Industrial Coatings – PennCoat Paints Tanks/Silos

PennCoat, Inc Provides Industrial Painting Solutions and Services in Pennsylvania and Maryland

We were contacted in late November about some tanks that needed coating.   This is common.  Companies will want to make big purchases at the end of the year to get more expenses on their books for their taxes.  This can be great because we’re often on the receiving end of the work.  However, the issue is that it can prove very problematic when you attempt to paint in cold weather.  Coatings won’t cure, meaning that they require a longer curing time, leaving them exposed to out door conditions longer.  And the longer uncured coatings sit outside, the more likely they are to get damaged due to weather problems, such as snow and rain.

But, since this December was oddly warm, we didn’t have that issue.  Knock on steel.

But from this angle, you can see why the customer was looking to paint their tanks.  There is noticeable rust and corrosion running down the side walls.  And the railing, catwalk, and ladder are also experiencing rust and corrosion.  These were some of the issues that our coating system had to address.

Lift Access

To begin the project, we needed some lifts to access all the substrates of the tanks.

The lifts were detrimental to the project.  However, they did not come without their precautions.  Lifts can often tear apart grass and landscaping.  So it is important to bring enough plywood to create driving paths for the lifts to drive across, so they don’t tear up the lawn.

The Prep: Pressure Washing

When washing, it is also important to set up a paint-chip collection system.  Paint chips can cause environmental hazards, which can bring severe fines and penalties.  We set up screens that would catch all the paint chips, preventing them from contaminating the surrounding environment.

Rust-Inhibitive Primer

Once the tanks were adequately prepped, it was time to coat them.  As we noticed earlier, these tanks had some rust.  It was minimal compared to some tanks that we’ve seen.  However, that doesn’t relinquish the opportunity to apply a rust-inhibitive product.  We like to use a product that creates a chemical crosslink with the surface.  This cross-linking allows the moisture-cured coating to create an impermeable bond with the substrate, that only gets harder as more moisture comes in contact.

Industrial Coating System

When dealing with exterior steel, it’s important to apply a coating that has excellent adhesion, some flexibility for expansion and contraction, and great color retention.  So, we selected an acrylic urethane mastic.  The acrylic urethane mastic provides everything we’re looking for in a performance driven coating: excellent gloss  retention, excellent color stability, excellent adhesion, and enough flexibility for the expanding and contracting steel, thanks to the acrylic base.

In addition to the tanks, the customer had also request that we prep and paint the structures holding the cooling towers.

As the picture shows, it’s obvious that these structures are corroding and rusty.  So we prepped them just as we prepped the silos, with pressure washing.  Which required the same screening to collect any loose paint that wold come off.  And, just as we primed the rust on the tanks, we used the rust-inhibitve primer with chemical cross-linking technology.  And then, just as we painted the tanks, we applied 2 coats of the acrylic urethane mastic.


Overall, the project was a success.  It was completed in the time-frame that the owner requested, and with the luck of fortunate weather, we were able to avoid common coating catastrophes that can sometimes occur when providing exterior painting in December.

PennCoat, Inc. has been providing industrial painting, commercial painting, epoxy flooring, and polished concrete services for nearly 30 years.  Our experienced installers are trained and equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to ensure that every installation is installed efficiently and safely.  PennCoat, Inc. provides service to Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware.  And we cover York, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Chester, Montgomery, Baltimore, Harrisburg, Dauphin, Bucks, Berks, and other counties in the surrounding area.