Disadvantages & Benefits of Coating Roof Tiles

Roof tiles are now available in many designs and many colors. There are even roof tiles that serve as solar panels.

However, roof tiles can change color and structure over time and therefore lose their effect. Now there are different ways to refurbish roof tiles or your roof, namely:

  • Coating roof tiles
  • Paint roof tiles, give them a color
  • Impregnate roof tiles
  • Replace roof tiles with other roof tiles or other roof covering

These ways all have their characteristics and will certainly affect the appearance of your roof.

In this article, we discuss the coating of roof tiles and what that does to the tiles and your roof; we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of coating roof tiles.

Do I need to Coat or replace roof tiles?

To know whether you will coat or replace the roof tiles, it is important what coating is precise.

Coating is the roof tiles provided with a protective layer with which you also give the roof tiles a color. This can be a different color than the roof tiles are now, or it can be the same color.

Various coatings are available. For example, there are acrylic-based coatings and polyurethane-based coatings. Each coating has its properties and functionality, so make sure you are well informed about the coating that the roofer applies.

Over time, the roof tile loses its function and color, and you must take action. If they are concrete roof tiles, they will lose their properties after approximately 40 years. Ceramic roof tiles have a lifespan of roughly 70 years. 

Roof tiles protect from the weather and are essential for your home. Damage to the roof tiles can damage the entire supporting structure; therefore, you will have to take action to keep the costs in check to some extent.

You are probably considering having a new roof installed and looking at the alternative because you are afraid of the job or because having a new roof installed is quite an investment. Coating can be a solution, but what are the advantages and disadvantages of coating roof tiles?

Disadvantages of Coating Roof Tiles

We start with the disadvantages of coating roof tiles and don’t be alarmed. It is quite a long list, namely:

  • It is a treatment that only affects the surface of the roof tiles. The coating does not absorb into the roof tiles. If these are porous, they also remain porous; a coating will not change this.
  • It is a solution that stays good for a few years, about ten years at most. Then you will have to repeat the entire process.
  • Coating roof tiles is not a sustainable solution.
  • Moment of coating is difficult to determine. If the roof tiles are already too far gone (too porous) and crumble, it is impossible to coat. Coating too early is also not a good idea because certain substances can dissolve in the roof tiles, which deteriorates the quality of the roof tiles.
  • Coating roof tiles is not a certified process. In other words, anyone can and may apply a roof coating. It is difficult to find a real specialist who has the right expertise.
  • The coating is no longer possible if several roof tiles are well damaged.
  • Before it can be coated, the entire roof must be thoroughly cleaned. No dirt should be left behind. Cleaning is decisive for the adhesion of the coating. Some roofs are so porous that they can no longer be cleaned.

These are the disadvantages of coating roof tiles. Unfortunately, there is nothing else to do.

Benefits of Coating Roof Tiles

There must also be advantages in coating roof tiles if there are disadvantages. They are described below.

  • The new coating makes the roof look new again.
  • You can give the roof a different color than the color of the roof tiles. This gives your house a different look.
  • It’s done relatively quickly. You don’t spend days in a renovation. The process is to clean the roof, let it dry, and then apply primer and coating with a sprayer.
  • The coating reduces the adhesion of moss and algae.
  • The life of the roof is extended by approximately ten years.
  • Coating the roof tiles is cheaper than having new roof tiles installed. The costs are approximately 50%-75% of the replacement value for a roof.

Just an explanation of the costs; cleaning and coating a roof of about 55-65 m 2 costs about € 2,000. In this case, replacing the roof tiles will cost you about € 3,800 – € 4,200. Of course, it depends on the chosen roof tiles because they are available in many price ranges.

These are the advantages of coating roof tiles.

Is Coating Roof Tiles a good idea?

The experience of coating roof tiles also depends on what you want to achieve with it. Coating is a good solution if you want to sell the house and give it a nice appearance.

If you want a permanent solution and a well-sealed roof, then coating is not a good solution. A roof renovation is a better solution, it costs more, but you are also freed from the problems for 50 – 70 years. So if you want to live there for a long time, invest in a new roof.

If it concerns a monumental building, I advise you to consult with the municipality about what is possible and what is not possible. They have requirements with regard to the well-being of neighborhoods and individual houses.

Even if you want to give your roof a different color, it is wise to inquire with the municipality. Maybe it’s not a problem, but you better know.

Coating is not a solution if you have major problems with the roof. Coating is a temporary solution and will not solve major problems. Probably many more issues need to be addressed, and a renovation is obvious.

To make a good decision, what you want to do with the house is important.

  • If you plan to continue living there for many years, investing in a new roof is better. This also increases the value of your house, and it is a sustainable solution.
  • If it is not certain that you will continue to live there for a longer period or if the investment in a new roof is too large, you can consider coating the roof tiles.

It is always challenging to decide, and I hope you succeed with this information. Good luck!

Also readHow Long Do Roof Tiles Last

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