A deck coating is a protective traffic membrane. You apply it to concrete surfaces to protects them from harmful substances like salt, de-icers, water, oils and grease that can cause deterioration. Like any other system, you must manage deck coatings properly in order to maintain peak performance. The experts at Western Specialty Contractors say there are “5 Key Concepts” to properly maintaining deck coatings. These concepts include understanding deck coatings, performing regular power washing, communicating with the snowplow driver, getting familiar with the maintenance manual and re-upping the warranty.
What are Deck Coatings and Why Do People Use Them?
A deck coating creates a protective layer, almost like a solid rubber barrier. This coating keeps contaminants from reaching the concrete’s surface. A deck coating typically consists of a primer and a base coat (waterproofing membrane) that keeps water from penetrating any cracks in the deck surface and corroding the steel underneath.
Perform Regular Power Washing
Most warranties recommend and require power washing deck coatings. You should power wash the coating at least twice a year. Typically, you should also power wash after the winter to rinse off any salt and de-icers that are on the surface or brought in by vehicles off the roadway.
The membrane surface keeps salts and de-icers from reaching the concrete. However, if you allow the corrosive elements to sit on the surface and the coating breaches, fails or develops a crack, the corrosive substances can easily penetrate the coating. Both salts and de-icers are corrosive to steel and can cause concrete delamination.
Communicate with Your Snow Plow Operator
Snow plowing that uses steel blades is an aggressive method of snow removal. Because deck coatings are made of elastomeric or flexible materials, they are soft. This means they can be easily damaged by steel snow plow blades. Request that your snow plow company use a rubber tip blade and rubber feelers on the sides to keep from damaging and creating gouges in the coating system.
Get Familiar with the Maintenance Manual
The coating system maintenance manual will give additional details on how to properly maintain the deck coating. In addition to regular power washing and using a rubber tip blade for snow removal, maintenance manuals will also recommend conducting a visual inspection annually with the contractor that installed it. The maintenance manual will also give additional recommendations for extending the life of the deck coating. This makes it is wise to read the manual it cover to cover.
Extending the Warranty
Most deck coatings come with a five-year warranty. Most reputable manufacturers will give property managers an opportunity to evaluate the condition of the deck coating at the end of the five years. At that point, if there were any warranty issues, they will have those fixed under the warranty prior to it expiring. If the coating looks in good, sound condition, property managers can get an additional five-year warranty by doing a lesser system and coats. Installing a single wear course is about half the original cost of a deck coating installation per square foot
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About Western Specialty Contractors
Western Specialty Contractors has been family-owned and operated for more than 100 years. It is the nation’s largest specialty contractor in masonry and concrete restoration, waterproofing and specialty roofing. Western offers a nationwide network of expertise that building owners, engineers, architects and also property managers can count on to develop cost-effective, corrective measures that can add years of useful life to a variety of structures including industrial, commercial, healthcare, historic, educational and government buildings, parking structures and sports stadiums. Western has its headquarters in St. Louis, Mo. It also has 30 branch offices nationwide. Additionally, it employs more than 1,200 salaried and hourly professionals who offer the best, time-tested techniques and innovative technology. For more information about Western Specialty Contractors, you can also visit www.westernspecialtycontractors.com.