How Much Does Roof Coating Cost per Square Foot?

Ben Kissam
Written by Ben Kissam
Updated January 18, 2022
Detail of a roof with a garret house among trees
Photo: Rattanachat / Adobe Stock

Roof coating costs between $0.65 and $5 per square foot

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Roof coatings can help preserve the life of your roof and patch up problem areas that could lead to leaks or structural issues. Since no two projects are alike, most contractors don't offer flat rates or one-size-fits-all pricing structures for this type of job. For an average-sized roof, the total cost will likely be between $1,000 and $2,500 for materials and professional application.

How Much Does Roof Coating Cost per Square Foot?

In this guide, you'll learn how much roof coating costs per square foot as well as a handful of strategies you can use to bolster your roof without breaking the bank. On average, you should expect to pay between $0.65 to $5 per square foot for your roof coating project. 

The costs of roof coating can vary greatly, and ultimately, it comes down to what condition your roof is in, the type of coating you choose, and the material your roof is made of. If extensive work is needed, you choose a high-end coating like polyurea, or you have a particularly steep or difficult roof to work on, contractors may charge extra per square foot.

Keep in mind, recoating an older roof in an effort to prolong its life is actually a money-saving investment. The cost of a new roof replacement is around $5,500 to $14,000 on average.

How Much Roof Coating per Square Foot Can I Get on My Budget?

Detail of a professional coating a rooftop
Photo: Jorge / Adobe Stock

For these budgeting examples, we'll use the average roof size of an American home, which is around 1,700 square feet.

<$500

For an average-sized roof, homeowners can coat their roof with acrylic elastomeric coating, which is the most affordable substance at between $0.15 and $0.75 per square foot

If you have a very small roof (or one needing minimal coating in certain areas) you may still be able to spring for cheaper forms of polyurea—considered the longest lasting material to coat a roof with—which requires two coats.

$500—$1,000

Polyurea and affordable silicone roof coatings are possible for budgets under $1,000. But you may need to get a few quotes and possibly tackle the project in the offseason, just before cold weather starts to creep in.

For the record: Getting multiple price quotes is a good idea, but your roofing specialist should still always be licensed, bonded, and insured.

$1,000—$2,500

Silicone, EPDM (a liquid rubber that is popular in climates that don’t experience a lot of heat or humidity), and high-end polyurea roof coatings are available in this price range. If you're getting your entire roof coated, you still may need to opt for a cheaper substance to stay under $2,500. Keep in mind, roofing professionals charge by the square foot for both material and labor.

$2,500+

Beyond $2,500, you're looking at a full roof coating with whichever roof coating substance you prefer. Silicone and polyurea are the most popular, especially if your goal is to waterproof and extend the life of your roof.

To save money long-term, you may be able to lock in a legacy rate for recoating with the same business. You should recoat your roof once every five years to preserve it, so even if you pay a little extra now, you might be able to save money if you plan on staying in your home for many years to come.

How Much Does It Cost to Coat a Roof Yourself?

In theory, you could cut the price of your project in half if you just paid for materials and took care of the labor. Most roofing professionals charge about the same amount per square foot for materials, then again for application.

However, hiring a professional is well worth the cost (and highly advised) when it comes to roof coating. Their knowledge and risk assessment skills ensure your roof stays protected and no one gets injured in the process.

Licensed and insured roofing companies also protect you as the homeowner in the event that someone is injured on your property. Take note of warning signs your roof needs replacement to mitigate repairs needed in the future, like curling shingles and saggy spots.

Roof Coating per Square Foot Cost Breakdown

Two major things determine the cost of your roof coating project, but other factors could increase the price.

Roof coating labor and material average costs range from $0.15 to $3.00 per square foot

Materials

Roof coating materials range from $0.15 to $2.50 per square foot. Acrylic coating is the most affordable (even the best kinds cost under a dollar per square foot). Liquid rubber and high-end polyurea (which requires two coats) will cost in the $2 to $2.50 range per square foot.

Application

Local roof sealing professionals typically charge between $50 and $80 per hour when installing or repairing a roof. However, the real cost of a new roof may vary. 

Installation costs range between $0.25 and $3.00 per square foot. Polyurea is the most expensive ($2 to $3 per square foot) because it requires two coats.

Other Considerations

The size, shape, and material your roof is made could increase roof coating costs. Each roof is different, which is why roof coating professionals don't typically offer a flat-rate.

How Much Does Roof Coating Cost per Square Foot by Style?

Long-lasting roof materials could cost more to add sealant to, while recoating a flat roof isn't as cheap as you might think.

Asphalt Roofs

Asphalt roofs cost about the average ($1,000 to $2,500) for materials and application. 

Homes with lots of objects on top or with vulnerable areas (chimneys, skylights, flashing) may require the application of bitumen, an asphalt-based sealant, which could drive up the price. Bitumen costs between $0.75 and $1.50 per square foot.

Metal Roofs

Elastomeric coatings are needed for metal roofs to prevent corrosion and preserve their life. You might pay an additional $1 to $2 per square foot for these materials.

Flat Roof

Recoating a flat roof can actually cost more in some cases, depending on the coating material you choose. Higher-end coats like polyurea could cost as much as $5 per square foot to purchase and apply.

Steep or Sloped

If your home has more than just the roofing essentials on it, such as skylights or abnormally steep grades, you may have to pay extra per square foot for your recoating job.

FAQs About Roof Coating Costs per Square Foot

Why is roof coating important?

Roof coating prevents leaks and preserves the life of your roof. You can prolong the life of your roof by getting it recoated every few years to keep out moisture, animals, and other things that compromise the top of your home.

Should you DIY a roof coating job to save money?

There are many projects that you can save money on as a homeowner by tackling it yourself. But roofing jobs, including extensive roof coating work, should be performed by a roofing professional. 

The realty is, your roof is the major line of defense from wind, water, and animals getting in your home. You want someone with experience tackling this type of work, even if it's going to cost you more. The safety threats that come about when working on a sloped or steep roof also offer a very good reason to consult a professional.

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