PORTLAND, Ore. – After years of gaining momentum, metal is becoming more popular for homeowners that are looking for serious low-maintenance performance and durability for the roof over their head. As we head into 2022, roofing contractors are starting to see that it’s also hard to beat metal. 

Quality metal roofing finishes and coatings up the ante even more by delivering a wide range of benefits and style. The right coating can help achieve a desired look, address a particular issue and even add years of life to a roof. 

Yet sorting through all the choices and considerations for metal roof coatings can be confusing. There are also specific performance characteristics that span the variety of available finishes. That’s where roofing contractors can set themselves apart. For example, certain coatings labeled as “cool” utilize special pigments that reflect infrared radiation and UV rays. These cool coatings can help alleviate heat build-up and reduce air conditioning requirements. 

According to the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), the leading nonprofit organization representing the residential metal roofing industry, here are the basics homeowners should keep in mind when it comes to selecting among the wide variety of metal roof coatings available on the market:

Painted Finishes for Metal Roofs

Modern high-performance metal roofing paints not only protect the roof but also substantially increase the energy efficiency and longevity of a roof. In addition, high-performance paint systems offer a wide range of different looks and colors to satisfy homeowners’ aesthetic desire. Quality metal roofs come with a baked-on factory finish, which also makes maintenance a snap. Most manufacturers recommend simply rinsing them with a hose and at most, using a solution of gentle soap and water to clean them. 

High-performance metal roofing paint systems can provide a durable finish with improved gloss retention, superior weather resistance and reduced color fading. These paint systems should be applied to a metal substrate at 0.2-0.3 mil thick prime coat and 0.7-1.2 mil thick topcoat. 

Sophisticated paint systems also can help homeowners achieve a particular look. For example, quality paint finishes that closely mimic the multi-toned appearance of natural stone such as slate deliver beautiful style while offering the strength and lightweight benefits of steel.

Stone Coated/Granular Metal Roofs

For homeowners who love the look of traditional shingled roofing materials, yet want the long-lasting performance of metal, stone coated metal roofs are an excellent choice. 

Starting with a base layer of metal (typically steel), the specially-primed roofing panels are first coated with an acrylic polymer adhesive and then the granular stone coating is applied, bonding the two. Finally, a clear coat sealer is applied over the top for extra protection. This type of finish offers homeowners all the benefits of metal roofing, in addition to great curb appeal for their home. 

Stone coated metal roofs also can be a solution for homeowners who live in areas where homeowner associations (HOAs) may not allow for standing seam painted metal roofing styles. Because stone coated metal roofs mimic traditional shingles so closely, they can fit within certain neighborhood design requirements while offering far better protection and performance as compared to asphalt. 

“As represented by our manufacturer members, homeowners have plenty of industry-leading options for quality metal roofing coatings to select from,” said Renee Ramey, MRA executive director. “From outstanding curb appeal to long-term performance, there’s no doubt that choosing the right finish for your metal roof can make a world of difference for your home.”