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SSPC-PA Guide 5

September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings

Paint application guide NO. 5

Guide to Maintenance Coating of Steel Structures
in Atmospheric Service

1. Scope 3. Referenced Standards

1.1 This guide covers procedures for developing a main- 3.1. SSPC STANDARDS AND JOINT STANDARDS1
tenance coating program for steel structures. The guide may
be used for one-time recoat programs or long-range recoat Items preceded by an asterisk (*) are referenced in the
programs. Notes or Appendices.
Guide 6 Guide for Containing Debris
1.2 The guide is intended for use primarily by owners Generated During Paint Removal
representatives. It is not intended to be a do-it-yourself guide, Operations
but is representative of the processes that a coating specialist Guide 7 Guide for the Disposal of Lead-
(such as a Protective Coating Specialist [PCS] certified by Contaminated Surface Preparation
SSPC) would follow to develop a maintenance coating plan Debris
for specific facilities. Guide 14 Guide for the Repair of
Imperfections in Galvanized or
2. Description Inorganic Zinc Coated Steel with
Organic Zinc-Rich Paint
2.1 A maintenance coating program is required to prevent Guide 15 Field Methods for Retrieval
corrosion of steel and deterioration of other substrates. It is and Analysis of Soluble Salts
also required to maintain an acceptable appearance of coated on Steel and Other Nonporous
structures. Decisions on frequency and extent of recoating and Substrates
type of system to be used require consideration of numerous PA 2 Measurement of Dry Coating Thick-
factors, including both technical and economical alterna- ness with Magnetic Gauges
tives. PA Guide 4 Guide to Maintenance Repainting
with Oil Base or Alkyd Painting
2.2 This guide sets out specific steps that may be used, Systems
either individually or collectively, to identify and address PA 1 Shop, Field, and Maintenance
essential elements of a maintenance coating program. These Painting of Steel
steps are summarized in Section 4. Preparation of a contract SP 1 Solvent Cleaning
specification for coating work is covered in SSPC-TR 4/NACE SP 2 Hand Tool Cleaning
80200, Preparation of Protective Coating Specifications for SP 3 Power Tool Cleaning
Atmospheric Service (latest edition).1 Due to wide variations SP 5/NACE No. 1 White Metal Blast Cleaning
in procedures, a discussion of contracting methodologies and SP 6/NACE No. 3 Commercial Blast Cleaning
implementation schemes is outside the scope of this guide. SP 7/NACE No. 4 Brush-Off Blast Cleaning
SP 10/NACE No. 2 Near-White Blast Cleaning
2.3 MAJOR STEPS IN MAINTENANCE COATING: This SP 11 Power Tool Cleaning to Bare
guide addresses six major steps in a maintenance coating Metal
program, which are defined as: SP 12/NACE No. 5 Surface Preparation and Cleaning
Plan and Conduct Condition Assessment Survey of Metals by Waterjetting Prior to
(Section 5) Recoating
List Potential Maintenance Painting Options (Section 6) SP 14/NACE No. 8 Industrial Blast Cleaning
Evaluate Economics of Available Options (Section 7) SP 15 Commercial Grade Power Tool
Select Appropriate Maintenance Painting Options and Cleaning
Establish Implementation Procedures (Section 8) * QP 1 Standard Procedure for Evaluat-
Implement Maintenance Painting Options (Section 9) ing Painting Contractors (Field
Plan and Implement Follow-Up Activities (Section 10) Application to Complex Industrial

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

* QP 2 Standard Procedure for Evaluat- physical inspection) are covered, along with a proposed plan
ing the Qualification of Painting for assessing sub-units of a larger, more complex structure,
Contractors (Field Removal of and a description of procedures and documentation needed.
Hazardous Coatings from Complex
Industrial Structures) 4.1.2 List Potential Maintenance Painting Options (Step
* QP 5 Standard Procedure for Evaluating 2): Section 6 reviews the various maintenance painting options
Qualifications of Coating and Lining available, including: spot repair, overcoating, and complete
Inspection Companies recoat, as well as the rationale for selecting these maintenance
TR 4/NACE 80200 Preparation of Protective Coating painting options and the types of information needed for the
Specifications for Atmospheric decision.
TU 3 Overcoating 4.1.3 Evaluate Economics of Available Options (Step
TU 9 Estimating Costs for Protective 3): Section 7 provides guidance in evaluating the initial and
Coatings Projects life-cycle costs of available maintenance painting options.
VIS 2 Standard Method of Evaluating Each decision has potential impact on the life cycle cost of
Degree of Rusting on Painted Steel the coating system and must be identified and evaluated.
4.1.4 Select Appropriate Maintenance Painting Options
3.2 ASTM INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS:2 and Establish Implementation Procedures (Step 4): Section
8 reviews the factors and considerations necessary to establish
* D 3276 Standard Guide for Painting Inspectors specifications for the two major maintenance painting options
(Metal Substrates) of spot repair and complete recoat, including identification
* D 4228 Standard Practice for the Qualification of relevant factors for coating system selection, and surface
of Coating Applicators for Application of preparation selection, depending on whether complete removal
Coatings to Steel Surfaces and recoat, spot repair, or a combination of spot repair and
D 610 Standard Test Method for Evaluating Degree overcoating is selected as a strategy.
of Rusting on Painted Steel Surfaces
4.1.5 Implement Maintenance Painting Options (Step
3.3 FEDERAL STANDARD3 5) Section 9
Code of Federal Regulations
29 CFR 1926.62 Lead (Construction Industry Standard 4.1.6 Plan and Implement Follow-Up Activities (Step
29 CFR 1925.1025 Lead (Occupational Safety and 6): Section 10 describes procedures and review actions after
Health Standards for Shipyard the job is completed, including documentation, short- and
Employment) long-term condition inspections, and preventative maintenance
29 CFR 1910.134 Respiratory Protection measures.

4. Planning and Use of Guide 5. Plan and Conduct Condition Assessment

Survey (Step 1)
4.1 This document is based on, and is intended to be used
with, the technical principles outlined in SSPC-TU 3. Planning 5.1 PURPOSE OF CONDUCTING CONDITION
and implementation of maintenance coating programs for steel ASSESSMENT SURVEY: Condition assessments can be used
structures are presented in a logical sequence of six specific for several purposes, i.e., to determine the need for recoating,
steps. These steps range from planning and conducting condi- to determine the extent of corrosion and corrosion damage,
tion assessment to follow-up activities required for implementing to determine the performance of various coating systems, or
an on-going maintenance program. Each step is designed to prioritize coating requirements where insufficient funds are
such that it may be utilized in sequence with the other steps, available to do all the desired work (see Note 11.1).
or independently for those with interest in only one or a few
aspects of the program. A summary of each step follows. 5.2 IDENTIFY AND INVENTORY STRUCTURES TO BE
SURVEYED: A written description of the structures requiring
4.1.1 Plan and Conduct Condition Assessment Survey maintenance coating should be obtained or prepared. The
(Step 1): Section 5 provides a general approach for organizing description should include location, dimensions, type of
surveys to evaluate the condition of the structure. Three different substrate, configuration, process, previous surface prepara-
types of surveys (general overview, detailed visual survey, and tion and coating plans, specifications, history, and any other

ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2659. Available onliine from
FED STD 141 can be obtained from <>

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

pertinent information. Examples of the latter would include coating type, and is available at a nominal price. Alternatively,
proximity to sensitive areas, planned new construction or other patch tests of the proposed system or systems may be applied
activities nearby, and types of exposures (e.g., acid fallout). to the existing coating to establish compatibility.
(See SSPC Publication 94-18, Project Design.) It is usually
most economical to consider all structures in similar condi- 5.3.4 Hazardous Content Assessment: Unless previous
tion within a given area for maintenance at the same general coating history and specifications are known, laboratory
time. testing needs to be performed to determine if any hazardous
elements are present. These include, but are not limited to,
5.3 DETERMINE THE EXTENT OF ASSESSMENT lead, cadmium, and chromium. OSHA (Occupational Safety
REQUIRED: The survey may vary considerably in the extent and Health Administration) requirements for worker expo-
and detail of the information required. Among the types of sure and RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act)
survey to be considered are: requirements for disposal with its implied containment should
be incorporated into the contract to protect workers and lessen
5.3.1 General Coating Condition Assessment: In this potential claims. SSPC-Guide 6 and Guide 7 provide details
assessment, usually only one or two parameters are rated relevant to containment and disposal. OSHA regulation 29
(e.g., general condition or rusting). The structure is normally CFR 1926.62 details worker protection requirements specific
observed from the ground (i.e., without scaffolding). The assess- to lead hazards in construction work (which includes industrial
ment is at best a qualitative rating of the condition (e.g., good, coating projects), while OSHA 29 CFR 1925.1025 details worker
fair, poor). Only the major features of a structure or facility are protection requirements for lead in general industry work.
rated (e.g., a full span of a bridge or a side of a storage tank). OSHA 29 CFR 1910.134 contains requirements specifically
This type of assessment is usually done in a few hours or less for respiratory protection.
and is suitable for identifying overall condition of the coating.
5.3.5 Structural Inspection: Coating assessment should
5.3.2 Detailed Visual Assessment: This type of assess- be included as part of any general structural inspection for loss of
ment also relies exclusively on visual observations, but these metal, broken joints, or other structural defects. A relatively small
are performed more systematically than for a general assess- additional inspection time is required to evaluate and record
ment. Numerous structural elements (e.g., support beams, the ratings of individual structures or structural elements. This
connections, edges) are separately rated according to SSPC- information will normally prove extremely valuable in evaluating
VIS 2, ASTM D 610, or equivalent and combined to provide maintenance painting options, especially in developing the most
an overall structure or facility rating. Often, several condition cost effective life-cycle maintenance strategy. Numerous public
parameters (e.g., loss of topcoat, cracking, rust staining) and and private entities have been successful in using scheduled
several corrosion parameters (e.g., rusting, blistering, scaling, facility inspections, such as bridge safety inspections, as the
loss of metal) are recorded. With this survey, one can obtain a first cut in determining coating condition.
semi-quantitative rating of the percent of surface deteriorated.
This type of survey may be used to develop preliminary cost 5.4 DETERMINE THE CONDITION RATING SCHEME:
estimates for recoating. For both visual inspection and physical testing, it is necessary
to use a standard rating system and format for recording data.
5.3.3 Physical Coating Testing: Physical testing, visual SSPC-TU 3 discusses the salient characteristics of a rating
assessment, and the general assessment are often performed scheme that is based on the technical merits of coating condi-
simultaneously. Visual assessment gives no information on the tion and overcoating.
film adhesion, thickness, brittleness, or underfilm corrosion.
Physical testing is required to determine whether the coating 5.4.1 Physical Testing: See SSPC-TU 3 for detailed guid-
can be overcoated or repaired, or whether it is too weak to ance in evaluating coating condition and risks of overcoating.
accept another coating layer. This assessment should be These evaluations generally require certain detailed information
performed prior to specifying the maintenance painting options concerning the coating type and physical condition.
and requires direct access to the surface at several locations
on the structure. SSPC-TU 3 provides discussion of the value 5.4.2 Use of Ratings Data: In many cases, these condi-
of physical testing, as well as the procedures for testing. tion ratings will be keyed directly to repair procedures (e.g.,
Identification of the generic type of the existing finish SSPC-PA Guide 4). The next two sections of this guide give
coating is important when selecting compatible coatings for the procedures for developing such a scheme.
maintenance coating, if part of the existing coating is to remain. A
laboratory technique, Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy 5.5 PLAN FOR INSPECTING STRUCTURAL
(FTIR), is frequently used to determine the generic coating type. COMPONENTS: A sub-unit sampling plan identifies the
This requires only a tiny sample chip of paint to identify the portions of the structure or facility that will be rated and the

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

type of rating scheme to be used. Sub-unit sampling plans are 6. List Potential Maintenance Painting Options
needed for complex structures or where detailed information (Step 2)
is required. For a process unit, (for example) the structural
steel might be divided into individual tanks, piping, handrails 6.1 REVIEW SURVEY DATAAND COATING OBJECTIVES
and ladders, and structural support. On large structures, the AND CRITERIA
areas could be further subdivided into sections. Because of
differences in corrosion tendencies, it is often useful to have 6.1.1 The corrective action to be taken is based on the
separate ratings for edges and flat surfaces. The extent of results of the previous surveys, the short and long-term objec-
inspection depends on how detailed a survey is desired and tives of the coating program, special limitations, and other
what resources may be available. relevant factors.

5.6 ESTABLISH PROCEDURES AND ASSEMBLE 6.1.2 The data to be analyzed are those that have been
RELATED DOCUMENTS previously collected from an overview, visual inspection, or
physical inspection. If no formal survey was taken, use the
5.6.1 A specific procedure should be established for a best information available (e.g., coating historical records) to
condition assessment, which should include a budget and estimate the overall condition ratings.
schedule, including equipment and crews. The availability
of funds will determine the extent of the survey that can be 6.2 CONSIDER ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS: After the
undertaken. A schedule should be established based on the data is reviewed, the available alternative actions should be
number of hours or days required to prepare the structure considered. These range from not coating to complete coating
(e.g., notify other trades) or arrange for access (i.e., coordinate removal and recoating.
schedules of other individuals). This includes identifying support
crews and equipment that may be required to assist with the 6.3 NO MAINTENANCE REQUIRED FOR THREE YEARS
condition assessment. Personnel requirements must also be OR LONGER: In one possible scenario, the coating is in good
established (i.e., identify individuals who will conduct the survey shape and no corrosion or deterioration requires attention. In a
such as in-house inspectors, engineers, outside consultants, second scenario, the coating may be providing some protec-
coating contractors, or coating manufacturers). If a condition tion but may be in too poor a condition to salvage. Eventually,
assessment survey is to be performed by a consultant or total coating removal will be needed, but maintenance can be
contractor, a written contract should be prepared. If a coating delayed without any significant harm to the structure. This option
manufacturer offers to do the assessment at no cost, the firm may be considered under the following circumstances:
should be asked to submit a written description of the plan
for the owners review, modification, and approval. There are 6.3.1 The structure is in a mild environment and little
numerous contracting methods available for acquiring condi- corrosion activity is expected at breaks in the coating film over
tion assessments, structural inspections, and coating work, the next few years.
including options ranging from acquiring each facet of work by
different contracts to using turnkey type contracts to perform 6.3.2 The extent of discoloration, topcoat erosion, or
all inspection, structural repair, and coating work. When more general degradation is not very important, due to the locations
than one facet of work is included in a single contract, steps on the structure. In general, the coating is intact and protection
should be taken to ensure the validity of each facet prior to is still being provided.
proceeding to the next facet.
6.3.3 The structure is being assigned a low priority for
5.6.2 Required standards (e.g., standards such as SSPC maintenance because of economics, aesthetics, or other
VIS 2, ASTM D 610, or equivalent) as well as field equipment reasons.
such as tape recorders, inspection forms, and a camera must
be available. 6.3.4 The structure is scheduled for major coating repair
or complete replacement within 3 years. The additional time
5.7 CONDUCT ASSESSMENT SURVEY: The survey is not expected to add significantly to the corrosion metal loss
should be conducted after the schedule and the standards or the surface preparation cost.
have been established. The owners representative should
ensure that all elements of the survey have been properly 6.3.5 The structure is due for demolition.
performed, recorded correctly, and distributed to predetermined
personnel. 6.4 SPOT REPAIR ONLY: Spot repair entails surface
preparation and touch-up coating of localized areas of deterio-
rated coating and corrosion. The surface preparation may be

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

accomplished by hand or power tool cleaning, high- or ultrahigh be held to the range of low to moderate, higher risks may
pressure waterjetting, or abrasive blasting. Several specialized be acceptable to the owner under certain conditions.
materials and procedures are available for localized surface
preparation, including composite media (sponge), sodium 6.5.2 The intact surface can be readily cleaned with pres-
carbonate slurries, plastic media, walnut shells, corncobs, etc. surized air, hand tools (SSPC-SP 2), power tools (SSPC-SP 3),
The intact coating surrounding the degraded area should be solvent or detergent wiping (SSPC-SP 1), or power washing
feathered and lightly sanded 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) onto the (as described in SSPC-SP 12). If low or high pressure water
intact coating to permit a smooth transition. The cleaned areas cleaning (also called power washing) is used, the maximum
are primed with a coating compatible with the existing coating water pressure required should be stated in the project speci-
system and spot topcoated to conform to the required DFT. In fication.
this particular option, the remaining (e.g., intact) coating is not
overcoated. It should be noted that the spot repair method is 6.5.3 If severely corroded surfaces (as described in Section
primarily a stopgap method. It is recommended that the structure 6.6) are found, special cleaning methods and coating systems
be re-evaluated within three to five years. Spot repair may be may be required.
considered under the following circumstances:
6.5.4 When corrosion and deterioration exceed 10 to 15%
6.4.1 Repairs are hidden or in a low-visibility area and of the total area, project economics may suggest total removal
thus unimportant to the aesthetics. of the coating system.

6.4.2 Owner maintenance crews are available for this type 6.6 COMPLETE RECOAT OF STRUCTURE OR SUB-
of work. UNITS (ZONES): When the overall coating condition is poor,
when the remaining life of the structure or sub-unit justifies the
6.4.3 Structures are small, not requiring extensive scaf- expense, and when funds are available, a decision to recoat
folding or hard-to-access areas. the structure in its entirety is usually made. This involves
removing the old coating and all of the corrosion products before
6.4.4 Corrosion and degradation are limited to isolated applying the primer, intermediate coats, and topcoat. Coating
areas and relatively small sections, which amount to less than a sub-unit of a structure (often called zone painting) may be
1% of the total area. a variation of this alternative when funds are limited or when
the remaining portions of the structure are in good condition.
6.4.5 A decision has been made to upgrade small isolated This option presents a much lower risk of early coating/corro-
areas such as bearing areas, crevices, or areas subject to sion problems (such as catastrophic delamination or early rust
leakage, condensation, or chemical splash. back) than do the alternative options.

6.5 SPOT REPAIR AND OVERCOATING: This technique 6.7 OTHER REPAIR METHODS: On occasion, different
involves spot repair of deteriorated coating and corroded areas methods of cleaning and/or coating may be required for different
followed by the application of a full finish coating over the areas or zones of the structure. A higher-performing coating
entire surface, including spot repaired areas and intact coating system (e.g., abrasive blast cleaning followed by application
areas. The intact coating surrounding the degraded area must of a zinc-rich/epoxy/polyurethane system) may be specified
be feathered back. The repair coating should extend at least for high corrosion atmospheric areas of a structure, such as
2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) onto the intact coating to allow for areas subject to deicing salt, dripping, or chemical spillage),
a smoother transition of the repair coating onto the existing with a lesser performing system (such as hand or power tool
coating and better topcoat adhesion. The topcoat should cleaning followed by an alkyd or a high-solids epoxy with
be compatible with the existing coating. The existing intact good wetting) on less critical or less corrosion-prone areas.
coating should be cleaned of surface contaminants before Compatible topcoats may be required to blend in with restored
total recoating. This type of system would be expected to give or rehabilitated portions of the structure.
perhaps five years or more additional life to the entire surface
area by helping to prevent further deterioration of the intact 6.8 ADDITIONAL SURVEY: After an analysis of the avail-
coating. Successful overcoating will often delay the need for able data, an additional survey may be required. The initial
a full coating removal. Spot repair and overcoating may be survey may have been too limited to provide sufficient data
considered under the following circumstances: to make remedial recommendations, or the survey may have
only looked at a portion of the structure or not examined some
6.5.1 An evaluation of risks in overcoating is a function of specific details required, such as the integrity of the coating
adhesion and existing coating thickness, as outlined in SSPC- near high-corrosion prone areas. The area may be scheduled
TU 3. This risk analysis must be performed if risks are to be for other repair or outage work within a 2-year period and may
managed, and while it is generally thought that risks should be re-assessed at that time.

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

7. Evaluate Economics of Available Options 8.2.3 Weather or configuration can also limit the selection
(Step 3) of coating systems. Many coatings (e.g., conventional epoxies,
water-borne acrylics) are best applied above 10C (50F).
7.1 The act of contemplating coating application or main- Other coatings are sensitive to high humidity or low humidity
tenance is, in effect, an analysis of the economics of abating (e.g., inorganic zinc-rich primers). In certain configurations,
or slowing the effects of corrosion damage. The variables spray application may not be permitted because of high wind
involved in protective coatings often require a variety of solu- or overspray on sensitive equipment or automobiles.
tions, each of which will carry unique cost-benefit factors.
Many factors influence the selection of coating systems. 8.2.4 The exposure environment is a major determinant of
However, when considering maintenance of existing coating the type of coating system. Typically, exposure environments
systems, the factors are generally restricted due to constraints are classified according to the presence of soluble salts, pollu-
imposed by the existing coating. Still, there are generally tion, sunlight exposure, rain/humidity, or chemicals.
multiple options available, and it is important to consider the
economic impacts of all options prior to finalizing a design. 8.2.5 The existing condition of the structure must be
The chapter on economics in the SSPC Painting Manual, known. For spot repair or overcoating, the compatibility of the
Volume 1Good Painting Practice, and SSPC-TU 9, Estimating new coats over existing ones should be verified by a patch
Costs for Protective Coatings Projects, provide comparative test, as shown in SSPC-TU 3. If the patch coating shows no
costs for most surface preparation methods, generic coating adverse physical effects (e.g., lifting of the existing coating) or
systems, application, and special requirements for selected appearance effects (e.g., bleeding) on the existing coating, it
situations. should be considered compatible with it. In addition, the patch
test, when evaluated over a period of six months or more, can
8. Select Appropriate Maintenance Painting Op- provide important data on the physical compatibility (stress)
of the new coating over the old.
tions and Establish Implementation Procedures
(Step 4)
8.2.6 The ability of the coating to tolerate residual soluble
salts will directly affect the time to early rust-back. SSPC-Guide
8.1 Once a course of action has been determined, it is
15 addresses salt remediation testing. The coating to be applied
essential that detailed specifications and supporting documents
must be tolerant of the level of contaminant present.
be prepared to achieve that course of action.

8.2.1 The selection of the coating system is influenced

8.3.1 Select Surface Preparation Methods: SSPC and
not only by the type of recoating (e.g., spot repair or complete
other organizations have well-defined standards for most of
recoat) but also by special factors such as restrictions due to
these requirements, which can readily be incorporated into
environmental, health, and safety regulations; budgets; expo-
a specification. Available surface preparation techniques for
sure environment; weather; or configuration and contaminants.
complete recoating include conventional dry abrasive blast
Thus, before choosing the coating system, it is useful to identify
cleaning (SSPC-SP 5/NACE No. 1, SSPC-SP 10/NACE No.
these pertinent factors.
2, SSPC-SP 6/NACE No. 3, SSPC-SP 14/NACE No. 8, and
SSPC-SP 7/NACE No. 4), wet abrasive blast cleaning, vacuum
8.2.2 Abrasive blast cleaning may require containment
blasting, and high- and ultrahigh pressure water jetting (SSPC-
controls due to air quality concerns or the need to avoid dust or
SP 12/ NACE No. 5). It is important to specify the degree of
abrasive rebound in sensitive areas. The presence of hazards
cleanliness and the surface profile (for blast cleaning), the
such as lead-based coatings on a structure will require special
degree of salt or contaminant remediation, and the need for
collection and containment devicesthe type of device being
solvent cleaning and/or water washing prior to blast cleaning.
largely determined by the extent of lead- based coating to
Waterjetting can neither alter nor create profile, but can expose
be removed. Site-specific regulations on the volatile organic
existing profile.
compound (VOC) content may exclude the use of previously
used coatings. . SSPC offers several training courses designed
An important consideration when blast cleaning is the
for craft workers, for example: C-7, Abrasive Blasting Program,
collection and disposal of blasting debris. SSPC-Guide 6
C-12, Airless Spray Basics, C-13, Water Jetting Program, Plural
provides guidance on the selection of the type of containment
Component Basics, and Floor Coating Basics. In addition,
based on the type of surface preparation being performed. It can
a joint standard for Industrial Coating and Lining Application
also be used to provide guidance on the level of containment
Specialist Qualification and Certification issued by SSPC and
that is necessary for a job. Guidance is provided on ventilation,
NACE International, establishes a body of knowledge and
air flow, and dust emissions. Guide 7 provides guidance on
evaluation criteria for qualifying coating applicators.

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

the disposal of hazardous surface preparation debris once it One important decision to be made is whether
has been contained and collected. abrasive blast cleaning will be used for spot repair mainte-
nance. Abrasive blasting may be used for brush-off cleaning
If the surface preparation techniques discussed herein (SSPC-SP 7/NACE No. 4) or industrial blast cleaning (SSPC-
cannot be used, it may be necessary to clean to a less desir- SP 14/NACE No. 8). To provide a higher level of cleaning with
able surface condition and to apply a coating system (primer, the total removal of rust and coating, SSPC-SP 6/NACE No.
intermediate, and topcoat) over a surface that is not completely 3 or greater may be specified for spot repair areas. Brush off
rust and coating free. In such instances, the primer must be blasting may be used to remove loose coating or rust. It or some
tolerant of the surface condition. Certain power tools are also other surface treatment may be necessary to obtain acceptable
capable of removing existing rust and coating (SSPC-SP 11 adhesion between the existing intact coating and the repair or
or SSPC-SP 15) but generally at much lower production rates. overcoating system. Great care must be exercised when spot
Coating system life expectancy is likely to decrease if the level blasting to avoid over-blast damage to adjacent intact coating
of surface preparation is lowered. that does not need to be blasted. Spot blasting is generally not
recommended for areas of repair of less than 1 square foot or
8.3.2 Select Coating Materials: The selection of the when the total repair is less than 5 to 10 percent of the total
coating system often involves two phases: first, identifying the surface area, unless a lesser degree of cleaning cannot be
generic types (e.g., epoxy/zinc-rich/polyurethane); and second, tolerated.
identifying the criteria for selecting materials. The specifica-
tion may utilize generic compositions, a qualified product list Alternatives to open spot blasting include hand
of proprietary materials, or other approaches. In the coating tool cleaning (SSPC-SP 2), conventional power tool cleaning
specification, the owner should describe the procedures for (SSPC-SP 3), commercial grade power tool cleaning (SSPC-
qualification and acceptance criteria for the coating materials. SP 15), special (profiling) power tool cleaning (SSPC-SP 11),
For qualification, the supplier may be required to furnish and vacuum or wet blasting methods. These methods may be
evidence of previous use of the coatings on similar structures, used easily with vacuum assists for containment.
or laboratory tests of physical properties, accelerated corrosion
and weathering properties, and application properties. These After spot cleaning, the cleaned areas are coated
properties should be certified by the manufacturer or an inde- with a primer that extends over the feathered edges of the
pendent laboratory. For new technology coatings, extensive intact coating to overlap them 2.5 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inches) onto
service data may not be available. The owner may also require the sound, intact coating. This will minimize edge lifting and
some verification that the material delivered to the job site is will provide a better appearance.
the same as that which was originally qualified.
8.4.2 Select Coating Materials for Spot Repair or Spot An important part of the specification is the coating Repair with Overcoating.
film thickness. Both a minimum and a maximum dry film thick-
ness should be specified (see SSPC-PA 2). The selection of the coatings will be determined
by the need for compatibility with the existing surfaces. Most The application methods are normally governed coatings are suitable for application to the bare metal areas
by the materials selected and are stipulated by coating manu- (i.e., spot-repaired areas), so the main concern is compat-
facturers on their data sheets. SSPC-PA 1 provides guidance ibility with the previous coating. See SSPC-TU 3 for detailed
for applicators that will supplement the manufacturers appli- instructions for performing and evaluating patch testing.
cation instructions. If there is a contradiction between the two
recommendations, that of the coating manufacturer should The selection of the coating materials for spot repair
take precedence. is guided by the same considerations as for full recoat. For spot
repair of small areas, a brushable primer is advantageous. It is
8.4 SELECT SURFACE PREPARATION METHODS also important that the primer be compatible with the existing
AND COATING MATERIALS FOR SPOT REPAIR OR SPOT intact coating because it is necessary to have the spot repair
REPAIR AND OVERCOATING overlap the intact coating. As an example, an organic zinc-
rich coating is normally used instead of an inorganic zinc-rich
8.4.1 Determine Techniques and Standards for Repair, coating for spot repair of a damaged inorganic zinc coating with
Surface Preparation, and Recoating an organic finish coat, because the inorganic zinc-rich coating
does not bond sufficiently to either organic or inorganic coat- When making spot repairs, it is necessary to deter- ings. Additional information on repair of damaged galvanized
mine the precise areas requiring repair. Areas where coating or inorganic zinc coatings is given in SSPC-Guide 14.
can be removed by moderate scraping with a dull putty knife
will require spot repair. Residual loose material will prevent The coatings selected for the full topcoat must be
proper spot repair. compatible with both the spot primer and the existing intact

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009 The requirements for application, film thickness, Some agencies require a one-year touchup provision as part
material qualifications, and acceptance criteria are the same of a contractors obligations in the contract to cover such
as those for applying a full recoat system. For spot repair, contingencies. Other warranted work should also be inspected
however, it is essential that the requirements for determining prior to expiration of the warranty.
which areas are to be repaired should be clear and definitive.
Discussion of these items should be included in the pre-bid 10.3 ESTABLISH SCHEDULES FOR CONDITION
and pre-job meetings. ASSESSMENT: In addition to periodic inspection, a structure
should be scheduled for a periodic condition assessment.
8.5 PREPARE SPECIFICATION Depending on the type of structure and the environment, the
first condition asssessment would normally be conducted
8.5.1 The job specification provides the basis for the cost about 5 years after the original application and every 3 years
and execution of the work. It is essential that the job specifi- thereafter. Specific rating sheets or parameters to be inspected
cation provide a complete description of the desired work by should be made available to inspection personnel. The condi-
prescribing specific procedures, processes, and materials or tion assessment should be similar to the survey data required
by describing the work product. The specification must also in Section 5 of this guide.
provide criteria for acceptance or rejection of work as well as
remedies for unacceptable work. 10.4 ENSURE PROPER DOCUMENTATION AND FILING
OF HISTORICAL INFORMATION: Before the job is officially
8.5.2 A job specification should be prepared using the accepted, it is necessary that all documentation be completed.
general format of the Construction Specification Institute The record of the daily inspection logs and the records of the
(CSI). Chapter 3 of The Inspection of Coatings and Linings: coatings procured, used, discarded, or disposed of should be
A Handbook of Basic Practice for Inspectors, Owners, and properly stored in the owner files. It should be verified that
Specifiers provides a description of the CSI format and its parts the retained samples of the coating are properly labeled and
or specific owners format requirements. Additional information stored for future reference.
for preparing a job specification for protective coating work can
be found in SSPC-TR 4/NACE 80200, Preparation of Protective 10.5 INSTITUTE PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE
Coatings Specifications for Atmospheric Service. Appendix MEASURES: In some cases, regular removal of contaminants
A provides additional information that should be considered can eliminate potential problems before they become severe.
during preparation of the job specification. Examples are chemical spills that might occur or concentrations
of de-icing salts. In some cases, moderate design changes can
9. Implement Maintenance Painting Options be made that will eliminate water or other chemicals collecting
(Step 5) in crevices or other areas vulnerable to corrosion attack.
Clean and coat the structure.
11. Notes
10. Plan and Implement Follow-up Activities
11.1. Numerous public and private entities have been
(Step 6) successful in using scheduled facility inspections, such as
bridge safety inspections, as the first cut in determining coating
10.1 BENEFITS OF FOLLOW-UP: An important part of a
condition. Depending on the processes used for such inspec-
maintenance coating program is to monitor the performance of
tions, it is feasible to train facility inspectors to perform surveys
the applied coatings system, for both short-term and long-term
that range from General Overview Condition Assessment to
effects. In the short term, certain inspections and follow-ups
Detailed Visual Inspection, as described in Section 5.3. It
are necessary to ensure that the contractor has fulfilled the
requires a relatively small additional inspection time to evaluate
requirements of the contract. For the long-term, there are
and record the ratings of individual structures or structural
certain beneficial measures that can be taken to minimize the
elements. This information will normally prove extremely valu-
onset of corrosion and information that can be collected that
able in evaluating maintenance painting options, especially
will facilitate future decisions on maintaining the structure.
in developing the most cost effective life-cycle maintenance
Inspection should be made of the structure within 6 to 12
12. Disclaimer
months after application especially in cases where there are
surfaces such as edges or bolts that will delaminate or rust
12.1 This guide is designed to describe, review, or analyze
within a short period due to difficult surface preparation or
new or improved technology and does not meet the definition
application, or especially severe service conditions. If these
of a standard as defined by SSPC. A guide differs from a stan-
areas are discovered and are corrected within the first year,
dard in that it is not suitable for referencing in a specification
the time interval until the next maintenance may be extended.
or procurement document.

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

12.2 While every precaution is taken to ensure that all SSPC Painting Manual, Volume 1Good Painting Practice
information furnished in SSPC guides is as accurate, complete, (Fourth Edition). Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC, 2002. (SSPC
and useful as possible, SSPC cannot assume responsibility Publication 02-14).
nor incur any obligation resulting from the use of any materials,
coatings, or methods described herein, or of the guide itself. SSPC Painting Manual, Vol. 2Systems & Specifications (Eighth
Edition), Selection of Coating Systems by Environmental
12.3 This guide does not attempt to address problems Zone. Pittsburgh, PA: SSPC, 2000. (SSPC Publication
concerning safety associated with its use. The user of this 00-10).
specification, as well as the user of all products or practices
described herein, is responsible for instituting appropriate SSPC-TU 1: Technology Update: Surface Tolerant Coatings.
health and safety practices and for ensuring compliance with Pittsburgh: SSPC, 1997. (SSPC Publication 97-20).
all governmental regulations.
Trimber, Kenneth A. Industrial Lead Paint Removal Handbook,
13. Bibliography 2nd ed. Pittsburgh, PA: KTA-Tator, Inc., 1993. (SSPC
Publication 93-02).
The following reference materials may contain useful
supplementary information: Trimber, Kenneth A. and Daniel P. Adley, CIH, CSP. Project
Design: Industrial Lead Paint Removal Handbook,
Appleman, Bernard R., Advances in Technology and Standards Volume II. Pittsburgh, PA: KTA-Tator, Inc., 1995. (SSPC
for Mitigating the Effects of Soluble Salts, Journal of Publication 95-06).
Protective Coatings & Linings, Vol. 19, No. 5, (May, 2002),
pp. 42-47. Appendix A. Other Considerations in Preparing
Contract Documents and Executing Mainte-
Appleman, Bernard R. Coating Over Soluble Salts: A nance Coating Projects
Perspective. Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings,
Vol. 4, No. 10, (October 1987), pp. 68-82. The items below are intended to provide the owners
representative with a summary of items to be considered when
Castler, L. Brian, Jayson L. Helsel, Michael F. MeLampy, and preparing contract documents and following up as the project
Eric Kline, Comparative Painting Costs. Steel Structures evolves.
Painting Manual, Vol. 1: Good Painting Practice, Chapter
well-planned and designed contract will benefit both the owner
Environmentally Acceptable Materials for Corrosion Protection and the contractor as follows:
of Steel Bridges, Appendix 1 from Environmental
Guidelines for Painting Practices. Washington DC: FHWA, Reduce the cost of the work to the owner.
1997. (FHWA Report RD-96-058). Provide clear expectations of work to be
Guide to Bridge Painting, FHWA TS-89-14. Washington DC: Eliminate unnecessary contingencies for the
Highway Administration, 1989. (SSPC Publication 89- contractor.
04). Provide for a smooth, trouble-free workflow without
costly interruptions.
Inspection of Coatings and Linings: A Handbook of Basic Identify and anticipate possible problems, avoid them
Practice for Inspectors, Owners, and Specifiers. Richard when possible, and provide means to resolve them
W. Drisko, and Judy Neugebauer, eds. Pittsburgh, PA: when they occur.
SSPC, 1997. (SSPC Publication 97-07). Complete the work safely.
Provide measurement and payment criteria.
PDCA Safety & Loss Control Manual., Fairfax, VA: Painting &
Decorating Contractors of America, 1984. A.2 ESTABLISH QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Protective Systems for Steel Bridges, Section 16.4, Bridge
Inspectors Training Manual 90, produced by Michael A.2.1 Pre-Qualification of Contracting Firms: Many
Baker, Jr., Inc. Washington DC: FHWA, 1991. FHWA- agencies have adopted guidelines or procedures for screening
PD-91-015. or pre-qualifying contractors based on references or actual job
evaluations. SSPC, through its Painting Contractor Certification

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

Program (PCCP), has established a program for certifying Practice provides additional guidance on safety issues in the
contractors. The QP 1 program is for field paint application, coating industry.
the QP 3 program is for shop application firms, and the QP 2
program is for the removal of hazardous coatings. In addition, A.5 HAZARDOUS WASTE: The owner shall notify the
numerous owners require that a contractor be bonded to cover contractor if lead, cadmium, chromium-containing paints or
the estimated cost of the work. other hazardous materials are to be removed. The contractor
should identify the requirements to remove lead, chromium,
A.2.2 Qualifications for Applicators and Blasters: or cadmium-containing paints, or other toxic materials. The
Some state and other agencies require that the applicators owner should also indicate the extent of responsibility of the
demonstrate their abilities to attain specified quality of cleaning contractor for generating, containing, collecting samples,
and coating application. ASTM D 4228, Standard Practice for testing, and disposing of hazardous waste.
Qualification of Coating Applicators for Application of Coatings
to Steel Surfaces may be used to qualify applicators. SSPC A.6 ACCESS FOR INSPECTION: The contractor should
offers several training courses designed for craft workers, for provide for reasonable access to the work for the owners
example: C-7, Abrasive Blasting Program, C-12, Airless Spray inspectors, including use of the contractors scaffolding, work
Basics, C-13, Water Jetting Program, Plural Component Basics, platforms, and safety apparatus.
and Floor Coating Basics. In addition, a joint standard for
Industrial Coating and Lining Application Specialist Qualification A.7 OWNER-FURNISHED ITEMS AND SERVICES: It is
and Certification issued by SSPC and NACE International, often necessary and/or economically beneficial to the owner to
establishes a body of knowledge and evaluation criteria for make various items and services available to the contractor.
qualifying coating applicators. These may include: laydown/storage areas, electric power,
potable water, restrooms, etc. For any utilities provided, the
A.2.3 Union or Labor Requirements: Some jurisdictions owner should identify locations, pressures, amounts, fittings,
may be restricted to union shops. voltages, and other pertinent operating details. The contractor
should identify any owner-furnished items or services.
EQUIPMENT: Identify all the steps that should be taken by A.8 WARRANTY/GUARANTEE: The most common
the contractor and/or owner to protect the existing plant facility warranty for coating work is a one-year warranty against defec-
and equipment from the planned operations. Establish hold tive materials and job quality. Extended period performance
points to verify that the proper protection is in place prior to warranties are becoming more common, and, when utilized,
proceeding with operations. Identify on plans or in the scope should be formulated to correlate with the specific coating
of work if the coating is or may be hazardous. systems selected. When warranties are utilized, it should be
clearly stated who is to be responsible for the warranty and
A.4 SAFETY REQUIREMENTS: All employers must what conditions will trigger the warranty repair, any required
prepare a safety plan, including both facility owners and contrac- inspection schedules, what is expected of the warranty repairs,
tors. When contractors are working at a particular facility, their etc.
site-specific safety plan must incorporate the relevant issues.
The safety plan used is likely to be an amalgamation of the stan- A.9 PERSONNEL AND COATING CONSUMPTION
dard safety plan of both the owner and the contractor. Depending RECORDS: Information regarding personnel resources and
upon the particular situation, the plan may be prepared by coating quantities can be beneficial in preparing cost estimates
the facility owner, the contractor, or by both working together, for similar work. Tracking mechanisms should be defined in
but it should be understood and approved by both parties. All the contract documents. Also, owners should request copies
employers must provide personal protective equipment (PPE), of contractor inspection reports and daily logs for their files.
including specific equipment such as respirators, and training
in its use. Safe working conditions are the responsibility of A.10 TYPE OF CONTRACT: The SSPC Painting Manual
the employer. Such responsibility is more easily defined at a Volume 1Good Painting Practice provides a detailed descrip-
fixed facility where all the workers are employed by the same tion of the types of contracts, bids, and proposals.
company than at a complex construction site where there are
many different companies working together. Nevertheless, A.11 ESTABLISH PROCEDURES FOR OWNER-
all safety precautions must be made, and it is the employers CONTRACTOR RELATIONS
responsibility to ensure that safety issues are recognized, and
the risks are minimized. Any details not completely understood A.11.1 Identification of Owner and Contractor
should be resolved in the pre-construction conference and at Representatives: The contractor and owner should each
subsequent other conferences. All HAZCOM requirements, appoint an authorized representative to whom all required
including labeling and material safety data sheets, must be notifications are given, through whom contract changes are
met. The SSPC Painting Manual Volume 1Good Painting

SSPC-PA Guide 5
September 1, 2002
Editorial Revisions March 1, 2009

processed, and who is responsible for contract coordination contractors are not familiar with the structure or the terms of
and resolution of non-conformances and other problems. the specifications. Some public agencies do not permit such
Ensure that all personnel are familiar with responsibilities and meetings because they feel that the additional travel expense
procedures and that the authorities of engineer, inspector, field is unfair to contractors from remote locations.
supervisor, and coating manufacturers representative are
defined. In particular, identify the person who is responsible A.14 REVIEW BID AND AWARD CONTRACT: This
for inspection and that persons affiliation (e.g., owners repre- operation is usually strictly governed by owner legal policies
sentative, third party, or other). Review procedures established and requirements. The contractor who has met the previous
for handling and disposing of waste. requirement with the lowest bid is generally awarded the
contract in the competitive bidding system.
A.11.2 Interface with Plant Operation: The contract
should identify all plant operations and operations of other A.15 PRE-JOB CONFERENCE: This meeting is held
contractors that will be ongoing in the work area. The contract between the owner and the contractor hired to do the job.
should outline how the coating work will interface with these Owners may need to include representatives from their internal
operations and what precautions will be necessary. Special safety and environmental departments in these meetings.
efforts should be made so that conflicting operations, such as The contractor should bring the field superintendent and the
welding and spray coating, do not occur simultaneously in the company principal or company representative. The purpose
same area. of this meeting is to review in detail the specific work assign-
ments, schedules, needs for coordination, and procedures
A.12 PREPARE CONTRACT AND SCHEDULE: It is for formal and informal communication. The conference must
useful to prepare a list of the various activities required in include a review of (1) the contractors working methods; (2)
securing the contracts and the time allotted for each of these. inspection hold points, test procedures, and criteria; and (3) the
Typical elements of this schedule are as follows: authorities and responsibilities of different individuals involved
a. Prepare Contract Documents in the work. Any agreements reached at this conference, or
b. Notice Inviting Proposals other subsequent owner/contractor conferences, should be
c. Pre-Bid Conference written down and signed by both parties, so that they become
d. Pre-Bid Demonstration/Inspection part of the contract. Any differences not resolved in advance
e. Proposal Due Date may result in costly change orders later. The pre-construction
f. Post-Bid Meetings and Clarifications conference should also include a visit to the work site to ensure
g. Negotiations, if allowed that conditions there do not deviate from the descriptions in
h. Contract Award the specification, and to identify safety hazards, facilities, and
i. Pre-Job Conference/Demonstration equipment that require protection or special care, and safety
j. Contract Start Date and emergency systems available. Significant site differences
k. Contract Termination Date from those in the specification constitute one of the leading
l. Owner Acceptance Date causes of project change orders.
m. Warranty Date
SPECIFICATION: Either the owner or the contractor may
Specific sample clauses for these and other details required procure the coatings. In either case, it is necessary to verify
in obtaining contracts may be found in SSPC-TR 4/NACE that the coatings meet the specification. The owners inspector
80200. should verify that the agreed-upon coating materials supplied
to the job site are properly labeled, that proper certifications
A.13 ARRANGE AND CONDUCT PRE-BID have been obtained, and that samples are retained for testing
CONFERENCE: All prospective or qualified bidders are invited by the owners laboratory, an independent laboratory, or for
to attend a meeting with the owners representative to review the future reference. Any exceptions or replacements should be
bid package. This review would normally include an explanation noted. Pre-sampling, testing, and approval prior to shipment
of the surface cleaning and application requirements, the nature can help assure that approved material arrives on the job. This
of the structure, its condition, access to the structure, special can help prevent job delays.
restrictions (e.g., on blast cleaning safety requirements), and
answer any questions the contractor might have. Ordinarily, A.18 Quality Assurance/Quality Control: Quality
an actual visit to the structures or facility to be coated should Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) are important
be required. Many contractors are reluctant to attend pre-bid parts of any maintenance program. The purpose of the QA/
meetings because of the cost and time, or simply because they QC program is to ensure that the processes and work prod-
do not want to let their interests be known. For major and critical ucts are in conformance with the specified criteria. The CSI
projects, experienced owners often make pre-bid attendance specification format includes QC under Part 3. Execution.
mandatory because it eliminates problems that occur when The CSI approach requires the contractor to execute the QC

program. The contractor is responsible for quality control. The
processes need to be verified, which requires the contractor to
perform various inspection functions related to the QC effort.
The owner is responsible for quality assurance and should
be functioning to provide this assurance role. In other words,
the owner should assure that the contractor is providing the
necessary quality control. (This concept is often misinterpreted
as meaning the QC program will be executed by the owner,
utilizing in-house personnel or independent third party inspec-
tors, with the contractor providing no quality control effort.)
Qualified personnel are essential to the execution of the QC
as well as the QA program. Qualified inspector qualification
programs, such as SSPCs Protective Coatings Inspector
Program, Bridge Coating Inspector Program or equivalent
for individual inspectors, or SSPC-QP 5 for coating and lining
inspection companies, are excellent tools for obtaining qualified
inspectors. The inspectors can be utilized in either a quality
control role or a quality assurance role. The content of the QC
program as described in the specification is also important.
The QC program must include appropriate methods and tools
with suitable references. Inspection frequency, distribution, and
data analysis methods must also be described. The correct
amount of inspection is important. Inadequate inspection may
not identify serious deficiencies. There are numerous guides,
such as Inspection of Coatings and Linings: A Handbook of
Basic Practice for Inspectors, Owners, and Specifiers, the
SSPC Guide for Planning Coating Inspection and ASTM D
3276, which may be used to develop project-specific coating
inspection plans. Over-inspection may increase the cost of the
coating project while returning little or no additional benefits.