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What are the Options for Coating a Newer TPO Roof?

Posted: 7/27/2020

Silicone and acrylic coating systems are both great choices for restoring and extending the life of a TPO roofing system. Here are some things to consider when planning.


  • A TPO membrane should be at least five years old before being coated. Coatings will not properly adhere to the shiny, slick top surface of a brand-new TPO membrane – even with application of the required primer and base coat. Ageing gives the membrane surface a matte finish that more readily accepts a coating, helping ensure long-lasting, weathertight performance.


  • Silicone coating systems are the best choice for roofs that experience occasional ponding water, thanks to the coating’s low water absorption. They are not a “miracle in a bucket,” however. If a roof regularly has ponding water, it’s a sign of bigger issues related to roof design, installation or maintenance. The cause should be identified and addressed before the roof is coated.


  • Acrylic coatings are the ideal option when there is no ponding water or when budgets are particularly tight.


  • To help ensure proper adhesion of the finish coat, the roof must be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt and debris. The appropriate primer and base coat – specific to the type of coating system being used – must then be applied before the finish coats are applied. Mule-Hide Products specifications require that the following products be used when applying Mule-Hide silicone and acrylic coating systems:


Acrylic Coating System

  • Cleaner: 115 Cleaner.
  • Primer: None required.
  • Base Coat: A-300 Base TPO.


Silicone Roof Coating System

  • Cleaner: 115 Cleaner.
  • Primer: Si TPO Primer over the entire roof. Then Si 2-Part Epoxy Primer over any ponding areas.
  • Base Coat: 100% Silicone Roof Coating.


  • The color of the finish coat is, of course, another important consideration.

Reflective white coatings are a smart choice for buildings in warm, sunny climates. They keep building interiors cooler to reduce utility costs and maximize the efficiency of rooftop air-conditioning equipment. Darker colors can be more appropriate in northern climates. They absorb solar energy, keeping building interiors warmer during the winter to reduce heating costs.

In mountainous areas, neighbors’ views of the roof should be taken into account. If a building at a lower elevation has a bright white roof, it can create a jarring view for occupants of buildings higher up the mountain. Mule-Hide Products offers a broad selection of finish coat colors, allowing property managers and designers to choose one that meets their needs, and those of the neighbors.


A TPO roofing system will deliver years of weathertight, hassle-free, energy-efficient service. The right silicone or acrylic coating system will keep it working at peak performance for years longer.

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