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Top 3 Reasons Why Commercial Coatings Fail

Posted Nov 22, 2013 by David Guy

 Top 3 Reasons Why Commercial Coatings Fail

Commercial painting and coating jobs are by no means small tasks. Industrial sized projects have a lot of moving parts, which leaves plenty of room for error. Experienced contractors are well aware of the large number of things that can go awry during a project, and plan carefully to avoid them. Despite this, there are major problems that seem to occur more often than others. Luckily, with proper planning and a little bit of research, it is easy to make sure your project does not suffer the same fate as other, less fortunate and less informed contractors that have come before.

Poor surface preparation is one of the biggest reasons that commercial coating jobs fail. Anxious or unscrouplous contractors can ruin a job before it even gets underway by forgetting to properly prepare a surface before beginning the work. Rushing to apply a new paint or coating without taking proper care of the surface will be detrimental to the quality of the new coating, likely resulting in the need for another application in the near future. This mistake can be very costly and time consuming. If surface contaminants such as chalking, efflorescence or dirt are not cleared, the coating will not be able to perform to its highest possible quality. Think of it as attempting to stick a piece of tape on a dusty, dirty surface. Contaminants prevent the binding material in the coating from sticking to the actual surface, with the debris getting in the way. Preparing the surface properly by cleaning, sanding or power washing it, depending on the material, will allow the coating to bind correctly.

With a properly prepared surface, the job is ready to move forward. Before applying the coating, however, steps need to be taken to ensure the material being applied is the correct one. Another common problem is the wrong coating being used for the wrong surface. If a contractor has the wrong material specified for a job, no matter how well prepared the surface is or how well the material is applied, it will not hold up correctly. Exterior surfaces will for the most part require more durable coatings than interior paints, because of the harsher environment they are exposed to. Applying the incorrect material for an application will require the job to be redone sooner rather than later. It can also leave the structure open to any damage that the coating was intended to protect it from, like water damage, if the coating is not actually as protective as it was thought to be.

If the surface is prepared the right way, and the material for the application has been selected correctly. All that’s left to do is apply it. But this is another step in the journey where many projects fall short. To be that sure your job makes the cut, see to it that the coating is applied the correct way. Make sure the product is mixed properly before applying. If you are working with a two component paint use the data sheet to ensure proper measurment and thining. Some commercial and industrial coatings have sweat-in times or pot lifes that need to be taking into consideration. An inadequate paint application done in the incorrect environment or the wrong way will not only leave a surface looking subpar, but may cause a massive paint failure. A paint used for waterproofing done the wrong way, for example, will leave a surface open to water damage, as it will not bind and seal properly without the proper application, as described in the video below.

Choosing the right commercial painting contractor is the easiest way to make sure these very preventable mistakes don’t rear their heads during your job. Experienced commercial painters will be well prepared for these problems and many more. If you would like more information about ways to avoid common painting and coating problems or would like a project completed, contact your local contractor. East coast readers can contact Alpine Painting and Sandblasting Contractors, (Servicing New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania), online at www.AlpinePainting.com or by phone at 866-596-0349.

By: Dave Scaturro, Sales Director for Alpine Painting.

Credit to: Curtland, Chris. "Top 3 Problems with Exterior Coatings and Paints." Buildings. 25 Mar 2013: n. page. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. < http://www.buildings.com/article-details/articleid/15484/title/top%203%20problems%20with%20exterior%20coatings%20and%20paints/viewall/true.aspx >.

Dave Scaturro
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