Spray paint

Coating Inspections

Coating inspections are an important component of any coating application process. We carry them out at several intervals during the application process, including before the coating is applied and as part of a post-application maintenance schedule. This process is essential for adhering to specifications and standards.

What Is A Coating Inspection?

A coating inspection is a systematic process of evaluating and verifying the quality and integrity of a coating applied to a surface. During this process, we will evaluate surface preparation, environmental conditions, application techniques, and the final coating’s thickness and adhesion to ensure compliance with specifications and standards.

Coating inspections are essential in ensuring a coating effectively protects the underlying material from corrosion, wear, and other forms of damage, thereby extending the lifespan of the asset, maintaining safety, and reducing maintenance costs.

When Are Coating Inspections Conducted?

A coating inspection isn’t just a one-time service you should get to tick a box. In fact, coating inspections should be carried out before, during, and after the application of any coatings, including a follow-up inspection a year later. This ensures quality and adherence to specifications – and will catch any problems before they become expensive.

Pre-Application Coating Inspections

Before applying any coating, we inspect your surface preparation to ensure it meets the required standards for cleanliness and profile. This is crucial for proper adhesion of the coating. Our specialist inspectors will also check the environmental conditions surrounding the substrate, including temperature and humidity, to ensure they are within acceptable ranges for the specific application. 

Coating Inspections During Application

We inspect the first layer of the coating application to ensure it is applied correctly in terms of thickness, coverage, and uniformity. For multi-layer systems, we will inspect each subsequent layer upon application to ensure the proper adhesion. This is also essential for ensuring each layer is applied consistently and to specifications and reduces the likelihood of remedial works later down the line.

Post-Application Coating Inspections

Prior to curing, immediately after application, we will carry out a visual inspection to ensure there are no defects such as runs, sags, or bubbles. Once the coating has fully cured, we conduct a thorough inspection to verify that the final finish meets all specifications. This includes checking for uniform thickness, adhesion, and absence of defects such as cracks or peeling. 

Regular Coating Inspections

For coatings exposed to harsh environments or critical applications, we recommend regular inspections as part of a maintenance schedule to catch and address any issues early. We also inspect coatings after exposure to stress – this can include severe weather, chemical exposure, and mechanical impact. The stress caused by these events can compromise the integrity of the coating. 

What Is Involved In A Coating Inspection?

During a coating inspection, our verified inspectors will carry out a series of tests to ensure the coating meets the relevant specifications. This will be in line with your Inspection Test Plan (ITP) which ensures that all inspections and tests are systematically performed to maintain quality and compliance with project specifications and standards. If you don’t have an ITP, we can support you in developing one.

Depending on your requirements, industry, the type of coating and substrate, and the point in the application process at which the inspection is happening, coating inspections can include:

  • Checking the surface is free from contaminants such as dust, oil, and rust

  • Ensuring the surface roughness is appropriate for adhesion of the coating

  • Monitoring ambient conditions during application to ensure curing and adhesion is not affected

  • Ensuring the surface temperature is above the dew point to prevent moisture issues

  • Checking the coating thickness meets specifications using a tool such as a dry film thickness gauge

  • Ensuring the coating is uniformly applied, without gaps or excessive buildup

  • Verifying the coating has adequately cured and dried prior to exposure to service conditions

  • Evaluating the strength of the bond between the coating and substrate via a pull-off test or cross-cut test

  • Carrying out out visual inspections to check for defects such as blistering, peeling, cracking, or discolouration 

We will always accurately document our findings, providing you with a detailed record of the inspection results, environmental conditions, and any deviations from specifications. 

Who Carries Out A Coating Inspection?

Coating inspections must be carried out by a certified inspector who has had the training required to accurately assess the health of a protective coating. Our team at Specialist Coatings and Inspection includes ICORR L3 Paint Inspectors, SSPC L2 Fireproof Inspectors, and Coating Surveyors with experience working on highway structures to the requirements of BD87/05 and rail structures to Network Rail specifications. View our full list of accreditations including ConstructionLine Gold and Acclaim Health & Safety on our about page.  

For more information about our coating Inspection services

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Your Name