PVDF Coatings: The Pros And Cons | Metal Roofing & Siding
Picking the right color for your metal roof is exciting, but more considerations should be made during the decision making process besides what the color looks like. Choosing the right paint system for your metal roof is a big contributing factor into how your roof will look long term.
At Western States Metal Roofing, we have worked with thousands of customers over our 25 years in business and have learned that color and appearance is one of the most important factors that homeowners care about when buying a roof. We’re proud to offer metal roofing and siding panels in over 100 unique colors and finishes including many in the PVDF paint system.
While PVDF coatings maintain their color longer, it’s also not the right fit for every roof. In this article, we help you decide if they are right for you by discussing the pros and cons of PVDF paint systems.
What Is PVDF Coating?
PVDF refers to the resin polyvinylidene fluoride. PVDF coatings use the highest quality pigmentations and consist of one of the strongest bonds known, called the carbon-fluorine bond, which adds to its durability.
What Are The Alternatives To PVDF?
- SMP (Silicone-modified polyester)
Polyester Paint System
A polyester paint system consists of unsaturated synthetic poly resins that are blended with organic pigments. While this paint system is the least durable, it is also the most affordable. It’s rarely used for metal roofing or siding panels.
SMP Paint System
SMP paint system consists of polyester and silicone intermediates. SMP is the middle ground between the polyester and PVDF paint systems, however there is a large variation in quality within the SMP paint category depending on the specific makeup of the resin. The higher the silicone content, the better the performance of the paint as the silicone improves the paint’s gloss retention and weather resistance.
SMP paint systems are primarily used on light gauge metal panels in a 26 or 29 gauge thickness. In addition, they are used more often as a metal siding versus a metal roofing because you will have less UV exposure. The main disadvantage of SMP paint systems is that the color will fade quicker when compared to a PVDF coatings system. The colors that work best with SMP paint systems are earth tones and whites as the fading will be less noticeable.
Why Is PVDF Better Than Other Paint Systems?
PVDF high performance and superior resistance to premature chalking and fading, as well as excellent chemical resistance, makes it the highly preferred paint system. When it comes to metal roofing, where the painted surface is highly exposed to damaging elements such as UV rays and debris, excellent abrasion and fading resistance is critical.
By having a superior paint system such as PVDF, the metal roof panels are able to maintain their aesthetic quality for longer than other metal roof paint systems such as SMP.
The Pros Of PVDF
- Greater resistance to fading
- Greater resistance to chalking
- Superior longevity than other paint systems
- End User Expectations
- Large variety of color options
PVDF Has Greater Resistance To Fading
The chemical makeup of PVDF gives it the ability to retain its original hue and brightness for longer than other paint systems used in roofing.
Fading, or the visible loss of original color, is something that all metal roofs face at some point. The color of a metal roof fades overtime because the chemicals in the paint’s pigments start to break down from excessive exposure to the sun. By using PVDF paint, you have the greatest defense against harmful UV rays that will fade the roof’s color.
Not only does PVDF paint coatings keep your roof looking more vibrant, it also helps keep your roof looking even for longer. Oftentimes, roofs that do not have adequate fade resistance will not fade evenly if one side of the roof receives more shade than the other. The side that is more often in the sun will look more dull than the side that is covered and receives less UV exposure.
PVDF Has Greater Resistance To Chalking
Chalking, or the appearance of a powdery substance that forms on the surface of a painted panel, results from the chemical breakdown of the paint's resins and pigments after being exposed to the sun for an extended period of time. While chalking on painted metal panels is inevitable, the strong chemical components of PVDF make is more resistant and delays chalking compared to weaker paint systems.
PVDF Has Superior Longevity Compared To Other Paint Systems
Other paint systems cannot compare to the lifespan of PVDF. This is even reflected when you compare paint warranties of the different systems. While the covered time period is different for each manufacturer’s warranty, PVDF is usually always covered for fading and chalking for more years than SMP paint systems.
End User Expectations
Purchasing a metal roof is an expensive investment in your home. If you're going to spend that kind of money, then you want a product that will last a long time. You will want a product that still looks beautiful many years after the installation.
A metal roof can last 50 plus years, but it's a system and all of the components within it should be designed for the same period of time. You want to use a nice synthetic underlayment that has a 50 year warranty and a PVDF paint system that has the longest warranty for chalking and fading. Cutting corners on any of these components will lessen the overall longevity of the metal roof
PVDF Has A Larger Variety Of Colors
If you use a SMP paint system, you are limiting your metal roof color options to only the basic and standard colors. However, PVDF panels are available in a much wider variety of custom colors, finishes, and paint prints.
If you are looking for a unique color and design that will stand out, you will likely end up choosing a PVDF color.
Examples of unique PVDF colors include:
The Cons Of PVDF
- PVDF is more expensive
- Less abrasion resistance
PVDF Is More Expensive
PVDF will cost between 15-35% more than the lesser quality SMP. The greater cost is the result of PVDF being made from metal panels that are a heavier gauge and higher quality paint resins.
PVDF Has Less Abrasion Resistance
PVDF paint is soft which makes it easier to scratch compared to a harder paint such as SMP. This means extra care should be paid during transporting and installing to ensure the panel’s surface does not get scratched.
Choosing PVDF Panels For Your Metal Roof
PVDF panels are popular for maintaining their vibrant appearance longer without fading. However, they are significantly more expensive and may not be the right fit for every project.
PVDF Paint Panels Typically Fit Those Who:
- Are using the panels on their home or have aesthetics as a main concern.
- Want the panel with the best longevity possible.
- Choose panels in bright and vibrant colors such as red or green.
At Western States Metal Roofing, we offer both SMP and PVDF painted panels. We have an extensive color selection between both paint systems.
The next step is to determine the color of your metal roof. This article will help you with that decision: Metal Roofing Colors: 5 Tips To Pick The Best Metal Roofing Color
Once you know which colors you are most interested in, request a free sample to see your favorite colors in person.