Time To Read: 7 minutes

Because most roofing caulk and sealants specialize in specific areas, it’s a challenge to find one with all the best qualities for the job you’re trying to do. You have to do a lot of looking around to find what you want, and even then, it’s unlikely that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for easily.

To help you make sense of what’s what, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling some of the critical things you should look for when buying a roof sealant and our top five choices for the best roofing sealants right now. So, if you’re looking to learn all the basics about choosing the best roof leak sealants, read on for a comprehensive guide.

What Makes a Roof Sealant Good

When it comes to the most desirable qualities in a roof sealant, the keystone ones to look for are water resistance, endurance, ease of application, UV reflectivity, price, and material.

Water Resistance

Regardless of the type of roof you intend to use sealant on, water resistance is an essential feature to have because every roof is subject to water at some point. This is especially the case if the roof is in a location that receives higher average yearly rainfall.

While sloped roofs are better at combating standing water than flat roofs, you’ll find that both require sealant if you want to ensure as much protection as possible. When water leaks through a roof, there’s a high chance that some form of attic or ceiling damage will occur, and both can lead to further issues that are difficult and expensive to remedy.

No roof will be 100% waterproof even with the best sealant for roof leaks, but roofing caulks with solid water-resistance are ones you will want to keep an eye out for when considering what caulk you want.

Endurance

The durability/longevity sets the high-quality sealants apart from the cheaper ones, as more inexpensive sealants tend to flake off and not maintain themselves over a long period. You’ll often notice this if a more inexpensive sealant is frequently under duress from harsh conditioners.

Some people attempt to make do with roof caulks that are not as durable by applying more of the caulk to a roof, but this method is not very effective as a solution. High-quality roof sealants can last for a considerably long time, sometimes between 10 and 20 years, so you get more robust protection for a more extended period.

And unlike high-quality sealants, cheaper sealants perform far worse when you apply them in colder weather conditions, making their lifespan even shorter.

Ease of Application

Most roof sealants are relatively easy to apply. The most important part is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper application. Otherwise, there is a greater chance for the roof sealant to not perform as intended. However, you must consider the differences between tape sealants, paint can, spray can, and calk tubes.

Each of these has different application methods with different pros and cons. Tape sealants tend to have the most straightforward application process, being that it’s a sealant tape you apply to a roof. Paint cans allow you to apply more sealant to any one area with an increased thickness level. It also allows for more accessible application to a broader surface if you use a brush.

For spray cans and caulk guns, you’ll find them the best for applying a sealant to a smaller surface area due to their compact design. The added precision is an excellent benefit, but you won’t get as much sealant to use overall, so many people only use these two for filling in small leaks.

UV Reflectivity

Next to water, the sun is one of the biggest threats to a roof and a significant reason why it’s essential to have a quality roof sealant in place. Typically, the sun is not harmful to a roof, but a roof can sustain heavy damage after enough exposure to the sun’s heat. This happens because a roof’s shingles are either made of metal or plastic, both of which suffer under heat.

A roof caulk or sealant with strong UV reflectivity is the only proven way to protect a roof against sunlight and preserve the shingles for as long as possible. The better UV reflectivity the sealant has, the lesser the chances of a house growing extremely hot, especially in the hotter months of the year. This will cut down on the cost of having to have the AC unit running frequently.

It’ll also cut down on the chances of a roof experiencing thermal shock, which is when the surface temperature switches from cold to hot suddenly, thus causing further damage to the shingles.

Material

Typically, you can distinguish roof sealants into different groups depending on the type of material, and each material has its specialty. Here are a few of the most notable types below.

Silicone

Silicone roof sealants perform well against water and sun alike, so if you’re looking for a well-rounded sealant, a silicone one will serve that purpose well. However, the trade-off with silicone roof sealants being versatile is their price. They generally cost more than sealants made from other materials, making them less viable for those who want a budget option.

Acrylic

For reflecting UV rays from the sun, acrylic sealants are the best possible choice. And from a cost-performance perspective, acrylic sealants are great because they possess some of the best longevity among roof sealants.

Polyurethane

Polyurethane sealants have some resistance to sunlight, though not as much as acrylic sealants. The greatest strength of polyurethane sealants is their high degree of resistance to water. This makes them a popular option for anyone needing a sealant for a roof in an area subject to significant amounts of rain and snow.

Aromatic

Aromatic roof sealants make it significantly more accessible and safer for a person to walk on a roof without slipping or falling because it’s highly resistant to friction. It’s on the opposite side of the scale from acrylic sealants when it comes to reflecting UV rays, but if a roof is going to have people walking on it often, aromatic sealants are a great option.

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5 Best Roofing Caulk & Sealants

Here are our top five recommendations for roofing caulks and sealants and brief descriptions for each product.

1. Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant

Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant

The Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant by LR comes in a 5-gallon bucket and is a long-lasting sealant that’s great for applying heavy coats of coverage to surfaces. It works on flat roofs, metal roofs, and sloped roofs, making it flexible. The main benefit of this sealant is its protection against water and sunlight. It isn’t the best in either category, but it’s still highly serviceable.

For larger roofs with more surface area, this sealant is a quality choice because of how much comes in the bucket, and even if you don’t need it for a giant roof, the amount of value you get for the price is very worthwhile. As a bonus, the Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant is friendly toward the environment for those who are environmentally conscious.

2. Flex Seal Spray Rubber Sealant Coating

Flex Seal Spray Rubber Sealant Coating

Another excellent liquid rubber coating is the Flex Seal Spray Rubber Sealant Coating which comes in two 14oz spray cans. This sealant is extremely easy to apply quick coverage to smaller surface areas. It can easily seep into cracks and holes that are usually tough to reach with something like a brush.

The most significant pro of this sealant is its durability, as it can last in both the extreme summer heat and bitter winter cold without dripping, cracking, or rusting. Many people recommend this sealant if you’re looking for something to handle more minor roofing repairs quickly. It’s not recommendable for use on an entire roof, as the cans do not contain enough sealant.

3. Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant

Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant

The Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant comes in caulk tubes instead of spray cans, which allow for a greater level of control and accuracy in application. This is great for when you need to apply the sealant around the roof edges or air vents without making a mess, which is sometimes one of the few downsides to using spray cans.

The UV stabilization in this sealant helps stop the deterioration and discoloration of certain surfaces, and it’s compatible with any roofing material. Suppose you have any fear of this changing the color of a particular area of a roof like some other sealants. In that case, you won’t have to worry about that being an issue.

4. Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape

Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape

While tape sealants are not as popular as liquid sealants in spray cans or caulk tubes, tape sealants like Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape offer a level of accessibility that you won’t find in other forms of sealants. This particular tape is the ultimate in terms of versatility.

It works underwater, indoors, outdoors and has an extra thick layer of adhesion and UV resistance. Its flexibility also makes it practical for adapting to surfaces to repair holes, gaps, tears, and cracks. The biggest drawback of this sealing tape is that it does not come in large quantities so you may purchase more than one role depending on your sealing needs.

5. Liquid Rubber Color Waterproof Sealant

Liquid Rubber Color Waterproof Sealant

The Liquid Rubber Color Waterproof Sealant is very similar to the Liquid Rubber Waterproof Sealant, except it’s specifically a sealant for metal roofs. You can purchase it in 1-gallon or 5-gallon sizes, and application is not demanding regardless of whether you use a sprayer, brush, or roller. The water-based formula also dries quickly into a rubber form, so you don’t have to wait long for results.

This is an ideal sealant for flat and sloped roofs alike, and unlike some other sealants, it’s safe to use on wood and concrete surfaces. While it’s not the most versatile roof sealant, its specialization in metal roofs is a characteristic that makes it a popular choice for many roof sealing jobs.

Additional Things To Know About Roof Sealants

Now that you know some of the best options for roof sealants, here are a few more general things you should know about roof sealants if you’re considering using them.

How Often Should You Seal Your Roof?

On average, it’s a good idea to seal your roof every five or six years to keep it lasting as long as possible. However, if you notice damage from sunlight, water, or something else, your roof needs a fresh coating.

How Often Should a Flat Roof Be Recoated?

It’s best to recoat a flat roof every two to four years because they are more susceptible to wear and tear than sloped roofs. Because flat roofs don’t naturally allow water to flow off them, they need more protection from rainwater.

Will Roof Sealant Stop Leaks?

Roof sealants may not wholly stop leaks in harsh situations, but they significantly improve the level of protection that your roof has from potential leakages. If you want a roof sealant specifically for stopping leakages, investing in one that excels in that area is worth the effort.

How Much Does a 5-Gallon Bucket Roof Coat Cover?

A 5-gallon bucket roof coating will cover roughly 250 square feet with two coats and 500 square feet with one coat. For comparison, the average home’s square footage is 3000, but you won’t ever need to use a roof coating to cover every square foot of a roof.

Conclusion

There’s a lot to know about the best roof sealant for leaks and the various kinds that people use regularly. Knowing which one is best for you comes down to knowing what you’re looking to use it for, as you now see that no two roof sealants are the same. They are all different in terms of the material, application, price, ease of use, and several other aspects.

If you want to see more types of roof sealants that are good to use, try looking around on your own with the knowledge you learned from this guide. Otherwise, strongly consider selecting one of the roof sealants from our list, as you can’t go wrong with any one of them.

Start Using Roofing Software!

Roofing software helps owners run their roofing business more efficiently with features such as scheduling, dispatching, reporting, invoicing, and more.
Author

Hosam Sayed is a Product Marketing Manager at WorkWave with extensive knowledge of B2B product and marketing positioning. When not in front of his computer, he can be found spending time with his family, enjoying outdoor activities, and working on perfecting the art of landscaping.