By painting commercial building exteriors you can protect the surfaces from the harsh Toronto weather elements. This is more evident after major ice storms like the one in December 2014. Rain and ultraviolet radiation can be almost as damaging to building surfaces as severe weather is. If the building exterior is part of a housing complex, protecting the exterior elements with paint will help the residents enjoy the premises. Then there is the issue of making a building look good with paint. Painting commercial building exteriors shows pride of ownership and makes the facility manager look good to the customers and users.
Protecting the Building Exterior.
- Fading. Our summers get very hot. Ultraviolet radiation breaks down the paint film and the colours fade. This is more the case with older or cheaper paints. Painters today have access to quality acrylic coatings that resist fading. Today’s acrylics do a great job with gloss retention and protect surfaces better.
- Mildew. After a few years, buildings can start developing mildew. Oil based paints and cheaper coatings are more prone to mildew. This happens more in damp and shaded areas. A good painting contractor knows how to pre-treat a surface and clean it properly before painting. New quality acrylic paints contain mildewcides and resist future mildew forming.
- Efflorescence. This looks like a white salt stain deposit, and is found on brick and other masonry surfaces. It is the result of moisture collecting inside the masonry walls. The moisture travels to the surface and leaves a powdery looking substance. Efflorescence compromises the paint strength and mostly the substrate below it. After the contractor cleans the surface, a good primer and breathable paint should be used. If possible, eliminating the source of the moisture should be considered first.
- Water Intrusion is a culprit to most building surface problems and paint failure. Paint itself can do a good job protecting, especially the latest elastomeric type coatings. The best way to ensure that no moisture will penetrate the surface is doing a quality caulking job. The type and brand of caulking itself makes a difference. A caulking with great expansion qualities will “move” together with the surfaces it is applied on and resist cracking. The best quality is the acrylic siliconized grade that is paintable. If part of the caulking needs to be coated, the paint itself needs to be flexible. An exterior painting contractor should have the product and application experience to help with product specifications.
Painting the Building Exterior for Aesthetic Reasons.
Moisture will make the paint peel, metal will rust and even brick surfaces will show signs of efflorescence. Ultra Violet radiation will make the colours fade, and gloss of the finish coats disappear. Neglect from the previous building owners is also a major contributor. As a result the building will not look good and become the eyesore to its surroundings.
For example, this Toronto building pictured here was very dull and almost unnoticeable. The building is home to the practice of Aaron B. Harnett, BA, LL.B, a Toronto Criminal Lawyer. That building needed colour, and colour it received. You would think lawyers are conservative in their decorating endeavours and be happy to just blend in. But not criminal lawyers said Mr Harnett.
Our painters worked hard to transform the look of the building and the results were amazing. The building was first pressure washed to remove most of the road dust and dirt, as it is located on a busy main street. A few days later we did some minor patching and caulking and treated the rusted areas. The entrance of the building had some white marks due to efflorescence. After washing it well we used a special clear sealer. The paint we used was Benjamin Moore’s Exterior Aura, low lustre finish. Aura is a very low VOC paint (Volatile Organic Compound). Considering the smog problem, it is a great product to use for exterior painting in Toronto. In the past, adding this much colourant to a low VOC paint used to be a problem. Traditional universal colourants were very high in VOC content. Aura uses low VOC waterbourne colourants. Another benefit of using Aura Exterior Paints was it’s strong hiding quality, eliminating the need for multiple coats of paint.
The owners of a North York building (pictured at the top of the blog) called us a year ago. They just purchased the property and they fully intended to upgrade it’s look. The previous coating was completely faded and it was looking that it was in serious need of painting. The neighbourhood is a busy and established commercial area and spending some money to repaint the building was a fail-proof investment. After we spent some time analyzing what the existing coating was and how itself was adhering to the substrate, we went on to choose the proper coating.
The colour needed to be similar to the existing colour before it was faded. This would ensure that the building blends well with it’s surroundings. There were some larger buildings on the street that set the tone and also a neighbouring church and a school. We decided to use a colour from Benjamin Moore and a Direct to Metal (DTM) acrylic from PPG. After washing the surface well, we tested the new coating extensively before applying it. We tested for adhesion strength, ease of application by roller (busy street) and drying times. We finally confirmed that this was the right product to use and our painters had the building painted in less than two weeks.
Townhouse complex and Apartment buildings.
When the building in question is an apartment building or townhouse complex, maintaining the exteriors will add to the enjoyment of the facilities by the residents. Swimming pools, balconies and playgrounds need maintenance from wear and tear and the elements. Using long lasting coatings and applying them properly makes a lot of sense. The value of the property is maintained and residents will help with the upkeep as the enjoy using the facilities. Manufacturers produce great new coatings that perform well under different weather conditions and climates. They test these products extensively as their company name is on the label and their reputation is at stake.
Why not take advantage of all the latest products and use them to protect and beautify your property. A good paint contractor is experienced with the application of these products and their proper application. Ecopainting painted townhouse complexes, co-op buildings and has helped maintain several buildings in the Toronto area. This specialized experience and the professionalism of our painters makes our company an asset to any maintenance team.