A roof is ideally your first line of defense against many elements, which means that it constantly takes the beating of rain and harsh sun so you don’t have to. And they will huff and puff, and eventually cause cracks and breakages. Through this repeated process, even the toughest of roofs eventually cave into the forces of nature, but there is a solution to this – roof sealants.
Roof sealants have been around for the longest time, used by our forefathers and their fathers to increase the lifespan of your shingles and roofing tiles alike. Sealants act as an extra barrier between your roof and all the rain, sun, fire and ice. They are made using elastomeric material which keeps them flexible to expansion and contraction, such that they hold up for longer. One may argue that modern roofs are made to last long. Indeed they are, but constant exposure to rainstorms and sun eventually causes a significant decline in their lifespan.
Sealants make the ultimate sacrifice by taking the burns instead of your roof; they have insulation properties too and hold back the growth of mold and algae. Needless to say, you will need a sealant that is able to live up to all this, which is why we have compiled a list of the best roof sealants out there today.
Top 10 Roof Sealants of 2020 Reviewed
1. Dicor RP-CRC-1 Rubber Roof Acrylic Coating[wt_products id=”3924″ template=”5″]
2. Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant[wt_products id=”3922″ template=”5″]
3. Jetcoat Cool King Elastomeric Acrylic Reflective Roof Coating[wt_products id=”3920″ template=”5″]
4. Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant[wt_products id=”3918″ template=”5″]
5. Liquid Rubber RV roof coating sealant[wt_products id=”3914″ template=”5″]
6. Flex Seal Liquid Rubber in a Can[wt_products id=”3912″ template=”5″]
7. Rubber seal Liquid Rubber[wt_products id=”3909″ template=”5″]
8. Heng’s rubber roof coating[wt_products id=”3907″ template=”5″]
9. Loctite PL S30 Black Roof and Flashing Sealant[wt_products id=”3905″ template=”5″]
10. HENRY HE587372 Roof Coating[wt_products id=”3903″ template=”5″]
How to Choose the Best roof sealant: The Ultimate Buying guide
After looking at our top selection, it might still be hard to choose a roof sealant, especially if you don’t really know the difference between types and what some of these terms mean. We have done a comprehensive buying guide to help you gain a better general understanding of roof sealants, and help you choose the best one for your particular need.
What is a roof sealant; how does it work?
A roof sealant is kind of like a mix between varnish and paint. It works by sealing up holes and cracks which might be forming on your roof, air vents, and air conditioning units. They have a strong adherence to your particular surface as well, which makes them especially strong. Most of them will also do well to make your vehicle additionally resistant to environmental impacts, such as rain and snow, which can cause the formation of cracks and holes on our roof.
What is your purpose of sealing; what benefits do I get from sealants?
Sealants tend to pose many different qualities that will overall improve the quality and lifeline of your roof. Some of them include;
- Structural protection for your roof
This is the most common reason why people purchase sealants. They not only help seal up any cracks already on your roof, but they also help prevent the occurrence of new ones. That said, a sealant will help maintain a stronger structure for your roof, save it from the adverse effects of the elements and ultimately, save you money from all those costly roof repairs that would otherwise come about.
- Temperature regulation; retain that smile through the seasons
The roof sealant acts by forming a protective barrier around your roof. With its UV regulation and sunlight reflection properties, this would mean cooler overall internal temperatures in the summer and warmer winters. With this, you can save those extra costs on your power consuming Air conditioning.
- Reducing wear and tear on your roof
Your roof is arguably the first line of defense against attacks by the elements. It takes a lot of beating over time, which eventually results in wear and tear. With a rubber sealant providing that extra layer of protection, the wear and tear will be reduced to a bare minimum, resulting in far longer roof shelf life.
- Reducing costs
A roof is the most susceptible when it comes to passive damages over time. It is also the one that would require the most immediate attention when it comes to repairs. With a good sealant in place, you can rest assured that the structure of your roof is stronger and more resilient to damages. And what does this mean exactly? You guessed it – fewer demands when it comes to maintenance costs. This goes without accounting all the small extra costs you’ll save on temperature regulation and the like.
Types of roof sealants; which is best for my need?
This is arguably one of the more durable choices in the world of roof sealants, which is perhaps why it’s also a popular selection among roof owners. It has a tough structure, which makes it especially good in offering protection against small debris and falling branches as well as keeping it free from damage against the elements. Because of this, it is considered to be more efficient in the long run than acrylic kind of coating. It’s important to note that Urethane will tend to take up more application time and cost because it requires you to put at least two coats for it to work effectively. They are also more pungent during application.
Acrylic coatings are good solutions when it comes to quickly stopping gaps. They are also among the cheaper roof sealants out there. These coatings are ideal for already damaged roofs because they help prevent further damage while still reflecting sunlight. So if you happen to have any leaks on your roof, this type of coating would be the best in keeping out the water. The only downside is they take a lot of effort and time to apply and generally don’t last as long as others.
Silicon is relatively the most expensive alternative out there. As you might guess, it also happens to be the most durable. Silicon coatings work well to prevent degradation from the elements like the wind sun and ponding water. It has a very elastic structure, which allows it to remain intact over longer periods of time. This also leaves it less brittle over time, and less prone to crack. It’s important to note that due to its white coloring. Silicon tends to get dirty or discolored faster and might need regular washing to maintain its state.
Key features you should consider
The best type of sealant for your type of roof
First of all, you should keep in mind that the coating and sealants are two different products that would serve you differently. If you are looking for something that insulates your roof, adds structural integrity and prevents damage from weather conditions, you’ll need a coating. On the other hand, if you want to fix leaks and cracks and other patchworks on your roof, a sealant would be the preferred alternative.
That said, there are five major types of roof sealant, each of which is made for a particular make of roof. Firstly, we have aluminum coatings, which, as the name suggests, were used more traditionally on aluminum roofs. Nowadays, aluminum roofs are extremely rare because they are heavier than most other materials. These types of roofs, however, need less maintenance on the surface, meaning they will mostly require caulking around penetrations.
Next up is fiberglass coating, meant for fiberglass roofs, but, as the former, it is not as commonly used today because fiberglass tends to oxidize more. They do well with clear coat sealants.
Liquid Coatings and Roof Caulking
Thirdly, we have liquid coatings, which are more polymer-like, comparable to car wax. Coming fourth are rubber coatings, which are considered the most common and preferred sealant today. Rubber coatings will work well with any modern RV or mobile housing; since most modern roofing are made of rubber-type. When it comes to rubber-type roofs, the best, like EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene monomer), comes with UV protective properties already, which make them last longer. Over time they tend to get a chalky appearance due to oxidization. We also have TPO roofs (Thermal Poly Olefin), which are still rubber roof types but are more rigid than EPDM.
The last roof sealant type is roof caulking. Caulking is a common term that mainly refers to sealing cracks or any kind of penetrations in order to prevent water leakages.
Formulation; the material of sealant that is best for your need
The material of your sealant will make a huge difference in its overall performance. This can either be liquid sealants or tape sealants. Here, Liquid sealants are better suited if you are looking for elasticity. The formulation does a lot to determine the quality of the product. As of now, the best and most preferred material when it comes to weather resistance is silicon. However, urethane and acrylic also do well to serve their purpose.
The formulation also dictates the type of surface the sealant can be applied. Not all sealants will be suitable for fiberglass while others won’t be good on rubber. However, Most of the products on our list are rubber coating in type, which will well suit most types of surfaces.
Durability; because longer is better
There are many factors involved in assuring the durability of a roof sealant.
First of all, you will probably need a sealant with adequate elasticity. Sealants are composed of many different compounds, which, after application, result in different levels of elongation. Since your roof tends to flex and twist with movement, your sealant should be able to hold up, while still retaining its resistance to water. You should choose with regards to the temperature of the material to which you intend to apply. Some surfaces, like plastic, tend to heat up and expand faster than others. If it is too hot, you will need something more elastic, like silicone-based sealants.
It is important to note that elasticity and elongation are mostly valid in liquid sealant products. This is because; the more fluid sealants are more adaptable to changes. Tape sealants, on the other hand, are mostly inelastic. However, if this is your preference, you should make sure that it is hard to break and water-resistant.
- Water resistance
This is what most people tend to focus on when choosing a sealant and not unless you enjoy the cool rain drenching both you and your valuables, you should consider this a priority. Well, most manufacturers know this as well, which is why even the basic sealant is made reasonably waterproof. However, in reality, there are those like silicone sealants, which are better at repelling the water than others. You should have this in mind when selecting from your pick.
- UV stabilization
The sun is one of the most degrading elements on our roofs. It radiates its heat through transparent UV (ultraviolet) beams which cause all sorts of compound responses from substrate materials. With that in mind, it’s important that you have a roof sealant that is UV stabilized and reflects the most sunlight. You can get this quality in brightly colored sealants, but for an overall better experience, the sealant you choose should have that ‘’UV stable ‘tag on their label.
- Tear resistance
Another aspect of durability is tear-resistance. Here, if the surface forms tears easily, its protective layer creates a point of weakness, making it useless in protecting your roof. Safe to say, you will want the most tear resistance sealant.
Rigidity is also important when it comes to durability. You see rigidity in sealants work by adding extra fibers in the formula which in turn adds the overall tolerance to pressure. Highly rigid sealants will do well in areas where there is more foot traffic. Or where it is more exposed to forces from the elements.
Ease of application; which is the most effortless?
When it comes to ease of application, it all falls down to the means of application. How long the sealant would take to dry, as well as how many levels of coating they would need to work best. In this case, silicone comes top as the easiest to apply. Not only does it dry quickly but is also only needs one coat to function well. Overall, silicon is the easiest to apply. When it comes to urethane and acrylic products most, require both a primer coat and other additional coats in order to achieve full capacity.
What color of the sealant should I choose?
Sealants come in different colors. The most common are clear and white. You can choose as per whichever suits your preference and blends well with your particular roof situation. Also noteworthy is that bright colors tend to reflect more sunlight, which is a good thing because they help prevent degradation from the sun’s heat. However, much as white sealants are bright in nature, they are prone to getting dirt more often.
How often should I apply my roof sealant?
Well, this is mostly dependent on what kind of situations you expose your roof to and the climatic conditions of the area you tend to frequent most. Ideally, you might need to apply every 6 months to a year. Best practice would be to inspect your seams after every six months. If you keep your roofs under additional cover, sealing it annually would be sufficient enough.
How do I apply my roof coating?
Applying a roof coating is much easier than you may think. When it comes to any rubber roof or liquid rubber application, preparation is key. That said, you should first ensure that your surface is cleaned before any preparation. For this reason, some sealants come with specialized roof cleaners for this purpose. You can also apply some form of denatured alcohol using a soft cloth for an overall better result. You should also make sure to remove the old sealant that may have been applied initially.
Now, when it comes to the application itself, the ideal weapon of choice would be a caulking gun. Here you’d run a bead of caulk all over the particular part of the roof that needs repairing. That’s basically it. If you need it to repair a crack, you should start by using a lesser amount of sealant, and then apply more if need be.
What number of coats should I apply?
This number of coats you need purely depends on the type of rod sealant that you need. If you are using urethane or acrylic sealants, you will need to use the primer as well as a couple of sealant coats. If it’s silicone-based, in most cases, you’ll only need one coat, without a primer. That said, when using acrylic or urethane coatings, it is best to apply thinner coats as opposed to one thick coat. In this way, your roof will be much more secure in general.
Overall, roof sealants are a wise addition to any roof, whether damaged or not. They increase the resilience of your roof to the elements and will help save a ton of energy and money on roof repairs. That said, you should keep in mind your own particular goal or objective that you intend to achieve and budget at hand before selecting your particular sealant.
If all you need is some minor touchups on roof penetrations or leaks, caulking would be the most common solution. On the other hand, if you want to make an overall barrier of protection against weathering damage or UV damage to your roof, you might need to consider coating or a roof sealant that matches your roof’s rood type. We hope our top selection plus buyers guide will bring you a step closer to keeping a stronger roof above you and your family’s head.