While not back to pre-recession levels, the U.S. economic situation is certainly looking brighter. According to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors, new-home sales are at a five-year high. Total existing-home sales this year will be 10 percent higher than 2012, reaching more than 5.1 million, and are likely to hold even in 2014. This is good news for exterior architectural coatings manufacturers, who rely on both existing homeowners repainting and new home construction for their business to grow.
“We are certainly seeing positive growth in the exterior architectural coatings market and this is being fueled by an improved housing market and increased consumer confidence,” said Ethan Opolion, product manager at Dunn-Edwards. “The rebound in construction activity is a key driving force in this improvement.”
“According to the U.S. Paint and Coatings Market report, from August 29, 2013, U.S. demand for paint and coatings is forecast to reach 1.5 billion gallons in 2017,” added Opolion. “This is a large gain from the volume declines recorded during the 2007-2012 period. These gains will be further supported by an improved economic outlook and greater consumer confidence.”
As the housing market improves, property owners – both single family and multi-family, are more likely to repaint the exterior of their properties.“Exterior painting projects tend to be more expensive and a little more complex than interior projects, so when the housing marker was down, property owners would prioritize repainting the interior before doing the exterior,” said Colin Jaffe, senior vice president of pro sales for professional products and services at Behr Process Corp.
“We see momentum building for both residential and commercial exterior projects, not just for repainting, but also for new construction projects,” Jaffe added.
“Yes, certainly improvements in the housing market are having a positive impact,” agreed Karl Schmitt, vice president of marketing research and design at Sherwin-Williams. “There are more housing starts and we are seeing a positive impact on the exterior architectural coatings market. In addition, to housing starts, we are also seeing a positive trend with existing homes. As more people stay in their home longer they are using more exterior architectural coatings.”
“We anticipate that the improvements we are seeing will have a positive impact on the exterior architectural coatings market, although painting typically lags the Housing Starts Index by 6 to 12 months,” added Laurie Forbush, brand manager at PPG. “We do expect a recovery in the U.S. as we are seeing the key economic indicators moving in a more positive direction. We believe the recovery pace will be relatively slow, but steady, over the next one to five years.”
Sherwin-Williams, through its Product Finishes Division, provides coatings for exterior siding and windows to both the new build and remodeling markets. “Typically known as machine finishes, they are in demand for the building and remodeling market due to their ability to offer consistent quality,” said Chuck Susnis, market development director, wood and composite building products, Sherwin-Williams Product Finishes. “They are cost effective versus on-site painting or finishing, and weather conditions become a non-factor. They also allow customers to obtain custom colors on demand; builders and lumber yards do not need to carry a large color palette on hand, reducing inventory and costs. The coatings can be supplied to finishers on a just-in-time basis, typically within 10 days or less for delivery. The remodeling market has remained strong over the past year, and new build is gaining steam.”
Green Building Fuels Growth
As this issue goes to press the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) will be launching v4, the newest version of LEED. First introduced in 2000, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a green building tool that addresses the entire building lifecycle recognizing best-in-class building strategies. As LEED and the green building movement continue to gain momentum, exterior coatings manufacturers are devoting considerable time to developing coatings to meet these industry standards.
While there are several elements of green building, according to Jaffe, the three that have an impact on the coatings industry are energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality and efficient use of materials and resources. As such, specific features, such as biodegradability, water solubility and product durability – resulting in less material used– are in demand.
To meet growing industry standards, Behr’s R&D labs work closely with raw materials suppliers to determine how to help meet customers’ project requirements while delivering products that adhere to recognized certifications. “For example, the wetting and dispersing agents we use are being converted to emission-free, ammonia-free, VOC-free versions and the preservatives in Behr products are formaldehyde- and heavy metal-free,” said Jaffe. “Additionally, the zero-VOC products and durable stain-resistant interior paints we offer improve indoor environmental quality by eliminating exposure to chemicals, reducing the amount of coats required and extending product life.”
In recent years, Behr has worked to meet and support green building requirements. In addition to releasing a zero-VOC version of widely-used self-priming paint, Behr Premium Plus, 77 percent of all Behr Process Corporation products sold in 2012 were certified by MPI GreenGuard and/or GreenSeal. Also earlier this year the company added another zero-VOC product line under the Kilz Pro-X 300-Series label.
“By engineering our products to last longer and reducing the number of coats required during the painting process, we’ve made a gallon stretch much farther than it used to,” added Jaffe. “To this end, coatings that demonstrate extreme durability and excellent coverage Behr Marquee Exterior Paint and Primer and Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior Paint and Primer In One optimize material efficiency and offer a ‘do more with less’ solution to customers.”
PPG has a wide variety of low- and no-VOC products that meet or exceed environmental standards, such as Greenguard or the Collaborative for High Performing Schools (CHPS). “In addition, our architectural representatives are LEED Accredited professionals and can assist with LEED specifications, waste management and compliance regarding VOC emissions at the local level,” said Forbush. “We were also the first national paint supplier to introduce a container recovery program allowing customers to return any five-gallon plastic paint buckets used for water-based products to most of our store locations. The pails are then consolidated and sent to distribution centers for shredding and recycling. In addition to its environmental benefits, this program reduces customer costs by eliminating the need to pay for empty-pail disposal”
Dunn-Edwards’ Greener by Design mission is to provide the best performing paint and related suppliers by preserving the environment, conserving energy and material resources and protecting human health and safety.
Dunn-Edwards offers a variety of low- and zero-VOC paints, zero-VOC colorants, ethylene glyco (EG)-free paint and coatings produced in the world’s first LEED Gold-certified manufacturing plant.
Sherwin-Williams provides coatings with improved performance to enhance durability and reduce the need to recoat. “We are a leader in reducing VOCs and HAPs and offer a wide variety of waterborne and high solids coatings to meet regulatory needs,” said Susnis. “Many of our coatings for exterior building products are available with Solar Reflective Technology for heat-sensitive substrates, formulated to repel heat in dark colors in order to resist warping and bowing when exposed to solar rays.”
“We have a lot of products that not only meet the 2009 LEED standard, but also meet the v.4 requirement,” added Schmitt.
“We also have a green guide on our web site www.swgreenspecs.com to help our partners meet these standards. We literally update the content on a daily basis. “
Sherwin-Williams recently introduced KemAqua BP Siding Plus, a product for the OEM and machine finish siding market. “It provides excellent aesthetics for the homeowner,” said Susnis. “Builders and remodelers can count on its durability and can choose from a wide range of color options. Ease of application, a strong finish coat that dries quickly and low VOCs make it an excellent choice for finishers and siding manufacturers.”
Sherwin-Williams’ Emerald exterior paint delivers best-in-class overall performance and industry-leading technology for premium paint jobs that require beauty and durability, according to the company. Emerald exterior features crosslinking 100 percent acrylic technology that delivers durability and hide, while its VinylSafe technology allows darker colors to be painted over vinyl siding without concern for warping or buckling. The paint also provides resistance to blistering, peeling, fading and dirt pickup, with a mildew-resistant coating.
BehrPro has launched two new exterior coatings—Behr Marquee Exterior Paint and Primer and Behr Premium Deckover coating. Both products incorporate a variety of innovative and advanced features and offer durable, long lasting protection, according to the firm.
Behr Marquee Exterior Paint and Primer showcases Behr’s most advanced technology to deliver world-class durability paired with superior UV protection for longer lasting color, according to the company. After significant research and development, the Marquee Exterior Paint and Primer has been specifically designed to provide the professional marketplace with a premium product that resists dirt and fading, while maintaining its finish in environments with rain, snow, wind, UV exposure and other extreme weather conditions. Specialized polymers in the 100 percent acrylic formula provide a tough, non-stick surface, helping to prevent dirt adhesion and maintain the appearance of exterior surfaces under the most challenging environments. The dual paint and primer also offers early rain resistance, allowing for painting later in the wet season. When using the Marquee product, the film resists rain after 60 minutes without run off or visible film defects.
Behr Premium Deckover exterior solid color coating revives old weathered wood and concrete surfaces. Featuring a 100 percent acrylic resin fused with ceramic microspheres, Behr Premium Deckover coating creates a durable, mildew-resistant finish that enables professionals to restore and maintain areas, such as decks, railings, walkways, patios and more.
Behr Premium Deckover exterior coating is intended for both horizontal and vertical applications. Additionally, the product can cover up to 50 square feet in just two coats, while still concealing splinters and cracks up to ¼”. The resulting smooth, slip-resistant finish offers added resistance to cracking and peeling. The solid color coating is available in a diverse palette that offers professionals 54 custom color options.
Dunn-Edwards offers Acri-Wall, a line of professional, zero VOC, low-odor paints that are ideally suited for use on new residential, commercial and multi-tenant housing projects.
Dunn-Edwards also recently introduced Ultrashield, a new line of interior/exterior, high performance coatings. These three new paints and two new primers are zero-VOC, very low odor and free of hazardous air pollutants (HAP). New products in the line include a paint and primer for metal. Ultrashield DTM Semi-Gloss is a direct-to-metal coating that provides excellent corrosion resistance on steel, galvanized steel and aluminum substrates. For maximum protection against corrosion, use new Ultrashield DTM Gray Primer. Both of these products are intended for metal substrates only. They are both very low odor, HAPS free, and safe for use in occupied areas such as hospitals, hospitality and entertainment projects.
Also added to the Dunn-Edwards line are Ultrashield Interior/Exterior Low Sheen and Gloss, ideal coatings for a wide range of surfaces, including drywall, wood, masonry, metal, as well as equipment and tanks. Both the Low Sheen and Gloss are mar resistant and provide exceptional resistance to UV exposure. For those hard-to-stick to surfaces, Ultrashield Multi-Surface Primer exhibits outstanding adhesion to masonry, metal, galvanized metal, wood, plaster, wallboard, and previously coated surfaces.
PPG recently introduced a new house and trim paint – Speed Cryl Exterior Latex. It is specially formulated to meet the needs of high volume new home and multi-family projects. Speed Cryl is a professional quality 100 percent acrylic exterior latex that provides an economical option for good adhesion, hiding and coverage on a variety of exterior substrates, according to the company. It is specifically formulated to meet the professional application needs of high volume new home, multi-family and large repaint projects. It offers a full body feel and provides a good balance of build capabilities and sag resistance for spray, brush, or roll application. In 2013 PPG also added to its new Speedhide zero product line with a Satin finish offering.