A ceiling drip can be a stressful sight. It is vital that you select a roof sealant that is specially formulated to withstand harsh weather conditions so you can rest assured it will protect your roof. Elements such as rain, ice, and sunlight can wreak havoc on exterior roof joints and surfaces. In this guide, we explain how to find leaks and properly seal them.
Finding the source of a roof leak can be challenging, but it is vital. Roof sealant is the best solution for small- to mid-sized applications for diverting water or plugging holes and cracks; large damaged areas may require a more complex repair.
Assess where the leak is located in your home. Remember, water may travel from a different location depending on the architecture. Once you have an idea of where the leak is coming from, the safest option is to go up into your attic space. Look for black areas or mould because they are typically strong indicators of water leaks.
Go outside and check the tiles/roofing in that area. In flat sections of the roof, keep an eye out for misplaced tiles, standing water, mould buildup, or rotting sections. The most common type of roof leak is caused by an object that penetrates the roof, such as your chimney, roof vents, or anything else that passes directly through the roof.
It’s important to mention that using roof sealant is a serious matter and should only be done or learned alongside somebody who is experienced with the subject! When in doubt, always get a professional’s input to make sure you’re using the best coating for your roof.
What Does Sealing a Roof Mean?
Roof sealants are added to your roof to extend its life expectancy. Sealing a roof is typically done by roof repair experts. Sealing a roof provides an extra layer of the protective coating that can help prolong damage from extreme climates and other outdoor elements. Sealants are especially useful for roof types that collect water and debris such as flat roofs. It can also be used on other angled roof types as they age to protect from long term damage.
Once applied, the sealant takes the brunt from the sun, rain, and ice, and not your roof’s tiles. In addition, roof sealants can make your roof a little more fire-resistant and prevent the growth of mould and algae.
Sealants and coatings need to be applied by professional roof contractors who have experience applying them. For instance, a novice roofer may leave pinhole-sized openings in the coating which, believe it or not, are often enough to cause leaks and other issues.
Best Sealant for Your Roof
Deck Flex All-Purpose Clear Protective Sealer
This product is clear (colourless), making it suitable for a variety of surfaces that don’t do well with a white coating. This product is also very cost-effective, thus making it suitable for big jobs.
This product works on A VARIETY OF SURFACES. If you have a tile roof, then this is the best product to go for because of its excellent protection properties and cost-effectiveness.
If you’re somebody who is looking to use a roof sealant with tiles, this is the product you should consider. Like the other Deck Flex product on this list, it offers great value for how much you get. It’s a very versatile product that can work on a variety of surfaces and comes with a lot of it.
However, just like the product mentioned above, it also has the same issue of not being easy enough to apply.
Deck Flex Elastomeric Roof Coating
If you are somebody who wants to purchase a large quantity of roof sealant and have it last you a long time, this is the product for you. It is able to work just as well on RVs as it can on asphalt, metal, or built-up roofing (BUR), making it a truly flexible option.
As a silicone roof sealant, it has 89% solar reflectance to make sure that your roof can stay cool, also providing you with 30% energy savings. It is also ideal for flat roofs, being the most efficient product of its kind on the market.
One of my only gripes with this product is that it was advertised as being “easy to apply,” but it actually took some time and repeated coatings to work effectively.
Dicor RP-CRC-1 Rubber Roof Acrylic Coating
The product is made for RV roofs. It is truly a fantastic product of excellent quality. It only takes a few days to dry completely. You should note that even before it dries completely, it still protects your roof, even from UV rays.
The quality of this product negates the small amount that you get. Not only does it dry entirely within just a few days max (it should be noted, though, that it still works before this period), it can also protect your roof against UV rays easily.
Though you might not expect it as an acrylic product, it is extra durable and lasts you a very long time, making this the most sensible product to get if you want something truly durable.
EternaBond RSW-6-50 RoofSeal Sealant Tape
Similar to the formula-based sealants, it’s important to have a colour that matches the specific surface you’re adhering to. In many ways, this product is similar to the Liquid Rubber Sealant Tape I reviewed earlier in this guide (flexible and strong). Still, it has the added benefit of being more fit for sunny environments. If you have more issues with roof flashing during the brighter months, this is the perfect product to use when dealing with that.
GacoRoof GR1600-1 White Silicone Roof Coating
It is very easy to apply, sticking and drying easily. It also comes in a very appealing off-white colour and is very durable!
If you need something to use on specifically flat or slanted roofs, this is the best product available. It handles ponding water well and can take on a good deal of weight, making it the most worthwhile product of its kind to invest in.
Henry Company HE687406 Enviro Premium White Roof Coating
In terms of products that give you a lot for how much you pay, this Henry Company HE687406 is a great option. It is very similar to the aforementioned Deck Flex products in terms of how many surfaces it can work on. It is similarly very flexible but differs in the sense that it isn’t as long-lasting. For example, the Henry Company product was not able to sustain as well as the Deck Flex one under heavy hail on a roof.
Despite this, if you’re in an area that is incredibly sunny and doesn’t suffer from much heavy snow or hail, it is a great moderately priced product that gives you incredible value. It is also a unique product in the sense that it is an elastomeric roof coating, meaning that it has an extra elastic coating built-in to the product. This makes it very strong, durable, and a great value for the money you pay!
HENRY HE587372 Roof Coating
As an acrylic roof covering, this product does everything a roof sealant should. It helps you prevent your roof from getting any leaks while also being incredibly durable.
The only issue with this product is that it takes a few days to a week to truly settle in and dry completely, something that is slightly off-putting if you’re operating on a strict time limit.
When compared to other products on the market, this is incredibly efficient. It also retains over 70% of the initial reflectance of UV rays, enabling it to keep your house cooler. All of these reasons are why we believe this to be the best all-around roof sealant product currently available on the market.
Liquid Rubber colour Waterproof Sealant/Coating
If you’re somebody who wants to try a roof sealant without spending a good deal of money, this is the product for you.
Liquid rubber is known for its high-quality, affordable products, making this a great option for an affordable product that allows you to “test” out any products you might have questions about.
However, that’s where the benefits of this product end. It is strong but could be stronger when compared to other products. When using it on a metal roof, it works perfectly, but it’s not as effective with other surfaces.
That being said, this is a great product if you don’t want to make a huge commitment, but just want to try a roof sealant for yourself. It is incredibly effective for metal roofs, making it an ideal product if you’re trying to protect this type of roof.
Liquid Rubber Seam Tape
Sealant tape can almost be argued to be an entirely different product, having a significantly different application process than typical formula-based sealants. However, this doesn’t mean it isn’t any less effective.
This is a great product for preventing leaks on a variety of different surfaces, and it’s suitable for flat roofs, trailers, mobile homes, gutters, foundations, ponds, basements, and RV roofs.
If you want extra protection, it is also possible to apply a piece of this Liquid Rubber Seam Tape and then put another type of coating on top to ensure it stays on!
One small issue I had with this product, though, is that the tape itself wasn’t durable over long periods of time and the colour isn’t very impressive.
Primesource Building Products GCESRC2 Roof Coating
If you happen to live in a house or an RV that has a very flat roof in an area where it rains a lot, this is the roof sealant for you. It’s a remarkable silicone-based product that is easy to apply and use and is able to sustain any type of roof. It dries extremely quickly and can be used just 2 hours after it has been applied.
This doesn’t mean that it dries entirely after just 2 hours, but the fact that it can protect your roof from rain that quickly shows how effective a product it is. It is specifically helpful for flat roofs because it can take on a good deal of pooled water.
Because it’s a silicone product, it is not as susceptible to cracking and leaking that might happen with more common acrylic roof sealants, making it a must-have for its price.
Rubber seal Liquid Rubber Waterproofing and Protective Coating
When it comes to the most popular roof sealants, typically the colours are restricted to white or similar colours. This is why I believe it’s important to have a product on this list that is grey, as sometimes it helps to be able to match the colour of your sealant to the surface you’re applying it to. If you’re also looking for a specific rubber roof coating, this is the best product of its kind. The only downside of this product is that it comes with only one gallon, but that’s it!
That being said, it has great insulation to make sure heat doesn’t get through and is also resistant to both UV rays and aging. It is also EPA Energy Star Rated! Because of the latter two points, it is very durable and just as useful as all of the other products on our list. If you’re looking for a grey sealant to use, this is your best bet.
Different Types of Common Sealants For Your Roof
There are different types of common roof sealants that you should be aware of, each with their benefits and disadvantages.
Acrylic Roof Coatings
This type of roof sealant is the one you’ll come across most frequently. It is available in both water-based and solvent products with the overall quality depending on the specific product you use. Despite the range in quality, acrylic roof coatings are typically good for various types of weather, whether it be rain or shine. The coating is specifically engineered to deflect ultraviolet (UV) rays, meaning that it stays strong over time.
Polyether roof coatings are moisture-cure and are more durable compared to the other roof sealant options. They have a good rate of adhesion and can be applied in colder conditions without compromising the material. They have good weather resistance, are environmentally friendly, and are highly OSHA compliant. They are easy to apply, fast curing, and normally last for 20 to 30 years when applied properly.
These types of coatings are solvent-based and come in either aliphatic or aromatic types. The aromatic type is less UV stable than aliphatic. The coating has high abrasion resistance characteristics. It is therefore preferred in areas where there is high foot traffic on the roof or places that experience hailstorms.
Rubber Roof Coatings
These types of coatings are usually considered quite expensive when compared to other products on the market. Still, they are effective for making sure that your roof is entirely durable and safe from inclement weather. Because they are made of rubber, they have a certain amount of flexibility that allows them to be durable and not as easily damaged. If you use rubber roof coatings, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to replace your roof anytime soon. Not only do they protect your roof from UV rays, but they can also be very effective against infrared radiation.
Sealant tape is one of the easier roof sealants to apply, as all you have to do is apply it to the spot you need to cover up. Where it works well, it is incredibly efficient and useful. However, this doesn’t mean that it is efficient everywhere you need to put it. For example, sealant tape often has trouble adhering effectively to wood and similar types of surfaces. That being said, it is typically cheaper than other products, making it worth looking into if you need to fix something minor.
Silicone is another commonly used option for roof coating. It possesses a wide range of formulations. These include acetoxy-cure formulations, which are generally the cheapest, and oxime-cure formulations which are more expensive. Acetoxy roof sealants are not suited for metal surfaces due to corrosion, but they are able to resist discolouring which may occur from the UV exposure. Oxime-cure silicones are well suited for metals; they provide better adhesion and resist different weather conditions, but they cannot resist discolouring after UV exposure. Silicone Sealants are not a good choice for areas that have substrates that release heat and oil because they tend to weaken their adhesion.
When selecting the best roof sealant to use, you should consider one that is affordable, convenient for the task at hand, and will give you the adequate protection you need for your roof. No matter your budget or type of roof, you can choose from the sealants we’ve listed above.
There are many more roof sealants available on the market; we simply choose the best and put them on a list so that it would be easier for you to select your favourite.
Wondering if you need to use a sealant on your roof? Here at TopGlaze, we’re offering FREE inspections to our valued customers. The roof is one of the most important parts of your home. We want to help keep it in good shape!
If you have any questions about the process and the health of your roof, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 1800-887-798.
Alternatively, fill out the form on our website, and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we can.
When it comes to your roof, don’t wait for the problem to get bigger.