Painting Various Tanks with Commercial Painting Contractors

Commercial painting contractors paint a variety of substrates that are commonplace in commercial and industrial environments.  And one of the most frequent, yet under appreciated items is tanks and silos.  Here’s why it’s so important to maintain the integrity and appearance of a facility’s tank., and just how different each tank can be.

Tanks and silos come in pretty much only 1 shape.  But regardless of that shape, they can hold multiple items, from ethanol to oil, to flour, to water, and a variety of other ingredients and resources used in day to day operations.

And since they serve such a vital component to these day to day operations, it imperative that their integrity be sustained.  And one of the best way to sustain their integrity is by applying a weather tolerant top coat.

And if you’re dealing with a commercial painting contractor, he should be able to suggest the best exterior top coat.  If they are suggesting an alkyd or acryllic, run for the hills.

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4 Different Projects Completed By Commercial Painting Contractors

Commercial painting contractors come across varying projects with varying degrees of difficulty.  Sometimes the prep work involves something as complex as wet blasting.  And other times the prep work could be as simple as hand scraping peeling paint.

And then you have to consider how much containment is involved.  Is there a sensitive product or equipment in the area?  Will paint fumes be a problem?  Does the project need to occur during a plant shut down, or during off hours?  Did you bring your infrared thermometer to test the surface temperature?

And then there are many more questions and considerations that need to be addressed.  But regardless of the situation, the final product needs to look like it was a factory finish.

So here are 4 varying projects, each one offering a unique perspective on where paint and commercial coatings can and should be applicated.

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That Epoxy Floor Starts With Great Prep and a Primer

epoxy flooring contractor

Behind every epoxy floor job is the work and consideration of an epoxy flooring contractor.  And even beyond that high gloss sheen is a lot of prep work, some aggregate, and a hearty primer.  And even beyond that, much more needs to be considered by the contractor, like the temperature of the floor, the condition of the floor, and any contaminants that are penetrating the concrete.

We recently completed the installation of an 1/16″ epoxy floor in a facility in Maryland.  This floor has exposed concrete on a majority of the floor.  About 1/3rd of the floor had an epoxy coating that needed removal.  We used a large, planetary grinder to help abrade the concrete, and then remove the existing epoxy floor.

Once the floor was prepped, we moved in with a urethane cement primer.  Urethane cement is an excellent body coat to start any floor system.  In this specific facility, there wasn’t a vapor barrier beneath the concrete.  This can cause major problems with only an epoxy floor.  Epoxy is very susceptible to moisture transmission.  The pressure between the moisture and the epoxy can cause blisters in the floor.

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Raise the Roof! And Paint What’s There.

Roof equipment is some of the most challenging surfaces to prepare and paint.  It’s in constant UV light, and will always get exposed to rain, snow, and extreme temperature ranges.  And this is why an experienced industrial painting contractor should be called to scope of the painting system for all equipment in this environment.

industrial painting contractors maryland

There are many factors that need to be considered when painting equipment on the roof.  And one of the biggest factors is the weather.  Too much weather can cause irreversible damages to the substrate.  And although industrial coatings won’t stop an asteroid, it can at least prevent these irreversible damages that can be caused by weather.  And here are the best coating for each varying type of weather-related situation.

Ultra-Violet Rays

industrial painting contractors maryland

Ultra violet rays are the beams radiating from the sun.  These rays are powerful in large doses and can cause cancer if people aren’t protected.  But it can also damage or corrode improper coatings.  Alkyd based coatings will do poorly in these types of environments.  Alkyd coatings get very hard.  But that hardness comes at the expense of flexibility.  And when UV rays hit alkyd paints for too long, they start to get alligator skin, a phenom in painting that causes the coating to crack in square formations, similar to the epidermis of an alligator.

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Painting Bar Joists, I-Beams, Sprinklers, and everything Else in Industrial Ceilings.

commercial painting contractors

Being a Commercial Painting Contractor has its perks and challenges.  The perks are the satisfaction of knowing that a job is successfully completed.  But that completion isn’t without its headaches, which is where the challenges come to play.

One of the most common substrates to paint in commercial and industrial facilities are the ceilings.  And when a typical human thinks of ceilings, they’re probably thinking of drywall.  Which might require some trisodium phosphate and spackle.  But when you’re a commercial painting contractor, you’re dealing with more than drywall.

Recently, we were tasked with the objective to paint a ceiling and wall.  And although this sounds pretty straight-forward, there’s alot more that meets the eye.  Like what’s the room temperature?  Any of these infrared thermometers will be beneficial in helping you decide which material is right for the job.

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Aggressive Floor Prep Work for Epoxy Coatings

removing epoxy coatings

Removing epoxy coatings from concrete is common practice in the epoxy flooring business.  But although common, it never easy, and can often be a big gamble when estimating time and material.

Epoxy coating removal is a necessary step when polishing concrete, or when a failed coating needs to be removed.  However, although saying “removing epoxy” is easy, the actual process is much more difficult.

The most important thing to look for when assessing a demo floor job, is how thick the existing coating is.  Epoxy thickness is measured in mils.  And the more mils of epoxy on the floors, the more difficult it will be to remove that epoxy.

But for reference, a 20-30 mils of epoxy is about as thick as a credit card.  So if you’re able to remove some coating during your site visit, compare it to your credit card to determine how thick the existing floor is.  But keep in mind that the floor temperature needs to be considered.  So when visiting potential job opportunities, be sure to bring your industrial infrared thermometer to gauge the temperature for the floor.

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Choosing a paint for Equipment Painting

Painting equipment is one of the most common requests for industrial painters.  From finding the appropriate coating, to discovering the best prep method, to minimizing sensitive computer components.  There are a number of factors that need to be considered before embarking on an incredible painting journey into the angular movements of equipment painting.

equipment painting

In the world of big industry, there are innumerable operations that equipment can perform.  And sometimes that performance requires highly concentrated coolants and oils that can keep the machinery operating.  And other times, that equipment contains highly sensitive computer boards that need to be protected from excessive amounts of water.

But when an owner whats his old, dated pieces of equipment freshened up with a new coat of paint, it proves to be very challenging.

Firstly, as with any painting project, the prep method is going to require a lot of thought and consideration.  As mentioned, modern equipment can contain a lot of computers and electronics.  And if those electronics get wet, it can completely damage the entire piece.  However, sometimes that piece will be caked with old coolant or motor oil.  And if the surface is too saturated with oil, then the adhesion will be compromised.

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The Versitility of Urethane Cement

Epoxy flooring contractors are finding that urethane cement is a practical and efficient primer and resurfacer in nearly every application.

Urethane cement was introduced into the market a few decades ago.  And whether is was installed in Pennsylvania, or applied by some flooring contractors in Maryland, it was widely accepted upon reception for a few reasons.  Firstly, the most commonly used flooring material prior to urethane cement was epoxy.  Epoxy is typically a decent floor.  However, it is susceptible to osmotic blistering, ambering, and vapor transmission.

But because urethane cement is able to not only bond extraordinarily well to the concrete, it has exceptional chemical resistance.  And this chemical resistance also allows it to hold up against the sodium from transmitting through the concrete.

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Painting Fiberglass Cooling Tower for Industrial Facility

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Maryland Commercial and Industrial Painting projects don’t seem to have any limitations with difficulty.  And when we were contacted by a power facility to paint their fiberglass cooling towers, we knew the difficulty level wasn’t trying to decrease.

Fiberglass is a challenging substrate to paint.  Creating fiberglass requires a process called gel-coating.  This process involves soaking layers of fiber inside resinious material.  Collectively, these create a durable, smooth, waterproof, and very strong surface.  Here’s a video with more details:

The gel-coat creates a smooth, impervious surface.  This is great for aquatic equipment, such as boats, water-park equipment, or the top of a cooling tower.  However, the challenge presents itself when it comes time to paint that fiberglass.  And the challenge is that it’s usually not profiled enough for common coatings to bond properly to the substrate.

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Floor Joints for Industrial and Commercial Buildings

floor joints for commercial and industrial plants

Floor joints are a vital consideration on any concrete slab.  But aside from their massive benefits, their installation requires coordination between the contractor and customer.  And the material needs to be determined based on the environment of the area.

Firstly, why would anyone install joints into a nice new concrete slab?  Well, there are many reasons.  And the biggest is to allow the concrete some room to flex.  And it doesn’t seem like a large, rigid concrete slab should flex.  But when it’s sitting on top of a settling ground, enough tension could easily build up, so that the slab actually cracks under its own weight.  And a cracked foundation has the potential to cause a lot of harm to a building in the future.

So the ideal scenario is to install joints immediately after the slab is poured.  And after 28 days of curing, the concrete will be ready to cut.  But there are different types of joints that a floor installer can cut.  But the most common is a control or expansion joint.

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