Why Measuring the Mil Thickness of Your Deck Coating is Important


At Pecora, we truly believe that no matter that size of the project, one of the most important aspects of the job is quality control through application testing. At any level of application, proper testing methods ensure product success, structural endurance, and most importantly, a happy customer. There are various tests that can be conducted across all three of our product offerings (sealants, deck coatings, air barriers), some include: proper adhesion testing, moisture content of concrete test, equipment testing, and pull off adhesion strength. This week we discuss the deck coating field inspection and test procedure: measuring the wet mil thickness of your coating. 

In manufacturing, mil thickness is a common measurement unit to describe the thickness of materials in thousands of an inch (1 mil=0.001 inch). Measuring the mil thickness of your deck coating is important to ensure quality control throughout each stage of the application process. This will allow for adjustment of the coating if it is too heavy or too light (americanweatherstar.com). In order to measure the mil thickness, we must first apply the product.

Pecora offers a range of deck coating systems for various project application specifications. Selecting a particular system may determine the number of times a mil thickness test is performed. The Pecora-Deck Pedestrian System is typically applied in three coats: Primer, Base Coat, and Top Coat with Aggregate; the Vehicular System is typically applied in four coats: Primer, Base Coat, Intermediate Coat with Aggregate, and Top Coat; the Re-Coat System is typically applied in two coats: Primer and Top Coat (with aggregate if needed); and the HB1000 High Build System is typically applied in three coats: Primer, Base Coat, and High Build Top Coat with Aggregate.

After preparing the surface by assessing the need to repair any cracks (if applying to concrete), perform a moisture test to ensure optimal conditions exist prior to application (if applying to concrete), and primer has been applied, the first coat may be installed. It is important to remember to follow all manufacturing application guidelines when applying a deck coating or any product. These guidelines will provide the appropriate mil thickness to use when applying the product.

To conduct the test, simply take a wet mil gauge and place it into the wet coating that was just applied. When you lift the mil gauge you will see the teeth of the gauge, which display varying levels of mil thickness, covered in the coating. Depending on what the test garners, this will determine if adjustments need to be made to the coating if applied too thin or too thick. The test is that simple. Apply the next coating layer and repeat the test again. Pecora offers free mil gauges for customers, please reach out to our Marketing Department to request a few marketingcommunications@pecora.com

For more information, or the right deck coating application recommendations for your project, we urge you to contact our Pecora Corporation Technical Services Group. Our expert team is highly qualified to recommend the proper solution and perform testing between Pecora’s products and jobsite samples. Our Technical Services staff offers training in product technology and use, provides the technical assistance you require in the planning and implementation of your project. They can be reached by email techservices@pecora.com or by phone (800)-523-6688.

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