Solutions and Best Practices
Adhesion: When it comes to solving adhesion
difficulties, prepping the surface is essential. “Prep,
prep, and more prep,” says Martindale. “I cannot
overemphasize the importance of proper surface
cleaning and preparation, which includes any need-
ed repairs and spot or full priming of the surface.”
Bob Cusumano, president of Palm Beach Gar-
dens, FL-based Coatings Consultants, Inc. (CCI)
and PDCA technical advisor, would agree. He says
surface preparation is “the key to good adhesion. It
is important to remove all surface contaminants and
ensure that existing paint layers are well adhered.
Appearance only can be misleading; adhesion testing
should be performed.”
Sanding, etching, and abrading a surface can make proper adhesion more likely,
but thorough adhesion testing is of utmost importance. Testing according to
the ASTM D3359 standard can help determine the best next step in the painting
Durability: “Matching the proper paint system to the expected exposure is the
key to achieving the desired level of durability,” Cusumano explains. Understanding what kind of coating you need is complicated, but not impossible. Knowing
what you expect the paint to withstand is important.
“Washability and scrubbability go along with the durability aspect,” says Watson. Washability is the ease with which washing will remove dirt from the paint’s
surface without causing damage. Scrubbability is being able to scrub painted
surfaces with a brush, sponge, or cloth without causing damage. Understanding
the difference will help you choose coatings that are right for your building and
will prove durable over time.
Yellowing: If yellowing of any painted surface occurs (including walls, window
sills, and trim), it is most likely that oil-based products were used. “Over time,
this type of coating will yellow without light,” says Martindale. “Sunlight actually
keeps the coating close to its original light coloration.”
While all alkyd paints (oil paints with alkyd resins) will yellow to some extent
over time, CCI provides this list of tips:
1) If you use an alkyd trim paint, use a product you have found to be a low-yel-lowing paint. Read the manufacturer’s data regarding any cautions about its use.
2) If you paint with unfamiliar products, do ammonia tests to give some indication of their tendency to yellow.
3) When using an alkyd trim paint, apply the latex wall paint first. Make sure
that the rooms are well ventilated and have had ammonia fumes removed before
the alkyd paint is applied.
4) Be sure to avoid using cleansers that contain ammonia.
5) Consider using latex products, acrylic epoxies, hybrid alkyd/latexes, and
new generation alkyds.
Identifying the Source of Damage: When you notice coating failures in your
facility, quick action is crucial. “Proper testing before applying paint is the best
method of preventing problems,” says Cusumano. “But there are many situations,
such as water intrusion damaging interior paint, where early detection and reme-
dial action will minimize the problem.”
Conducting semi-annual inspections or coating evaluations is recommended.
“Coatings are typically damaged by other building systems failing, so assessing
these issues before the substrate gets to the point where it needs remediation will
prevent issues from getting worse,” Kyle says.
A proactive approach to paint maintenance reduces costs for repairs and keeps
facility managers aware of the underlying structural issues. “Conducting semi-annual reviews of paint conditions is probably one of the best ways to keep on top
of any issues,” says Watson. “After a big storm, or at a quarterly review, building
managers doing inspections may notice a missing top cap or a cracked parapet
wall and know they need to take care of that.”
A LITANY OF
(top to bottom)
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ceiling, paint runs
SOURCE: MASTER PAINTER