Ready for Africa

Silicone resin emulsion paints are the most effective and durable architectural coatings, with a track record in Europe of over 50 years. With support from WACKER, Crown Paints, a Kenyan company, recently launched the first formulations aimed at the African market.

High-Performance Coatings for High Durability: Silicone resin emulsion paints and plasters based on SILRES® BS unite the advantages of emulsion and silicate paints: they are both water-repellent and water-vapor permeable. As a result, hardly any moisture penetrates into the wall from the outside or inside, yet the facade can breathe by allowing water vapor to escape.

Every house is defined by its exterior. A spotless, fresh facade is attractive and inviting. But to keep its good looks over the years the house must defy the ravages of the elements – and that calls for efficient paints and renders. These not only give the front of the house an individual note, but also provide lasting protection against the elements – sun, wind and, in particular, rain. In countries with high rainfall, high atmospheric humidity or strong sunlight – like in sub-Saharan Africa – outer walls must be protected against water and the resulting damage. “SREPs are the highest quality and most effective coatings for exterior walls currently available on the market, but had been hardly used in Africa until now,” explains Sebastian Hock, Marketing Manager at WACKER in Munich.

That has now changed. Silicone resin emulsion paints are all set to give Africa's houses a face-lift and to provide all-round protection for exterior walls.

Extreme Weather

In late 2014, Kenya-based Crown Paints, with support from WACKER's experts, became the first paint maker to add the premium-quality paints to its range. “The weather in this East African country varies enormously: Its western part receives six times as much precipitation as Northern Europe,” says Anoop D’Souza, a sales manager for Middle East & Africa at WACKER in Dubai. “Almost everywhere else in this country, it is extremely dusty.” In the East, there is also a salty breeze from the Indian Ocean. Buildings must be protected against these natural enemies – particularly water. After all, “Defects that allow moisture to penetrate the surface are to be found on all exterior walls,” explains WACKER manager Sebastian Hock. Barely visible hairline cracks provide a route for moisture to seep into the building fabric, where it causes damage such as spalling and salt efflorescence. Permanently damp exterior walls are an ideal breeding ground for micro-organisms such as algae and fungi. They also make it easier for soot particles and acid rain to wreak havoc with the building’s skin.