Important roof painting guidelines

Inferior roof painting liquid rubber product

Important roof painting guidelines on obtaining quotations and procuring the right materials

In the past few years, we noticed a sharp increase in the cost of roof painting projects quoted by contractors. This can be mainly attributed to the rise in material costs, roof paint prices, and escalated fuel and labour costs.


The purpose of this article is to assist property owners in providing roof painting guidelines for:

  • Laying down some basic principles such as quality of paint, material requirements, etc.
  • How to obtain proper roof painting quotes that ensure a long-term solution and value for money

Roof repairs, waterproofing roofs, and roof painting have been Roof Buddies’ core business since 2011. We know that any roof painting project is a costly exercise. Something that one must prevent from doing every three to five years at least.

When a customer contacts us, we always endeavor to provide at least two different roof painting quotes. The reason for this approach is to provide customers with options which will lead to meeting their roof painting or roof maintenance goals.

We have seen that this approach assists customers tremendously in making an informed decision. It also contributes towards the customer’s piece of mind as they know that no matter what option is taken, the reason for the roof maintenance project will be met. This is said for the process we follow in providing the customer with value-for-money roofing work quotes.

When we look at the physical tasks of the roofing work such as materials, and labour it is important for the property owner to note the following. Although the focus when choosing roof paint, is mainly aesthetic, taking personal taste and architectural theming into account, another important aspect is the waterproofing and protection of the property. A completed roof painting project is supposed to provide long-term protection of the roof surface and assets against the elements and water leaks.

Materials required to maintain and paint a roof

The correct choice of materials and the contractor who will execute the work is very important. The wrong choice always results in missing the long-term solution requirement and a rise in expenditure to do corrections.

Now let us look at some guidelines on the different types of materials used during roof maintenance projects. This includes materials used for roof tile roofs, flat or pitched metal roofs, and concrete roof slabs:

Cleaning materials

Cleaning materials such as a steel wired brush, paint scraper, thinners, soft bristle broom, hose pipe, and running water. We do not use a high-pressure water jet as using this method of cleaning creates a lot of water spray that stains barge/facia boards and walls. This then results in walls, barge/facia boards and gutter areas also repainted. This increases the project cost, something we want to avoid.

Roof repair materials

Repair materials such as polyurethane membrane, scissors, superior quality liquid rubber roof paint as waterproofing emulsion, wooden beams, battens, purlins, and 75 mm paint brushes. In the case of tiled roofs, one would add roof tiles, tile grout and a keying agent for the repairs of roof ridge tile joints.

As an additional waterproofing measure, we also coat the joints with a superior-quality EDPM rubber fibre emulsion. For flat steel roofs add TEC screws (5.5 mm x 90 mm) and 19 mm EDPM bonded washers for replacing all loose roof screws.

To repair concrete roof slabs, one would require gas equipment to repair loose torch-on membranes. For cracks, one would use a superior-quality mastic sealant.

Roof painting materials

Painting the roof surfaces requires the following: 75 mm paint brushes, a paint primer, and the paint of choice. In choosing roof paint and materials we only use the best standard with product guarantees of ten years and more. The roof paint of choice is EDPM rubber emulsion, a superior quality waterproof roof paint in one.

Where non-standard colours are required, we use the popular roof paint Dulux, Plascon, and Duram provide. The primer we use for steel roofs is a superior all-in-one rust stop etch primer. In the case of tiled roofs and concrete roof slabs, we use a superior-quality keying agent as a primer. The normal method is applying a diluted first coat of paint.

We do not use this method as it results in more expensive paint being used. Using the keying agent as a primer brings down the project’s material cost without compromising on quality. Concerning the application method of the paint we use an airless spray machine to apply the paint as a spray.

This method creates a superior finish not achievable when one applies the paint by brush. Another benefit of this application method is that less labour is used and the project timeline is cut considerably compared to using hand labour to paint the roof.

How to calculate the amount of roof paint required

Calculating the amount of roof paint for two coats is done as follows:

  1. Measure the roof of the building footprint on Google Earth.
  2. Take the square metres obtained above and divide it by 1.8.
  3. Take this answer and divide it by 20.
  4. Round the answer up to the next twenty. This gives the total amount of 20-litre paint drums required, taking into account roof slopes, parapet walls etc.

To calculate the amount of a double primer coat required, do the following:

  1. Take the footprint area and divide it by 5.
  2. Take this answer divide it by 20 and round the answer up to the next 20.
  3. The answer is the amount of 20-litre keying agent or etch primer required.

How long does a roof painting project take?

The estimated time we take to perform roof maintenance and roof painting projects is one day for every 300 square metres of roof area. This includes a team of three workers, a site supervisor actioning the following steps and according to the choice of materials above:

  1. Repairs, cleaning and waterproofing phase
  2. Applying the primer coat
  3. Applying two topcoats of superior quality roof paint
  4. Finishing and cleaning

Please note: This timeline depends on the amount of work involved, the climate and the season of the year. During winter times we normally add two days of labour to the project. This is due to low temperatures affecting the drying time of the roof paint.

How to ensure you get the best value for money when comparing roof painting quotes

To ensure the best value for money when comparing roof painting quotes do the following:

  1. Contact roofing contractors in your immediate area. Any problems after completion of the project will be difficult to resolve if the painting contractor of choice is not locally located.
  2. Obtain two options as well as a written step-by-step process the contractor will follow when actioning the roof painting project.
  3. Ensure products to be used are named and make sure about the warranty periods of these products.
  4. Compare the roof paint samples and names the contractor proposes as well as the warranty period.
  5. Do this for three roof painting contractors.

If you follow the above steps, you will be able to compare roofing quotes in an “apples with apples” fashion. This will ensure you get the best value for quality work with a guarantee. If something goes wrong, you will have a recourse to get problems straightened out.

I hope the above discussion will enable you to source quality roof painting or roof maintenance quotations. For any roof painting, roof repairs, or roof waterproofing questions give us a shout. We will gladly come out to do an assessment and provide you with comparison quotes to transform the roof of your property.



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