Why paint your roof and how to do it

Roof maintenance and roof painting, in particular, is an investment every homeowner should be making. Unfortunately, many do not know what steps to take to look after the roofs over their heads.

painter paints a metal roof

7 reasons to paint your roof

1. You'll have a new roof colour and style

Aesthetic appeal was never a priority for old South Africans; function was the main priority back then. But, you can bring your house into the 21st century with the addition of fresh roof paint.

Painting your roof gives you the option to pick a colour that complements the style and design of your home. And make it stand out.

2. You'll protect your roof against the weather

Painted roofs are more resilient than unpainted roofs. They can stand up to torrential rains, scorching heat, gale-force winds, and even hail, all of which commonly occur in South Africa.

3. You will reduce the heat in your home

A quality roof paint will repel the sun beams in the hot summer months so that the heat is not absorbed into the roof. This will reduce the temperature in your home.

4. You'll lower the energy consumption of the building

Roof paint gives your home greater natural climate control. That means you don’t have to rely on air-conditioning units all the time to regulate your home’s temperature.

You will save on costs of electricity bills.

5. The roof will not leak or absorb moisture

A quality roof paint will form a hydrophobic seal over your roof tiles that stops the water leaking. With a waterproof seal on your roof, you never have to worry about your beams rotting or your roof tiles crumbling because of moisture build-up.

Good roof paint also forms a membranous coating over your roof that reduces the growth of algae, fungi and bacteria that thrive on roofs.

6. New paint will extend the life of your roof

Using good paint on your roof will also protect it from rust, cracks and fading.

You could add over a decade and up to fifteen years to the lifespan of your roof by investing in roof paint.

7. You’ll add value to your property

Between the added aesthetic appeal, the protection, and the cost-saving, roof painting will help you add to the value of your home.

Like every other part of structural home maintenance, painting your roof needs to be done by a professional. You must not try to do it yourself or leave it to some fly by night handyman offering the lowest rate. When you trust the work to a professional, the benefits are unmistakable.

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How to paint your roof?

Roof painting is a lot more than just slathering some paint onto your roof and watching it dry. It brings together all the different aspects of roof maintenance.

1. Inspect the roof

A roof inspection should be your first step during roof maintenance. The professional you hire should check the roof for cracks, breaks, rust, wear, leaks, and moisture build-up.

2. Repair the roof

Fix any issues you identified during the inspection; cracks, punctures, holes, shrinkages, tree damage and so on.

3. Clean the roof

The whole roof, as well as the gutters, must be cleaned out. It is best to high pressure wash the roof. Any debris, moss, algae, or dirt on the roof should be power cleaned, scraped off, and removed.

A thorough cleaning will show if the repairs you did earlier and reveal any issues you might have missed. The cleaning will also give you a clean surface to paint over.

You can also use this stage to apply any fungicides to prevent the growth of algae and moss on your roof.

4. Choose the paint

Roof paint is not the same as standard exterior paint.

Acrylic waterproof paint

Acrylic paint specifically designed for roofs with granular tiles.

This type of water-based paint is highly durable. It will protect your roof from water at any pH level, and its elasticity stops water pooling on top of your home.

This paint is also very quick-drying and can be applied using sprays, brushes or rollers. Acrylic paint is also odour free.

Epoxy waterproof paint

Epoxy resins give this paint a much stronger waterproofing ability than most other roof paints.

If you have had moisture problems or leaks in the past, ask your professional to use epoxy paint. Its stickiness and thickness will give your roof much greater protection than other paints, and it will last a lot longer.

Epoxy waterproofing paint widely available in South African stores.

Masonry waterproof roof paint

Masonry paint uses a mix of latex and ceramic and is one of the most commonly used roof paints globally. This type of paint is highly versatile. It is effective in waterproofing bricks, stones, and concrete.

Masonry paint mixes well with chemicals and other solutions making it very effective at combating fungal growth on your roof. It is also environmentally friendly.

A skilled professional can help you pick the best type of paint to complement the finish and material on your roofing.

5. Paint the roof

Once all your prep is out of the way, you can finally get to put some fresh paint onto your roof. This can be done manually with brushes or with an airless sprayer.

Most roof coatings only require one layer of paint, but depending on the colour changes a second thinner coat may be necessary.

We recommend that you leave this type of project to a professional. The complexity and steps involved make it difficult to achieve a good result on a DIY project. Take the time to speak to a professional about your roof; it will be well worth the investment.

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