Old Hands, New Materials Star at Show
Secrets of successful paint removal on historic structures and coatings that are transforming garages into "man caves" nationwide kicked off a full slate of popular architectural/commercial sessions Tuesday (Feb. 11) at SSPC 2014.
A four-part session on Assessing and Treating Building Components, hosted by SSPC commercial coatings committee chair Ken Trimber, was followed immediately by four more sessions on Concrete Floor Protection.
A six-part second session today on Assessing and Treating Building Components will wrap up the conference's architectural track, sponsored by Durability + Design.
The expert-led sessions covered a wide range of topics on building performance and aesthetics, from protective treatments for flooring to testing to new coatings.
The lineup included do's and don'ts for chemical paint stripping on historic masonry and a case history on protective coating technology that has moved from bridges and tunnels into the home.
Rules of Removal
Al Morris of PROSOCO Inc. neatly summarized his "8 Rules of Historic Masonry Coating Removal" with the participants in Orlando. They are:
Assume the masonry beneath the coating is sensitive. In fact, advised Morris, it's best to assume that the coating is actually holding the masonry together if the building is more than 50 years old. He noted one project at the U.S. Capitol that removed no less than 40 layers of paint.
Test, test, test. Test for lead-based paint anywhere in those multiple old layers. Also use test panels to narrow down what products will work. Formulations change constantly, and even the same product can perform differently on a different substrate during a different season or in a different climate.
Morris showed a time-lapse video of a complete paint removal project at the 1905 Phoenix Seed and Feed Co. Capitol warehouse. The job took just three days.
Follow all safety instructions, and use the product only as specified. "One product can't do it all," said Morris. A product that cleans one substrate will burn through another. Morris noted that PROSOCO, like all manufacturers, is working to make its products greener. A particular focus in on finding alternatives to methylene chloride paint strippers, which have been implicated in multiple deaths in the United States and elsewhere.
Morris contended that methylene chloride products are on borrowed time and are likely to be phased out within five years.
Use coating removers from manufacturers who back up their products. That means, among other things, having a rep come out to the site to see exactly what the project entails and technical support staff that answers the phones when there's a question.
Use the proper equipment. Morris also shared his secret for a successful rinse: Use low pressure not above 800 psi, and high gallons per minute.
Protect everyone and everything not set for paint stripping. From plastic sheeting to protect lawns and plantings to caution tape that keeps out bystanders, these efforts will yield a safer project.
Begin paint removal slowly and cautiously. Skip the "blow and go" approach, Morris warned.
Never go it alone. Have enough personnel and resources to do the job right and safely.
'Paint on Steroids'
Later, Bayer MaterialScience LLC's Steven Reinstadtler, a JPCL Top Thinker of 2012, reminded participants of a theme struck at last year's conference: High-performance coatings aren't just for infrastructure anymore.
Polyaspartic coatings that have long protected bridges, wastewater infrastructure and transportation are now getting dressed up and migrating into commercial architectural applications.
Dressed up with a broadcast of decorative chips, industrial-grade polyaspartics are finding a new home in commercial and residential applications.
Case in point: polyaspartic coatings. Reinstadtler says this high-gloss, high-solids, two-component, high-build, fast-curing "paint on steroids" has found favor with homeowners because it protects concrete garage floors from damaging, staining contaminants like road salt and motor oil while providing a seamless, decorative appearance.
"In the downturn," he said, "we saw more people painting their garage floor to man-cave their garage as an affordable alternative to moving or expanding."
Reinstadtler walked the participants through a residential polyaspartic coating project that was completed in one day. Three and a half years later, he said, the project retained 95 percent of its gloss, 100 percent of its color, and showed no staining, cracking or blistering.
The coatings technology is also gaining favor in commercial applications, including parking decks, commercial space, stadiums and other venues, Reinstadtler said.