Over time powder coated materials and substrates such as window frames, doors, cladding panels and facades will naturally show signs of fading. The speed in which those materials deteriorate will depend on how they are treated and protected against harsh weather conditions. This guide discusses exactly why powder coatings fade and what you can do to help prevent the fading over time.
Why powder coatings fade? What can we do to prevent it?
Exactly like most commercial spraying coatings, they have a limited life expectancy. Over time, the powder coatings will deteriorate. However, powder coatings will usually last between five and ten years, depending on the protective coatings that are applied. If you would like some information on powder coatings, you can visit our dedicated page here by clicking on Powder Coatings.
There are many potential causes of faded powder coatings. One of the main reasons for powder coating deterioration is natural elements. If your building is located in a coastal region, naturally, the paintwork and material will deteriorate a lot faster. The addition of the unpredictable UK climate can also play a major role in the powder coatings lifespan.
UV or ultraviolet coatings can be applied to help protect against sun exposure. Naturally, as the panels are exposed in direct sunlight, the UV rays will begin to break down the particles and fade the coating.
Pollutants can affect the colour of the powder coating; many pollutants sit in the air and in the rain which can degrade the finish of the coating and its overall brightness. Another thing to take into consideration when using powder coating is to have it maintained and cleaned every few months. Many people do not realise the impact dirt can have on powder coatings.
Different colours of powder coating can have an impact on the longevity of the paint if your building’s exterior has blue or red, it will fade significantly more than others.
Bird droppings can have an impact on the powder coatings, much like car body paint, bird poo can damage the paint causing it to flake and bubble. Bird droppings hold a specific chemical that can be harmful to paint.
If you would like more information regarding the impacts of powder coating we recommend giving Materials Today’ article a read on Powder Coating 101 – Top 10 Field Issues.
How to Prevent Faded Coatings
There are many things that you can do to help protect your powder coatings against fading. Cleaning your materials on a regular basis and in the correct way can significantly increase the quality of the coating on the material.
You should conduct regular care and maintenance inspections. Make sure that you note down any defects and take the required action against them. You should store any findings in a maintenance log/report that is stored on site.
When you are cleaning powder coated panels, try to avoid using high-pressure cleaning equipment. This can cause fading and as a result, far more frequent panel repairs/replacements. Don’t use harsh chemicals on the powder coating as it can cause it to fade; you could also damage the finish of the metal as well as the coating, so we prefer to stay away from chlorine or any other harsh chemical solutions.
If you do want to increase the lifespan of your powder coating we recommend thinking about having a respray with a certified contractor. If powder coating is applied correctly, it can be significantly durable meaning the colour is more likely to stay fresh and vibrant for longer.
One thing we have noticed is that a when a bad powder coating job has been done, it is usually down to the lack of preparation. Applying the powder coating is the easy part, the preparation can take up time, and there is a lot more work involved in it. With good quality powder coating, you can see your colour last around 25 years.
Clear coatings are also something you may want to consider; a clear coating can help seal in the colour of the powder coating. It will also protect the powder coating from fading over time and will help prevent deterioration from UV light.
It will also help with the effects of water exposure, while powder coatings are great for the exterior of your building the water exposure can have a significant effect on the overall look of the coating. Unfortunately, water exposure isn’t something we can predict, so it’s important you have the right coating applied.
Benefits of powder coatings
Many powder coatings can be applied to most metals, providing a durable coating system. It is also highly protective to the environment; many liquid paints hold a range of harmful solvents that can add to pollution, this means that contractors do not need to purchase pollution control equipment to apply to coating.
Powder coatings can be applied to appliances, automotive, architecture and everyday products. Here at CJ Coatings, we use powder coatings to apply to curtain walling and a range of surfaces. Powder coatings are not only a cheaper option for you, but it is also more reliable. If you would like more information on how powder coatings compare with paint we recommend giving Thermo Fisher’s article a read by, clicking here.
Powder coatings are great if you want something that will be both durable and reliable, while some colours may not keep as well as others there are things you can do to prevent the fading. Making sure you have regular maintenance and cleaning schedules will stop the likes of acid rain, pollutants and bird droppings ruining the brightness of powder coatings.
When carrying out any cleaning we always recommend using a low pressure, if high pressure is used it can have an effect on the paint and may cause it to chip. While applying low pressure will also want to use a product to clean that does not hold chlorine or any other harsh chemicals.