What is Elastomeric Paint – Is It Really Worth Trying?

What is Elastomeric Paint

Not all paints are the same. There are some paints that have been designed for a specific use such as elastomeric paint.

You’ll find this paint in many homes, offices, and facilities as it serves a purpose that standard paints cannot perform.

IMO, its a worthwhile investment for many projects around your house but before trying you should certainly know about this type of paint, how it works and where to use them best.

So, I will try to get all the details about it (you should know about) – including the pros and cons of using it.  


What is Elastomeric Paint?


Elastomeric paint is kind of paint coating that is specifically designed for protecting the masonry surfaces.

It is designed mostly for exterior walls, roof coatings, or surfaces that are exposed to higher-than-normal levels of moisture.

A typical coat of elastomeric paint is ten times thicker compared to standard paints.

This means that it can form an airtight seal over hairline cracks and yet it is quite flexible, so that it can change with the environmental conditions that affect the surface it is covering.

Like most paints, elastomeric paint can be tinted, and it will last for a long time.

Because of its thickness, the paint will hold its color for longer compared to standard paints.

It is also chemical and mildew-resistant, so it will resist products that might otherwise damage standard paints.

Types

Homeowners who are considering elastomeric coating for their roof, walls or floors should know that there are various different types of elastomeric coatings available. These include:

1- Butyl

This type of water-resistant coating can easily withstand strong water force, hence it’s an ideal solution for flat and low-sloping roofs.

2- Acrylic

Environmentally friendly and long-lasting this is an ideal coating material for the roofs that have high and multiple slopes.


3- Silicone

Silicone types of elastomeric coatings have limited usage as it is not compatible with many types of materials (like EPDM coating).

It does work well to repair certain surfaces and can be used for polyurethane foam roofs or over the surfaces that’s already coated with silicone.

4- Polyurethane

This type of versatile coating is ideal for waterproofing and sealing leaks.

You can use it for wooden decking, single-ply roofs, EPDM rubber roofs, and other building materials.

How to Apply Elastomeric Paint?

Since the basic purpose of applying elastomeric paint coating is to provide maximum protection against the weather conditions, it’s essential to inspect the exteriors carefully.

The inspection process includes checking for any chipping, flaking, or peeling paint.

During the process contractors also perform tests for any kind of structural damage due to pests or conditions like moisture (such as damage made by molds, and mildew).

After the complete inspection, following steps are performed…

Step 1. Preparing the Surface

This is done by cleaning the surface thoroughly and removing the old stain or paint through hydro blasting, sanding, or scraping.

This step is important to make the surface uniform so that primer and paint can be applied evenly.

Step 2. Making Necessary Repairs

This step involves filling, patching, and correcting the defects such as small or big holes, cracks, and blisters on the surface.

Patching compound or a roof sealant can be applied to the problem areas using a trowel, to make the surface even for the application of the elastomeric waterproofing membrane.

Step 3. Applying the Elastomeric Primer

The primer should be well applied before applying the elastomeric paint as it will help in sealing the surface and filling up the imperfections.

Applying the right quantity and type of primer, before you apply the elastomeric textured coating, is important to provide extra protection to the surface which will avoid the penetration of water deep into the surfaces.

Step 4. Applying the Elastomeric Coating

This step involves picking the right coating product according to the surface you are working on.

For example, if you are elastomeric masonry sealer on the roof, make sure that the product is ideal for the roof’s material and the kind of slope you have in your home.

Also, there are few products that can be rolled and others that can be sprayed. Depending on your specific requirements you can choose the one to apply elastomeric roof coating.

When rolling or spraying, start working from one outer side towards the inward and then to the other side.

Try to maintain wet edge to get the best results without any imperfections.

Precaution and Tips when Applying Elastomeric Coating

For making the application process easier and smooth here are few tips you may follow:

  • Apply the exterior elastomeric coating on a nice sunny day, it should not be too hot
  • Try to use the roller on a larger surface and a brush for covering finer details like around your roof fixtures

The coating will take about 24 to 36 hours to dry and about a week to get cured completely, depending on the weather conditions.

If it rains after the elastomeric coating, the coating does not get damaged but the curing process may take a bit longer.  

So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to stay off the coated roof surface for about a month until the surface is cured completely.


Pros and Cons of Elastomeric Coating


It should be noted that elastomeric paint has been in wide use since the 1950s.

You can find it in many residential and commercial structures where moisture is an issue.

However, while the paint itself is proven, there are advantages along with disadvantages associated with its use.

Pros

Few of the reasons why elastomeric paint is being used by painters are…

1- Dense:

The very first benefit of using elastomeric paint is it’s quite dense. Up to ten times thicker when compared to standard paints.

You may not see that when the paint is wet, but it will become quite noticeable when it dries.

Consider that a standard coat of paint is three mils thick while elastomeric paint is up to twenty mils thick.

The density also means that the paint is quite strong under most conditions.

2- Durable:

Because of its density, elastomeric paint is also quite long-lasting.

Consider that the paint is designed to hold up to ten years under normal use conditions while the special coating can last even longer.

If you are looking to paint a wall and not paint again for a while, then elastomeric paint may be worth the price.

3- Stretches:

One reason why elastomeric paint is so durable is that it can stretch even after it dries.

This elasticity means that if the surface underneath the paint swells or retracts over time, the paint will stay in place.

This means that temperature and environmental changes will have far less effect on elastomeric paint compared to other types of paint.

4- Waterproof:

Arguably the most powerful advantage is that elastomeric coatings are watertight.

This means when you paint a surface that may have underlying moisture issues or is exposed to moisture constantly, it will resist it better than other types of paint.

Moisture is simply unable to penetrate the paint to the walls behind it and is perfect for the following surfaces.

  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • Ceramic
  • Masonry
  • Metal
  • Stucco 

You can also use the elastomeric paint on wood, although you will need to take greater caution and follow all directions.

The paint itself is mostly used in locations where moisture is present. This includes the outside of homes, offices, and facilities.

Also, it can be used indoors in rooms that are exposed to moisture such as kitchens, bathrooms, and basement floors.

5- UV Resistant:

In addition to being water-resistant, elastomeric paint is also resistant to UV or ultraviolet rays that come from the sun.

This means that the paint when used on surfaces like your wooden deck, will break down at a far slower pace compared to standard paints so that it will last longer.

6- Provides Insulation:

Also because of its thickness, it offers insulation qualities that help trap the heat inside during the winter months and outside during the summer months.

The result is lower electricity and gas bills for residences and structures that include other forms of insulation.

It may sound like elastomeric paint should be used in virtually all circumstances.
However, like any product, there are numerous details to consider before making a purchase.

Cons

While it may sound like elastomeric paint is perfect, it is not without its drawbacks.

You should consider the following disadvantages before rushing out to purchase elastomeric paint.

1- Cost:

You get what you pay for and elastomeric paint is up to 50% more expensive compared to standard paints.

However, it does cover the same space with a far thicker coating which means you will need fewer coats.

You’ll have to calculate the area being covered to see if elastomeric paint is right for the job.

2- Difficult to Apply:

Because this type of paint is considerably thicker, it is also more difficult to apply correctly.

Applied incorrectly and the benefits of the elastomeric paint may not come through.

Many people who are unfamiliar with this type of paint either thin it out too much or the result is having bumps and lumps which make an unattractive surface.

Unless you have worked with this paint before, you should hire a professional painter for the job.

3- Lumps:

Because of the thickness and nature of the paint, it is prone to creating lumps when not applied correctly.

A bumpy surface means that cracks may develop fairly quickly once the paint dries.

You can add another layer of paint to cover the bumps and prevent cracking, but that is adding to the expense.

4- No Permeation:

Of course, the reason why you are applying the paint is to prevent moisture from getting through.

However, this can be a problem as the paint does not go into the base coat.

This means that if the walls need some type of repairs, they will need to be addressed before you apply the paint.

Be sure the area is fully cleaned and dried before application. You will also need to back-roll every coat before applying a new one.

This means if you are using a sprayer, back-rolling is needed to ensure that the entire surface is covered.

The Bottom Line – Is It Worth Trying?

Elastomeric paint is quite thick, durable, and moisture resistant.

It’s worth your investment and is the perfect paint for certain areas of the home, office, or facility.

However, it is not the best paint for all areas.

Many times, it’s just a paint type that is over-prescribed by painters and professional companies and may not be essential for your specific project.

Be sure you understand the advantages and disadvantages before making your purchase. 

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