With winter in full force, now is the time to consider how the imminent cold weather will affect your coatings.
- The most obvious mistake is temperature. Material temperature and surface temperature are BOTH important. Some polymers will not cure correctly if the material temperatures are too low, and even if you have the material temperature correct, applying the product onto an extremely cold surface will simply cool it off. Therefore, check the manufacturer recommendations and remember to keep the substrate temperature and the material temperatures in the correct range.
- The coverage you get during the summer months will often be different from what you get during the winter. Lower temperatures will make your coating viscous, and with a slightly thicker material, coverage will be less. For example, a coating that goes on 10 mils during the summer may very well go on 12 mils during the winter. Remember to calculate this into your winter estimates.
- How you store your coatings is important. It can take a long time to heat them to their recommended temperatures if they get too cool, losing time on you project; in addition many epoxy polymers will crystalize if left too cold for too long. You may open a pail and see stiff material due to the crystallization of polymers. Avoid this by keeping your material stored at the recommended temperatures.
Considering temperature, coverage, and storage are your best bet to make the most of your coatings so your rehabilitation projects and other coating jobs run smoothly during the winter months.
To avoid losing product and wasting time, manufacturer recommendations should be taken seriously during the winter months.