Painting a water tower can be a monumental investment for any community, which is why it is crucial to take every step to extend the coating’s life expectancy. Advancements in coating systems have helped tremendously in prolonging the lifetime to over 20 years, but even the best coating system will not last if not applied correctly.
Choosing the Right One
It is important to talk to your engineer to determine what coating system would work best for your tank. There are many factors that may affect the lifespan of a tank, such as surface type (i.e., steel, concrete), environment (i.e., humidity), and tank purpose (i.e., water storage, water treatment, wastewater treatment, chemical). There is an appropriate coating system for every application.
Proper Surface Prep is Key
Surface preparation is perhaps the most crucial step. According to NACE/AMPP, as much as 75% of coating failures can be attributed to inadequate surface preparation. For instance, steel and concrete require different surface preparations. By taking the time to prepare the surface correctly under the correct conditions, it can safe your community time and money.
Priming is “Prime”
Once the surface is prepared, it is important to apply a good primer onto the substrate. This is the next step in helping the coating system adhere to the surface and additional coats. Primer is not only a rust inhibitor (for steel tanks), it’s heavy in binding elements. this allows the paint to have the best adhesion capabilities.
When applying the coating system, it is important to consider the current environmental conditions: dew points, humidity, moisture content (in concrete tanks), temperature and coatings temperature. Optimal humidity and temperature levels are different for each coating and primer, which is why it is important to follow the manufacturers recommendations and instructions. Hiring a qualified NACE/AMPP inspector is another significant part of a successful project. They are able to identify potential coating failures early to correct them before they become a problem, saving you time and money in the long run.