Typically, a person does not think of painting as something that is normally done to roofs; however, in certain cases paint can be appropriate. Depending on the type of installation and the type of maintenance to the roof that is required, paint, or other kinds of roof coatings, can be extremely helpful. While painting may be a part of good roof maintenance for some types of roofs, it is not recommended for every roof. Before picking up a roller or spray gun, it is best to understand when paint or coatings are appropriate, versus when roof repair or replacement is necessary instead.

Painting A Roof to Improve Appearance

Roofs can become weathered and faded from the elements, making them look dull. Some roofs can actually be painted every so often to improve their appearance and protect the surface, as part of roof maintenance. Flat roofs are commonly painted, just like metal roofs, wood shingle, or shake roofs. Tile roofs can be painted if they are made of tiles that can absorb the paint, like cement or terra cotta. Paint is usually rolled onto flat roofs and sprayed onto tile and metal roofs to provide the most thorough coverage.

Painting on Roof Coatings

Sometimes roofs require or can benefit from the application of special purpose roof coatings. Elastomeric coatings can extend the life of various types of flat roofs, including membrane roofing, tar roofs, and built up roofs. Elastomeric coatings are also used to repair cracks and small defects in these types of roofs. There are also many white and reflective “cool roof” coatings for these kind of flat roofs, to reduce the amount of heat absorbed by darker roofing material.

Metal roofs are also commonly painted with different roof coatings, including those made to increase reflectivity and decrease the absorption of UV rays. These coatings commonly have colors or tints in them, and are available in acrylic or oil based formulations that include various degrees of UV and reflective protection. Occasionally painting a metal roof with a rust preventer is also recommended as part of the best roof maintenance.

Painting Asphalt Shingle Roofs

Paint for decorative purposes is not normally recommended for use on asphalt shingles, although it can be done. The main concern when applying paint, or even special coatings, to asphalt roofs is that the paint must be elastic and breathable and correctly applied. Asphalt roofs should only be painted using latex paint and a spray gun, and any paint used should be thinned down and applied in multiple, thin coats. Be warned that painting an asphalt shingle roof may cause the protective granules to fall off the shingles; it is quite possible that the paint could look unevenly applied after it dries simply due to the asphalt and granule surface.

Although not all roofs require painting as part of roof maintenance, some can benefit from being painted, or from the application of other roof coatings. Yet all of this depends on many details, including the type of roof, its condition, and the type of roof coating being applied. Homeowners with questions about whether their roofs should be painted or if there are helpful coatings that can be applied should contact an experienced roof maintenance company!

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