Commercial Painting Solutions for Retail Stores

July 1, 2011

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Big-box stores are huge structures with equally-sized maintenance challenges. Each Wal-Mart or Target store that operates in nearly every town in the country has a team of maintenance crew with their hands full of maintenance challenges. With floor-to-ceiling merchandise and a mecca of shoppers filling up the facility every day, the difficulties mount up. A subset of maintenance issues that the crew has to tackle pertains to the facility’s commercial painting system.

Waterproofing the Retail Store

Perhaps the single most important issue that big-box stores have to deal with is water intrusion. The commercial painting system provides a line of waterproofing defense. If water enters the facility but not addressed and managed in time, waterproofing failure is inevitable with costly consequences.

Commercial painting contractors cannot ignore the potent power of water to bring damage to the facility. They understand how it travels outside and within the building and asses its diffusion and reaction to surrounding conditions. Since vapor always moves from humid inner areas to lower- humidity exteriors, they install commercial painting solutions that provide appropriate insulation and prevent condensation. When condensation occurs and wets surfaces over improperly coated or non-coated surfaces it can cause rust, corrosion, and contamination to the facility.

Waterproofing solutions for the superstore are often laid out early in construction. The commercial painting system installed at this time is very carefully designed to factor in the amount of water that will be present in freshly-poured and hardened concrete blocks. Cement slabs must be totally water-free prior to waterproofing installation.

Aesthetics for the Big-Box Store

Big box retail stores need commercial painting systems to provide the much-needed aesthetics and improve the look of the building. Time-driven deterioration can erode the building’s coating systems, making it lose its clean and beautiful appearance.

The coatings maintenance team often evaluates coatings products as to their performance when exposed to store-specific damage agents. They rely on the MSDS which is a product of laboratory testing done for the formulation. The tests expose the product to weather, UV, condensation, fog, corrosion and other elements, and assess the changes in paint texture, color, and glossiness.

Contractors are better informed in their coatings selection, accurately zeroing in on the best replacement for damaged coating systems. The new commercial painting system removes the peeled, chalked or blistered look of facility substrates, restoring appearance.

Retail Store Corrosion Problems

Retail stores are not spared corrosion-wrought damages and require corrosion protection like any regular building. Corrosion-resistant commercial painting systems should be installed and inspected regularly. The steel foundations are particularly vulnerable to corrosion. They can oxidize and deteriorate when unchecked. The progressing corrosion can undermine the structural integrity of the building and also make the building look unsightly.

Corrosion is not prevalent in the inner areas of the superstore, because the inner temperatures are often controlled. But in areas — inner or outer — that do fall to corrosion, they are cleaned and prepped properly before commercial painting application. Acid-based cleaning agents are used to prepare the surface and restore good adhesion. Loose dirt and paints are power-washed off the substrates, and corrosive substances are removed using needle guns, scrapers sanders, or wire brushes. Different types of blasting may also be needed to clean, level and prepare surfaces, depending on the existing condition of the surface. Appropriate preparation is critical to proper adhesion of the coatings and the overall result of any coatings project.

As with any facility maintenance activity, regardless of the size of the building, proper techniques and methodologies must be observed in paint selection, surface preparation, and actual application. This assures that commercial painting the superstore will be a big business success.

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