Light grey concrete coatings being applied

Let your concrete constructions last longer with concrete coatings

Concrete has been used in construction for literal millennia. It is the reason for the survival of so many historical structures to this day. However, unprotected concrete deteriorates when exposed to harsh environments, like industrial and coastal areas, or areas with weather extremes. The reasons to apply concrete coatings can be anything from protection to aesthetics and there are suitable concrete coatings for each application.

In this article we will take a look at the various coating options for concrete, the appropriate paint products, and where to find suppliers and applicators in the Emirates. Whether you need concrete paint for interior and exterior walls, driveways, balconies, factory or garage floors, we’ve got you covered.

A quick guide to the basic types of concrete coatings

One of the key reasons for coating concrete is its porous nature. Left unprotected concrete can absorb water, salts, acids, and other substances to which it is exposed, and deteriorate. If there is reinforcing steel within the concrete, these elements can lead to corrosion and failure. The job of the concrete coatings in this case is to seal and protect the concrete from water, weather, chemicals, and other harmful factors the environment may contain. But concrete coatings may also be used to beautify a substrate, to create an easy-to-clean surface, or to brighten up a warehouse or factory and improve safety. The different types of basic concrete coatings are the following:

  1. Polyurethane – UV stability, durable, water resistant, chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, flexible, hygienic, easy to maintain, range of colours and finishes
    Uses: warehouse, hospital, storage floors and more, exterior finish for balconies, patios, pool surrounds, car parks, use as a UV stable topcoat over an epoxy paint.
    Description: a two component coating, polyurethane is often used for external applications or in environments with a high UV exposure where epoxy does not work. It provides protection against medium to high foot traffic and high wear situations, and is a flexible coating solution. Water-based, solvent-based, and 100% solids varieties are available. Less common in industrial setting than epoxy paints because they have weaker impact and chemical resistance.
  2. Epoxy – Hard-wearing, water resistant, chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, heavy duty, durable, hygienic, easy to maintain, range of colours and finishes
    Uses: workshop, garage, warehouse, and showroom floors, schools, prisons, hospitals, car parks, cold storage.
    Description: usually a two component coating, epoxy paints are the go-to flooring paint for factories and industrial facilities, in fact they are the most common flooring finish for concrete floors in the UAE. It comes in solvent- and water-based varieties, as well as 100% solids, and anti slip additives and aggregates can be added for a non skid finish. The downside to an epoxy paint is that is not UV stable, and will chalk and fade in sunlight. Epoxy is also available as a self-leveling paint.
  3. Polyurea – Waterproof, chemical resistant, abrasion resistant, no VOCs, UV stability, fast return to service, thermal resistant, flexible
    Uses: secondary containment, bridges, tank coatings, car park decks, waterproofing membranes, foundations
    Description: the relative “new kid on the block”, polyurea has made a name for itself due to its outstanding physical properties. It is a hot spray applied coating with a dry time of only seconds, meaning there is a very short return-to-service time. Polyurea provides a monolithic, waterproof coating which can also cure at low temperatures. The other benefit of polyurea is its flexibility and tensile strength; polyurea can stretch with a substrate without damaging, unlike the other traditional coatings.

Note that not all coatings are suitable for all environments. Some coatings are simply underqualified for the job if applied in the wrong places. By the same token, some coatings are overqualified. For example a heavy duty industrial polyurea would be entirely inappropriate for domestic use or a home garage.

Tailor-made concrete coatings for any application

The aforementioned basic concrete coatings can be given additional properties by modifying them. The most common of the additional properties are slip resistance and increased hygiene with an antimicrobial effect. Also chemical resistant concrete coatings are often required; most of the basic coatings have the quality, yet it can be enhanced by modifying the basic coating.

Always, think through what you expect from the coating, and be sure to communicate the expectation to the concrete paint supplier and/ or contractor.

Which concrete coating to choose? – Consider the following

Applying grey concrete coatings with a roller

Depending on the formula, concrete coatings can be rolled, brushed, poured or sprayed.

Ultimately your choice of concrete paint will come down to which coating best meets all the requirements of your specific project. Factors which will affect the coating choice include:
Particular needs of the structure – do you need waterproofing, chemical resistance, or is it aesthetic?

  • Location and accessibility – application temperature and weather conditions, application equipment
  • Environmental impact – VOC allowance, region-specific regulations, encapsulation, and containment
  • Surface preparation – cleaning, acid etching, or repairing, the degree of preparation required
  • Application method – a coating specific requirement: brush, roller, spray or pouring
  • Required durability – conditions and expected life time

Find concrete coatings in the UAE – products and contractors

There are many brands and companies that provide concrete paint for customers in the UAE. In the table below is a representative selection of products, as well as an indication of price. For the best results from a coating, we recommend hiring a trained professional. Applicators for industrial coatings including polyurea operate across the Emirates. If you would like more information, or have a project which needs concrete paint, our experts are here to help. Just get in touch through the “Request a quote” button and let us, in cooperation with our coating partners, connect you with the best coating solution for your needs.

Concrete coating productApplicationsPrice (indication)Theoretical coverage
Anvil Paints and Coatings, Anvil ROOF-TEC UltraConcrete roofs (flat & tiled)dh1,099.00 (5 gallons)80-100 sq. ft. per gallon
Permagard Products Ltd, Epoxy Resin Damp Proof MembraneConcrete floors and fine concrete screedsdh889.00 (5 Kg)4m2/kg
Fascinating Finishes Ltd, Heat Resistant Concrete Wall PaintHeat protection for concrete, brick and cement board wallsdh129.00 (250 ml)20 to 25 sq. ft

Keep these in mind when applying concrete coatings

  • Concrete paint works best as a coating system. This means for premium results it can include up to five layers, for example – a primer, a sealer, undercoat(s), topcoat(s), and a final sealer.
  • Environment and use are two of the most important aspects of a coating choice. For example, a balcony coating needs to be UV and weather resistant, a driveway coatings needs to be oil resistant and suitable for traffic.
  • The concrete substrate needs to be free of moisture. Damp concrete will affect coating adhesion and lead to a coating failure.
  • The concrete substrate needs to be sufficiently porous for good adhesion – smooth concrete may require extra preparation such as acid etching or sandblasting.
  • The concrete substrate needs to be cured, free from defects, dry, and clean – no contaminants such as oil, algae growth, loose particles.

 

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