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Protecting art treasures

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The roof after the installation of the silver waterproofing. Image: a.b.e Construction Chemicals

Located in the inner city of Johannesburg, a local art gallery sought a watertight roof, so a.b.e. Construction Chemicals specified a VIP elastomeric coating with reflective cooling qualities to waterproof two of the gallery’s roofs.

Commissioned in 2017, Noel Abendroth, a.b.e.’s VIP high performance coatings solutions manager, says VIP QuickSeal Reflect-Silver was applied to about 380m2 of the gallery’s roofs by Custom Linings.

“There had been several unsuccessful attempts at sealing the roofs of the building, so Custom Linings had to remove all the failed layers right down to the concrete base, before re-screeding the surface and applying the product.”

Properties of the waterproofing product help to lower the temperature in the gallery, which contains valuable art works. According to Abendroth, the product can be built to any thickness in a single application, it helps lower internal temperatures and doesn’t require a top coat or maintenance. These were some of the reasons that it was chosen for the project but in order to install the waterproofing, the old system they had to removed first.

“Original substrate was re-screeded to fall, once it was cured reflective silver waterproofing was applied to specification,” explains Elrene Smuts, group communications manager at a.b.e.

The art gallery sought a watertight roof.

Apart from the rain delaying drying time of the screed, the project was completed without a glitch. “The client was open to suggestions and advice,” shares Smuts adding that the client is happy with the project and has specified future projects with the same system.

For more than two decades, the art gallery in question has offered a dynamic exhibition programme as well as concerts and recitals with visitors – local and international alike – hailing it as a fine art venue.


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