According to the Federal Highway Administration, between 75 and 80 percent of premature coating failures result from insufficient surface preparation or coating application. These failures can have costly consequences, unnecessarily so, which can be mitigated by scheduling a third-party independent NACE-certified coating inspection. These services help to protect your financial investment from the start.

The coating inspector will pay special attention to any challenging areas, inspect the existing structure, consider service exposure and other essential factors to identify the best surface preparations and coatings that are compatible with your project. They will also review the manufacturer’s guidelines to determine the best application method. The inspector will specifically look for the following conditions:

  • Inappropriate coating type for the substrate
  • Adhesion using the tape or another test
  • Blistering or peeling paint
  • Uneven paint thickness
  • Abrasive chemicals
  • Oxidization
  • Corrosion

These conditions may require specialized approaches, which is just one of the many reasons for varying surface preparation requirements. Surface preparation refers to preparing the surface for a new coating application or painting on the substrate. The inspector will then outline the correct steps for preparing your project for coating application in his or her written report. 

Written Documentation and Reports

The NACE-certified coating inspection requires accurately and objectively documenting all discussions and surface conditions and reporting the results. Any provided instructions, captured images, and test results are also included in the report. Once the inspector has completed a thorough on-site inspection, a comprehensive report will be provided, identifying any problems and recommended solutions for corrective action.

These inspectors possess expertise in the protective/specialty coatings and painting field. By staying informed on the latest coating technologies, surface preparation, and test methods, they can also create clear coating or paint application specifications that align with your exact project specifications and scope of work.

Schedule a NACE-Certified Coating Inspection Today

RFI Consultants is an Arizona-based, veteran-owned small business operating as an independent NACE-certified coating inspection and consulting company.

Our company exists to provide coating inspections to minimize the risk of premature or catastrophic coating failures. These coverings must be applied to commercial and industrial surfaces under the correct specification, conditions, and manufacturer’s guidelines. Some of the industrial markets we serve include:

  • Pipelines
  • Infrastructure
  • Sports stadiums
  • Parking structures
  • Commercial buildings
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Food and beverage plants
  • Wastewater treatment facilities

To learn more about our coating inspection and consulting services, or for more information on our coatings-related educational courses, please contact us at (480) 560-7182.


“FHWA Field Manual for Bridge Paint Inspection.” Federal Highway Administration.