Understanding Marking Issues

Surface Preparation
The technicians from Hi-Lite Airfield Services, LLC recognize the fact that proper surface preparation is the key to achieving the maximum paint adhesion to any surface. Surfaces that have been improperly prepared or cleaned can compromise the paint’s bonding ability. Paint adheres to the contaminants, such as cure compound, fuel/oils and mold, rather than the surface itself, leading to premature failure.

Concrete Surfaces
Concrete surfaces usually contain a top layer of cure compound. Cure compound is designed to help speed up the curing process by drawing moisture out of the concrete. Eventually this compound turns to powder and wears off the surface. Paint applied to cure compound is destined to fail, as it adheres to the cure compound rather than the surface itself; when the cure compound eventually wears away, the paint wears away with it.

Asphalt contains oil, which usually rises to the surface soon after installation. A 30 day cure time is recommended before a permanent coat of paint is applied. Although surface preparation will not change the nature of asphalt, Hi-Lite will clean the asphalt prior to the final application of paint. This helps maximize the expected lifespan of the markings.

Painting Surfaces
Painting surfaces that have a paint build-up or peeling/flaking issues is also a recipe for failure. Any paint applied to a surface will have slight shrinkage as it cures. While on new asphalt or concrete, this is not an issue, when applied to thick paint or paint that is already failing, it will cause the existing paint to continue to fail. The paint bond is only as good as what’s underneath it.

Surface Contaminants
Surface contaminants such as fuel, oils and even mold/mildew on airfield surfaces need to be removed prior to paint installation. In an airport environment, these contaminants not only come from nature, but the planes, vehicles and equipment traveling over the airfield. Cleaning will ensure a good bond of paint to the existing surfaces.

Hi-Lite Airfield Services, LLC knows the importance of surface preparation and has invested in a fleet of state-of-the-art equipment and training for our technicians. We properly prepare your airfield before laying down new markings to give the fresh coating a better surface on which to bond. The result is more durable markings and a safer airfield.