We know how difficult and confusing the choice of different paints or coatings you will find on the Internet or in the shops.
Here we will try to explain the differences to help you with that choice.
There are 2 main types of pool coatings: Chlorinated Rubber (pool paint, rubber paint) and Epoxy. There are very small number of pool painted with acrylic products, but they usually are done just to sell the house and will last for few months, so we will not consider them in this article.
Chlorinated Rubber: is a cheap maintenance type paint. Was originally designed for commercial/school and council pools when they could empty them every winter and re-coat. Those pools can last a little longer in private pools. They require an absolutely dry surface, 7 – 14 days drying , add to it very bad fumes, multiple (minimum 4) coats. Those are not compatible with any other coating and require significant preparation or even complete removal of old Chlorinated Rubber product before re-coating. It is economical on a short term basis and that is why it is still sold. However it is being phased out, due to concerns with its performance, hard to use and high solvent content.
Epoxy Coatings: the most common coating currently used in pools. There are few brands and types.
General Grade: found in paint shops etc, for use on concrete floors, workshops, steel work etc. These are not designed for use in swimming pools. Some would last a while whereas some would degrade quickly. Usually they work well in a dry environment, but when immersed in the water, may well loose its structure. Some are not safe to swim in.
Pool Grade Epoxies: found at specialist suppliers only and will last much longer in pools as they are specifically designed for water immersion. They are chlorine, chemical and UV resistant. For these paints, all else being equal, durability relates to how thick the paint film is in your pool. As they slowly wear away the thicker the paint film the longer they last, saving you the hassle to empty and re-coat your pool, before it’s due. As a guide you can expect 7 – 10 years of service life when applied thickly. You would ask why they can only be found in specialist suppliers, this is a unique product and the success of its performance relates to the correct procedure including preparation. Experience is required to explain that, which shops don’t have. So be careful if you are buying something from the shelf!
Epotec is called a high build coating. Meaning it goes on thickly and easily, to last. This is 100% solids , which means no thinners or solvents involved in its chemical structure. Solids make the cured/dry coating. For example your house paint would have 30-40 % of solids. Water which is solvent in that paint will evaporate leaving only small percentage of material. High build coating will not shrink and will keep that applied thickness.
Epotec has no thinners, but is specially designed to flow out easily by brush or roller to get the thick coating and that is the key for longevity. The thicker it is, the longer it lasts, why? Epoxy when cured completely is inert. It cannot be removed chemically with anything. Only mechanical wear and tear can damage it. That is why, thickness is so important.
Epotec being 100% solids, when applied at our specified coverage rates and number of coats will provide a nominal dry film thickness of 320 microns. Comparing to other leading brands the thickness is around 150 – 200 microns, (only half the required thickness) Not thick enough to last. You will need to apply 3 or more coats now or come back after a few years and apply more. There is no miracle to make cheap paints. Solvents are cheap. So do your maths!
Epotec has been applied in pools for many years now, most professionals have had the time to compare it to other products. The main comment is, how well it can stay on vertical surfaces, being applied so thick. Other paints would “run” leaving a very unattractive finish that is extremely difficult to fix later, considering that cured epoxy is so hard.
Other epoxies have thinners (some, up to 50%) they indeed look good when applied and cover much more area, will last for few years, however if you want them to last longer then you need 1, 2 or 3 extra coats.
More work for you, at the beginning or often after a few a years, when you see it wearing through.
In fact one supplier recommends 3 coats at 50 micron thickness, meaning 150 microns in total.
Most of those paints are cheaper per litre. But consider this, half of that will evaporate so to get to that magic 300 microns you would need additional product, sometimes the same amount you already applied. On average you would spend 30% more, to have the same result as Epotec. Of course when you are short of money that would be a good selling point but we all been there, paying twice for our mistakes.
So if you are comparing epoxy coatings before deciding, make sure you are comparing the thickness of the final finish, ease of application and durability. Not just the price in the can! Check out what people say as well. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!!
In this tough economic time, most paint companies can use hidden ways to sell you something that in the end will not last ………… it’s called dilution!
Other features of Epotec.