Roof Coating Cost Comparison

Roof Coating Cost Comparison

SureCoat Systems is the right partner for the progressive-minded Contractor that wants permanent, environmentally responsible solutions for flat and low-slope roofs that pond water. If your customers want the best products, solutions and warranties for their flat and low-slope roofs, then SureCoat’s liquid applied roof system is the solution.

We can offer over 30 years of contracting experience to roofing contractors that are moving away from hot mop, torch down and single ply and want to grow their coating business with a real waterproof membrane and real warranties. SureCoat Systems doesn’t offer hype and tall tales; we offer real solutions with warranties that you can hang your reputation on. SureCoat Systems’ products solve the problems that have been ignored by the industry for decades on low-slope and flat roofs. Together we can change the way the industry looks at flat and low slope roofs.


A specification written for a coating system is described in two ways. One is by the finished “required” dry film thickness – the DFT. The other is the minimum “recommended” number of gallons per 100 square feet (SF). The “required” dry film thickness (DFT) and the “recommended” number of gallons per 100 square feet are not always equal to the same amount of coating. It sounds confusing because it is. It is also the reason the contractor who has the license and bond can be left holding the bag if he doesn’t understand what that means.

There is ONE SIMPLE MATH FORMULA that will provide the answer and it only takes seconds to calculate. All you need to know is the solid content by volume of the coating (SBV). The formula looks like this:

Short form: 1604 x SBV/100 = DFT

Long form: 1604 multiplied by the Solids by Volume (SBV) divided by 100 SF = the dry film thickness (DFT) of 1 gallon of coating over a 100 SF area.

A typical white cool roof reflective coating only has 35% SBV and 4.75 gallons in a pail:
1604 x .35 / 100 = 5.614 DFT x 4.75 = 26.6665 mils DFT in each pail
(5.614 dry mils per gal per 100 SF)

SureCoat Roof Coatings have a very high solid content of 65% and have a ‘real’ 5 gallons in a pail:
1604 x .65 = 10.426 DFT x 5 = 52.13 mils DFT in each pail
(10.426 dry mils per gal per 100 SF)

Another trend is that manufacturers are only putting 4.75 gallons of coating in a 5 gallon pail. SureCoat still has 5 gallons of coating in a 5 gallon pail. Most contractors are used to pricing the materials out by figuring how many pails they need for a project and using the cost per pail. This can cause a huge discrepancy in the cost of the system. If a coating only has 35% SBV, it is going to dry at about 5.641 mils per gal per 100 SF or square (SQ). Most 10 year cool roof systems are going to be around 40-50 mils DFT. Of that, the fabric in the system is usually 9-11 mils leaving about 40-41 mils of coating required. It would take over 7 gallons per square to achieve that dry film thickness at 35% solids by volume. Now if there are only 4.75 gallons in a 5 gallon pail; each pail is going to be short ¼ gallon. Always figure out the amount of material needed for the job by the actual gallons otherwise you will run sort on your project.

A 4.75 gal pail of coating with 35% SBV only has 26.79475 dry mils of material in it.
A 5 gal pail of SureCoat with 65% SBV has 52.13 dry mils of material in it.

It takes the same amount of time to apply wet coating material, but it will take almost double the time in labor to achieve the same dry mil thickness on the roof because twice as much coating has to be applied to reach the needed DFT. Labor is more expensive than materials because of the payroll tax burden and workers compensation which is paid based on the amount of your payroll.

This is why the acrylic manufacturers don’t want you to know the whole story; they just want you to think having a lower price per gallon is all that matters.

Read next month SureCoat Systems’ Review for the other half of the story

Part 2 ………… – “What Roof Coating Manufacturers Don’t Want You To Know”


About SureCoat Systems

SureCoat Systems specializes in waterproofing systems for industrial and commercial flat and low-sloped roofing, exterior walls and concrete. SureCoat Systems have developed an exclusive line of waterproofing products that conserve on energy and protect buildings from water intrusion! Visit to learn more or call and speak with a waterproofing specialist today at 877-823-7873.
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