A low-VOC, field-applied coating system from APV Engineered Coatings has passed the eight-year mark with no visible fading or chalking on an application in Sanibel Island, Florida. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this area is known for extreme humidity, high temperatures, corrosion from salt water, and harsh UV conditions that can cause even the most advanced coatings to fade and degrade.
Figure 1. The home is located in the coastal community of Sanibel Island, Florida.
In 2009, contractor Ronald D. Rooker (Ron’s Painting LLC, Fort Myers, Florida) was the first to use the water-based system of topcoats — NeverFade Façade Restoration Coatings — coating the stucco exterior of a Sanibel Island residential property. The salt air, sea spray and humidity had caused the home’s original white paint to severely chalk and degrade, as well as grow mold and algae in its shaded, moisture-prone areas.
The then-new coating technology was formulated with Kynar Aquatec, a PVDF resin that could stand up to thermal, chemical and ultraviolet degradation. Coupled with high-performance additives and specialty-grade inorganic pigments, the resin resists color fading, chalking, dirt pickup, staining, algae, mold, fungal growth and degradation.
Figure 2. Before NeverFade was installed, mold and algae grew on shaded areas of the façade.
“NeverFade was very user-friendly,” said Rooker. “It was only one-component and had the ability to be spray-, roll- or brush-applied as needed. It also kept a nice wet edge and showed no roller marks.
“Low maintenance was critical for the homeowners, as this is their vacation property. Because the system retains color and restricts mildew from growing, the home won't need to be pressure-cleaned nearly as often as it would if a high-end latex paint was used.”
APV had the color custom matched to the request of the homeowner and created a warm, soft yellow called NeverFade Sanibel Sun. Rooker’s crew used an airless sprayer to apply the coating and then back-rolled it into the stucco profile.
Delta-E (ΔE) or total color difference is a number that quantifies the distance between two colors. It is calculation based on delta L* (lightness differences), da* (redness or greenness differences) and db* (blueness or yellowness differences) between two items. When conducting a color analysis, a colorimeter is used to measure the delta L*, a* and b* values on an originally coated color panel (the standard) as well as on a variety of areas on the aged building exterior. An average ΔE is calculated from all of the samplings. As a rule of thumb, the higher the ΔE in comparison to the standard, the greater the difference in color.
A recent examination of the property in Sanibel Island after eight years in service found a ΔE of only 1 unit, considerably less than the parameters of the warranty, which covers ΔE of 5 or higher. There also were no signs of chalking or coating degradation and no mold or algae growth on any area of the property.
Figure 3. Visual comparison of the standard to aged, south-facing wall after 8 years of exposure.
Figure 4. After 8 years of exposure to high humidity and air temperature in the shade, no algae or mold growth appears on the surface.
Eight years without severe fading and chalking in South Florida is traditionally unheard of. Even with high-performance urethanes and 100-percent acrylic-latex coatings, the pigment and binder have usually begun to degrade and fade, leaving a significant shift in color and chalky residue on the surface. If left alone, paint will eventually deteriorate completely, leaving the building's substrate bare and open to damage from the elements, which is a very costly problem to repair.
“For us it was all about low maintenance,” said Mickey Ciriello, the homeowner. “We used to have the property pressure-washed and repainted every three years, which can be very costly. The past eight years have saved us thousands of dollars, and our home looks beautiful.”
While the NeverFade system has reached its 8-year mark, Kynar Aquatec has been weathering in the field and in a Miami-based natural weathering testing site for 18 years to date. In addition, the first-generation technology, Kynar 500, has been performing for more than 50 years in harsh UV-prone environments with exceptional color retention.
Since the first application on the Gulf Coast of Florida, the system has been used to coat hundreds of thousands of square feet of building exteriors, as well as unusual surfaces such as the Goodyear Airship exterior and the Jacksonville Jaguars stadium scoreboards. The product’s performance capabilities have been most significant to commercial and industrial high-rise buildings, lengthening the lifespan of their exteriors to reduce the high cost of renovation.
APV notes that the NeverFade system, when applied with the company’s compatible primer systems, can protect against rust, corrosion and efflorescence, and promote long-term adhesion to the building surface. The topcoats are custom-color matched to each customer’s specification and come with a 15-year product-and-labor warranty for color performance — fully transferrable to the building owner.