seal Coatings (Dubai) or UAE Waterproofing (Ajman, Sharjah & Dubai ), do not hesitate to contact us!

Commercial & Industrial roof coating services UAE

Given the importance of roofing to the stability of a building, it is unsurprising that roof coating services are available from many providers across the Emirates. There are also plenty of products available for those looking for a party for painting roof shingles and protecting them 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, want to be connected with one of our coating partners or are looking for a liquid waterproofing coating quotation, contact us! Our experts are here to help. Get in touch by clicking the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article.

Roof painting company Address (Dubai / Abu Dhabi)Services
Royal Classic Contracting & General MaintenanceM 02, Malabar Typing Bldg, Bhnd Safeer Mall, Shabiya ME 9, Abu DhabiTile and other roof painting and waterproofing, repairs and maintenance, new constructions
Awazel International Company LLCBehind Adnoc Petrol Station, M-3, Mussafah, Abu DhabiR|ood Waterproofing contractors
Roof Care P.O BOX: 47383, DubaiIndustrial & commercial metal roof coating
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