Why Secondary Containment Coatings Are a Must to Reduce Maintenance Costs
A&K Painting
June 16, 2020
Corrosion can pose a huge problem for secondary containment, from loss of structural integrity and increased maintenance costs to safety hazards. Applying protective coatings is the most cost-effective method for protecting your secondary containment structures—but doing it correctly is a must if you want to get the most out of your investment.

Why Routine Maintenance Should Be High on Your List of Priorities

If your facility handles any chemicals with an H3 hazard rating, you know the importance of secondary containment areas. They are the only things standing between you and potentially catastrophic spills that could harm your employees, damage your facilities, and incur enormous costs for repair, replacement, and decreased production.

How can you ensure your containment areas and equipment are in good condition and properly maintained—and, therefore, safe? The simple answer is by investing in protective coatings and performing regular maintenance. Doing so will greatly reduce the chances of your secondary containment areas becoming compromised and failing.

The Benefits of Applying Protective Coatings

Proper maintenance of your secondary containment areas and equipment includes properly preparing the area by blasting away old coatings and cleaning the area thoroughly. Once completed, the new protective coatings can be applied. Your contractor should be knowledgeable enough to determine which coating is best suited to your facility’s specific needs.

What can you expect during the application process? Most coatings include a primer that smooths the surface of blemishes and makes it easier for the coating itself to stick. An intermediate coat is applied next, followed by a finishing top coat that provides a high level of protection.

For larger containment areas, protective liners can be installed to prevent any chemicals from escaping and leeching into the earth, causing potentially devastating environmental problems. As always, make sure that the liner has been proven effective for the types of chemicals your facility handles, and work with a company you know you can trust to install it correctly without cutting any corners. Keeping your employees and facility safe should be taken seriously by all parties involved.

The Risks of Putting Protective Coatings and Liners on the Back Burner

What are the dangers of letting the maintenance of your secondary containment lapse? If a spill occurs, you’ll be contending with:

  • Contaminated work areas
  • Slowed or stopped production
  • Damaged materials and equipment
  • Hazards to your workers

When looking at long-term costs, maintaining your equipment and containment areas is much more cost-effective than paying for the effects of a spill. Over the lifetime of your protective coating or liner, you’ll only need to pay for site prep, installation, and routine maintenance to catch any problems before they start. When you look at it like that, that extra bit of upfront cost is much less than what you’d have to pay after a harmful chemical spill.

An Experienced Company Is Your Biggest Asset

When evaluating the condition of your secondary containment areas and equipment, it’s important to work with an experienced company that can help you determine your best course of action and which materials will be most beneficial for your facility. They should also have the knowledge and equipment required to prepare the secondary containment area and apply the protective coatings.

Expect your company to perform a preliminary inspection with a NACE-certified employee. The inspection will provide the information required to identify the ideal coating or substrate type for your secondary containment area.

A properly applied protective coating is much easier to maintain than a coating applied over surfaces that weren’t properly blasted and cleaned. Those coatings will also last longer and provide the protection your facility needs in case of a spill. That can save you money and prevent issues that could keep your facility from functioning.

Invest in Protective Coatings

The best way to keep your employees and facility safe tomorrow is to invest in safety precautions today. Protective coatings and liners are a great way to do just that—provided you choose the right partner for the job.

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