5 Best Roof Sealants for Asphalt Shingle Roofs

The best roof sealants for asphalt shingle roofs feature characteristics necessary for your home’s environmental stressors and the specific roofing area you need the sealant for. Roof sealants are designed to plug holes and gaps, stop leaks, and lengthen the life of the repaired shingle.

However, temporary solutions, such as patches and sealants, may only buy a little time before a complete residential roof replacement is needed.

A closeup of an asphalt roof with a red chimney.

Asphalt shingles make up the majority of American home roofs because asphalt is relatively inexpensive, pliable, and durable enough to withstand a range of weather and environmental conditions.

But even the best roofs are at risk of becoming damaged, and asphalt can be susceptible to impact damage, increasing the risk of roof leaks. The best roof sealants for asphalt shingle roofs do the job of fixing a leak to give you time to plan for a roof replacement.

In this article:

Types of Roof Sealants

Roof sealants are available in two forms, each with pros and cons, depending on the environment and repair situation. These include:

  • Water-based: A water-based sealant has a thin consistency and is typically used to fill fine cracks or tiny holes. Multiple applications are often needed since it’s not very durable, nor does it last long. It is, however, budget-friendly.
  • Solvent-based: A solvent-based roof sealant is thicker than water-based sealants and works better against UV rays. The application lasts longer, is stronger, and protects well against moisture. However, it tends to be more expensive.

What to Look for in a Roof Sealant

When selecting the best roof sealant for an asphalt shingle roof, consider the following factors:

  • Water- and Moisture-Resistant: A roof sealant should, at the very least, stop a leak. An effective sealant has some type of water resistance to keep it from happening again. The level of protection needed from a sealant depends on the slope of the roof, location of the damaged area, and the surrounding environment and weather.
  • Protection Against UV Rays: Both the sun’s rays and direct heat can have a negative effect on roof sealant. A good sealant provides adequate UV protection in areas that are sunny most of the time.
  • Life Span: Consider the durability, flexibility, and longevity of the roof sealant and its relationship with the nature of the damage. Will it last or will you need multiple applications? Keep in mind how the initial damage occurred and whether the sealant will hold up to future inclement weather.
  • Application Methods and Process: There are a few ways to apply sealant to your roof. Methods include paint, which reaches a broader surface with thicker application; spray, which is for smaller surfaces and is usually used for small leaks; caulk, which comes in a long tube and is used for precise targets and small spots, and adhesive tape, which covers a wide area.

Most roof sealants are relatively easy to apply, but the application method you choose may depend on the type of roof you have, as well as the damage you’re trying to temporarily fix.

Best Roof Sealants for Asphalt Shingle Roofs

The best roof sealants for asphalt shingle roofs perform well under the circumstances they were made for. For example, the best roof sealant to protect against UV rays won’t necessarily be the same sealant that works best against moisture.

The best roof sealants include:

  1. Best Overall: The best overall roof sealant for asphalt shingle roofs is silicone. This man-made, solvent-based roof sealant features the most protection with the longest life. Strong against water, moisture, and sun damage, silicone is also typically the most expensive.
  2. Best Budget: The best budget roof sealant is rubber. Though rubber may have a shorter life span than silicone, it still provides strong protection against moisture and UV rays.
  3. Best for Sun: The best roof sealant to protect your asphalt shingle roof against the sun is acrylic. Featuring both water- and solvent-based options, acrylic is best for places with regular sunshine that see little rain. It’s not made for being moisture-resistant, so acrylic has a longer life in dryer climates.
  4. Best for Water: The best roof sealant for water and moisture is polyurethane. Opposite of acrylic, it’s best for areas prone to rain and snow since it’s highly moisture-resistant. However, this solvent-based formula doesn’t rate as high for protection against UV rays.
  5. Easiest to Use: The roof sealant that’s the easiest to use is tape. Using a straightforward approach, the moisture-resistant tape is thin with adhesive backing. Tape is placed over the leak to seal the damaged area.

Final Thoughts

If your asphalt shingle roof is in need of repair, it might be time to invest in a replacement. At Erie Home, we offer everything from traditional asphalt shingles to metal roofing, with a wide variety of styles and colors to choose from. We can even help with financing.

Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that you’re also protected with a lifetime warranty.

To learn more, call us today at 1-800-862-6400 or contact us online to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you use to seal asphalt shingles?

The main materials used to seal asphalt shingles include silicone, rubber, polyurethane, and acrylic, which are available as paint, spray, or caulk. The fifth material used to seal leaks is adhesive tape.

Can I use roof sealant over shingles?

Yes, roof sealants are meant to be used over shingles, specifically to repair leaks or cracks. However, roof sealants are merely a temporary stop-gap, and your home may need a complete roof replacement.

What are the disadvantages of roof sealants?

The main disadvantage of roof sealants is that it’s a temporary fix that doesn’t address the underlying issue, which could lead to more problems in the long run. They may work in the short term, but they just delay a total residential roof replacement.

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