CoatingsPro Magazine

JUL 2013

CoatingsPro offers an in-depth look at coatings based on case studies, successful business operation, new products, industry news, and the safe and profitable use of coatings and equipment.

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By JaCK iNNis, CoNtRiButiNg editoR Photos CouRtesy of iNNovative PaiNtiNg aNd WateRPRoofiNg iNC. T heme park designers go to great lengths to give kids the illusion they're entering into a fantastic new world. All details matter. Architecture, landscaping, rides, music, food, employees' costumes, and paint schemes — every design element must work in perfect harmony with the next to support that illusion. Get it right, and kids feel like they've just stepped into a movie. Get it wrong, the illusion is destroyed, and it's another bad day in Tacky Town! Innovative Painting and Waterproofing Incorporated's President Don Dancey knew all that when a major Southern California theme park asked him to examine a rapidly failing epoxy coating on the steel deck of one of their new rides. Within days of firing up the outdoor ride, park operators began noticing excessive wear, loss of non-skid qualities, loss of decorative effect, slight surface rust, and delamination in about 15 percent of the 8,400-square-foot (780 m²) kiddie car ride area. Beyond looking tacky, the loss of non-skid and the addition of blisters made the floor unsafe. They shut down the ride, and cordoned off that part of the theme park. Now, operators don't take kindly to closing portions of their parks. Amusement parks rake in big bucks, competition is stiff, and reputations mean everything. Every year, nearly 300 million people visit more than 400 U.S. amusement parks and drop nearly $12 billion, according to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, a trade association for permanently situated facilities. No Kiddie Ride! With revenues and a hard-earned reputation at stake, the Southern California theme park needed a fix — and quick! But this project would be no kiddie ride for Dancey and his Brea, Calif.-based Innovative Painting and Waterproofing crew. With little time to do so, they'd have to demo the old epoxy floor and install a new ultrahigh-wear polyurea system. To make a tough job even tougher, they'd have to work with thousands of kids just a few feet away — ABOVE For the coatings crew at Innovative Painting and Waterproofing, working on a ride at a Southern California theme park meant coming up with a few imaginative solutions. kids who couldn't be made aware of the project for fear of ruining the immersive illusion the theme park sought to provide. "Because of the difficulties involved with keeping patrons from being exposed to the work, we had a lot of planning and preplanning meetings," said Dancey. "We met with the park operators, with each other, with the blasting crew, and with the coatings reps. In fact, we even had meetings to preplan our preplanning meetings." To minimize disruptions and reopen the area as soon as possible, the project was divided into two, six-day phases. All noisy work, such as blasting, grinding, and spray painting, would be accomplished off hours when the park was closed. But before work began, park operators set up an elaborate system of tents, tarps, and fences to shield guests from the work. First, they custom-designed three tents made to look like one Theme Park ProjecT: 38 CoatingsPro g July 2013

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