Table of Contents
Painting new Tilt-Up buildings or ones that were constructed decades ago requires experience and understanding of this commercial building method.
Most often used for warehouses, distribution centers, and big-box retail stores, advances in technology have expanded the use of Tilt-Up construction. Today there’s an endless array of panel shapes, colors, and decorative features. Tilt-Up construction is less wasteful for a smaller environmental footprint, and often the walls can be recycled, if and when the building comes down.
Once they are built, concrete tilt-ups need specialized painting services from experienced contractors like Painters USA. We will prepare them for commercial or industrial use and help you maintain them for decades of wear.
Common tilt-up surface issues
Painters USA understands the characteristics of Tilt-Up concrete. This allows us to determine the best paints and coatings for any situation, and to apply them properly.
Because Tilt-Up walls rely on extra steel reinforcement, any cracks that appear are usually microscopic. Visual cracks mostly happen with time, related to concrete shrinkage or surface moisture due to rain or improper cleaning.
The rebar used to reinforce the concrete panels is subject to rusting. Cleaning and recoating will be a temporary, band-aid solution unless the rusted rebar is ground, primed, and top-coated.
This whitish, powdered layer of salts appears because of water evaporation, and it can happen on any concrete surface that isn’t well-maintained
If Tilt-Up buildings are not properly prepared, or the wrong coatings are used, the painted surfaces will blister, crack, and peel.
Prepping, Priming and Painting
Every commercial or industrial painting project involves the “3 P’s” of prepping, priming, and painting. Neglecting any one of them creates a weak link that can show up and cause issues very quickly.
Prepping new Tilt-Up buildings involves dealing with a material called a bond breaker. Bond breakers decrease surface energy to allow a smooth release of the concrete panel from its mold. Bond breakers leave a residue that can inhibit adhesion of coatings and paint. It’s important to remove this residue using the right cleaning method and solvents.
Having worked on numerous Tilt-Up buildings in many different environments across the country, Painters USA can determine the best cleaning methods. If abrasive blasting is required, we have the know-how to do it properly. If cracks or imperfections need filling, we use the right high-strength mortars and non-shrink grouts. We always balance performance and aesthetics. For example, modern caulks and mortars are available in hundreds of colors and varieties for any requirements.
Painters USA uses a good acrylic or acrylic / styrene masonry sealer or primer on the concrete panels that become the walls of the structure. This step must be done shortly after new installation to maximize adhesion for painting. The benefit is enhanced resistance to efflorescence, moisture, and other issues for long-term durability.
Acrylic masonry primers and sealers are designed to handle the alkalinity of fresh concrete, as few Tilt-Up projects can wait a month or more for concrete to fully cure. These high performance products are water and stain repellent for long term protection from the elements
Paint flaking and peeling seems to be an issue that is getting worse. The likely culprits are poor surface preparation and the wrong paint for masonry surfaces. In new Tilt-Up buildings, failure to remove the residue from bond breakers leads to paint failure and degradation.
Only modern acrylic-based paints offer the necessary durability and water resistance. Other paints tend to decompose in reaction to moisture, which causes blistering, flaking, and peeling. It’s important to balance cost and performance, and Painters USA will help you reach the right balance.
Maintaining Tilt-Up buildings
There’s a lot to love about Tilt-Up construction. The process saves time and money while producing solid, low-maintenance exteriors. But as we often say, low maintenance doesn’t mean no maintenance. It’s important to make sure you’re taking the small steps that will prevent larger-scale issues.
Painters USA recommendations
Routine Power Washing: Between paint jobs, professional power washing can both refresh a clean look and remove contaminants that shorten your paint’s lifespan.
Painting: New paint looks fantastic and also provides a first line of defense against the strain of weather, UV damage, and other destructive forces.
Caulking: We use 10, 20, and 30-year caulks, each designed to provide the efficiency and weather protection that your facility needs. Brittle or missing caulk can open the door to a host of issues, including moisture intrusion.
Other commercial and industrial painting services
Painters USA has extensive experience working with concrete Tilt-Up buildings. Our proven production methods, surface preparation expertise, knowledge, and attention to detail bring building owners and property managers back to us, again and again.
Painters USA is skilled at many vital cleaning and painting services. From bar-joist ceilings to repairing forklift damage to sealing and polishing concrete floors, there isn’t much we can’t do! Our team carries all of the necessary training, certifications, and credentials to complete projects of all sizes, on time and on budget.
Painters USA for all your commercial painting needs
Our decades of experience, growth, and customer satisfaction speak for themselves, plus we deliver these additional benefits to every job we do:
- Commitment to our values, including accountability, integrity and safety.
- Efficient work processes to get our work done on time, with little to no disruption to your workers or your operations.
- National account management for single vendor convenience.
- Coverage from centrally-located offices in Illinois and Texas.
- Certified by WBENC as a woman-owned business.