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Ecodur 201: Coating a Shower Facility

Shower Facility Coating_sm

All production facilities provide washrooms for workers, but many also provide showers that create additional design and protection considerations for building fabric and any coatings to be used in these wet and humid areas. This case study concerns one of the nation’s leading food production companies in Holcomb, Kansas.

Showers involve large volumes of water cascading around. Water has a way of finding any weakness in a building, seeping into microscopic fissures and potentially causing major damage. In this situation the original tiling had been coated. The coating had failed but was still tenaciously clinging to the surfaces, making it imperative that it be removed entirely if a new coating was to be effective. The client also wanted an odorless, non-toxic product used that could withstand regular cleaning and be absolutely watertight. They also did not want a coating that might require workers to be kept well away from area during application that could cause work disruption.

Ecodur has an antecedent history which includes over 20-years use in a shower stall, in potable water and wastewater works, on ship decks, and testing in a brine solution with no measurable deterioration. When properly applied, it provides a seal that for all practical purposes, lasts as long as the treated surface. In line with the client’s conditions, it also completely non-toxic, odourless, free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and does not require any solvents either in content, usage or clean-up.

Shower Facility Coating 2_sm

Application Results
The first shower stall was power washed and then the tiles were brush blasted. After cleaning, the stall was dried. At the time, the humidity was very high in the entire plant as well as the stall. After finishing the first stall blistering appeared and bad adhesion to the substrate was in evidence.

Most of the blistering seemed to be where the brush blasting had been directly on the tiling as it was noted that the best adhesion was on the smooth tile that did not have a profile from abrasive blasting. The blasting had, in effect, greatly increased the surface area allowing more water to condense out from the highly humid atmosphere. The additional condensation had caused a significant adhesion barrier to the coating. The applicator purchased a dehumidifier and sealed the bay off for 24 hours to get the humidity down and cleaned the substrate using a liquid de-watering agent prior to respraying. The repair work demonstrates Ecodur’s ability to bond perfectly to original Ecodur surfaces making future repairs entirely feasible with no time limit, unlike many conventional epoxy coatings.

This solved the problem on the second spray out. The next bay had just a power wash combined with the de-watering liquid and dehumidification for 24 hours prior to coating. The second stall coating was entirely satisfactory with no anomalies. The applicator reported that humidity caused the failure of the first spray out.

This case study particularly highlights the need for surfaces to be dry, but also an awareness of the humidity levels and the potential for water vapor to immediately liquefy into microscopic droplets on the surfaces to be treated, which can result in blistering. Whilst minor blistering will not affect the overall integrity of the coating, it is unsightly, and must be removed and repaired to meet the company’s best practice standards. A total of 48 gallons of Ecodur was used for the four-day project and the client reported complete satisfaction.