Outdoor decks, patios, garages, and walkways are some of the most functional areas of any industrial or commercial facility. It is also the most trafficked and exposed area of the facility. Pedestrian traffic, as well as vehicular traffic, is constantly occurring in these areas. These sites must be functional and accessible whatever the weather conditions, being the main channels connecting every other site in the facility. Small wonder, then, that these areas are more susceptible to rapid deterioration than the rest of the facility.
Exterior surface coatings, in particular, are often the first to suffer damage due to various sources of damage. This is why facility managers often devote significant time and money to exterior surface paint maintenance. Maintenance of exterior surface coatings may include re-sealing the surface to extend its useful life, or overhaul and replacement of the entire coating system.
There are several types of exterior coatings, depending on characteristics and use. Urethane coatings are excellent for waterproofing solutions, although they are subject to rapid deterioration with no damage tolerance. Urethane waterproofing coatings are applied in layers, with sand sprayed over the textured surface for better sealing and adhesion. Slip plate roofs are made of multi-layered materials and paper slid over the surface of the original roof, to allow for flexibility and prevent cracking when the deck surfaces move due to varying temperatures and expand or contract over time.
Magnesite systems are made of a fast-drying, non-combustible cement that is preferred in many architectural designs. Although it is very durable, with a useful life of 20 years or more, it suffers from maintenance, due to its tendency to surface cracking and water leakage, and must be restored regularly. Other coating systems include pebble bond coating systems, acrylic systems, vinyl coating systems, fiberglass systems, and more.
How often should exterior surface coatings be repaired? It all depends on several factors. One is based on the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations, usually every two or three years, or as recommended by the painting contractor. Another factor is the role or use of the deck in the facility. Are you constantly exposed to foot traffic? Or is it rarely used? How often the exterior paint is repaired or serviced is also another factor. Another crucial factor in determining how often an exterior paint should be repaired or serviced is its exposure to the natural elements such as sun, rain, snow, or high temperatures.
In general, exterior coatings are repaired when they show signs of deterioration in their condition, which is caused by the factors mentioned above. The best way to determine the right time for a rooftop paint repair is through a close examination of a skilled painting contractor, who can reliably detect problems and recommend solutions.
When raising the issue of repairing and maintaining exterior surfaces, can utility owners waive this activity? The answer depends on how important the deck or area is to the facility, and whether the facility can take the risk of deteriorating deck performance. Downtime can certainly shorten the useful life of roof coatings, and may end up costing the facility much more in terms of replacement or overhaul.