Bitumen Paint - What is it? And When Would You Use It?

What is Bitumen

Bitumen is a substance that is produced through the distillation of crude oil. It is well regarded for its waterproofing and adhesive qualities and as such is often found in the construction industry, usually on roads and highways. Bitumen has a number of significant advantages in that it is inexpensive, durable and offers flexibility. Metal surfaces can also benefit from a covering of bitumen paint due to the fact that it offers protection against rust. Bitumen is also resistant to things like Ultraviolet Light, harsh chemicals and water and as a result is a great material when you are looking for a waterproof material.

Bitumen can also be used as a functional and affordable paint that is suitable for use to safeguard a wide range of different surfaces. So we thought for the purpose of this article we would have a closer look at bitumen paint in isolation and see what it’s main uses are, and some of the surfaces it can be applied to. 

On Roofs

Now while it obviously has many other uses, bitumen paint is probably most commonly found on rooftops. This is especially true when it comes to flat roofs where its waterproof properties are an invaluable asset, especially during periods of inclement weather. Unlike pitched roofs where the natural angle allows water to run off them, flat surfaces are more susceptible to pools of water gathering on them meaning that it is imperative that it is watertight. As well as being useful as a primary covering Bitumen paint can also be used for patching up and sealing cracks if you are in need of a quick repair.

Wood and Boarding

Bitumen Paint is extremely useful as a covering for wood due to its ability to seal porous surfaces. The fact that it provides a strong layer of protection is the main reason that it can also be found on engineered and other types of boarding. Just as in the case of a roof, bitumen paint is also used when you are looking to apply a waterproof layer to any type of woodwork even plywood. One thing bitumen paint cannot do is prevent a hole in the surface form leaking, however, when used in conjunction with other products like roofing compound it is very effective when it comes to sealing a crack in the wood.

Areas That are Susceptible to High Levels of Humidity

The fact that bitumen paint dries really quickly means that it is the ideal solution if you are painting a surface that is located where humidity levels are likely to be high. When conditions are humid it can often affect the drying properties of normal paint, so a quick drying paint is usually a much better option. If you intend to paint over an existing layer of bitumen paint then it is important that you stick to a bitumen product. The reason for this is that if you use a different type of paint there is a good chance that the underlying bitumen is likely to come through and be visible.

Bitumen Paint is Great for Waterproofing

As alluded to above in the section about roofing, bitumen paint has great properties if you are looking to waterproof a surface. Now we have already stated that bitumen paint is most well known as a covering for roofs, it can also be used in a number of different scenarios. For example it can also be used within construction as a waterproof cover for foundations. This is due to its ability to resist contaminants and not produce a noxious odour after drying. Bitumen Paint can also be found as a protective covering on water tanks although not ones that are used to house drinking water.


Hopefully we have demonstrated that Bitumen Paint has a number of uses and is not something that is only found adorning a rooftop. Many people even have the question "Does bitumen paint stop termites"? While we don't have time to cover topics such as termites, hopefully you have learned something about Bitumen Paint. 

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