Painting Locations: Water Towers

July 24, 2008

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At first glance, a water tower might seem like an easy painting location. Closer examination of what is involved in re-coating a water tower or other exposed high steel structure reveals a challenging painting location, and the type of project that true painting professionals thrive upon.

For older structures, the existing paint is quite likely to be lead-based, which leads to additional removal and abatement costs, which a painting and coating company will likely subcontract out. The option to sub-out is never taken lightly, but the strict requirements for lead abatement force most painting contractors to hire qualified lead abatement professionals for these types of jobs.

Even if lead abatement is not an issue for a tower, containing the old coating material removed from the tank is always a concern. As part of the preparation process, the tank is blasted, scoured and prepped so that the base coats bond to the metal and provide a solid foundation for the intermediate coats and top coats.

Application can be tricky. Working two and three hundred feet in the air gives paint droplets a lot of chances to go where they should not. Careful masking and preparation practices have to be in place to keep the new paint from becoming a neighboring business’s problem.

The issue of design is often a factor. A plain white coat is easy for an experienced professional to achieve using a mixture of painting systems. Designing and executing large scale lettering, logos and graphics adds another level of difficulty to the project, but the result is well worth the extra effort.

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