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.
Alkyd paints won’t serve well in the sun. Firstly, they’ll get dry to a bone, and lose any flexibility that would be necessary for a coating on steel. Additionally, alkyd paints won’t maintain their color. If in direct sunlight, they will eventually start to amber, or yellow. And since tanks are a eye-catching feature for many facilities, it’s nice to have them looking great.
Acrylic paints would be a better option than just alkyd paints. However, that doesn’t make them a good choice. Acrylic paints have excellent color retention, and won’t lose their clarity in the sunlight. However, they may begin to chalk over a period of time. Some painting contractors will consider chalking a “self-cleaning” mechanism by the paint. But we’d prefer a nice, hard, gloss finish. Because gloss finishes do a great job resisting dirt and debris.
The best top coats to apply to tanks are aliphatic urethanes and polysiloxanes.
Aliphatic urethanes are the types of paint you’d find on automobiles. Firstly, they have excellent adhesion. So there’s no worrying about them not sticking, or delaminating from the surface of the tank. But in addition to their great adhesion, they also have excellent color retention.
One of the biggest challenges is finding a paint that can hold up against UV exposure. Which is why aliphatic urethanes do so well in the outdoors.
But although they do so well, their one drawback is that they don’t work with potable water. So if the top of the tank or silo is flat, the painting contractor should consider a different product.
Polysiloxanes are another great coating. They hold up very well in direct sunlight. And they also have great adhesion.
So regardless of what your tank situation is, be sure to use either an aliphatic urethane or a polysiloxane top coat. Both products will provide the longevity and appearance that you’re ultimately looking for.