Elastomeric CoatingsCategories: Commercial Services, Strata Services
What are these coatings?
A “high-build” is a high solids paint coating that fills or bridges cracks and other surface flaws. These acrylic coatings add a significant weatherproofing advantage to exterior stucco and concrete walls. High-builds adhere well, protect walls from wind-driven rain, and resist fading.
Elastomeric paints are a type of high-build coating. They have all the properties mentioned above with the added ability to remain flexible and bridge hairline cracks that may still have some movement.
Both of these coatings provide long-term protection for exterior concrete and stucco, and in certain situations, we’ve successfully used them to extend the life cycle of severely-weathered wood.
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Where are these coatings best used?
E coatings are appropriate for stucco or concrete that has cracks or other surface flaws that need to be sealed.
We’ve applied elastomeric and high-build acrylic coatings to many apartment buildings, townhomes, and commercial and industrial tilt-ups in the Greater Vancouver area with excellent success. Typically, these coatings outlast normal acrylic paints, which translate into more years between paint jobs.
When applied properly, they can stop water from penetrating and damaging the building envelope. For example, we once applied an elastomeric coating to a White Rock apartment building that faced severe wind-driven rain and had multiple chronic leaks on their south-facing stucco wall. After we applied the coating, the leaks stopped.
What do I need to look out for?
The thickness of the paint layer is important. Each manufacturer stipulates the thickness at which their product needs to be applied. Often, this standard is a dry film (or layer) of 12 to 18 “mils” (thousandths of an inch). If the contractor doesn’t apply the paint thick enough or at a consistent thickness – and this does happen – the coating’s weatherproofing and crack-bridging abilities will be compromised.
What about “breathability”?
One concern with high-build or elastomeric coatings is that this thicker coating may reduce the building’s ability to “breathe” (that is, allow air and moisture to pass through the exterior walls). Not all elastomeric coatings are created equal in this respect. Some have very good “perm” (or breathability) ratings, and others not. We’re familiar with these coatings, and we’re happy to pass along our knowledge and recommendations.
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