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Coatings Consulting

As part of our building forensics work, CBG&A is frequently asked to investigate paint and coating failures. For nearly 40 years, CBG&A has provided technical support, quality assurance inspections and coatings consulting services to a variety of clientele, including: architects, contractors, building owners, attorneys, and local government agencies. As a result, we have acquired a unique knowledge of the paint and coatings industry. We provide in-depth technical evaluation and analysis of coating applications for new and proposed projects, re-coating applications, existing construction, dispute resolution, and litigation assistance.

Our scope of consulting services include:

Field Testing and Application Inspection Services:

We provide inspection services during the coating application process to assure the client that the specified materials are on the job site and that proper surface preparation and application methods are being employed. We will also analyze whether the applied coatings meet project specifications.

  • Surface preparation: Improperly prepared surfaces can result in reduced coating integrity and service life. To ensure adhesion of the coating to the substrate, we can verify that the proper surface preparation methods are being implemented – depending on the substrate, the environment, and the expected life of the coating system.

  • Moisture testing: Moisture is the principal cause of heavy damage to painted surfaces. It is responsible for premature loss of adhesion, blistering, staining, and fungus growth. We can test substrates with a variety of moisture detection systems to verify if the surfaces to be coated exceed the specified requirements.

  • pH testing: All cementitious surfaces to be coated must be tested for alkalinity levels. We can determine if the alkalinity of the cementitious substrate is in the proper range for painting.

  • Rilem tube testing: RILEM Test Method II.4 is a low pressure field test developed by the Reunion Internationale des Laboratorias D’Essais, Paris, France and corresponds to a dynamic wind pressure of approximately 88.5 mph at a full water column height of 9.8 cm. The test method is used to measure water absorption under low pressure to determine the rate at which water moves through a relatively porous materials. It can also be used to determine if water is entering through cracks or voids in a painted substrate.

  • Adhesion testing: For coatings to perform satisfactorily, they must adhere to the substrates on which they are applied. We provide adhesion testing using a variety of recognized methods can be used to determine how well a coating is bonded to the substrate.

  • Paint thickness measurements: One of the most common inspection services we perform is to determine if the specified mils of paint were applied. Using a variety of instruments and accepted industry techniques, we can test the paint application to verify if the coating thickness exceeds the specified requirements.

Construction Documents:

CBG&A is often asked to examine and assess the coating needs and criteria required by a specific architectural approach, including the suitability of a coating in a particular environment. We can then prepare drawings to define the scope of work and technical specifications necessary to meet the specific performance requirements of the project. This enables the client to delineate the scope and evaluate bids that are specific to the project.

Submittal Review:

The purpose of reviewing submittals is to determine if the products incorporated into a project during construction substantially conform to the design intent as expressed in the contract documents.

We frequently review submittals to confirm that the materials and products submitted are acceptable and compatible with other products specified and surfaces to be painted. We also find it helpful to isolate information pertinent to the coating application (e.g. surface preparation requirements, coverage rate, mill thickness, etc) in order to simplify the inspection process.

Failure Analysis:

Our professional and technical staff can analyze paint and coating failure problems to determine the cause of the failure, who is responsible and recommend remedial repairs.

Material Testing:

Our combination of in-house capabilities and affiliated laboratories provides a full range of testing and analysis. We have access to a variety of testing laboratories when 3rd party analysis is required.

Dispute Resolution:

We provide services that includes evaluation, deposition and/or testimony in a coating dispute that has escalated to arbitration or trial. We can prepare reports and/or exhibits or provide expert testimony to clarify technical issues in an arbitration or litigation proceeding.


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