Repaint, Reclad or Remove Asbestos?

The main problem with asbestos exposure is when this material is disturbed, due to damage or wear and tear. Before this happens, asbestos issues need to be addressed as quickly as possible. Although its use was banned from UK construction over 20 years ago, it is still present in many industrial buildings. It’s possible that some of your clients may not even be aware they are located within buildings containing asbestos, especially if they are tenants.

Health issues caused by asbestos

Known to be a major health issue once fibres are released into the air, the effects of exposure to asbestos fibres are cumulative over time, as they can’t be removed from the lungs. It can take years before asbestos damage starts to result in long-term health problems. Common health conditions caused by asbestos exposure include asbestosis, mesothelioma, various cancers, and benign pleural conditions.

Removing asbestos

When it comes to external roof and cladding, over time, excessive exposure to the elements can create damage and cracks. This creates ongoing and potentially costly maintenance issues. Any disturbance to a sheet of asbestos could generate problems, with strict disposal regulations pushing up removal costs.

On the exterior of a building, asbestos can be commonly found in:

  • Asbestos cement roof, gutters or downpipes
  • Asbestos cement panels or soffits
  • Asbestos cement flue

Removing asbestos is a particular area of concern, with a need for strict protocols to limit exposure. It can be extremely expensive, as it requires the relocation of employees from within the building while the work is carried out. If the building is a factory, the long-term financial impact of temporarily closing operations while the problem is being addressed can have a massive impact on revenue.

Recladding asbestos

Installing cladding over the top of asbestos could seal this in, making it impossible to be exposed to any damaging fibres. But there are major issues with this approach; the weight of extra cladding on top of the asbestos layer has the potential to compromise the structural integrity of the building. Consideration also needs to be given to snow load, which could cause structural failure to the roofing system. Moreover, planning permission is required for over-cladding, whereas painting doesn’t involve any planning approvals.

Repainting asbestos

Repainting exterior building materials containing asbestos is the most convenient and cost-effective solution by far, using a coating product specifically designed for this purpose. There’s no need to relocate to new premises while work is being undertaken, and there’s none of the disruption, safety issues and costs associated with removal or recladding.

Repainting with an asbestos coating product

Repainting ensures a safe and long-lasting solution to protect against asbestos in a commercial building. Dangerous asbestos fibres are sealed in, so your client’s roof will be protected for years to come. It’s possible to extend the life of an asbestos roof for a further 20 years, making this a cost-effective solution to the problem.

Start with a base coat primer

Our Giromax® Roofcoat system is moisture tolerant, sticking to the asbestos and sealing in the dangerous fibres while still wet, which makes it extremely popular with health and safety inspectors. This product gives the topcoat a uniform finish to adhere to, locking in any loose asbestos fibres and sealing in porosity.

The Giromax® Roofcoat also ensures a more pleasing overall appearance. Without the use of a primer-based coating system, the asbestos roof coating won’t give the required finish, so this is an important part of the process. There is a risk that the coating would dry with a patchy appearance, with some areas having a matt finish, while other parts appearing glossy.

When it comes to asbestos, some of your clients may need advice on how to deal with this dangerous material. Our innovative and cost-effective Giromax® Roofcoat can be safely applied to roofing systems containing asbestos, instead of costly or dangerous removal. Protect your roof for up to 20 years with our breathable, moisture tolerant, flexible coating.

Our technical expertise includes application guidance. Please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969 today.

Industrial Cladding Refurbishment

Why metal cladding becomes tired and faded

As one of the strongest and most robust materials used for industrial buildings, metal cladding looks great when it’s brand new, presenting a positive effect on the business being carried out inside. But as it’s subjected to the British weather, cladding can be exposed to freezing wintry conditions, hail and gale-force winds, while the summer months bring the threat of UV damage.

Alternating hot and cold weather conditions cause the metal cladding to expand and contract, so within a few years it can start to look a little faded and tired.

Repainting can be a better option than replacing

There’s no need to replace metal cladding just because it’s looking a little past its best. Although metal cladding isn’t the most expensive building material, it’s still a costly business to have to remove and replace. Instead of such drastic action, repainting the cladding is simple and more cost effective.

Advise your clients to seek a professional inspection before they repaint their metal cladding. Any resulting recommendation can help to prolong the life of the cladding and it makes sense to apply a suitable coating system for industrial cladding for protection. It’s also important to make sure any application undertaken observes best decorative practice to ensure the best possible aesthetical finish and quality workmanship.

Painting metal wall cladding can extend its life by ten years or more, helping to protect it from water, UV damage and corrosion. When you compare this with the cost of replacement, it’s easy to see why refurbishment is the better option!

How to repaint metal cladding

Painting on to metal isn’t as complicated as it may seem, but there are specific techniques. With such a wide range of colours available, your clients will be able to pick and choose the ones that suit their business and support their brand identity. The paint can be applied by brush or roller, but spray painting is considered to be the most appropriate option, as it’s easier to apply the paint and gives a smoother and more professional finish.

Prepare the surface

Preparation is the key to a good finish when painting metal cladding, so this isn’t a process that can be rushed. The cladding needs to have all dirt, grease and rust removed before painting commences, which is why it’s a good opportunity to attend to any issues such as rust spots and any damage.

If this is the first time that the metal cladding will be painted, a suitable metal primer might be needed to provide an extra layer of protection. It can sometimes help to give a more stable surface for the paint to adhere to.

Apply an undercoat

Depending on the paint, your clients might need to use an undercoat, so you may need to remind them of its importance. Applying an undercoat can help to extend the lifespan of the refurbished metal cladding, as it provides an extra layer of protection. It also gives the paint extra staying power and could even help it to last for fifteen to twenty years.

Choose your paint colour

There’s a huge variety of paint colours these days, so your clients can give their metal clad premises a whole new lease of life, while promoting their own brand. Or perhaps they would prefer to blend their premises in with their surroundings, using muted, natural colours. Whichever colours and designs they decide on, their refurbished wall cladding will continue to protect the building for many years to come. And that can make all the difference when it comes to the end of a lease if your client has to face the issue of dilapidations.

Aim for a professional finish

For the most professional finish, you might wish to advise your clients to employ a professional organisation to undertake their metal cladding refurbishment. This will ensure that any problems with the cladding are effectively dealt with before painting commences. Your clients will benefit from an excellent paint job that will help to prolong the life and appearance of their industrial premises.

When it comes to refurbishing industrial cladding, our expert technical team can advise on the suitable application of our product range. As well as starting the market, we lead the market, and we have in-house product expertise. If you need advice about suitable cladding paint, please speak to the Giromax team or call 01455 558969 today.

Documents selected (13 downloads)
Giromax® Data sheets + Specifications, Girocote Data sheets.