Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

July, 2003

Painting Concrete Block Walls

Q. My main fire station needs to be painted. Three sides are concrete (cement?) blocks. They have been painted in the past. The original building was built in 1968, and has no faults in the blocks. An addition was built in 1983, and some of the blocks are damaged from spalling due to a leak in the cap at the top of the wall a couple years ago. We want to put in our a request for proposals to painting contractors to paint the building and get the longest life out of the coating. What should we ask for, and what should we avoid?

A. You don't say if you are painting the interior or the exterior of the building. The painting contractor should state in the proposal what the intended processes are, such as power washing to remove any dirt and other soils prior to the paint application. He/she should state what paint(s) will be used, whether or not caulking will be done, how many coats of paint will be applied, what the minimum dry film thickness of the coating system will be, what the average dry film thickness will be, how many measurements will be taken.

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