Metal roofs are incredibly durable, but over time, they can rust, corrode or experience issues of wear and tear. Leaving roof system issues untreated can lead to costly repairs along with damage to areas and furnishings inside the building. Fortunately, roof coatings can significantly extend the life of a metal roof at a much lower cost.

But which type of roof coating is best for a metal roof? In general, the choice comes down to either rubber coating (known as SEBS) or silicone coating. In most cases, rubber is the superior choice because it best handles the expansion and contraction caused by weather conditions. It’s also safer to walk on since it isn’t as slippery.

Still, both coating types have benefits to protect metal roofs, so we’ll take a deeper look at your options below.

Rubber Coating (SEBS)

Rubber is considered the best coating for a metal roof because of its high tensile strength and elongation properties. It creates a strong yet flexible rubber membrane that resists ponding water, corrosion and rust. Rubber coating is a popular choice in roofing material as it can withstand expansion and contraction alongside the metal due to its ample flexibility. This creates a barrier between the metal roof and the elements, such as extreme temperatures, harmful UV rays and rainwater. The roof won’t experience cracks or damage after rubber roofing is installed.

Additional benefits of an applied SEBS roof system include fire resistance, reduced roof temperature, longer roof lifespan, waterproofing, UV and ozone protection, thermal stability and expandability. All of those help extend the life of the roof. Our white rubber coating is also highly reflective, helping to lower energy costs. And when something on the roof needs service or attention, rubber roof coating provides good footing.

Silicone Coating

While rubber coating is the preferred choice for metal roof applications, silicone roof coatings provide a lower-cost alternative. They aren’t as good as rubber for handling expansion and contraction common to metal roofs, but they still provide excellent water and weather resistance, UV resistance and heat reflectivity.

Contractors like working with silicone coating because it goes on in a single coat without a primer and can hang on peaks without sagging.


Both rubber and silicone roof coatings are easy to apply and require almost no maintenance. From their weather resistance to their highly reflective surfaces for energy savings, both are solid choices for long-term roof performance. Both also offer a variety of color choices that give you more aesthetic freedom, and custom color-matching capabilities are available for certain products.

In general, our recommendation for coating metal roofs is rubber. It’s best suited to handle extreme temperature changes, expansion and contraction, ponding water and more. Rubber is the coating system of choice for metal roofs.

However, there are variations within types of metal roofs that could make silicone a great choice. The Inland team can help you determine the best coating for the roof surface of your project based on the specific roof type, the area’s climate and more. Contact us to speak with an expert who can help set you up for success.