SW - IMG - Concrete: Concrete Protection in Rainy Vancouver header

Sherwin-Williams and H&C concrete coatings protect and beautify a prominent new development in British Columbia.

Located five minutes from the Vancouver International Airport and across from the Richmond Oval skating arena built for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Ora is a prominent new community developed by the Onni Group. The project consists of three condominium and rental apartment towers, as well as a shared health and wellness center and common green spaces and gardens.

Suite of products meets specific needs.

H&C® Concrete Stain Solid Color Water-Based Coating: an acrylic stain for horizontal and vertical surfaces inside and out. It’s available in eight ready-mixed colors and three tintable bases for a variety of custom colors.

Sherwin-Williams Loxon® Conditioner: a thin, 100-percent acrylic emulsion sealer you can apply to new concrete before the 30-day cure is complete, enabling painting to begin earlier. It also provides excellent alkali and efflorescence resistance. Available in clear or white.

Sherwin-Williams Loxon® Concrete & Masonry Primer is a similar product for surfaces that require a full-bodied prime coat rather than a penetrating sealer. It, too, can be applied before a 30-day cure of the concrete.

Sherwin-Williams ConFlex XL High Build Coating for concrete is an elastomeric that provides excellent flexibility, durability and weather resistance. Typically applied in two coats over Loxon Primer, it protects against wind-driven rain, conceals hairline cracks and other surface irregularities, and contains agents that inhibit the growth of mildew.

Sherwin-Williams DuraCraft Exterior Acrylic Latex Paint is an exterior acrylic coating with proven performance in commercial markets over a variety of materials including concrete and masonry; wood, vinyl and aluminum siding; shingles; plywood; and metal.

Voytek Painting, hired by Onni Group as the contractor responsible for all of Ora’s interior and exterior coatings, used Sherwin-Williams products throughout the project. For the exterior, Sherwin-Williams coatings were chosen not only to protect Ora’s concrete surfaces from Vancouver’s relentlessly rainy climate, but also to enhance and distinguish the appearance of each building. Sherwin-Williams Loxon® Conditioner and Sherwin-Williams Loxon® Concrete & Masonry Primer actively seal concrete surfaces and promote solid adhesion of the other products that formed the exterior finishes. (See sidebar for detailed product information.)

Most of the exterior concrete was finished with Sherwin-Williams ConFlex XL High Build Coating. After power-washing, crews from Voytek Painting applied a coat of Loxon Conditioner. Once that coating had cured, they used rollers with 20-mil nap to apply the ConFlex XL elastomeric finish. Two coats were sufficient to produce the 12- to 15-mil dry film thickness specified.

In sheltered areas such as loading bays that didn’t require waterproofing, crews applied a coat of white Loxon Primer. This base was finished with an additional coat of Sherwin-Williams DuraCraft Exterior Acrylic Paint.

Because Onni Group wanted a decorative yet natural look for sections where the exterior concrete is more visible, Voytek Painting used H&C® Concrete Stain Solid Color Water-Based Coating in Otter Brown and Silver Half Dollar in select areas. These stains penetrate and protect the concrete surface, evening out its color while still allowing the reveals and texture produced by the formwork to show through.

Although any of these coatings can be applied by brush, roller or spray equipment, Voytek “Walter” Wochowski, president of Voytek Painting, chose mostly roller application to avoid potential problems with overspray on the large glass areas of the buildings: “We sprayed in undercover areas where it could be done easily, but used rollers for most walls and for all of the elastomeric coating.” Wochowski says that ConFlex XL allowed his crews to achieve the required thickness in two coats, where competitive products might need three or more. The labor savings offset the higher price of top-quality materials.

Wochowski worked closely with Sherwin-Williams professional coatings technical sales representative Dean Bennett to keep the project running smoothly. “I made sure the local stores had the right products available as the work proceeded, and that they were marked and labeled properly,” Bennett says. “On this job, Onni requested that the ConFlex XL product used for the first coat be tinted to an under shade, just three-quarters of the finish color. That made it easier for the painters and inspectors to distinguish which areas had received one and two coats.”

Another factor contributing to the smooth progress of the Ora project was the involvement of Master Painters Institute (MPI), Burnaby, BC, hired by Onni Group as a third-party quality control inspector. MPI Certified Inspector David Lick was on the job frequently, monitoring and documenting progress and testing for proper adhesion, coating thickness and performance.

”Our process works best in cases like this, where we’re brought in before the painting begins. I can look at the uncoated surfaces and assess their condition and whether they’re suitable. Often, there’s a problem with the sacking that the concrete finishers have to correct first. Then we have a pre-job meeting with the contractor to talk about the requirements and the procedures to be used. We’ll have them do a mockup, and then we’ll test it to be sure it meets the performance standards. After that preparation, they’re less likely to have problems on the job,” Lick says.

As a result of this careful attention to product choices and application, Bennett says building developers can feel assured of long-lasting protection, even in a harsh environment. “In fact, owners often tire of the color and want to change it before the coating actually shows any signs of degradation,” Bennett says.