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Tor Coatings has been involved in the impressive refurbishment of over a kilometre of communal balconies for Newcastle City Council. The project specification was such that no fewer than six of the company’s specialist systems were used.

The primary objective of the project, undertaken by Your Homes Newcastle in partnership with Newcastle City Council, was to refurbish over a linear kilometre of communal balcony at the Waverley and Mather Road flats. The development, in the Scotswood area of the City, takes in four multi-storey blocks, linked by a system of walkways.

The flats were constructed at the beginning of the 1970s. The balconies were formed from concrete and protected with dimpled asphalt, which had become degraded over the years.

Common defects such as splitting and crazing (caused by extreme temperatures) were permitting rainwater to enter the fabric of the building. Water ingress is a serious problem that can lead to serious structural defects and the council needed an effective solution.

Coating the degraded asphalt was deemed the best remedy as replacing it would be a huge task involving high levels of noise, risk-laden hot works and increased costs; coupled with the inevitable inconvenience such an operation would cause for residents.

The solution presented itself in the form of Tordeck™ from Tor Coatings, a solvent-free polyurethane system specifically designed for the decoration and protection of communal walkways and balconies.

Tordeck™ is a hard-wearing resin coating system that boasts an unparalleled track record in the social housing sector. It can be applied directly to the existing substrate and provides an attractive, waterproof slip resistant surface.

The two coat Tordeck™ system comprises a special damp surface primer followed by a decorative / protective topcoat. When cured it forms a seamless, waterproof membrane.

Slip-resistance is provided by aluminium oxide grits, which are cast into the topcoat while the film is still wet. The edges and up-stands of the balconies were protected with Tordeck™ PB, which is a single pack polyurethane system and made up of base coat and topcoat. An attractive dark grey finish was chosen for the balconies.

The use of specially constructed wooden boardwalks, which protect the wet paint film, meant the coating could be applied while the building remained occupied. This tried and tested method has been used on many sites by Tor and means minimum disruption to the tenants. Special temporary ramps were installed to provide access for less able residents and visitors during the refurbishment.

The link walkways connecting the accommodation blocks and balconies were coated with Torcure MC. This was applied directly to the concrete deck. Torcure MC is a single-pack, moisture-cured polyurethane floor coating system which is hard wearing, quick drying and highly suited to such environments.

The parapet walls adjoining the balconies were decorated with Torshield™, a range of long life, high performance masonry coatings that are suitable for use on external new or previously painted surfaces. They are able to cope with difficult and friable substrates, can be easily applied all year round and extend the life of a surface whilst reducing maintenance costs.

Torshield™ was perfect for the project as it’s ‘breathable’, flexible formulation protects against damp and prevents blisters and cracking.

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Scotswood Road, Newcastle