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Prologis has the largest portfolio of logistics real estate in the world. As of June 2021, Prologis owned or had investments in properties and development projects expected to total 995 million square feet in 19 countries.

Within their impressive portfolio of properties is 21705 Mississippi in Elwood, IL. With over 1 million square feet under one roof, this precast exterior would be no simple feat.

Scope of Work & Challenges Faced

In August 2021, Prologis chose PPD Painting to execute the exterior caulking, priming, and painting of this massive building. Oh yeah, and it needed to be completed before the weather changed…

Occupied by a logistics freight company, the warehouse has considerable traffic in and out of its 254 truck docks. PPD’s first order of business was to meet with the tenant’s traffic management team and coordinate a schedule around the busy location to ensure both the safety of everyone on site and minimize disruption to the ongoing operations around the building.

The scope of work included a high-pressure wash to remove loose paint around the building, removal and replacement of 428 deteriorating vertical caulk joints and backer rod, a full prime coat, and painting of the precast masonry. The scope of the project also included the painting of a multitude of different ancillary services, including:

  • Entrance Door Awnings
  • Bollards
  • Metal Railings
  • Concrete Staircases
  • Metal Staircases
  • 2 Sections of Guard Rail
  • Building Mounted Fire Equipment & Hydrants
  • Gas Pipes
  • Mail Box Post
  • Rail Dock Angle Iron & Stops
  • Light Poles
  • Installing New Vinyl Dock Numbers

Paint often peels and for a variety of reasons, but what made this project challenging was the sheer amount of flaking and peeling paint on the exterior of the 1 million square foot building.

At the time of our initial walkthrough, our estimator identified a significant adhesion issue with the existing coating. In some areas, the existing coating has so poorly adhered that it could be scraped off with as little as your fingernail.

Painting Preparation Process

To properly clean and prepare the surface for its new coating, PPD’s team utilized a minimum of 4,000-psi high-pressure washers. These machines helped blast off the existing coating that has not properly adhered, giving the new coating a strong surface to bond to.

Safety is a priority on every single one of our projects. Our crew members utilized a variety of sizes of straight & articulating boom lifts to access every inch of the building.  The painters wore a harness while operating the lifts, provided proper hazard communication, and used safety cones to identify and mark off work areas.

After the power washing was complete, the PPD team needed to remove and replace 428 failing caulk joints. They did so by using knives to cut out and remove the failing caulk and existing backer rod.

Once the old joints were removed and the surfaces scraped and cleaned, a new backer rod and Loxon S1 One Component Smooth Polyurethane Sealant were installed in each joint around the building. PPD chose this product because it is versatile, durable, resilient, and adheres to a variety of substrates. It is also highly resistant to extreme weather, water, and chemical buildup.

Commercial Warehouse Painting Process

The painting crew then began painting on the west side of the building before moving simultaneously to the north and south sides. To ensure the maximum life span of the coating system, PPD applied Sherwin-Williams Loxon Concrete & Masonry Primer to the exterior concrete panels around the entire building. This product is a high-performance acrylic coating, designed specifically for sealing and adhering to concrete surfaces and defending against harsh weather.

After the painting was complete, PPD replaced 256 loading dock numbers. To accomplish the task, PPD worked with the ER2 image group in Chicago to create vinyl decals that would adhere to the exterior of the building and hold up to the rough weather conditions found in the Chicago area.   
To wrap up the project, the team painted the various ancillary surfaces that needed repainting including bollards, doors, railing, and fire hydrants. After 3,000+ man-hours of meticulous work, the rest was, in the words of PPD’s foreman, Joe Cherven, “touch-up and pack-up”!