The Pros and Cons of Liquid Roof Coatings

Liquid roof coatings, also known as EPDM roofing or EPDM coatings, are a synthetic rubber roofing compound designed specifically for flat or low-slope roofs like those found in RVs and mobile homes. Although rubber roofing is also used on residential and commercial buildings, the available materials for RVs are usually quite different than the materials sold for building use. By getting to know this material, you can better understand whether or not it is the best choice for your RV roof.

The Advantages of EPDM Liquid Roofing

One of the biggest benefits of liquid roof coatings is the cost. Like rubber sheeting, liquid roof products are a fraction of the cost when compared to other non-porous or rigid roofing materials. It is also a really simple product to install or apply, so you can do the work yourself if you want. Even if you hire someone, you can trust that you will pay much less for labor because the job will go much quicker than other types of roof installation.

Liquid EPDM dries lightweight, which is another reason it works well on RVs. No additional reinforcement is needed, and you don’t have to worry about how much weight the roof is adding to your ride. The finished, cured rubber doesn’t scratch easily and can stand up to extreme temperatures and plenty of climates. Plus, when repairs are necessary, they are easy with caulking sealant and sealant tapes that are designed to work with your EPDM roof.

One of the first questions or concerns raised about rubber roofing is fairly obvious when it comes to RVs: rubber is black, so won’t it absorb heat? Yes, if you choose a product that dries black, your roof will absorb heat and cost more to cool in the summer months. However, many liquid EPDM products are being made with an added oxidizer that turns the rubber white with air exposure. This creates an even stronger layer of protection and a reflective surface that will repel heat rather than absorbing it.

The Disadvantages of EPDM Roofing

Liquid roof coatings don’t really have a lot of drawbacks. Some people don’t like the way that these roofs look when finished, but today’s products actually create a lot better look than you might think. Also, as mentioned above, black rubber roofing will absorb heat. The solution to this, however, is easy. White liquid roofing is available, as are products that will dry white.

How to Choose Your Roofing Material

Now that you know more about EPDM liquid roof coatings, you can make a more informed decision for your RV’s new roof. Use the advantages and disadvantages discussed here to help in your decision. Other factors that should be a part of your choice of new RV roofing include:

  • Personal taste or preference (if you have one)
  • Longevity
  • Maintenance and upkeep
  • Manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific RV (if any)

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make. However, by taking the time to compare your options and see all the benefits of liquid roof coatings, you might realize it is exactly what you need.

The Bottom Line

EPDM liquid roofing has been around for years, and for good reason. It is a cost-effective, easy-to-use material that anyone can apply. It provides full protection and requires much less maintenance and upkeep than other roofing materials. There are so many different styles of liquid roofing that there should be a product for just about every need. As an added bonus, many products are made of recycled materials, so you can feel good about your impact on the environment, too.

DIY Project: How to Apply Roof Coatings

Covering the roof with a protective layer is a common process for most homes. Roof coating covers the roof and prevents leaks, so it cuts down your energy costs. Roof coatings consist of liquid polymeric binders blended with pigments and other substances for durability and elasticity. Roofs that are coated with liquid membranes reflect UV sun rays, resulting in a cooler home interior as well as lower energy costs. Keeping a couple of things in mind will make this DIY project much easier to accomplish.

Prepare the roof

Clean your roof with a large broom to remove old branches, leaves, and other debris. Employ smaller wire brushes, putty knife or even a sand paper to take out old roof coating. Ensure that you don’t leave loose coating on your roof. Inspect your roof for any leaks. Remove any buildup of mildew using the solution of chlorine and water. You can clean your roof using a pressure washer machine if you have one. Smear any leakage areas with patching cement. Allow your roof to dry thoroughly.

Get the best roof coating

Find the best roof coating depending on your type of roof. Elastomeric roof coatings are normally used on concrete, brick, foam, metal, and aged aluminum. You can purchase roof coating at hardware stores in 5 gallon containers at different prices. The typical white and gray coatings will protect your roof, resulting in longer life cycles of the roof, and to reflect sunlight, resulting in lower costs of energy. Go for the correct type of product for your specific roof.

Properly apply roof coating

Plan your project in advance, ensuring you have a few hours of daytime as well as good weather. Blend the roof coating in the five-gallon bucket with the paint stir mixer according to the manufacturer’s instruction. Apply roof coating to the surface of the roof with a roller brush. Refer to manufacturer’s instructions for guidelines on the amount of coating you should apply per square foot of the roof.

Begin at one end of your roof and gradually work towards the other end, and ensure you have a way to come down. Don’t undercoat or overcoat any area. Allow your coating to dry thoroughly according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Coat your roof with another layer of coating using the same procedure. Using the right applications and product can prolong the life of your roof and give it an attractive appearance.