How Smart Coatings Can Help Boost Building Enclosures

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Commercial coating options provide greater benefits today than ever before. Smart coatings represent the latest innovation in commercial painting for exterior surfaces. With a focus on performance, these paint alternatives actively work to protect the building and its appearance. Depending on the type used, these specialty surface coats reduce maintenance, reapplication, and costs while extending the life of a building enclosure.

How Smart Coatings Are Different From Standard Exterior Paints

Standard exterior paints may offer minimal protection from the elements through passive defense methods. The ingredients of these paints provide basic protection from the elements and enhance the appearance of the building. However, these are often the only tasks of traditional paints.

Smart coatings have properties that go beyond basic, passive protection of the building enclosure. With these modern building coatings, a building exterior has greater protection against damage from UV rays, water, and corrosion. Some types can also actively repel water or self-heal.

By responding to external stimuli to activate their desired functions, smart coatings work to actively protect the building enclosure and extend its life.

How Smart Coatings Work

Smart coatings have varying formulas that determine their final properties. Therefore, how the coatings work depends on the type of product. For instance, self-healing coatings may use different mechanisms to close gaps and heal the coating surface.

One way that smart coatings can heal themselves is through the use of microcapsules within the material. These contain resins that release their contents when opened via a scratch on the surface. Resins go directly to the gap and fill it in, covering the damage without the need for human interference.

An alternative self-healing coating requires adding heat to the surface, which releases healing agents from the coating. These agents fill in gaps and level the surface.

Self-cleaning coatings are another type of smart surface covering for buildings. These include materials that either are hydrophobic or hydrophilic. Both types of coatings drive out water or make water slide off the surface better. The best type to use depends on the materials of the surface the smart coating covers.

Each smart coating will use a specific method based on the type of protection it offers the building, which may differ depending on the coating’s desired properties. However, smart coatings offer superior building enclosure protection compared to standard paint products.

Why Choose Smart Coatings for Your Commercial Structure

Why should you choose smart coatings for your commercial structure? First, with the self-healing or self-cleaning properties of smart coatings, the effort required to keep the exterior clean reduces. Additionally, the coating lasts longer than standard paints, saving money on frequent reapplications. Some smart coatings offer additional benefits of helping to reduce carbon dioxide in the air.

A study comparing smart coatings to standard coatings found savings of almost 80% over 20 years for smart coatings. Savings came from reduced maintenance of the building and weather resistance. Choosing smart coatings is a financially wise decision for companies that want a long-term solution.

Need Professionally Applied Coatings for Your Business?

New England’s sudden and extreme weather conditions require the most robust protection for building enclosures. Smart coatings can provide the necessary barrier against damage from rain, sun, snow, and ice.


If your business in New England needs commercial painting work, contact First Nick Companies to get a quote for your project. We’ll work with your needs to find the right product to apply to your building and give you a professional application. Let us be the solution to your project needs.

Kosta Kritikos,


155-E New Boston Street | Woburn, MA 01801

O: 617.628.5130 x 1002| F: 781.305.3055 | C: 617.592.2290 |