PennCoat – Painting Industrial Ceilings

Commercial Painting Contractors Paint Industrial Ceilings.

Something that’s often overlooked (and even under-appreciated) by non-painters is the challenge and difficulty of painting a commercial or industrial ceiling.  Unlike painting the interior of a home, manufacturing and pharmaceutical facilities have bar joists, I-beams, L-channels, galvanized metal, and corrugated paneling make the application process very difficult.  Their substrates vary, making paint selection difficult.  And access always poses a challenge for proper surface preparation and coating.  PennCoat’s experience painters have the knowledge to properly apply coats to these difficult surfaces.  However, a lot of painters, specifically house painters, don’t normally do well with ceilings that aren’t flush.

Due to the difficulty of accessing these surfaces, and the challenge that these unique surface types present, there is a lot of room for error.  A cardinal rule within paintings is that surface preparation is key to a great application.  However, if a painter has trouble accessing the surface, or is unfamiliar with how to prepare the type of surface, then the paint that that surface receives is more likely to fail.

Access recommendations:

  • Scissors Lift – scissors lifts are great when working on open floor spaces.  These lifts allow the painters to access surfaces directly above them, while also providing mobility
  • Articulating Lift – open floors are a luxury, but aren’t the case in existing facilities.  When there is operational equipment on the floor, access will require an articulating lift.  These lifts can reach surfaces when equipment and machinery is still on the work floor.  However, mobility is limited.
  • Ladder – If the ceiling isn’t too high, a ladder can be a solution.  However, ladders require a lot of mobility, climbing up and down, and repositioning.  Also, ladders aren’t as safe as lifts.

Access to surfaces is key.  However, due to the nature of the industrial environment,  paint has more aggressive elements to combat.  In industrial structures, a ceiling is subject to different temperatures, moisture and chemicals.  Quality of air at ceiling level in warehouses or commercial building is highly contaminated with remnants of solvents and chemicals. Also, temperature at this level is high causing contaminants to settle on ceiling surface. All of these challenges can influence paint failure, and here are a few key pointers that painters should be aware of:

  • Presence of moisture – Higher proportion of moisture in the air is a common reason for peeling of paint from ceiling. Application of a glossy paint reduces absorption of water and accelerates process of peeling in ceilings. For such areas, you should use epoxy coating as they have better adhering properties to concrete and other surfaces. Epoxy paints are more water resistant too.
  • Incorrect application of paint – If an incorrect variety of paint is applied to ceilings of industrial structures, paint does not soak in properly and becomes unstable due to presence of chemicals. This results in peeling.
  • Applying too many layers – Applying extra coats of paint creates extra pressure on the surface, and due to the presence of gravitational force paint starts to flake off.
  • Paints composed of calcimine – Calcimine was a popular and economic solution for painting in 19th and early 20th century. Industrial unit ceilings that were once painted with calcimine commonly face problem of peeling. Calcimine was basically chalk, and its water base mixture was applied on the ceiling. But this mixture lacked sufficient binding and adhesion properties, hence old structures face a bigger issue of ceiling peeling.

Clean and bright ceiling are not only improves the aesthetic value of the work environment, but also creates a safe working environment. If you find paint peeling off ceiling, address it immediately and get it repaired.