The Longevity Game: Chemical Resistant Deck Coatings

October 1, 2009

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Deck areas are some of the most heavily trafficked location in industrial facilities. Machines, equipment, vehicles, and people frequently access these areas for many functions and occupations all throughout the day. The constant flow of human and non-human traffic brings greater degradation to deck coatings more often.

One of the most common causes of coatings failure comes from chemical spillage. Toxic substances can be harsh on deck coatings, leading to a gradual loss of coating integrity. The results of chemical damages may vary from coatings discoloration, cracking and an unsightly general appearance, or offensive odors and dangerous volatility when chemicals mix with the coatings. The risks may involve health-detrimental chemical inhalation and absorption, or flammability. When any of these signs of failure manifest, and frequently, then it is time to look for longer-lasting deck coatings.

Good Chemistry, Quality Deck Coatings

Because of the demand for more enduring chemical-resistant deck coatings, research and development for such coatings have resulted to the creation of many innovative coatings products. For example, cross-linked films are now tougher against chemical attacks. Many of today´s products are non-toxic, non-flammable, and nearly odorless. They are easier to apply and have lower VOC emissions, lowering health and safety risks during application.

Some polyurethane coating formulations are also fast drying, taking lesser time to cure. Versatility has also been a key characteristic of new coatings, with limitless application use even in food service facilities, or light industries. The combination of chemical and wear resistance, coupled with ease of application, has made coatings applications more enduring than ever.

Longevity Begins with Careful Preparation

Prior to installation of deck coatings, it is always recommended to identify a test area where the coatings can be applied first, to examine the adhesion and performance of the product. Following manufacturer´s installation guidelines is highly recommended.

Some coating products may not be suitable for exterior environments, or change its performance behavior when exposed to sunlight. Cure rates may vary depending on the ambient temperature and humidity. Depending also on the substrate, the amount of application coverage may differ greatly, with flat surfaces naturally requiring lower paint volume than irregular surfaces.

Surfaces have to be cleansed of dust, grease and other particles that can hinder complete adhesion. Cracked surfaces must be repaired first before deck coatings can be applied.

Knowing the capabilities of the deck coatings to apply, and the surface that it will be applied to, and preparing both prior to actual application, will ensure that the applied coatings system will be sturdier against chemical damages for longer periods.

Applying Enduring Deck Coatings

If working in hot conditions, the pot-life or working time of materials can degrade quickly. Either store materials in a cooler environment, or lower the core temperature of the work area, or complete the application work quickly before the pot-life expires. In cold-weather temperatures, the speed of curing is hindered.

Experienced painting applicators can perform thinning that lowers viscosity for easier application and longer pot-life. Thinning should be done carefully, because this induces the chemical interaction of paint with thinning agents like Acetone, which can break down the paint’s solid component and can be highly-flammable.

Brush or rollers can be used to apply the mixture to the surface, and applicators must be careful of out gassing and bubble formation. Post-application cleanup should be done carefully on tools and hands, and proper disposal of used materials should be accomplished.

When deck coatings applications follow careful planning, product identification, preparation, and application, it will lead to high-performing decks that last a long time in the service of the facility.

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