Roof Surface Preparation For Roof Coating: Why And How It Should Be Done

by Editor on May 23, 2013

steger_roof 006

Nowadays, the application of roof coatings is becoming a standard maintenance procedure in many homes and buildings. What could be influencing home and building owners to include this method on their roofs’ regular upkeep?

The primary purpose of roofs is to provide buildings a layer of protection against the effects of weather. Its secondary purpose is to improve the appearance of a structure. With these important functions that roofs play, regular maintenance is imperative to ensure that they will do their job properly.

These days, roof coatings are a vital aspect of maintaining roofs. When properly applied, these protective layers, which are placed on finished roofs, serve useful roles in the maintenance of all roofing substrates. They can extend the service life of roofing systems in nearly any environment; offer significant energy savings; and improve the appearance of roofs.

Why roof surface preparation matters

For roof coatings to last long and provide the highest level of protection, though, roof surface preparation is a must for a number of reasons. Understanding existing roof conditions will enable building owners to properly select a coating product appropriate for their roof substrate. This will also ensure that common repair proper problems like open seams, cracks, and other deficiencies will be properly addressed and would be prevented from reoccurring. Also, roof surface preparation will guarantee that coating adhesion will occur and the coating product itself will last for a long time.

How roof surface preparation should be done

Surface preparation procedures will be dictated by the existing condition of the roof. Usually, though, the following things must be carried out:


The surface to be coated should be clean and dry to ensure the coating product will not disbond from the surface. Cleaning the roof can be as simple as sweeping loose debris or as complicated as removing stubborn dirt and mold growth on the surface. Removal of wet insulation can also be a part of the cleaning process.  Failure to remove wet insulation can cause the roof’s membrane to prematurely deteriorate, encourage mold growth, and may cause the newly applied coat to disbond from the surface.


Roof damages should also be addressed prior to coating application. Cracks, tears, open seams, exposed foam and evidence of ponding must be repaired as these things cannot be saved by mere application of roof coating. If the roof coating is applied without repairing the aforesaid issues, the coating itself will be rendered useless later on as the roof will simply succumb to more serious damages that may demand expensive roof replacement.


Applying a primer is also recommended for most roof surfaces and may even be required by the manufacturer before the coating is applied. A primer is designed to prepare a roof for accepting a coating. It helps improve the overall adhesion of the coating onto the roof and in most cases prevent the roof from rusting. Primer application is best done following the manufacturer’s recommended thickness. This will ensure that the primer is even throughout the surface, minimizing irregular markings when the coating is applied.

About the Author

Ericka, a regular contributor for, specializes in writing topics related to home improvement. She also enjoys writing about technology, construction, and search engine optimization. When she’s not sharing her thoughts through her posts, she spends a lot of time reading crime, dystopian, and psychological-thriller novels.

photo by: JAHLUKA

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