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Can You Paint Roof Tiles?

Painting roof tiles

A question we get asked a lot here at ProPERLA is whether you can paint roof tiles or not? In this guide we are going to answer all of the most common questions regarding painting roof tiles so you can find all the information you need in one place.

Can You Paint Roof Tiles?

Let's start with the question of whether you can paint roof tiles or not, as there is a lot of misinformation regarding this in the UK. 

The answer is simple, yes, you can paint roof tiles. Roof tiles of all types, from concrete to clay, can be painted using a specialist product called a roof coating. A roof coating is a specially designed treatment that adheres to the natural mineral surface of the roof tile, offering a beautiful new look to the roof.

Why Paint Roof Tiles?

You may be wondering, why is painting roof tiles not more common? The reality is, roof coatings are experiencing a huge resurgence in the last few years thanks to more advanced technologies being developed. Roof coatings were previously generally poor quality, meaning they could fail in a matter of years. This, along with unreputable companies selling roof coatings as energy efficient meant that painting roof tiles was something that homeowners were cautious to do.

Roof coatings cannot improve the energy efficiency of a property by insulating the roof tiles, This is because roof tiles do not transfer significant amounts of heat from a property when wet. If you want to improve the energy efficiency of your roof, loft insulation is the best option.

This is not to be confused with exterior walls that have been shown to be improved in energy efficiency when coated using a waterproof exterior wall coating. This is because exterior walls have been shown to transfer significant amounts of heat, leading to energy loss as a result. Over 35% of heat loss occurs through the wall of a property, and just 5% damp content within a wall can lower its insulation by 50%. By keeping exterior walls dry, you can improve their thermal efficiency significantly. 

So if roof coatings cannot improve thermal efficiency of a property, what benefits do they have? Painting roof tiles can:

1. Improve the performance of the roof tiles by providing them with a new attractive colour

2. Extend the life span of the roof tiles by preventing the loss of structural strength in roof tiles through weathering, frost damage and salt efflorescence, plus by obstructing the growth of unsightly moss, algae and lichens

Renotec

1. Improved Appearance

Roof tiles over time can become weathered, after all, they have to withstand a large amount of wind & rain, especially here in the UK. This weathering over time can have an impact of the roof, causing roof tiles to look patchy, discoloured and covered in moss.

Painting roof tiles provides the roof with a uniform finish in a colour of your choice. The impact this can have on the appearance of a property cannot be understated, as it can instantly give any property a clean, crisp look.

2. Protection

Contrary to popular belief, mineral building materials such as brick, concrete, stone, timber & roof tiles are all porous, meaning they absorb moisture. The more porous a surface, the more liquid or gas can pass through voids & be held in the material.

Moisture is the single biggest cause of building material deterioration. When temperatures go below freezing, any moisture that is present within building material such as roof tiles will undergo a freeze-thaw cycle. This freeze-thaw cycle causes the moisture to go from a liquid into a solid, causing it to expand. This expansion can cause cracks in the roof tile to open up, allowing more moisture to enter and then causing the cycle of deterioration to continue. 

Moisture can also create the ideal environment for moss, lichens & other green growth to develop on & in-between roof tiles. Moss does not just impact the appearance of the roof, by growing in the gaps between roof tiles, moss can compromise the ability for your roof to keep out moisture. If moss is allowed to grow on your roof, the moisture that the moss soaks up can cause roof tiles to rot due to the consistent exposure to moisture. Furthermore, the growth of the moss will fill the gaps between the roof tiles, which can move & damage the roof tiles. This is because the moss soaks up water & expands, which can compromise the bond between the adjoining materials that ensure the integrity of the roof. Eventually, roof tiles can crack under the movement & will need repairing as a result.

A roof coating is designed to help protect the roof tiles from this damage by improving its ability to keep this moisture out. Advanced roof coatings contain super hydrophobic technology that creates a water repellent surface on roof tiles. This water repellent surface prevents any moisture from entering the roof tiles, which not only helps protect it from weathering but also discourages the growth of moss that relies on this moisture to grow.

By protecting roof tiles, you can expand their lifespan, providing an alternative to the often costly and unnecessary roof replacement that some homeowners opt for. 

RENOTEC

Breathability

Not all roof paints or coatings should be used on a roof. As we have mentioned previously, poor quality roof coatings have often led to highly advanced roof paints being tarnished with the same brush.

Any product that is applied to an exterior surface, be it a wall, roof or timber, should be breathable. Breathability refers to the ability for water vapour to travel through a surface. If a paint or coating is not breathable, any moisture from inside the material will become trapped. Over time, this build up of moisture will cause the paint to fail, once it has caused significant damage to the building material.

This low breathability is generally found in waterproofing treatments that refer to themselves as 'sealers', A sealer will prevent water absorption but will achieve this while completely sealing the surface, causing moisture to become trapped underneath the film of the sealer.

Certain paints can also have low breathability, so it is crucial that you check before using a product that it will not impact the breathability of your roof.

Super Hydrophobic Nano-Technology

To provide a paint for roof tiles that prevents water from entering a material but while also maintaining breathability, we developed super hydrophobic nano-technology here at ProPERLA.

ProPERLA products create a super hydrophobic surface that repels water, preventing up to 96% of water absorption. This is caused when water droplets are unable to stick to the painted surface, instead simply forming beads on the surface of the materials.

Roof paint

Roof tiles painted using RENOTEC Roof Coating

While preventing water absorption, the products also remain highly breathable, allowing water vapour to naturally pass through the substrate. This maintains the breathability of the material and ensures it stays dry long-term. This is what gives ProPERLA nano-technology its durability. Independent testing was conducted of ProPERLA roof paints & treatments to find out how they would perform in the harshest weathering conditions. They were subject to 25 years accelerated weathering, exposing them to extreme weather conditions from sub-zero temperatures to 70°C. After 25 years weathering, the roof paints were found to have not changed in appearance or performance, suggesting that they would far exceed a 25 year proven performance. This makes our roof paints & treatments the most advanced products currently available in the UK.

ProPERLA nano-technology also has self-cleaning properties as any dirt on the surface is simply cleaned off with any rainfall, while also discouraging the growth of moss, lichens & green growth. This not only helps to ensure roof tiles do not become damaged, but also ensures that they remains clean and free from moss growth.

ProPERLA icons
Roof Tile Paint

RENOTEC Roof Coating

A highly advanced roof coating that protects roof tiles and provides them with an attractive coloured finish.

  • Chemically reacts and actively bonds to mineral substrates
  • For use on all  mineral  roof  tiles  including  concrete, clay and fibro cement
  • Super hydrophobic coating 
  • Manufactured in Germany using the very latest, superior nano-technology
  • Comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee and a 25 year life expectancy
  • Discourages discolouration and prevents salt efflorescence
  • Discourages growth of moss, algae and lichens
  • Helps to prevent frost damage
water repellent

ProPERLA Water Repellent

A one-coat super hydrophobic advanced clear coating for all mineral substrates, including absorbent roof tiles.

  • Chemically reacts and actively bonds to mineral substrates
  • For use on all  mineral  roof  tiles  including  concrete, clay and fibro cement
  • Super hydrophobic coating
  • Does not alter the appearance of roof tiles
  • Comes with a 10 year manufacturers guarantee and a 25 year life expectancy
  • Discourages discoloration and prevents salt efflorescence
  • Discourages growth of moss, algae and lichens
  • Helps to prevent frost damage

How Do I Paint My Roof Tiles?

ProPERLA products contain a specialist technology that must be applied by experts in order to ensure maximum performance. 

We have a number of approved ProPERLA applicators up and down the UK who have attended our rigorous training program to ensure they apply roof coatings to the highest level. To find an approved ProPERLA applicator, simply type your postcode in our applicator finder tool and find your nearest applicator, who can paint your roof & protect it for decades to come.

ProPERLA approved applicators, as they have attended our training course, can issue manufacturer guarantees on behalf of us to homeowners, ensuring the performance of their newly painted roof for years to come.

ProPERLA waterproofing technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Do you clean roofs before painting them?

When of the areas that causes some confusion is the cleaning of roofs before applying treatments. Roof tiles must be cleaned like any surface before painting to ensure the paint can properly adhere to the surface. This should be done by not damaging the roof, which is why it is often done using modern steam cleaning techniques that do not impact the integrity of the roof.

Q. How do I become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products?

To ensure our products are only applied by trained experts, we ensure that applicators attend our training course in order to become an approved applicator of ProPERLA products. Why not read more about our training course if you would like to be able to offer ProPERLA technology to your clients?

Q. What finish does ProPERLA Water Repellent leave?

ProPERLA Water Repellent is a clear roof waterproofing treatment that impregnates into the roof tile. This means that it does not work on the surface of the roof tile like a sealer, and thus cannot alter the appearance of roof tiles by leaving a different colour or sheen on the tiles.

Clean roof

A roof tile - half treated with ProPERLA Water Repellent and half left untreated.

Q. What colours are available?

RENTOEC Roof Coating comes in a number of colours that can completely transform your roof, from classic mid-brown shades to a modern black blue.

Renotec Roof Colours

Before & Afters

Want to see what a roof looks like once painted or treated using ProPERLA products? Here are some of our favourite projects:

ProPERLA Water Repellent (2)

A roof before & after ProPERLA Water Repellent was applied.

A roof before & after RENOTEC Roof Coating in rustic was applied.

Painted roof

A roof before & after RENOTEC Roof Coating in dark brown was applied.

Painted roof

A roof before & after RENOTEC Roof Coating in anthracite grey was applied.


Want to speak to one of our technical advisers for further advice on painting roof tiles? Send them an email to info@properla.co.uk & one of the team will be on hand to assist you with any questions you may have.


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