Hi-Lite removed nearly 3 million SF of built-up algae at Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport & Technology Center (BKV) in Western, Florida. BKV battled with algae, which was affecting the visibility of their airfield markings.
"Concrete surfaces at BKV looked like asphalt", pointed out Airport Supervisor Rob Mills. Hi-Lite used a 20,000 PSI waterblaster along with AEROGREEN 4025 Mold, Mildew, and Algae cleaner to eradicate algae and clean the surface. After the surface was cleaned, Hi-Lite re-installed markings using an airport paint truck and standard waterborne paint. Hi-Lite's experts mention that the work done by "Hi-Lite caused zero disturbances to BKV operations and the cleaning was so effective it seems like BKV got a new airfield." BKV expects to be mildew-free for the next 10 years.
For professionals in the airfield industry, markings covered by any type of contaminants are considered nonfunctional markings. BKV was in desperate need to bring their markings back to life without painting on top of mildew, which could lead to paint build-up and FOD. Surface preparation is the most important activity to consider when repainting. Surface preparation will definitely guarantee a better bond between the surface and the paint. Removing old layers of paint is a best practice that will protect the integrity of the pavement and diminish the risk for FOD. By removing contaminants such as mildew, airports also reduce the risk of runway incursions and excursions as mildew is equally or more slippery than rubber under raining conditions.
A cleaner airfield improves the curb appeal of facilities, mitigates danger by allowing pilots to see markings, and slows pavement deterioration. Hi-Lite encourages airport operators to take a proactive approach by simply cleaning and washing markings covered with algae and re-installing markings only in the areas without full integrity of thickness, color, glass bead embedment and tolerance dimensions as dictated by regulatory specifications. This proactive approach can provide considerable savings in airports' maintenance budgets and decrease downtime. Mills was pleased with the results of the painting and indicates that "the paint is holding up well and no algae are creeping through." In addition Mills mentions that "It may take another 10 years before we have them (Hi-Lite) cleaned again", "we are very happy," he adds.