Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

May, 2002

Painting Concrete Balconies

Q. I live in a high-rise condiminium in Atlanta, Georgia where each unit has a private balcony. The balconies are an extension of the concrete slab on each floor. Currently, the underside and front face of all balconies are an exposed concrete surface. The Board has recently decided to paint the front face and underside of all concrete balconies with a white paint.

I am concerned about this decision because I have noticed that the underside and front face of all other concrete balconies in other condominium high-rises around the city have not been painted. Is there a reason why the underside and front surface of exposed concrete balconies should not be painted?

A. I am not aware of a reason for not painting the front and underside surfaces of balconies. In fact, this is the first time I've heard of this. You might like to ask the paint chemists at Sherwin-Williams, Kelly Moore or other large paint companies for an answer. I'm sure you can contact them by going to the web and asking the webmaster for contact names. In the meantime, my only thoughts (guesses) are: (a) that the front and undersides are often subject to mold growth, especially if moisture collects on these surfaces. (b) If the moisture in the concrete slab has not fully evaporated, then there is a possibility that blistering of the paint might occur, but that is unlikely in an older building in which the concrete is already properly cured. I'm not an expert in this. My specialty is with industrial painting, so I recommend that you get your answer from those who deal with trade sales paints in the paint companies.

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