395 Anchor Rd, Unit 23

Hamilton, ON L8W 0C7

38B Bigwin Rd, Unit 2A

Hamilton, ON L8W 3R4

Cold Weather Protective Coatings

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Common Problems When Coating In Cold Weather

There are additional considerations when it comes to protective coatings in cold weather. Issues can arise in both indoor and outdoor environments for every type of coating. Some of these problems are obvious, but others are a bit more difficult to anticipate.

Below we’ll discuss the most common cold weather-related coating application issues and how they can impact your coatings.

What Problems Can Cold Weather Cause for Metal?

Metal is sensitive to environmental temperatures, expanding and contracting as the weather changes. Exposure to cold can also make the metal more brittle and prone to failure. Add in everything that tends to come along with cold weather, from snow and ice to salt and other winter road treatments, and you have a recipe for rapid, damaging metal corrosion.

Low Substrate Temperatures During Application

Most chemical reactions slow as temperatures drop, including water or solvent evaporation and the curing of coatings. Before the coating application begins, it’s critical to check the temperature limits for each product you’re using by referencing the Product Data Sheet. If the temperature drops too low, this can slow or stop the curing process and the coating can be irreparably damaged. Remember, the temperature not only needs to be considered during coating but also the curing window as well.

Considering Temperatures for Material Storage

Colder material can be harder to mix, spray, or adhere to a substrate. Often, applicators will try to add extra thinner to materials that have thickened from the cold. As temperatures drop, the extra thinner will evaporate slower which can cause issues with film build and can also lead to solvent entrapment in the coating.

Condensation on Substrate Surfaces

Cold weather can also cause the formation of condensation on the substrate surface if the surface temperature drops to the dew point. This can ruin clean blasted steel, ultimately causing it to rust. A re-blast can be very expensive and time-consuming. As well, condensation can kill the cure of moisture-sensitive coatings. For example, a polyurethane coating exposed to moisture too early may never fully cure, which would require total removal and replacement.

Low Humidity During Application

Cold air holds less water than warm air, which causes a problem for moisture-cured coatings. If the water in the air isn’t available, the coating won’t cure. Low humidity can be a problem in both shop and field coating environments. The heat used to warm interiors can make humidity issues much worse.

Understanding how low temperatures affect coating application and change the drying, cure, and performance of the coating can help one prepare for application when temperatures are below freezing. Many coatings are made for application between 10° and 38° Celsius.. However, there are solutions, options, and products specifically designed for cold weather applications to cure in the same manner as standard products. This allows one to get the job done in the same amount of time.

In regions where temperatures plummet, maintaining the integrity of infrastructure becomes a formidable challenge. Cold weather can exacerbate the deterioration of structures due to factors like freeze-thaw cycles, moisture penetration, and increased brittleness of materials. This is where cold weather protective coatings come into play, offering a shield against the harsh elements and ensuring the durability and performance of assets throughout the winter months. This article explores the significance, selection, and application of protective coatings designed for cold weather conditions.

The Significance of Cold Weather Protective Coatings

Cold weather protective coatings are engineered to withstand the unique challenges posed by lower temperatures. These coatings are crucial for:

  • Preventing Moisture Penetration: Moisture is a pervasive threat that can lead to corrosion, mold growth, and structural damage. Cold weather coatings provide a moisture-resistant barrier, protecting the substrate from water ingress.

  • Enhancing Durability: These coatings are formulated to remain flexible and effective in cold temperatures, resisting the brittleness that can lead to cracks and other forms of damage.

  • Mitigating Freeze-Thaw Damage: Structures exposed to cycles of freezing and thawing are at risk of deterioration. Protective coatings help mitigate this risk by providing a durable surface that withstands the expansion and contraction of the substrate.

Selection of Cold Weather Protective Coatings

Selecting the right protective coating for cold weather applications involves several considerations:

  • Temperature Range: The coating should be effective within the specific temperature range of the application area. Manufacturers often specify the minimum application temperature and the coating’s operational temperature range.

  • Substrate Compatibility: Choose a coating that is compatible with the material of the substrate, whether it’s metal, concrete, wood, or another material.

  • Environmental Exposure: Consider the environmental conditions the coating must endure, such as exposure to chemicals, UV radiation, or abrasive forces.

  • Application and Curing Conditions: Some coatings are specifically formulated to be applied and cured in cold weather, while others may require certain conditions for effective application.

Application of Cold Weather Protective Coatings

The application of protective coatings in cold weather demands careful planning and execution to ensure optimal performance:

  • Surface Preparation: Proper preparation is critical, as cold weather can affect the surface’s moisture content and cleanliness. Surfaces should be dry and free of ice, frost, and contaminants before application.

  • Heating Strategies: Applying heat to the substrate and the surrounding environment can help maintain the coating and surface within the optimal temperature range for application.

  • Application Techniques: Cold weather can affect the viscosity of coatings, necessitating adjustments to application techniques. Spraying equipment may require modifications or alternative application methods may be chosen.

  • Curing Considerations: Coatings may require extended curing times in cold weather. It’s essential to account for this in project timelines and to protect the coating from adverse conditions during curing.

Critical tips for cold-weather coatings applications:

  1. Keeping products conditioned in cold weather will help with installs. Store and condition products at 65° to 75° F before application. Whenever possible, warm the ambient air by turning up the thermostat in the application area or use radiant heaters to keep the temperature from dropping too low. Warming the surface or substrate with portable heaters, hot air blowers, and/or heat lamps will ensure that the material flows smoothly, creating a strong bond with the substrate.

  2. Applying the right products is crucial. Always look carefully at the coating product data sheet for information about whether the material can be applied in temperatures below 50° F. Consult with the coatings manufacturer’s technical representative to be sure.

Our process

our coating inspection process

We have a tried and true methodology for assessing and prevention corrosion through our ISO-standardized and client-customized workflow.



A maintenance survey determines the coating conditions of a surface. Surveys are used to create a maintenance schedule for re-coating and touch-up applications.



The Coating Inspector performs testing for a wide range of coating applications. We test for conformity, compatibility, performance, coat thickness, hardness, adhesion, and finishes.



Once testing has been completed, we provide our detailed recommendations in a report. This ensures that all aspects of the survey are considered and addressed.


Coating Specifications

All jobs are conducted according to industry standards: NACE/AMPP, ISO 9001:2015 and CSA/SSPC in Canada, ASTM and ISO for international clients.


our team

The Coating Inspector works with contractors, owners, and engineers. We are a third party unbiased leader in the provision of professional coating inspection services.


blasting & painting

The Coating Inspector provides supervision and project management in the sandblasting, painting and coatings industry.

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Our Services

Surface inspection company

We check industrial equipment to ensure protective coatings were correctly applied to minimize corrosion risk. Our inspectors go through rigorous training to identify problems in coating applications. They can make recommendations for which types of coatings can best protect the materials from corroding.

Coating inspection company near me

A coatings survey provides a sense of how a coating is currently performing and identifies any problems that need to be addressed immediately. The survey provides the next steps to be undertaken. Surveys are a necessary part of an ongoing maintenance plan and should be performed on a regular basis.

Coating inspection company near me

This is the qualitative test of the adhesion coating system. This test will only give allow to ensure there is an adequate bond to the coated substrate. This test does not differentiate between levels of bonding. Adhesion testing is used to evaluate the adhesion to the substrate, in between coats, and internal film.

Coating inspection services

To determine the quality of the protective coating our inspector will measure dry film thickness or DFT. Considered one of the most important tests an inspector can make. DFT test serves as a foundation for the entire coating inspection,.

Coating inspection services

We create custom maintenance programs that identify areas to be surveyed, the level of detail required, and manpower that will be required to execute. We determine the data that will be taken and format to be used to ensure consistent judging criteria.

Surface inspection company

The Coating Inspector can conduct a non-destructive High Voltage Holiday Testing to find any voids and failures. This is possible due to electrical charge that flows through protective coating. Invest in hiring one of the top-rated AMPP  inspectors in the world. 

Choose The Coating Inspector

Ultimately, don’t let cold weather slow you down! Projects can move forward, but it will require some special effort.

To find out how The Coating Inspector can help you with your cold weather projects, call us today.

why us

Hire the Right Coating Inspector in Canada

Do you have existing corrosion, or are looking to prevent costly equipment failure? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Contact us today to get a consultation.

The Coating Inspector is ISO certified, something few competitors can offer. We also have extensive reviews, decades of combined experience and the most highly trained coating inspectors in the industry.

What is an ISO Certification?

“Certification to ISO 45001 demonstrates an organisations commitment to a safer working environment and the protection of employees against injury at work.

ISO 45001 certified organisations have identified and operate to regulatory requirements through enforcing procedures for compliance with legislation. Improved identification of hazards and risk management, involving all levels of the organisation through setting objectives, targets and documented responsibilities are recognised by regulators as a commitment to safe working conditions and continuous improvement.”

Source: https://www.qas-international….

QAS ISO certifies strict compliance procedures to legislative and standard compliances.

We have been certified in continuous improvement and service to our compliance.

We are commited to impeccable client service & employee safety.


The AMPP (Formerly know as The National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE)) is a globally recognized certification body to certify and train corrosion engineers.

With over 36,000 members globally, it is the most recognized trade association of corrosion inspectors to ensure industry standards in the coating inspection industry.

Established in 1943, it serves to train corrosion inspectors, enforce industry standards, certify engineers, publish and research corrosion inspection techniques and journals, as well as provide a standardized approach to corrosion inspection and prevention.

NACE “equips society to protect people, assets and the environment from the adverse effects of corrosion.”

Every project, business and industrial assets are unique. Depending on the scope of work, location and amount of inspectors or work hours required for your project, the cost can vary. 

However, The Coating Inspector is committed to saving your business time, money and assets. The cost of equipment breakdown, shutdown or repair delays can cost your business far more resources than preventative maintenance, work and inspection.

Call, email or contact us via the form below with a bit more of information about your business. From there we’ll consult with you regarding your unique corrosion prevention requirements. 

From there we’ll provide you a comprehensive quote and scope of work, and then begin working together with you to keep your facility and equipment in top working area.

Primarily all across Canada and globally (depending on the project).