Coil Coated Cladding Protection: Keeping Exteriors Safer For Longer

  • 21st July 2022

The results of our most recent Linkedin Poll found that our clients consider extending the lifespan of their cladding to be the most important reason for a repaint.

Not sure where to start with protection, longevity, Plastisol or PVDF?

We’ve written a handy guide below which will help you get to grips with how you can do just that, along with some other pointers that will help with your cladding needs.

Plastisol

Plastisol coatings are formed by a unique dispersion of PVC and pigments. These are fused together in the coating process to give a tough and flexible finish. Before the coatings are fully cooled, a ‘leatherette’ finish is embossed onto the plastisol, giving it a leather grain effect.

Plastisol differs from most other coil coatings as it tends to be much thicker, at around 200 microns, giving it excellent resistance and corrosion protection.

PVDF

Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) is one of the most commonly used coatings on modern buildings. Its resin-based system is widely used when high levels of durability are required to protect against weathering, chalking and fading. Unlike most polymers, PVDF is not affected by UV radiation, meaning it can remain stable and vibrant for longer in sunlight. However, much like plastisol, over time PVDF can become damaged and require regeneration.

Existing colours have faded

Over the years, cladding can begin to fade and lose the look it once had. It’s something we often hear about when completing our free site surveys, and we completely understand the frustration. After all, the colour you once paid for is no longer the colour you’re seeing. Not only does this affect the overall aesthetic of the building, but it means it can start to lose its impact  on your corporate identity too.

Plastisol, in particular, has a notable reputation for being highly susceptible to colour fade, chalking and gloss reduction, especially on south-facing buildings. As mentioned above, PVDF tends to be less susceptible to UV rays so, unlike plastisol, it won’t break down as quickly when exposed to sunlight.

If you’re building is in need of rejuvenation, we’ve got you covered! Our award-winning cladding coating system, Unicover, is proven to stand the test of time. 

Here at Tor Coatings we have been creating and supplying protective wall coatings for more than 40 years. As part of our protective coatings product line, we are proud to offer high-performance cladding paint which is a cost-effective solution for regenerating commercial wall cladding, giving it a fresh new look while protecting the surface underneath for up to 20 years. Whatsmore, all topcoats utilise our ‘in-can’ tinting scheme, meaning we can offer any NCS, RAL and BS4800 shade to match your brand identity.

To extend the cladding’s life 

When new, plastisol film consists of a number of oils to help give it the flexibility it needs to be profiled. Over time, the sun can begin to draw these oils to the surface, leaving them to get washed away by rainfall. As this happens, the film becomes dryer and dryer, leaving a noticeable chalky texture.

As time goes on, this dryness can cause micro-cracks to appear in the cladding. If left untreated, rainwater can seep inside the cracks and become trapped behind the cladding. As temperatures fluctuate from season to season, the freeze-thaw effect can put pressure on the cracks, causing them to expand, popping the film off. This often begins in the small indentations that give plastisol its leatherette finish.

As soon as you’re aware of any chalkiness, it always pays to get it checked. If caught early, it’s likely that we can revive your cladding by simply washing away the chalky texture and re-applying the new coating system. If the problem is left until cracks begin to appear, or delamination is happening, the panels might have to be stripped off completely, meaning more processes and ultimately, more cost.

If you’re concerned about your cladding, why not arrange a comprehensive site survey with one of our experts? There’s no catch; all of our site surveys are 100% free. Simply fill in a short form and one of our highly experienced area business managers will be in touch.

Our experts will talk you through how our cladding coatings can offer cost-effective reliable protection for up to 20 years, all with minimal disruption.

To help treat cut edge corrosion

Steel, along with other metals, corrode when exposed to oxygen, that’s why it’s important to have a regular maintenance schedule to ensure your cladding remains in the best possible condition all year round. As a rule of thumb, edges will require some form of attention 10-15 years after installation, so at the very minimum, this is when your first assessment should take place. The timeline will be much shorter if your building is near the coast where salts will accelerate the corrosion.

Plastisol coatings protect the underlying metal substrate from rust, which in turn, helps maintain the building’s visual appearance. However, when the sheets are cut to size, it exposes a weakness in the plastisol which tends to be the trigger point for cut edge corrosion which can spread quickly over time.

To combat this, our Unicover EdgeProtect system has been developed to provide a cost-effective solution for sealing and safeguarding these corroded edges. It’s a high-performance product that when timed correctly can extend the life of your cladding – helping to save on the potential cost of replacement.

Cut edge corrosion tends to be most noticeable across horizontal edges – overlays, seams and joints – but it does still happen on verticals too. Water can get blown underneath the cladding and becomes trapped, giving your corrosion.

To reflect company livery

You may simply decide to re-paint your coil coated cladding for decorative purposes alone. Sometimes, a perfectly good building may have been put up in the wrong colour, or new ownership means the building’s branding is no longer fit for purpose. You might even have decided to paint your building a colour that has been rejected by the countryside alliance – it’s not common, but it does still happen.

As mentioned above, Unicover’s ‘in-can’ tinting scheme allows you to create any NCS, RAL or BS4800 shade, allowing you to personalise your building to perfectly reflect your corporate brand and identity.

If your building is currently experiencing any of the issues outlined above, contact our team today! We’ll complete a free specification to help get your building back to a 10 to 25-year life expectancy with the minimum amount of work necessary.

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