How Much Does It Cost to Coat or Seal a Roof?
$487 - $2,282
$487 - $2,282
Updated October 10, 2022Written by HomeAdvisor.
The average cost to seal a roof is $1,372 and typically ranges between $487 and $2,282. However, you may pay as little as $100 or as much as $3,200 or more. That's a total average of $0.65 to $5 per square foot. The type of roof, sealant used, your current roof’s condition, and your location all affect price. Coating a flat or low-sloped roof is a common way to extend the life of your roof while cutting down on cooling costs.
Apply roof coatings to low-slope and flat roofs in both residential and commercial settings. They are both stand-alone roofing or topcoats for pre-installed materials. It adds an extra layer of waterproofing, increases fire resistance, and lowers cooling costs by reflecting heat. It also provides a layer of durability from chemical corrosion and physical abrasion. To extend the life of your roof and guarantee the highest quality seal, work with a professional roofing contractor.
Note: Mechanical fixes are always a better choice than coatings and sealants to stop leaks or repair cracks. If you find a leak or damage, replace and repair it before applying a coating or sealant.
2022 Notice: Material Prices Are Surging
Demand for roofing materials has grown over the past year. And as a result, manufacturers are increasing materials prices. Prices have gone up 5% to 15% this year, and many parts of the country are experiencing long delivery times. If you're planning a building project, we recommend starting as early as possible in the season, preparing for potential price fluctuations, and allowing extra time to order materials.
Let's calculate cost data for you. Where are you located?
Where are you located?
|Typical Range||$487 - $2,282|
|Low End - High End||$150 - $5,200|
Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,425 HomeAdvisor members.
How much you'll pay for your roof cost depends on which material your contractor uses. Silicone is among the most common and most affordable, while EPDM is the most expensive but creates a seamless, durable roof. Coating a roof is substantially less expensive than the cost of replacing a roof, so it's a good option if your roof is in moderately good shape.
|Type||Material Cost per Square Foot||Installation Cost per Square Foot|
|Silicone||$1 - $1.50||$0.50 - $1.00|
|Bitumen||$0.75 - $1.50||$0.50 - $1.00|
|Polyurea (Polyurethane)||$0.50 - $2.00||$1.50 - $3.00|
|Acrylic||$0.15 - $0.75||$0.50 - $1.00|
|Liquid Rubber||$1.50 – $2.50||$0.25 – $1.00|
|EPDM (Liquid Rubber)||$2.50 – $9||$0.50 – $2.00|
Of all the roof coatings, silicone provides excellent durability and long-lasting weatherproofing for a price between $4 and $1.50 per square foot. It's sold as a full roof coating that often doesn't require a primer. It is used as the covering for spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing systems.
Bitumen costs $0.75 to $1.50 per square foot and is an asphalt-based sealant used around flashing, skylights, and chimneys on asphalt roofs. It's not used as a complete roof coating and not often used on any complete roofing membranes besides a Built-Up Roof or Modified Bitumen Roofing.
A relatively new roof coating, polyurea requires a primer and two coats and costs $0.50 to $2 per square foot. It has the best insulating properties of all roof coatings. It's also the most durable, suitable for high-traffic areas.
Acrylic is the cheapest at $0.15 to $0.75 per square foot, and the most popular elastomeric coating. However, it has a higher failure rate than any other type and will need a new coat every ten years, if not sooner. Excellent for DIY applications and short-term coating and sealing needs.
EPDM or synthetic rubber roofing sheet costs $3 to $11 per square foot, installed. It's a good option for flat, low-slope roofs but does require professional installation, as it leaks through seams if care is not taken. However, it provides a tough, durable, seamless roof covering over smaller areas when applied in a single sheet.
Liquid EPDM creates a monolithic roofing system as opposed to EPDM sheets that create seams. Use it on almost any roofing type with the right primer. It’s generally thicker than other types of roofing and costs about twice as much at $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot. However, it often only needs a single coat.
Your roof type impacts the best choice of material and the complexity of the installation, both of which directly impact cost.
Flat roof coatings will cost between $0.15 to $2.00 per square foot for materials and an additional $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot for labor as broken down in the cost per square foot section above. This price is for a coating over a pre-existing roof system, such as a rubber membrane or metal roof.
Most pitched roofs are asphalt shingle or tile where complete coatings are not recommended. However, there are some exceptions and considerations when dealing with a pitched roof.
Metal: such as in residential settings, can use an elastomeric coating for corrosion resistance or just to extend the life of the roof. You'll usually pay an additional $1.00–$2.00 per square foot since the coatings must be applied in multiple thin layers. This is still less costly than the price of a new metal roof.
Asphalt Roll: For small leaks and tears, elastomeric bitumen sealants run between $15–$20 per gallon or about $6–$10 per 10-ounce tube. Use repair fabric in conjunction with these sealants. Fabrics will cost about $10 for a 25-square foot roll.
Asphalt Shingle: Only use bitumen or elastomeric sealants around flashing, vents and skylights. Using complete coatings on asphalt shingles is a short-term fix and may actually do more harm than good. Repairing or replacing your damaged asphalt shingles is the long-term solution. Replace any underlayment and damaged roof sheathing as well. Considering that installing a new asphalt roof costs an average of $9,200 and a new tile roof costs an average of $16,600, the price of repairing asphalt shingles as a solution is well worth the investment.
If you're still set on coating shingles, you may want to try one of these options:
Envirosafe Shingle Roof Coating: $230 per 5-gallon pail. It comes in a variety of colors with a 10-year warranty.
Armor Shingle Roof Coating: $380 per 5-gallon pail that claims a breathable but waterproof layer. It has a clear finish and will cover approximately 1,250 square feet.
Membrane Style: is fairly rare to find on a pitched roof, but not out of the question. Depending on the type of material it's made from, you can install a complete coating to rejuvenate and seal your roof. Your current roofing material will determine the type of coating you'll need.
Applying a coating to a mobile home roof costs between $0.50 and $4.50 per square foot, including installation. The most common options for mobile home roof coatings are acrylic and liquid rubber. If a new coating won't fix the problem, replacing a mobile home roof costs $1,500 to $5,000 and may be the only solution.
There are a few considerations to take into account that depend on the type of roof you currently have. Whatever type you have, be sure to seek advice from a qualified specialist who works specifically with the material. Not all roofing contractors work on all types.
|Roofing Material||Cost Range (per square foot)||Average Cost (per square foot)|
|SPF||$1.50 – $2.50||$2|
|Meal and Aluminum||$1.50 – $3||$2.25|
|Asphalt Shingle||$0.75 – $1.50||$1.10|
Polyurethane foam roofs are one the best options for flat roofs. Part of a polyurethane foam roof is the topcoat, usually a silicone membrane. You'll probably want to recoat or seal your silicone roof with another coat of silicone for $1.50 to $2.50 per square foot, including labor. Verify your roof’s coating type; various coatings do not always adhere to each other.
For a pitched metal roof, expect to spend between $1.50 to $3 per square foot on labor. Metal roofs are for flat, low slope and pitched roofs. You can apply almost any type of coating to a metal roof. Depending on the pitch of the roof, the coats are applied in thinner layers. It may need more than two coats and increase application time.
Bitumen, at $0.75 to $1.50 per square foot, is used around flashing and other areas surrounding the asphalt. You can use it to temporarily fix a broken or leaking asphalt shingle before replacing it fully, but you should never need to apply a full coating to any asphalt-shingled roof. Be sure to mechanically repair and replace all damaged shingles and underlayment.
A lot of debate surrounds sealing concrete or clay-tiled roofs. Concrete is a porous material, but the roof’s pitch, in conjunction with the overlaid arrangement, keeps water out. You can apply some sealants to concrete tile. However, we recommend repairing and replacing; sealants are usually unnecessary, and applying them may harm your roof.
Wood shingles never need any type of sealant. When wood leaks, you'll need to find the cause and mechanically fix the leak. Sealants can harm wood shingle and shake. If you have a wood roof, speak with a qualified, licensed wood roofing specialist for any repairs you need.
Common brands found in the U.S. at hardware and home improvement retail stores present a cheap solution for the competent DIYer. Your contractor is likely purchasing straight from a manufacturer from the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Associated. Here are a few of the common retail brands.
Gaco: $0.70–$1 per square foot. They make a wide range of 100% silicone, acrylic, polyurethane, epoxy, and spray foam products for waterproofing and insulation your home.
Henry: $0.15–$0.40 per square foot. Makes acrylic and asphalt emulsion coatings and sealants. Manufacture full roofing systems, adhesives and spray foam insulation.
Black Jack: $0.25–$0.40 per square foot. Makes elastomeric siliconized coatings at a bargain price for a quick DIY job. Make asphalt sealant for sealing cracks, valleys, flashing and chimneys for about $15 per gallon.
Liquid Rubber: $1.50–$1.75 per square foot. Makes 100% liquid EPDM products for thick applications. Make caulks and fabrics used in EPDM applications.
Lanco: $0.50 per square foot. Makes a fully siliconized acrylic based roof coating for waterproofing and heat reduction. It has one of the longer acrylic warranties available at 15 years.
Ames: $0.65-$0.75 per square foot. Makes commercial grade acrylic and liquid rubber products for waterproofing roofing and decking.
A complete tear-off and replacement of a flat roof can cost anywhere from $3,200 to more than $11,000. Resealing your current roof can extend its life and avoid replacement. How often you need to do this will vary depending on the type, brand, coating thickness, and climate.
For example, a cheap acrylic may need work every 10 years. High-end silicones often come with 25- or even 50-year warranties. Though Polyurea has only been around for about 30 years, manufacturers often claim this type of sealant to be the longest-wearing.
Fluctuations in temperature cause expansion and contraction, including humidity levels and UV rays wearing on your roof. The best way to know how often you'll need to reseal is to talk to your roofing contractor. Ask them what type of roof to use for your climate and how often you'll need to reseal.
Aside from the type of roof and the type of coating you choose, several other factors impact the cost to seal a roof, ranging from labor costs to mechanical roof repair costs.
Labor costs make up a significant portion of the project price, with handypeople charging $55 to $75 per hour and roofers charging $45 to $75 per hour. On average, it costs $0.50 to $3.00 per square foot for labor alone.
Other cost factors include:
Cost of cooling and reflective coatings: $0.50–$4.50 per square foot
Cost of a roof inspection: $120–$320
Cost of roof cleaning: $300–$600
Cost of roof leak repairs: $10–$120
Cost to clean gutters: $120–$250
Cost to repair gutters: $200–$600
Cost to power wash a roof: $0.20–$0.60 per square foot
Cost of roofing permits: $100–$500
Cost of old material removal and disposal: $0.50–$2.50 per square foot
Whether adding a coat when installing a new roof or just recoating an old one, there are several reasons it could be a good idea, including:
Extending roof life
Flame and chemical resistance
All types of the sealants listed in this article make the claim of waterproofing—even going so far as to claim a year-round ability to withstand ponding water. Silicone and Polyurea tend to withstand ponding better than other types of sealants. However, the best type will depend on your current roof and climate. Discuss options with your contractor.
Coating a roof with white helps reflect solar radiation, reducing cooling costs by reducing indoor air temperature by as much as 20+ degrees Fahrenheit. Acrylic, silicone, polyurea and EPDM all come in white. However, silicone tends to lose its reflective abilities faster than other types of roofing.
If you are sealing a pre-existing roofing membrane you may only need one coat. This can reduce costs an average of $0.50 to $1.50 per square foot.
All the listed coatings claim to extend a roof's life. However, silicone and polyurea tend to do it better than any others, but you'll spend twice as much. Sealing a weathered roof, especially in harsh climates, can extend the life of your roof 10 to 20 years.
If you're on a tight budget, coating an existing weathered roof may cost $0.50 to $3 less per square foot than a complete tear-off and replacement. Code allows no more than two layers of roofing at any given time. However, coating a roof is often allowed over these two layers. Additionally, some materials, like liquid EPDM and silicone, can end up costing more than just removing and replacing the current roofing system. To save money and extend roof life, use elastomeric acrylics. They tend to be a cheap—though short-term—solution for tight budgets.
Prices vary for fire resistant products depending on type and manufacturer. Flame resistance with a UL class A rating is often required by code for all roof assemblies. Have a roof inspector determine if you need a flame-resistant product and if so, which one they would recommend.
This is a priority for homes with metal roofing near saltwater. However, you have options. Silicone, acrylic, liquid EPDM and polyuria are all highly corrosion resistant.
Roof preparation for installing a coating includes cleaning. Primers and sealants won’t adhere properly to a roof with dirt or debris. Without proper adhesion, the roof will fail and require replacement.
Most sealants suggest power washing your roof prior to application. It will only cost about $300 and assures full adhesion. Also, sealants aren’t a substitute for mechanical repair; repair holes, gaps, and cracks first. Roof repair costs an average of $750. A licensed roofing contractor will include this in their bid. If you plan to tackle the preparation yourself, a roof inspection costs an average of $200.
Regular maintenance includes cleaning. Cleaning a roof costs an average of $400. Keeping it clear of dirt, leaves, and branches is an easy DIY job. Good housekeeping to keep organic debris off the roof keeps mold, fungus, and moss from growing. Keeping it clean extends its life. Plus, it also helps the white finish reflect more heat.
Since the roof protects your home or business from the elements, it's best to consult a licensed roofer. An experienced DIYer with the right tools may get this job done themselves to save about half the project cost.
However, improperly installing a roof leads to, at best, expensively fixing the improper installation. At worst, extensive water damage to the home's structure. If you do plan to tackle the job yourself, use the proper safety equipment and fully understand how to seal a roof before starting.