Monday, September 25, 2023

The Ultimate Protection: Waterproof Coatings and the Impressive Power of Polyurea

by on September 25, 2023








Water damage can wreak havoc on various surfaces, causing severe structural damage, corrosion, and even posing a risk to our health. Fortunately, advancements in technology have led to the development of powerful waterproof coatings that provide an effective barrier against water infiltration. In this blog post, we will explore the world of waterproof coatings, their benefits, and delve into the exceptional properties of polyurea coatings that make them one of the most popular choices in the market today.

Understanding Waterproof Coatings:

Waterproof coatings are chemical substances applied to surfaces to prevent water penetration and extend the lifespan of the protected materials. These coatings are widely used across various industries, including construction, automotive, marine, and manufacturing.

The primary objectives of waterproof coatings are to provide protection against water, moisture, and chemical damage. They also enhance the longevity and durability of surfaces, reducing the risk of costly repairs or replacements. Additionally, waterproof coatings can significantly impede the growth of mold, mildew, and other harmful microorganisms, making them particularly beneficial for maintaining a healthier environment.

The Power of Polyurea Coatings:

Polyurea coatings have gained immense popularity in recent years due to their exceptional properties, making them a top choice for many waterproofing applications. Essentially, polyurea is a type of elastomer that offers superior durability, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion, impact, and chemicals.

One of the most remarkable aspects of polyurea coatings is their fast curing time. Unlike other coatings that require significant drying time, polyurea can dry within seconds or minutes, creating a strong, impermeable layer that maintains its integrity even in extreme weather conditions. This rapid curing time translates into significant time and cost savings during application.

Moreover, polyurea exhibits excellent adhesion to various surfaces, including concrete, metal, wood, and plastic. Its versatility allows for seamless application on different substrates, ensuring a reliable protective barrier against water infiltration.

These coatings also possess remarkable resistance to water and moisture, ensuring comprehensive protection for surfaces exposed to heavy rainfall, extreme humidity, or frequent water contact. Polyurea coatings are capable of preventing the development of leaks, seepage, and water-related damages, which can be particularly beneficial in flood-prone areas or structures exposed to high-moisture environments.

Applications and Benefits:

Polyurea coatings find extensive use in numerous applications, each benefiting from the unique properties of this remarkable material. Some notable applications include:

1. Roofing: Polyurea coatings provide a seamless, waterproof layer for roofs, protecting them from damage caused by rainwater, UV rays, and severe weather conditions. Their fast curing feature allows for quick installation, minimizing downtime for the building occupants.

2. Automotive: Polyurea coatings are utilized to protect vehicle underbodies from corrosion, water, and chemicals, improving their lifespan and preserving their appearance. They also serve as an effective sealant for truck beds, guarding against abrasion, rust, and impact damage.

3. Marine: Polyurea coatings are frequently applied to boats, yachts, and other marine vessels to provide a durable, watertight layer. They protect against saltwater, extreme temperatures, and potential hull damage caused by impacts with debris or marine life.

4. Industrial: Industrial facilities often rely on polyurea coatings to safeguard pipelines, storage tanks, and concrete structures from corrosion, chemicals, and water intrusion. These coatings offer long-lasting protection with minimal maintenance requirements.

In addition to their application-specific benefits, polyurea coatings share common advantages, including:

a) Enhanced Durability: Polyurea coatings exhibit exceptional resistance to abrasion, impact, and chemicals, ensuring prolonged surface protection and reducing the need for frequent repairs or replacements.

b) Flexibility: The inherent flexibility of polyurea enables it to withstand structural movements and temperature fluctuations without cracking or peeling, maintaining its integrity over time.

c) UV Resistance: Polyurea coatings possess excellent resistance to UV rays, preventing degradation, discoloration, and deterioration caused by prolonged sun exposure.

d) Environmentally Friendly: Unlike some conventional coatings, polyurea is solvent-free, making it a more environmentally friendly choice. Additionally, its longevity reduces waste generated by frequent reapplications.

Conclusion:

Waterproof coatings, especially those made of polyurea, have revolutionized the protection of various surfaces against water damage. Offering quick-curing times, outstanding adhesion, durability, and resistance to water, chemicals, and impact, polyurea coatings ensure long-lasting solutions for both structural and aesthetic applications. With their versatility and immense benefits, polyurea coatings have become an integral part of numerous industries, providing invaluable protection against the damaging effects of water infiltration.

 
















Tuesday, August 31, 2021

POLYUREA COATINGS FOR RESERVOIR RELINING PROJECTS

by on August 31, 2021



Many of the hydropower pumped storage units are over a decade old and need to be rehabilitated to improve their life, capacity, efficiency, or resolve groundwater leaking in (infiltration) or out (exfiltration) because of cracks and leaks. If these issues are not addressed, they can result in fines from the EPA, FERC, and communities, as well as expensive, time-consuming repairs. More facilities use advanced waterproofing methods such as polyurea coatings or linings to optimize their hydropower pumped storage and fix groundwater leakage problems.



CRACKS and WATER LOSS

Water loss can occur in old pumped storage stations due to various reasons, including ground movement or daily or seasonal temperature fluctuations that cause expansion/ contraction. This phenomenon is often called freeze-thaw.


Harsh winters can cause asphalt damage that can result in repaving projects that cost millions of dollars. Damage often occurs in areas where the ice is attached directly to asphalt. During the thaw, it can cause damage to asphalt by dragging chunks of asphalt to the bottom. These large pieces and chunks of asphalt can cause damage to the structure and more costly maintenance.


Concrete and asphalt can move several inches due to the weight of water in pumped-storage stations. Tiny cracks can result in cracks up to 1/8 inch wide when water is added to drained storage stations.


Whatever the reason, pumps storage stations can lose hundreds upon hundreds of gallons per minute because of leakage. This reduces their effectiveness in storing power and raises the cost.


Traditional pumped storage station maintenance repairs are made with various materials, including tar and emulsified rubber. These traditional coatings are not flexible enough to move or flex with concrete and asphalt and can crack. They do not combine the ability to waterproof concrete or asphalt and bridge current and future cracks.


FLEXIBILITY PREVENTS WATER LOSS


Water facility managers are now turning to polyurea linings and coatings. These are the only protective coatings that can withstand the expansion and contraction cycles in substrates such as concrete, asphalt, and stainless steel. Advanced polyurea coatings have high tensile strengths and the ability to stretch up to 400 percent.


ArmorThane manufactures protective coatings and waterproof membranes applied to U.S. reservoirs, bridges, tunnels, highways, railways, and other markets.


While other sealers and epoxies may have cracked and opened up in a short time, pure polyurea remains seamless and waterproof. 


The spray-applied coating forms a seamless, waterproof, and durable protective liner that stops leaks and strengthens the integrity of the storage structure. It can withstand years of freeze-thaw cycles, large temperature variations, and humidity changes. 


APPLICATION METHODS

The polyurea coatings can easily be applied to asphalt or similar substrates with minimal surface preparation and crack repair. Another method is to spray the polyurea to geotextile fabric that's placed above the substrate. This results in a monolithic, strong, flexible, seamless liner. The same material makes the seamless waterproof membrane for the geotextile fabric to fuse the panels.


Pre-sprayed panels can be used to repair cracks or surface damage. However, membranes can have different adhesion requirements.


Polyurea coatings can be applied using either method. They have superior physical properties such as high crack bridging, hardness, and hardness. This creates an industrial liner that protects and strengthens pump storage areas.


Polyurea bridges crack and fill in the gaps when the substrate cracks or moves. Polyurea works with the substrate to extend its waterproof integrity without affecting the liner.


Only minimal preparation is needed when the concrete or asphalt substrate is being applied. Some substrates require primers and preparation. Polyurea is fast setting and curing so that it can save you thousands of dollars every hour.


Asphalt repairs can take up to a week to inspect, cut, patch, seal, and cure. Polyurea can be applied in about one hour, and the area can be returned to service within an hour.


Pumped-Storage-Relining


THE COATING SOLUTION

A pump storage facility in the United States spent $15 million eight years ago to repair an asphalt-lined reservoir. Yet, it was still losing hundreds upon a minute of water. The life expectancy of the asphalt resurfacing was expected to last 15 to 20 years. However, the harsh environmental conditions caused it to last less than 10. An estimated $25 million is needed for another repaving in 2018.


The facility tested two areas of asphalt sloped sidewalls to determine the best waterproof coating. One area was coated with a pre-sprayed polyurea membrane, and another was applied directly to asphalt spray.



Applied polyurea membrane panels.

Particular attention was paid to the areas tested for pumped storage reservoirs. The test revealed no ice was visible in the polyurea test areas during the third winter season, even though the ice had been frozen around the entire 2.5-mile perimeter. Polyurea was able to remove the ice from its reservoir's rim naturally.

The facility plans to cover an additional 40,000 sq. feet in spring due to the success of its polyurea testing areas. If you have a similar project and would like to know how ArmorThane could help you, click here and contact them today.

 


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Creating Waterproof Barriers With Two Surfaces

by on August 03, 2021

 



It is crucial to properly seal cracks between floors and walls to create a waterproof barrier. Water and other liquids can eventually cause irreparable damage to the structure. Before coating with ArmorThane, learn how to make sure that there is a good seal.

Waterproof Barriers require connecting two surfaces

The Barrier Issue

A waterproof barrier must be installed where the porch or deck connects to any other structure, such as a house, patio, fence, or supporting beams. Spraying within floors that connect to walls or steps is also a good idea. Uncoated crevices between the walking surface and walls can trap rainwater or other water. Simple caulking can lead to structural deterioration, including concrete cracking and wood rot.

Sealing the cracks and spraying at least half way up the vertical section is the best option. Different substrates might require different preparations and primers. ArmorThane sprays on concrete, wood, brick, and stone.

Connecting Wall to Concrete

To connect the right angles surfaces, a chamfer molding is possible. This creates two minor seams, rather than one major, and gives the edge a more pleasing aesthetic. The chamfer is used to join the exterior wall and floor. It is then attached using our woven fiberglass ArmorTape. The floor is coated with a primer and polymer coating. This can be applied to the entire vertical wall, or to the seams that are just covering the taped seams. For color and UV protection, a topcoat is available.






If concrete is being coated with another material or the coating rubs against concrete, it is best to cut a quarter inch groove between the concrete and wood. For proper sealing, ArmorThane primer and polymer are applied to the wood.



Connect Siding to Wood

A metal flashing is used to cover cracks in wood decking which butts against siding. Before coating, ArmorTape can be applied to seal the flashing. This tape can also be used to seal cracks between planks of wood. The decking is then spray with ArmorThane primer and polyurethane/polyurea. Finally, topcoat is applied.



A Waterproof Barrier

This will provide years of maintenance-free service with a waterproof barrier. The top and underlying structures are resistant to weathering, foot traffic, and furniture movement.


These drawings are intended to provide guidance for the installation and maintenance of ArmorThane coatings. These details should only be used as a guideline. After evaluating the site conditions, code requirements, and other standards, the applicator should make final decisions about the details. Before applying an ArmorThane coating, please read the operation manual, product technical data sheets and material safety data sheet (MSDS).






THE FUTURE OF THE WATERPROOFING INDUSTRY: POST COVID

by on August 03, 2021

 




REFLECTIVE SINGLE-PLY ROOF MEMBRANES ARE EXPECTED TO GAIN A SIGNIFICANT SHARE OF THE MARKET IN THE COMING YEARS.

Waterproofing is a hard industry that requires the mastering of technical skills and a strong work ethic.

The cyclical nature of waterproofing can contribute to some of the difficulties. Building booms, weather conditions, and competition all play a part in the development of waterproofing. The future of waterproofing will change with green building mandates, tighter building envelopes, and changing insulation requirements. Let's take a look at a few of these trends.

Economics

The next year is promising for waterproofers that focus on new construction. The U.S. single-family housing market continues to expand moderately. Building permits suggest that there will be even more growth in the months ahead. The increase is being driven by low interest rates, easy lending standards, and moderate economic growth.

Permits are outpacing start times, suggesting that builders and developers are finally looking ahead to more growth. This is great news for the economy and consumers.

Multifamily construction has slowed, but that's expected to be temporary, as rents across the nation are rising and vacant units are hard to come by.

Experts predict conditions will remain the same as in the past few years on the commercial market. 

The waterproofing industry is expected to outperform construction overall. Experts estimate a substantial backlog of waterproofing work has been delayed during the recession, with covid restrictions holding the business back. Because of this, there will be a large amount of work that needs to be done.

Some builders attempted to waterproof their homes themselves when the market crashed. In many cases, they were not trained in the work. Builders are trained to build homes and not waterproofing. Many homeowners did things cheaper during the recession to make ends meet. In many cases, this has come back to bite them, and we are seeing many seeking out professionals to fix the issues that have arisen from doing this type of work without the use of professionals. Now that the economy has improved and stabilized, homeowners are more willing to spend more money if the situation warrants it.

However, consumer budgets remain tight. Builders and owners who deliver the highest performance per dollar are most successful. The advantage is in products that provide state-of-the-art performance at a reasonable price. Finishing basements is a popular choice because it creates more living space.


Many clients realize that a low bid may not always be the best. Clients prefer quality and service over price. Even the government is moving to a progressive bidding system. They will often choose something else if the contractor can show why the more costly upfront method will be cheaper in the long-term span.

Diversification

The future of residential waterproofing is changing with better products, better technology, and better craftsmanship. Carbon fiber, for example, is changing the way basement crack repair is done. Although the technology has been around for over a decade, it is now widely accepted and cost-competitive.

Successful waterproofing companies in the future will offer a broad range of basement repair services, which will help smooth out the bumps of cyclical waterproofing.

Conditioned basements and crawlspaces have become best practices, especially in humid climates, creating a major opportunity for waterproofing companies.

The old way to think about waterproofing contractors is that they have a great business when the rain comes down, but it doesn't dry up when it's dry.

A few years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a bulletin indicating that most indoor air was five times more polluted than outside air and that traditional crawlspaces--a vent on each end of the building and a loose vapor barrier spread over the ground--were one major reason.

Condiments crawlspaces have been a popular choice in humid climates for the last few years. For the same reason, enclosed basements are becoming more popular: they reduce radon, moisture, and unpleasant odors. This shift presents a huge opportunity for waterproofing businesses.

Mold, which was such a major focus ten years ago, is less of an issue since builders understand the importance of air quality and restricting airflow within the crawlspace.

Many waterproofing companies offer air purifiers and dehumidifiers as part of their move towards cleaner air. These products have "flooded the market" and are a good choice. Moisture, mold, and radon can be eliminated from the living area by enclosing the crawlspace. These technologies can solve what is known as "sick home syndrome."

Carbon fiber is changing the way basement crack repairs are done. This technology is widely accepted and cost-competitive.

Regulations

Another huge market for waterproofers is egress windows. This is because code mandates are required for all basement remodels.

Similar changes are occurring in the sump pump industry. A growing number of municipalities insist that a licensed master plumber installs sump pumps. Often, waterproofers are more knowledgeable about sump pumps than plumbers. A master plumber license is not possible without years of training. Although they are trying to protect homeowners, this could prove to be detrimental to waterproofing companies.

In response, the BHA is developing a certified sump pump specialist designation and working with municipalities across the nation to accept this certificate as proof of competency.

The association already has a Certified Egress Specialist designation and a Basement Air Quality Specialist designation. 

Green Building

The only sector of construction that has seen almost uninterrupted growth in the last decade is green building. It is now mandatory to do what was once voluntary. Building codes now require both above and below-grade insulation. The International Building Code continues to be 30% better than the previous year's code; year after year, this continues to be true. This means that there is more rigid foam insulation above grade and below grade. Waterproofing systems need to adapt to be compatible.

Codes are also requiring more tightly designed buildings that have less natural airflow. Therefore, above-grade air barriers become more common. Now, house wraps must perform better, and detail is more important. Spray-on air and vapor barriers are making inroads in residential markets.

Air barriers are a common practice in commercial jobs. Rooftops are the most prominent green building trend in commercial markets. Cool roofs, reflective and green roofs are all in demand as green trends.

Across all segments of the waterproofing industry, green waterproofing products-- meaning those that are recyclable, low-VOC, or rubber/polymer-based instead of asphalt/solvent-based--are doing relatively better than those that aren't.

Many counties, municipalities, and townships cater to those who value green or sustainable construction. Manufacturers are seeking materials that are more sustainable, less toxic, and discourage mold growth. This is a popular trend for homeowners, but it's also of interest to commercial clients. It is a common question that many people ask, and they insist on it.

The growing emphasis on long-term, life-cycle costs is favorable to waterproofing contractors who focus on quality and craftsmanship. The green/sustainable building movement will give environmentally-friendly products an edge.

Roof coatings eliminate the need to tear off and replace aging roofs, extending their life by 10 or 15 years.

Innovation

Construction costs continue to rise due to rising labor and raw material costs. Project developers and owners are choosing to use cutting-edge waterproofing solutions and products. One example is commercial roofing.

The same trend is true for all aspects of waterproofing. The popularity of acrylic polymer-based cementitious coats, crystalline admixtures, and polyurethane coatings is increasing. There is a shift from straw-and-gravel drainage to more modern materials like dimple drain sheets and perforated pipes.

Customers and contractors demand better sump pumps with wireless alarms and alerts, backup power, and the ability to autodial the owner's phone if they are disabled. In the future, backup sump pumps could be powered by small lithium batteries. This technology is similar to that used in smartphones.

Contractors need to be more educated and open to learning. Successful companies always look for new ideas and custom-designed solutions to meet customers' needs.

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