Coating surveys

Coating Surveys

We carry out coating surveys prior to applying a new protective coating to any substrate which has previously been coated, as well as part of routine maintenance checks to monitor the condition of an existing coating. Our comprehensive coating surveys ensure you understand the actions required to reduce the impact of corrosion, allowing you to act before a coating fails entirely, saving you money from costly repairs.

Benefits of Coating Surveys

Before Coating Application

  • Learn whether any special maintenance requirements are needed, such as asbestos removal

  • Understand the causes of existing the deterioration of the existing coating so preventative measures can be taken for the new coating

  • Carry out other repairs prior to coating

  • Find out what the most cost-effective coating system will be, for example, one with UV-resistant or water-resistant properties

During Routine Maintenance

  • Identify issues early, allowing for maintenance or repairs to prevent further deterioration

  • Ensure coatings continue to work as intended, such as in protecting the substrate or as fire prevention

  • Avoid costly repairs or replacements by addressing problems before they become severe

  • Ensure coatings meet safety and regulatory standards, reducing the risk of accidents or failures


Planning the survey

Prior to carrying out the coating survey, we will work with you to design and plan an effective coating survey. The survey must be structured to ensure it is comprehensive and in line with relevant standards. The planning process includes: 

  • Defining the parameters of the survey to ensure all necessary information and data is collected. This can change depending on the asset’s age, value, and material, as well as the time since the last coating survey and any health and safety issues

  • Deciding on the detail required, for example if there are many components of an asset which should be surveyed individually, or if we should survey the asset as a whole

  • Adherence to a recognised and consistent condition grading system

Conducting the survey

A coating survey will include information about the environment surrounding the asset – such as its location, the surrounding climate, the amount of moisture, and whether there is any UV exposure. Information about the original application will also be included, as well as the details of any events such as weather conditions, fires, or repairs which may have impacted the condition of the coating.

Our qualified coating surveyors will then move on to assess the coating, which can involve a range of tests depending on the parameters agreed upon during the planning stage. These tests can include:

  • Dry Film Thickness (DFT): We use tools such as ultrasonic thickness gauges or magnetic pull-off gauges to measure the thickness of the existing coating and compare it to the specified standards

  • Pull-off Test: We evaluate the bond strength of the coating to the substrate using a stud which we adhere to the substrate

  • Exposure assessments: We check the environmental conditions to which the coating has been exposed, such as UV radiation, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and chemicals

  • Visual assessments: We note the presence of any degradation in the coating, such as cracking, peeling, mill scale, chalking, and pitting

The survey report

Our surveyors document all of their findings, including the condition of the coating, identified defects, measurement results, and any deviations from standards. This includes the taking of photographs of the inspected areas to provide a visual record of the coating condition. We will then provide recommendations for maintenance, repair, or re-coating based on the survey results, plus information about any hard-to-reach areas requiring special measures, and whether any areas surrounding the surveyed area may require a new coating.

Who Carries Out A Coating SURVEY?

Coating surveys must be carried out by a certified inspector who has had the training required to accurately assess the health of an existing 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 SURVEYING services

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