"> Tilt-Up Basics: Panel Finishing
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Building with Tilt-Up

Tilt-Up Basics: Panel Finishing

Panel finishes are limited only by the creativity of the architect and the abilities of the contractor.

Common sandblasted or exposed aggregate finishes can be done immediately after panel erection. Painting, however, must wait until partial curing has taken place and residue from the bond breaker has been removed.

Most Tilt-Up concrete panels have an uneven or splotchy appearance when first stripped. These splotches usually fade after time. Uneven bond breaker application, standing water, slab porosity, and other factors can produce this effect. Sandblasting eliminates most of these inconsistencies. Washing also can improve appearance, but most Tilt-Up panels are eventually painted.

Before cleaning and painting panels, caulk joints and correct significant imperfections. The most frequently used paints are acrylic-based. Textured paints can be used for special effects. Banding or striping is a popular technique to produce variety and interest in Tilt-Up buildings. Reveals or recesses cast into the panel often are painted a contrasting or darker color for accent. The trompe l'oeil, or “fool-the-eye,” effect is quite striking and popular.

About the TCA

Founded in 1986, the Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) strives to improve the quality and acceptance of site-cast Tilt-Up construction, a method in which concrete wall panels are cast on-site and tilted into place. Tilt-Up construction is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States, combining the advantages of reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. At least 10,000 buildings, enclosing more than 650 million square feet, are constructed each year using this construction method.

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