flat roof coating system on an EPDM roof

Flat roof coatings provide many benefits. They do more than just stop leaks—they effectively reduce energy consumption, improve performance, lower maintenance costs, and extend roof life. More importantly, they cost about half as much as traditional roof tear-offs and replacements.

That said, when it comes to selecting the best roof coating for your flat roof, there’s an abundance of supposed solutions out there. So how do you choose? It helps to understand the most common problems that typically occur on commercial and industrial flat roofs.

Common Problems Affecting Flat Roofs

Flat roofs present a number of unique challenges in regard to the performance of a roof coating. Unlike sloped roofs, flat roofs are far more likely to suffer the effects of ponding water. Ponding—or standing water—typically occurs as a result of inadequate drainage caused by clogged drains, blocked downspouts, pitch issues, poor design, faulty installation, etc.

Poor drainage is only part of the problem. Even if ponding water issues (pictured above) are present on the roof surface, they don’t always manifest into leaks—at least not right away. This gradual intrusion of moisture is mostly due to the sun’s overwhelming impact on flat roof substrates.

Over time, the sun’s harsh UV rays take a devastating toll and eventually cause seams, transitions, laps, and other flashing details to fail. Small cracks, splits, and other tiny openings form in the roof membrane and allow water to enter the structure below. If not addressed accordingly, these troublesome leaks can lead to some very costly and intrusive repairs.

Fortunately, roof coatings are a highly-effective and economical solution to safeguard existing flat roof membranes from the long-term effects of the sun and rain. That being said, it is important to note that not all flat roof coatings are created equal.

What is the Best Roof Coating for Flat Roof Surfaces?

At American WeatherStar, we design and manufacture multiple ENERGY STAR® rated coating systems for flat roofs. Below we highlight some of the key features and benefits of our best flat roof coating systems. Each one is specifically engineered to restore, waterproof, and protect a wide variety of common flat roof substrates including modified bitumen, smooth and gravel built-up roofs, EPDM, TPO, single-ply, concrete roof decks, and spray polyurethane foam.

The Ure-A-Sil Roof Restoration System

Arguably the best flat roof coating system available on the market today, the Ure-A-Sil (urethane-silicone) System sets the standard for performance and value in fluid-applied commercial roof restoration. It combines the superior strength, flexibility, and adhesion of urethane roof coatings with the unsurpassed UV stability, reflectivity, and moisture resistance of silicone roof coatings.

This powerful combination of urethane and silicone coatings makes the Ure-A-Sil System the ideal solution to protect commercial flat roofs from the damaging effects of ponding water, UV degradation, and other extreme environmental conditions.

VIDEO: Click here to watch the Ure-A-Sil System being installed on a modified bitumen roof.

Learn more about the Ure-A-Sil System

The Envir-O-Sil Roof Restoration System

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly solution to flat roof coatings, look no further than the Envir-O-Sil Roof Restoration System. This system utilizes low VOC (volatile organic compounds), high-solids silicone roof coatings to deliver the waterproofing performance, and elemental protection you expect—all while having minimal impact on the environment.

The Envir-O-Sil System is the preferred flat roof coating solution for areas regulated by strict environmental standards. In recent years, the market for this type of roofing system has grown considerably due to the negative impact of VOCs and the desire to use more environmentally friendly roofing solutions.

The Envir-O-Sil System is also the go-to solution for recoating flat roofs with a previously-installed silicone coating system.

Learn more about the Envir-O-Sil System

The Foam-Gard SPF + Roof Coating System

A great alternative for flat roofs is the Foam-Gard System. It’s the premier spray polyurethane foam plus elastomeric coating solution for commercial roof substrates. With its unsurpassed insulative qualities, this system provides flat roofs with a seamless, energy-efficient, and long-lasting air and moisture barrier.

One of the most notable attributes of this system is its extreme strength and durability. In fact, a spray foam system, like the Foam-Gard System, is proven to increase the structural integrity of a roof structure.

The Foam-Gard System’s primary component is spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which gives the system industry-leading R-value and energy efficiency. This important characteristic provides buildings with the best insulation performance and resistance to extreme temperatures—both hot and cold.

While this SPF foundation layer is incredibly strong, it will deteriorate rapidly if exposed to the sun’s UV rays for too long. To prevent this from happening, an elastomeric roof coating (e.g., acrylic, silicone, or urethane coatings) is installed over the spray foam layer. This provides the system with much-needed UV protection and added resistance to heat absorption (emissivity).

Learn more about the Foam-Gard System

Protecting Your Investment

For guaranteed protection and peace of mind, all the roof restoration systems mentioned above are eligible for long-term NDL System Warranties, which cover both material and labor of the installing contractor, as well as “material-only” warranty plans.

Click here to learn more about our StarGard Warranty Program.


Flat roofs inherently present a number of challenges to the long-term performance of an elastomeric coating. The key to determining which flat roof coatings work best largely depends on their chemistry. As long as the system components are able to withstand the long-term effects of UV radiation and ponding water, it is more likely to be successful.

If you are a facility manager or property owner and would like to know if a flat roof restoration system is right for your commercial facility, click here to schedule a free roof inspection with an American WeatherStar Approved Contractor.