If you’re being brutally honest, you’ll know that the effects of weather can have a significant impact on how long your buildings cladding and façade coatings last. Of course, there are multiple effects of bad weather on building panels and we’re going to cover a selection of them in this weeks post.
But first, lets consider our location and how that can have an impact on our coatings and building protection.
The UK is a great little island – but its positioning is something that holds it back a little as it finds itself vulnerable to a host of harsh forms of weather including wind, sunlight, rain, snow and sleet.
During this article, we’re going to be discussing:
- How the UK’s positioning impacts coatings
- The effects of heat and UV
- The buildings exposed to rain and damp conditions
The positioning of the UK . . .
As you already know, the UK is prone to adverse weather and we get it year on year without fail. However, it’s certainly a case of extremes most of the time and the weather tends to swing one way or the other with very hot conditions or the complete opposite with heavy rainfall or even snow.
The position of the UK leaves it vulnerable to bad weather from polar and arctic regions and even tropical spells of weather from warmer locations and regions.
With our current position, we find ourselves in the centre of six main air masses. These include:
- Tropical continental
- Tropical maritime
- Polar continental
- Polar maritime
- Arctic maritime
- Returning polar maritime
[Source] The Met Office
The effects on cladding coatings and spraying
Over time, weather will impact the quality and life expectancy of buildings coatings, especially if there is no protective layer provided. The combinations of hot and cold temperatures make them vulnerable to change and action must be take if they are to remain protected throughout the year.
On site spraying is one of the many ways building managers maintain their warehouses and larger buildings. Coatings are provided on an annual or even bi-annual basis depending on the location of the building.
There are predominantly two main culprits that contribute to building damages as a result of bad weather. These include:
- Heat and UV
- Rain, sleet and snow
How heat and UV can affect building panels
Occasionally we’re blessed with a spell of warm weather in the UK and after the two days has passed it tends to go back to normal. However, these inconsistent hot spells can be having a major impact on your buildings.
Warm conditions can cause the materials on large buildings to expand and contract, forcing it to return to its original shape when it cools back down and its this exact process that causes the layers of material to lose its chemical protection.
In most cases, a cladding repair will be needed to improve the structure before applying a water resistant protective coating.
The warmer temperatures in the atmosphere can also create vibrations within the materials. These vibrations then build up, causing the bonds within the coatings to break down.
Once these bonds are broken, the cladding coatings start to lose their ability to protect itself from harsher weather.
How buildings exposed to rain and damp conditions are affected
We know that the UK gets a lot of wet weather as we see it most days! However, rain and additional wet conditions can significantly affect a buildings panels and roof materials in the long term.
Unfortunately, even in warm conditions, water and moisture can be found in the air, in the form of humidity. As a result of this, any external cladding or façade coatings should be water resistant and applied using a team of professional spray painters.
If water resistant coatings don’t protect the buildings, any rainwater could collect on the surface of the coatings and start to pool. Even though the rainwater may appear to be present, it can still attack the coatings and get into the materials, which will inevitably cause it to blister and break down.
As well as rainwater, constantly freezing temperatures can also cause buildings to lose their protection. Consistent cold weather below zero can cause the molecules in the paint to breakdown and flake when they start to dry.
Here’s how you can choose a coating for your building
As a facilities manager its important to get the internal and external cladding coatings right. Fail and you could see yourselves paying more and more for off site spraying and repairs.
One of the best ways to identify what coating you need is to ask yourself a couple of questions. The best questions tend to include:
- What’s the building material made from
- How old is the building
- Is the current condition satisfactory
- Where is the building located
- Is the building exposed to sunlight regularly
- Is the building heated
A few key points worth remembering is that any building should be externally coated with a water resistant coating. Its also worth noting that if its going to be exposed to a lot of sunlight, a UV protective spray coating could be more beneficial.