A Performance Evaluation and Assessment of Mineral Silicate Coatings for the Restoration of the Exterior Concrete at Jackson Lake Lodge

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Jackson Lake Lodge
potassium silicate stains
Mid-Century Modern
coating duriability
Historic Preservation and Conservation
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Prah, Araba

This thesis focuses on the evaluation of the durability of potassium silicate coating on concrete surfaces, in particular the exterior concrete walls at Jackson Lake Lodge located in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. The main building on the site, the Central Lodge, is a large 61 year old structure that is in need of a new architectural coating to prolong its service. This structure, once dubbed the ugliest building in America, is now cherished and appreciated for its significance in ushering in a new era of Modernist-style buildings constructed within National Parks. Because the pH of the concrete walls has fallen to 7, the original architectural coating—acid stains—is not a viable option to recoat the structure. New coatings must be explored such as mineral silicates. Comprised of a waterglass solution and inorganic pigments, mineral silicate coatings impart a durable colored finish to cementitious and silica-rich substrates. Developed in Europe, mineral silicate paints and stains have been around for over 150 years. Recently this coating system has gained traction in the United States for its durability and performance enhancing properties. This testing program used a variety of analytical methods (such as accelerated weathering, spectrophotometry, water vapor transmission rate tests, water immersion tests, RILEM tube tests, contact angle measurements, and pH readings) to evaluate the color durability, water vapor permeability, and liquid water repellency characteristics of potassium mineral silicate coatings. This evaluation was conducted to determine if potassium silicate coatings can be viable alternative architectural finish to restore the original appearance of the Central Lodge, while improving the performance of the concrete.

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Suggested Citation: Prah, Araba (2017). A Performance Evaluation and Assessment of Mineral Silicate Coatings for the Restoration of the Exterior Concrete at Jackson Lake Lodge. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
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