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Veterans Affairs Hospital –
Des Moines, Iowa

Since 1952, Veterans Affairs Central Iowa Healthcare System in Des Moines, Iowa has been improving the health of the men and women who have so proudly served our nation. The medical center provides acute and specialized medical and surgical services; residential outpatient treatment programs in substance abuse and post-traumatic stress and a full range of mental health and long-term care services, as well as sub-acute and restorative rehabilitation services and a domiciliary.

 

During 2011, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs allocated stimulus funds to the Des Moines facility to address years of maintenance neglect due to budget cuts and abate the facility from lead based coatings Controlled Asbestos from Ankeny, IA was awarded the project and Aaron DeCamp served as the Project Manager to safely and effectively restore the 330 bed facility which services more than 184,000 veterans living in 56 counties within Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 1. The Veterans Affairs Central Iowa Healthcare System in Des Moines, Iowa was constructed during the 1940’s and underwent an extensive exterior renovation during 2011 to abate the facility from lead based coatings; repair and repaint the wood windows and trim surrounding the property.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 2 Illustrates the scope-of-work and paint failures caused by not performing routine maintenance painting and repairs. Do to the severity of the paint failures and the existence of lead based coatings, the wood substrates needed to have all of the coatings completely removed to achieve proper surface preparation in order to avoid future paint failures and insure adhesion.

 

Challenge

The lack of routine maintenance painting and repairs prompted this extensive exterior renovation. Architects were challenged to remove past painting systems that included lead based coatings in order to avoid future paint failures and insure adhesion. The existing coatings needed to be completely removed for safety, needed repairs, aesthetics, and to achieve a sound substrate to be primed and painted using water based systems. Nearly every square foot was failing or had scares of past paint failures; resulted a challenging combination of coatings to be removed that ranged between 15 to 30 plus coats depending on the elevation and weather exposure. Most importantly, this is an extremely active Veterans Affairs Hospital, the restoration process could not expose patients and pedestrians to harmful lead dust and debris.

 

Application

After conducting numerous “Test Patches” on various wood substrates and elevations, it was determined that Peel Away® 1 Heavy Duty Paint Remover was the optimal paint removal product for this project. Do to the vast range of coating combinations and the number of coats, Peel Away® 1 was trowel applied ¼” thick and used in conjunction with the Peel Away® Paper. After the paper, paste, and coatings were removed with plastic scrapers to avoid gauging the wood substrates, the emulsified residue was wiped clean with a minimal amount of water. The wood substrates were then neutralized using our Citri-Lize™ Neutralizer and Mill Glaze Remover. Dwell times varied between 8-24 hours depending on the number of coats, coating combinations, and surface temperatures.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 3. Results of Peel Away® 1 Heavy Duty Paint Remover; depending on the elevation and weather exposure, Peel Away® 1 effectively removed between 15 to 30 plus coats of paint in a single application.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 4. Illustrates the challenging scaffolding configuration; the entrance ways into the facility are constructed with irreplaceable wood column’s and a variety of decorative molding. Peel Away® 1 Heavy Duty Paint Remover effectively removed multiple layers of paint ranging between 30 to 45 coats where the paint from past applications had puddled or ponded into the intricate detail.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 5. Illustrates the neutralization process; using our Citri-Lize™ Neutralizer and Mill Glaze Remover through a garden sprayer.

 

Veterans Affair Hospital Exterior Renovation

Figure 6. Illustrates the neutralized wood substrate; the surface was sufficiently cleaned from all paint residue, after properly applying and rinsing the Ctri-Lize™ Neutralizer and Mill Glaze Remover, the pH of the substrate was reduced from 13 to 8. After allowing the substrate to dry thoroughly, it was then primed and painted.

 

 

 

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