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Waterproofing Coating Systems for Commercial & Industrial Buildings

Posted Nov 05, 2013 by Dave Scaturro

 Waterproofing Coating Systems for Commercial & Industrial Buildings

When a contractor is working on the exterior of a building, style is far from the only thing on their mind. Functionality is all-important, and waterproofing contractors who specialize in water and weather-proof painting and coating systems know exactly what this means. No matter how nice it may look, the exterior of a building should also be able to repel water and moisture efficiently. Without efficient protection from moisture, liquids can soak into cracks on the surface and damage the structure over time. Water problems in office buildings and other industrial complexes can be treated with a number of different solutions. Elastomeric coatings are typically the top choice for this type of work, due to a number of special properties that make them ideal for surface protection.

When a surface begins to crack, over time water and other liquids can seep into these crevices and damage the structure. To remedy this, the cracks need to be filled with a coating that will seal the surface tightly, disallowing water to seep in underneath. Large exterior waterproofers with experience in the business often turn to elastomeric coatings to get the job done the right way. If conventional paints are used to fill the cracks, they run the risk of cracking themselves. Regular house paints are simply not flexible enough to resist cracking as the surface contracts or expands, especially when exposed to harsh weather conditions. Elastomeric coatings, on the other hand, have superior elasticity and elongation properties that make them ideal for the job. When the surface changes, whether it is due to temperature or movement, the elastomeric coatings are flexible enough to expand or contract with the surface rather than simply given in and crack. An experienced contractor will know the proper ways to apply this type of coating. If the coating is not applied thick enough, if it is thinned or applied by a contractor with little experience, the product may not perform at its best.

An Elastomeric Coating provides several benefits compared to a traditional exterior paint. Elastomerics have waterproofing qualities. They have the ability to withstand wind driven rain up to 100mph. Elastomeric Coatings also can bridge minor cracks where normal house paints cannot. They have much more elasticity and elongation compared to typical paint. Some Waterproof Coatings, such as Sherwin Williams’ Loxon XP, are approximately 4x’s thicker than a normal latex paint. Therefore, you typically get a much longer life from the product. Because the product has a higher build you can typically achieve less than half the coverage you get from an exterior latex paint. So your material cost will be twice as high. However, you will save money in the long run by getting a longer product life and paying for virtually the same in labor costs.

Expansion Joints are the next thing that must be inspected to ensure that no water penetrates into your commercial office building or industrial warehouse. Vertical expansion joints are standard on concrete tilt up structures. Depending on the sealant-caulk applied to these joints you will typically get a 10-25 year life out of the joint. But once you see signs of cracking or holes your building is open to moisture and water penetration. Our recommendation is to remove existing sealant and backer rod through the use of electric caulk cutters and razor knives down to the bare substrate. Wipe all joint conditions to insure complete removal of contaminates and to insure a sound clean substrate for the new sealant to adhere to. Prime all necessary joint conditions that have rusted or where sealant will not bond. Install new open-cell backer rod with a protective waterproof skin in all joints as needed to control the width to depth ratio as per the manufacturer specification for the new sealant. Recaulk all vertical expansion joints using a Polyurethane Sealant, All expansion joints should be tool finished. This process will provide you with many more water-free years.

Other waterproofing paint products are also available. Ultra Ever Dry is a clear thin film coating system that will repel water, oil, ice and a number of other liquid materials from a surface. A super hydrophobic coating, Ultra Ever Dry, seen in the video below, works by establishing an air barrier on the surface that it is applied to. Coatings like these are useful for very specific applications, including Anti-icing applications where water approaches at relatively low velocities or pressures (prevent
hanging ice or conductive ice bridges), Anti-wetting applications to keep items dry and working and Anti-corrosion applications.

Applying waterproof coating systems is a job best left to experienced professionals, to ensure that the products are being used to their full potential. Readers on the east coast who may have a waterproofing job that needs to be done can do a search for New Jersey industrial painting companies, who will be experienced in waterproofing. A quick search for “commercial painting contractors New Jersey” should render a number of results, including Alpine Painting, who can be reached at 866-596-0349.

By Dave Scaturro, Sales Director for Alpine Painting

Credit to: Lick, Dave. "Best Practices: Tips for Specifying And Applying Elastomeric Coatings." Durability and Design . 31 Oct 2013: n. page. Web. 5 Nov. 2013. <http://www.durabilityanddesign.com/news/?fuseaction=view&id=10463&nl_versionid=3547>.

Dave Scaturro
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