The Art of Building Better: How Sustainable Technologies Can Reshape Construction

Surface preparation is crucial in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of coatings in construction. In fact, studies show that up to 80% of premature coating failures can be attributed to inadequate surface preparation. These failures typically manifest in the form of peeling, blistering, and cracking, which diminish a building's appearance and compromise structural integrity.

Building façades are highly visible and exposed and bear the brunt of environmental factors. Poor surface preparation has a direct impact on the long-term performance and appearance of façade finishes, which can in turn suffer from accelerated degradation, necessitating frequent maintenance and repairs.

This issue stems from several factors, including:

  1. Insufficient cleaning and removal of contaminants: Dirt, oils, and existing coatings/residues that are not thoroughly removed or treated can compromise the bond between the substrate and new coatings, weakening the integrity of the coating system over time.
  2. Environmental factors: Humidity, rain, temperature fluctuations, freeze-thaw cycling, and UV exposure can significantly affect the bonding of coatings to surfaces. These environmental elements can, if not properly addressed, lead to peeling, cracking and eventual failure of the applied finish.
  3. Use of inferior materials: Low-quality surface preparation products that fail to provide the necessary surface consolidation, moisture resistance, vapor permeability, and bond strength for coatings, will contribute to a poor finish and reduced durability and performance.
  4. Substrate imperfections: Surface voids and undulations, nail holes, existing cracks and unfilled joints, if not properly repaired and made well, could compromise the integrity, uniformity and final finish of the new coating system.

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Products such as Terraco's Handycoat line offer a simplified path for contractors to achieve flawless surface ready to support final finishes for decades. Image © Shutterstock

This underscores the importance of meticulous surface preparation, especially in façade treatment, to ensure long-lasting performance and aesthetics.

Acrylic Fillers and Jointing Compounds: Extending Building Lifespans

Ready-mixed acrylic fillers and jointing compounds provide an innovative, durable solution for high-quality surface preparation. Their versatility and advanced properties address several challenges contractors face. These materials remedy minor substrate imperfections like holes and cracks with ease, creating an optimal substrate for long-lasting coatings. Their flexibility allows finishing systems to absorb seasonal movements and environmental stressors without compromising the coating bond over time. Moreover, acrylic fillers and jointing compounds demonstrate high adhesion to a broad range of substrates such as concrete, masonry, and gypsum boards, helping coatings to remain intact despite protracted exposure.

Products such as Terraco's Handycoat line offer a simplified path for contractors to achieve flawless surfaces, ready to support final finishes for decades. A uniform substrate promotes curing and coating adhesion free of defects. As a result, maintenance needs are reduced, lowering long-term expenses for building owners.

By addressing substrate issues in which traditional materials are not up to the job, acrylic fillers, skimming and jointing compounds like Handycoat empower longer maintenance cycles through durable, resilient coated finishes. This enhances the value of assets with minimized life cycle costs and reduces the total cost of ownership.

Beyond Surface Prep: Addressing the Outdated Technology in Textured Coatings 

The majority of textured coatings within the construction industry are still based on conventional technology. These coatings are often prone to cracking, leading to accelerated deterioration which impacts the building’s integrity over the long term. This outdated technology lacks the advancements needed to cope with modern environmental challenges and aesthetic demands.

Such coatings, while traditional, are limited in their ability to adapt to the dynamic and diverse needs of contemporary construction. They often lack the flexibility and resilience offered by newer materials, making them less suitable for areas with extreme weather conditions or high levels of environmental stress. Additionally, these coatings require more frequent maintenance and replacement, leading to increased costs and environmental impact over time.

Embracing Advanced Technologies: The Power of Acrylic, Elastomeric and Silicone Solutions

The construction industry is witnessing a significant shift with the integration of modern acrylic, elastomeric and silicone technologies in both surface preparation and coating applications. Acrylic-based products offer superior adhesion, durability, and flexibility, making them a modern antidote to the traditional challenges of cracking and peeling. This technological advancement plays a crucial role in enhancing the longevity and resilience of building exteriors.

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Advanced technologies represent a holistic approach to tackling the multifaceted challenges in building maintenance and durability. Image © Shutterstock

Expanding beyond acrylics, the incorporation of elastomeric and silicone technologies marks a new era in construction finishing materials. These innovative materials bring exceptional elasticity, enabling them to adapt to extraordinary structural movements and temperature variations without succumbing to damage. In addition, the ability of these technologies to incorporate superior water-resistant properties equips building exteriors with robust protection against harsh environmental conditions, ensuring long-term preservation and aesthetic appeal.

Together, these advanced technologies represent a holistic approach to tackling the multifaceted challenges in building maintenance and durability. They signify a move towards more resilient, adaptive, and long-lasting construction practices, setting new benchmarks in the industry.

Terraco’s Terracoat is a line of premium quality ready-mixed textured coatings designed for demanding exterior applications and are offered in acrylic, elastomeric and silicone formulations. Acrylic Terracoat ensures a visually appealing texture with excellent weather resistance and all-round performance, making it suitable for diverse climatic conditions. The elastomeric variant offers an added advantage of enhanced elasticity and crack-bridging properties, which is crucial for surfaces that undergo thermal expansion and contraction or old surfaces with significant pre-existing substrate cracking. Silicone-based Terracoat stands out for its superior durability, dirt-pick-up resistance, vapor permeability, water repellence and UV resistance, ensuring that the aesthetics of the building façade are maintained for years regardless of harsh climatic conditions.

Terraco's cutting-edge façade finishing technologies, utilizing advanced materials, offer architects, consultants, property developers, and owners a compelling solution to enduring challenges in construction. The integration of Terraco's surface preparation and exterior coating products into comprehensive finishing systems is pivotal for overcoming obstacles related to performance and longevity. Adopting its innovative offerings not only elevates the structural and aesthetic quality of buildings but also advances sustainability goals through enhanced efficiency, diminished waste, and reduced overall ownership costs. This strategic approach underscores the brand's commitment to redefining industry standards and fostering a more sustainable, durable built environment.

Cite: "The Art of Building Better: How Sustainable Technologies Can Reshape Construction" 01 Apr 2024. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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