Encapsulation is a very cost-effective alternative to removing lead-based paints and other hazardous coating materials. To the uninitiated, the products used in encapsulation are indistinguishable from ordinary painting and coating products. A closer look at encapsulation products reveals their special characteristics.

Many encasement products on the market are divided between a primer-sealer product and a top coat product. The primer stabilizes and seals off the lead-based paint or other hazardous material, while the top coat adds additional desired qualities, including color. Generally, manufacturers recommend using their products as a matched set for the best results. For example, Safe Encasement Systems (SES) recommends using its encasement primer SE-110 MS with one of its top coat products.

Primer Characteristics
Primers for encasement applications, also known as penetrating sealers, are often milky in color when wet, but when dry generally form a clear layer over the treated surface. Primers often feature incredible low temperature flexibility, meaning that the coating can stretch in normal room temperature environments rather than cracking. This stretchiness helps maintain the integrity of the seal and prevents the release of lead-based paint and other hazardous materials.

Top Coat Characteristics
The top coat is designed to bite into the primer coat for excellent adhesion. In addition to delivering the color desired to the surface, the top coat often augments the protection provided by the primer with other desirable qualities, such as chemical-, fire-, and mold-resistance. Other top coat products provide protection against dust and airborne dirt.