What Is a Roof Coating and How Long Can They Last?

By Jamie Orr
Date 04/02/2021
what is a roof coating and how long can they last?

Roof coatings are an effective way to protect your roof from the weather. While they all have one thing in common – coating your roof – there are several types of roof coating which offer different benefits as well as varying lifespans.

In this post, we’ll discuss the different types of roof coating and how long they will protect your roof.

The different types of roof coating

One of the most well-known groups of roof coating are those used directly on flat roofs for waterproofing. These come in various types such as GRP (glass reinforced plastic) or EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer – or rubber for short).

These coatings are used solely for waterproofing on flat roofs – anything below 12.5 degrees, but typically between 1-4 degrees. They do a reasonable job as the roof’s main covering, preventing water from building up and getting into your property.

However, another group of roof coatings are available specifically for roofs with a higher pitches. A cork-based coating can be used on roofs with a pitch of 4 degrees or more to waterproof the existing roofing materials.

Cork-based coatings are sprays which are applied in a thin layer to ensure a complete seal across your roof. As well as waterproofing, it can also provide added thermal insulation and acoustic reduction from noisy weather like rain, wind and snow. Cork also has the added benefit of being eco-friendly, taken from the bark of a tree which can quickly grow back.

How long do they last?

The lifespan of your roof coating depends on which type of coating you choose. Most roofing products come with a warranty of up to 20 years. That means they will stay on your roof and provide some form of waterproofing over that period.

However, what you’ll find in most cases is that they’ll need redoing again and again. Despite being warrantied for 20 years, roofing materials lose their strength and waterproof qualities over time. That means you’ll need to repair, maintain or reapply them a few years down the line.

In contrast, cork is naturally very hard wearing. This means that it will continue to perform at its best beyond any warranty you’re offered. That said, you’ll still get a guarantee of 15 years to protect you from an installation faults.

8 benefits of a roof coating

We’ve already touched upon the qualities of a good roof coating. But it’s worth looking at those advantages in a bit more depth to help you decide whether it’s right for your property.


First things first, roof coatings create a waterproof seal on the surface of your roof. This eliminates the risk of water penetrating your roof, which can cause disruption to any household or business. Rain will simply run down into your gutters as it should when your roof is doing its job.

Thermal insulation

Equally important for many customers are the thermal properties of a roof coating. Most roofs aren’t well insulated, meaning heat can pass through them with ease. That can be combatted with loft insulation for your primary roof, but what about your conservatory? In most cases, they get too hot in summer and too cold in winter. A roof coating can remedy that, giving you a comfortable space throughout the year.

Sound reduction

Another big problem for conservatories is the noise. The moment rain starts falling, you’ll be well aware if you’re in your conservatory or anywhere in your house. A good roof coating can reduce that noise significantly, acting as a soundproof barrier on the inside or outside of your conservatory roof.

Fresh appearance

The most obvious difference will be the appearance of your roof. Whether it’s an industrial roof or conservatory, a coating will provide a smooth, uniform appearance that looks as good as new. With SprayCork, you can choose from a range of colours to match your property or existing roof.

Increased longevity

By waterproofing your roof and revitalising its appearance, a roof coating can effectively extend the lifespan of your conservatory or industrial roof. That saves you money on a replacement without having to put up with years of leaks, patch repairs and poor performance.

Better for the environment

Using a roof coating is better for the environment than replacing your roof altogether, as it stops materials going to landfill and eliminates the need for new roofing materials to be produced. Even better, a cork-based coating is extra-friendly to the environment as the trees absorb more CO2 when their cork-rich bark is stripped.

Highly versatile

While traditional roof coatings like GRP or EPDM can only be used on flat roofs, modern roof coatings can be used on practically any roof. Popular applications include both pitched conservatory roofs and large-scale industrial roofing.

Minimal disruption

Our roof coating is spray applied, directly onto the surface of your roof. While some preparation is required, there’s no need to strip back your existing roof before getting started. This is a big plus for industrial projects, where it can take hours or even days to remove and replace the roof. In that time, the site may be unusable, meaning lots of time and money is lost. In contrast, SprayCork can be applied while you use your site as normal.

Find out more about cork roof coatings

A cork roof coating can provide water-resistance, thermal efficiency and noise reduction for up to 60 years on your roof. That’s far more than you’ll get from any basic flat roof coating – and for far longer.

At CorkSol, we provide industrial roof coatings and conservatory roof coatings that act as a long-lasting alternative to costly, disruptive repairs and replacements. On top of all the functional benefits, our sprayed roof coating offers a stylish, modern and uniform finish with a choice of 30 colours.

Want to find out more? We’re not surprised. Get in touch with our team online to discuss your options and get a quote for coating your roof.

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