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Pros & Cons of Solvent & Water-based Roof Coatings

by D3X
Mar , 22
Pros & Cons of Solvent & Water-based Roof Coatings

SRG Roofing water-based roof coatings

Roof coatings are typically categorized into solvent- and water-based varieties, depending on the nature of the additive they contain. As different types of coating perform differently in different conditions, you need to have a basic understanding about the differences in the options at hand.
If you are confused about the type of coating to use on your roof, here is a comparative analysis of both the types of coatings system available on the market, along with a discussion on making the ideal choice for diverse climatic conditions.

Solvent-Based Coatings

Solvent-based roofing contain volatile liquefying agents that evaporate when they come in direct contact of air. The presence of air in the surrounding where solvent-coating is applied, therefore, speeds up the reaction, resulting in reduced drying time. Unlike water-based roof coatings, solvent-based coating can dry easily even in high humid conditions, as the rate of evaporation of solvent is independent of relative humidity. Moreover, solvent-based coatings are less susceptible to environmental conditions and can be easily applied in all climates, including cold, temperate or marginal weather conditions.

Though solvent resistant coatings are highly durable, they contain a large amount of flammable and often toxic chemicals. The user, therefore, must be extremely careful when transporting, storing, and applying a solvent-based coating. In addition, solvent-based coatings can also cause seepage problems in the roofs, or even worse, cause a permanent damage to the the surface of the roofing system.

Water-Based Coatings

In water based coatings, water is the chief additive. As water is nontoxic and inexpensive, water based coatings are usually less expensive and safer than solvent-based coatings. Environmental compliance is another reason for choosing water-based coatings. Unlike solvent based coatings, water based coatings do not contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful for the environment and human health.

The downside of water-based coatings is the limited range of climatic conditions conducive to their application. Water-based coatings are not advisable for areas with freezing temperature, because the rate of the evaporation becomes slow and the coating may freeze before it dries.

Silicone Coatings

Silicone coatings, available in both water- and solvent-based forms, are highly durable; thanks to their inorganic chemical composition. This coating can be applied on both hot and cold weather, though in the latter, it may take a little longer to dry. Moreover, as silicone coatings easily adhere to wet surfaces, they are ideal for rain prone areas such as Florida.

On the downside, the initial cost of solvent-based silicone coating can be a little higher than water-based coating; however, given their durability, the added investment is sure to pay off.


Though water-based coatings are environment friendly and less expensive than solvent-based coatings, the latter has its own long-term advantages. No matter the type you choose, roof coatings require a proper maintenance regime once in place. For starters, it is advisable to inspect and clear off debris from the roof at least twice a year. If you wish to find out which type of roof coating will be ideal for your property, feel free to connect with us for a round of no-obligation consultation.

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14350 Proton Rd
Farmers Branch, TX 75244
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Created by: D3X Designs