Paintings, coatings and application: Why temperature, dew point & drying time matters

  • 16th December 2021

All contractors will tell you, waterproofing a flat roof in the depths of winter can be no easy task. From rain, frost, higher levels of condensation and cooler temperatures, which can slow drying times, there are a number of challenges to navigate.

Thankfully, with over 40 years of experience behind us, we have a few tips and tricks up our sleeve to help you out.

Understanding the right temperature to cure a flat roof

Choosing the right coating system, such as Elastaseal Z or Unicover, is only the beginning of the process.

Its no secret that application conditions have a huge part to play in determining the overall appearance and performance of freshly applied coatings. The quality, effectiveness and uniformity of the project are all directly linked to the prevailing temperature and drying conditions that are present.

All coating systems need to be used under the correct application and drying conditions so make sure you have understood all the datasheets before commencing a project.

For further support and to book your free conditions report site survey, please click here.

Measuring the dew point

Just like rainfall, the temperature and humidity during application will have an impact on the application of coating systems – this includes external cladding coatings such as Unicover, too.

The dew point is the temperature at which water vapour in the air condenses into water. In other words, the air has become saturated and can no longer hold moisture at this temperature, so it appears on the surface as condensation. Each temperature can hold a different level of moisture, and this determines the dew point.

Before installation commences, it is necessary to check the dew point, to ensure the correct painting and drying conditions are present. This should be completed all year round, but especially between October and April where risks of condensation are at their peak.

In the past you would have had to measure the air temperature, surface temperature and humidity, then use these to calculate the dew point. Not an easy task!

However, a Pyle Dew Point Monitor is an easy, effective and accurate means of measuring the key elements that you need to monitor.

This meter will calculate the dew point for you to check if the conditions are suitable or not. As a golden rule, you must ensure that the surface temperature is 3°C above the dew point. If the conditions are not correct, condensation can form on the surface, and this will result in product defects such as gloss reduction or marks on the surface. It can also impact curing times and overall performance.

To lend an extra helping hand with waterproofing your flat roof this winter, we are delighted to be giving away three Pyle Dew Point Monitors, as used by our implementation team daily. To be in with the chance of winning, subscribe to our mailing list by submitting your email address before 18th February 2022.

Accelerating curing time in winter

After checking the conditions are correct, installation can begin. You should re-check the conditions every few hours or as soon as you notice any change in the weather conditions

With fewer hours of daylight and more inclement conditions, choosing a fast-curing coating system is especially important in the winter months.

Adding to its list of features, the Elastaseal Z roofing system has an accelerator solution that can be added to accelerate curing time in the colder months when you are working against the clock. Make sure you ask for this helpful additive when ordering!

If you’re looking to brush up your skills, we offer a range of free, flexible CPD accredited courses (including a 60-minute session on Waterproofing of Flat and Pitched Roofs) covering all the essentials to help open your eyes to a new way of problem-solving. To secure your CPD training with us, register now.

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