Tower Paint

  1. Product Spotlight: TowerPlex Tower Paint

    Painting a tower isn’t like painting most other things. In fact, there is a lot of science (and regulation) that goes into developing a paint that is tough enough to handle the job while meeting federal requirements. We’ve covered the basics of tower paint in this previous blog post. This week our Gear Experts® are going to break down TowerPlex Tower Paint.

    TowerPlex Formula


    TowerPlex Tower Paint is formulated to offer durable, long-lasting protection for galvanized towers and other metal surfaces. Our entire TowerPlex line is a pure 100% acrylic emulsion coating that has been thoroughly tested on galvanized and other metal surfaces. Additionally, it meets all federal standards for aviation safe colors. We talked about why you can’t just use any orange or white paint and meet aviation regulations in our Tower Paint 101 blog post which you can find by clicking here.

    How the Paint Works


    The reason why TowerPlex paint is so good for use on towers is because of the alkalinity of the paint itself. The alkaline in the paint allows it to etch itself into the zinc of the galvanized surface. This process allows the paint to form a chemical bond with the tower which subsequently allows the paint to dry quickly and maintain excellent weather resistance.

    Surface Prep


    Before you just grab some paintbrushes or a paint sprayer and start the job, it’s important to properly prep the surface for painting. Every section you are painting must be dry and clean. Make sure that you wipe off any dirt, grime, oil, and anything else that shouldn’t be on the surface. If possible, any spangle needs to be brush blasted or etched with hydrochloric acid until a weathered gray appearance is achieved.

    Primer, Application, and Coverage


    If you are painting an existing tower, be sure to spot prime any rust. If you plan on using TowerPlex paint, the best primer to use is the TowerPlex CC2925 Rust Inhibitive Bonding Primer.

    The paint can be applied from 50 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (10 – 43 degrees Celsius). But, be sure to avoid painting if an overnight freeze is expected or if rain is in the forecast as this can prevent the paint from drying correctly. If the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, make sure that you apply a full wet coat and overlap 50% on each pass to help avoid dusting. Applying the paint can be done with a brush, mitt, or a sprayer. For the best results, TowerPlex recommends two coats over an entire prime base.

    If you think you might need to paint, but you’re not sure if you do or not, you can use the FAA In-Service Orange Color Range Chart to help you decide. Click here for a tutorial on how the FAA Service Chart works.

    Cold Galv Work


    If you need to do any cold galv work before you start painting, we’ve got you covered there, too. Click here to check out our blog post on cold galvanizing compound.

    Click here to see our full selection of TowerPlex products

    Click here to see our full selection of painting gear

    Click here to see our Tower Paint 101 blog post

    Click here to see our full selection of Cold Galv

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    TowerPlex: The Video


    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


    If you haven’t already checked out Gear Up with Gear Experts, our podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction, it is available for download! You can find it on all major podcast listening platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play Music, + your favorite podcatcher of choice. And, you can head on over to gearexperts.com to follow us on social media, check out our detailed show notes, and sign up for updates.

    Get Social


    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

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    We’re Also on Snapchat


    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  2. Tower Paint 101

    Why paint my tower? How do I know I’m compliant? These are some of the common questions we get about tower painting. At GME supply we know that knowledge is power, and this week our Gear Experts® are going to answer some of the most popular questions we receive about tower paint and markings.

    Why Paint Your Tower?


     

    The FAA has established recommendations for antenna tower painting and lighting in the Federal Code Advisory Circular 47 CFR Part 17. While these are just recommendations the FCC has been given the authority by Congress to make them requirements. According to these requirements, a tower must be lighted or painted if its height exceeds 200 feet or if it is deemed an aviation hazard in any way. For example, short towers that are near airports must be painted or lighted.

    Does Any Orange and White Paint Work?


     

    In short, No. Your paint must meet specific specifications outlined in the federal standard 595 for international aviation colors. The approved colors are Aviation Orange #12197 and Outside White #17875. Color is not the only thing that you need to be aware of, though. Tower paint has to be 100% acrylic exterior latex, formulated specifically for application on galvanized steel.

    Federal standard 595 for international aviation colors.

    Our TowerPlex Tower Paint is specifically designed for use on galvanized antenna towers and it meets federal standard for the correct white and aviation orange colors. These standards ensure consistency throughout the industry for proper color signaling and paint durability.

    Do I Need to Use a Primer?


     

    Using primer is not required, but it is recommended. Using the proper primer under your paint will help it achieve maximum bond to the steel. If you are planning on spraying your tower paint, a nice full coat of primer is highly recommended. If you are doing spot painting on an existing tower, maybe over some new cold galvanizing compound (cold galv) you will want to put some primer on before you put down the tower paint. Primer works, because the alkalinity in TowerPlex Primer bonds with the zinc layer of the galvanization.

    How do I Apply the Paint?


     

    Application can vary by brand, but with TowerPlex Tower Paint you can apply it between 50 and 110° Fahrenheit using a brush, mitt, or spray. Coverage can also vary by brand and situation, but TowerPlex is meant to cover 592 square feet per gallon at 1 mil dry. Ideally when painting a full wet coat is applied overlapping each pass 50% to avoid dusting. If a freeze or rain is possible in the next 24 hours we recommend postponing the painting. Dry time to re-coat typically takes between 4 and 18 hours depending on the outside temperature.

    How Do I Know If I’m Compliant?


     

    To find out if your paint is compliant you can use an FAA Color Chart.  With this chart, you will be able to match your tower to color swatches that meet FAA guidelines for aviation safe colors.

    If you have a question, or just need more information about tower paint, click here to connect with one of our Gear Experts®.

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to check out our full selection of tower painting gear.

    Click here to check out our TowerPlex paint selection.

    Click here to check out our FAA Color Chart.

    Tower Paint 101 Video


     

    Gear Up with Gear Experts: The Podcast


     

    We're also proud to announce Gear Up with Gear Experts® - A podcast dedicated to at-height, industry, and construction. Gear Up with Gear Experts® is available via your podcast listening platform of choice and in each episode, the hosts (Alex Giddings & John Medina) bring in a gear expert or industry leader to talk about gear, gear safety, tips, and tricks. To find out more about the show and sign up for alerts, head on over to gearexperts.com.

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

  3. Cold Galv 101

    When many people look at Cold Galvanizing Compound they simply think that it is silver paint, but that’s not the case. This week our Gear Experts® are here to talk about what cold galv is and a few other cold galv related topics.

    What is Cold Galvanizing Compound?


     

    Cold galvanizing compound (cold galv for short) is a single component zinc coating that is used to protect bare steel from rust and corrosion. It is applied like paint, but it’s not paint. It actually gives the same protection as hot dipped galvanizing and it also makes painting a tower easier.

    How Does Cold Galv Work?


     

    Cold galvanizing compound acts as an active coupling to the bare steel parent metal to form an electrolytic bond. In the presence of an electrolyte (aka moisture) the zinc dust in the cold galv will sacrifice itself to protect the steel.

    What Surface Prep is Required Before Applying Cold Galvanizing Compound?


     

    The surface has to be clean, dry, steel. We recommend using a wire brush to remove any rust or other corrosion that may be on the steel. This needs to be done on the entire area that will be covered in cold galv. Also, you want to be sure to remove any chemicals, dirt, grease, grime, or any other impurities that could affect the application.

    How Do I Apply Cold Galv?


     

    This is where cold galv and paint have something in common. It can be applied just like paint – it can be rolled on, brushed, or even thinned down and used in a sprayer. There are also aerosol versions available.

    What Do Different Percentages of Zinc Content Offer?


     

    The higher the zinc content, the better you’re protected. Since the zinc bonds to the steel to form that protective layer, the more zinc that can bond, the more moisture the zinc can prevent from reaching the steel.

    If It’s Very Cold or Humid Can I Still Apply Cold Galvanizing Compound?


     

    Typically, yes. Cold Galv can be applied in a lot of different environments. However, we always recommend that you check the manufacturer specifications for your particular brand just to be sure. Extra humid weather can actually intensify the reaction process and speed up the drying process.

    Cold Galv Shipping


     

    Cold Galv can only be shipped ground or LTL. That also means that we can only ship Cold Galvanizing Compound within the contiguous 48 states (sorry Alaska and Hawaii). The government does not allow it in the air system, so it can’t be on a plane, which means no international shipments and no overnight shipments. The reason for this is due to is category 3 classification as a flammable liquid. For more information on our shipping policies, click here.

    Looking for more information on Cold Galv? Click here to contact one of our Gear Experts®!

    **The content of this blog is not intended to replace proper, in-depth training. Manufacturer’s instructions must also be followed and reviewed before any equipment is used.

    Click here to check out our selection of Cold Galvanizing Compound.

    Click here to check out our selection of Tower Paint

    Cold Galv 101: The Video


     

    Get Social


     

    Be sure to follow us on social media to keep up with everything GME Supply has going on.

    Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn

    We’re Also on Snapchat


     

    Simply snap or screenshot this image ↓ to follow GME Supply!

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