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What is the Best Coating to Use for a Metal Roof?

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There are several factors you might be considering when it comes to protecting your metal roof for the long-term, and coating is absolutely on this list. What is the best coating for a metal roof? There are a few options and factors to consider.

At Mid Michigan Metal Sales, we’re proud to offer a huge range of metal roofing panels, metal  siding and other metal roof products for clients around Michigan, including a few varieties of pre-coated unified steel roofing and more. Here’s a primer on the importance of both substrate and coating for protecting your metal roof, the options for both, and which key factors to keep in mind while selecting.

Metal Roof Substrate

Before we get into the coating options for a metal roof, let’s first discuss the importance of substrate. The substrate is essentially the base layer of material that forms the foundation of your metal roof and affects its overall strength and durability.

When it comes to metal roofing substrates, there are two main choices: Galvanized steel or Galvalume. Galvanized steel is coated with a layer of zinc, while Galvalume is coated with both aluminum and zinc. This dual coating offers superior resistance to corrosion and rust, making it a popular choice for metal roofing.

It’s important to note that even the best coatings cannot protect against damage from poor substrate quality. That’s why it’s crucial to invest in high-quality substrate when installing your metal roof.

Metal Roof Coatings

Now that we understand the significance of substrate, let’s dive into the different options for metal roof coatings. There are a few options here:

  • Polyester: The least expensive option, polyester coatings offer basic protection against corrosion but may fade or chalk over time.
  • Silicone Polyester: A step up from polyester, this option offers better resistance to UV rays and weathering.
  • PVDF (Polyvinylidene Fluoride): The most durable and expensive coating option, PVDF boasts excellent resistance to fading, chalking, and environmental damage. It also comes in a wide range of colors to suit any aesthetic preference.

Now that you know your general options for metal roof substrate and coating, here are some basic factors that will help you make your final decision.

Corrosion Resistance Needs

Because metal roofing is primarily used for its durability, corrosion resistance is a key factor in selecting the right coating option. If you’re located in an area with high levels of moisture or salt exposure, it’s important to invest in a more durable coating like PVDF.

You might also want to consider the type of metal used for your roofing. For instance, aluminum and stainless steel offer their own inherent resistance to corrosion, so a less expensive coating like polyester may be sufficient.


Naturally, you want your metal roof to last for as long as possible, which is why durability should be a top priority when selecting a coating. PVDF offers the longest lifespan among coating options and also boasts excellent resistance to environmental factors like UV rays.

However, if cost is a factor, silicone polyester can still provide decent longevity at a lower price point.

Aesthetic Preference

While the main purpose of a metal roof is protection and durability, it’s also important to consider its aesthetic appeal. If you’re looking for a specific color or finish for your roof, PVDF coatings offer the widest range of options. However, if budget is an issue, polyester or silicone polyester may be more suitable.


Another important factor to consider is waterproofing. For areas with high rainfall or snowfall, a coating with better waterproofing properties like silicone polyester or PVDF would be ideal.

Environmental Impact

If you’re concerned about minimizing your environmental impact, it’s worth researching the eco-friendliness of different coating options. PVDF coatings are known to have a lower environmental impact compared to other options, making them a great choice for those looking for sustainable roofing solutions.

UV Quality

Your roof will be exposed to the sun’s harsh UV rays, which can cause fading and chalking over time. If you want to maintain the appearance of your roof, it’s important to invest in a coating with UV resistance like PVDF.

Maintenance Requirements

Finally, consider the maintenance requirements for each coating option. Some may require more frequent touch-ups or re-coating compared to others. Keep in mind that while a cheaper coating may save you money upfront, it could end up costing you more in maintenance costs over time.

When it comes to selecting the best coating for your metal roof, consider factors such as substrate quality, corrosion resistance needs, durability, aesthetic preference, waterproofing properties, environmental impact, UV quality and maintenance requirements. By understanding these key factors, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that will protect your metal roof for years to come.

Contact us at Mid Michigan Metal Sales for all your metal roofing needs and expert advice on selecting the best coating for your specific project. Our team is dedicated to providing high-quality products, excellent service, and reliable expertise to our clients throughout Michigan.

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