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SlideRenu versus Gel-Coat and Epoxy



SlideRenu Versus Gel-Coat and Epoxy Resurfacing


Gel coat resins are epoxy polyester resins that degrade at a much faster rate than SlideRenu® finish coatings; Color Shield and Clear Shield. This is because gel coat cannot be formulated to utilize the most technically advanced polymer chlorine resistant resins, inorganic pigments, high-density UV blockers, adhesion promoters and gloss enhancers that are included in the SlideRenu® formula. As a result, gel coat prematurely fades, oxidizes, chalk, cracks and looks dull within 1-2 years!

Microscopically, gel coat is very porous, soft and shrinks when exposed to the UV rays of the sun over a long period of time. Gel coat contains styrene, a very hazardous chemical that causes "blooming" or the loss of color in the pigment. The blooming or oxidation process is the result of waxes, polishes, body oils and suntan/sunscreen lotions clogging these pores and reacting with the UV rays of the sun turning these surface contaminants into an acid which attacks the colored pigment. Once gel coat oxidizes, it is nearly impossible to restore the gel coat surface to its like-new color appearance because the color pigment has been permanently damaged by the UV rays of the sun.

Most gel coat applicators use a gel coat enamel or PUR/POLY gel coat which has much poorer performance characteristics than the original gel coat used by the OEM during the manufacturing of the fiberglass water slide. Some of the newly formulated PUR/POLY gel coats use a "brittle" crystalline polyurethane system which is susceptible to cracking and turns yellow.

  • SlideRenu® Clear Shield and Color Shield are polyurethane/urea resin systems that have been formulated specifically to resurface sun damaged fiberglass water slides. SlideCare is the only company in the aquatics industry that manufactures a solid color and clear specialty coating system that has been specifically formulated for restoring dull color faded water slides. All other coatings, including gel coat and epoxy paints, used by applicators to refinish water slides are off-the-shelf marine grade products that are neither chlorine resistant nor suitable for pool water immersion.
  • All SlideRenu® coatings are custom blended with the most technically advanced materials available in the coatings industry and have been specifically designed to protect interior riding paths against UV degradation, chlorinated pool water, abrasion from bathing suits, rafts, inner tubes, foam mats, etc. Clear Shield, used as a final top coat, is fortified with Teflon® to prevent hard water mineral deposits from clinging to the interior side walls of the water slide reducing maintenance costs.
  • SlideCare has developed a proprietary clear epoxy primer, Adhesion Base Coat, in order to form an added envelope of protection from coating delamination. This nearly 100% solids content primer was specifically formulated to function as a tie-coat between the water slide surface and the SlideRenu® finish coatings. It was also developed with specific adhesion promoters that form a very strong molecular bond to water slide surfaces that have been re-painted with gel coat, epoxy, alkyd, urethane and latex paints.


Both Gel Coat and SlideRenu® coatings typically require the same amount of surface preparation; cleaning, mechanical abrasion and a solvent wipe. SlideCare has developed a comprehensive 18 step surface preparation and application process that all Certified Applicators must follow. As a result, we guarantee our workmanship for 1 year and the performance of our coatings for up to 5 years.



Gel coat doesn't level out and cure the same way that SlideRenu® coatings do. As a result, gel coat typically has a certain degree of surface texture or orange peel after it cures which usually requires the surface to be sanded, sealed and polished. This is a time consuming and a costly application step. Gel coat is normally sprayed on in multiple coats to achieve the final cured thickness. Typically, 2 coats are required; another time consuming and costly application step as compared to SlideRenu® coatings. Furthermore, gel coat must be uniformly applied at the proper WFT to allow for the initial sanding and polishing process, and still leave enough DFT to stand up to rigorous abrasion and polishing. If gel coat is applied over 10 mils, the risk of excessive spider cracking increases significantly. Working within these sensitive application parameters demands that gel coat be applied by experienced applicators with efficient operating equipment in order to achieve long lasting results.

  • SlideRenu® coatings have high self-leveling properties that significantly reduce orange peel and don't require any rigorous sanding, sealing or polishing after they cure. Both Color Shield and Clear Shield can be brush and hand applied with minimal texturing although a plural component spray system is recommended to achieve a Factory-Like Finish. Since all water slide refinishing is not done under factory controlled conditions, airborne contaminants must be removed after the color coat is cured by lightly sanding the surface. To bring back the original gloss and to add an extra layer of surface protection against chlorine and rider abrasion, Clear Shield fortified with Teflon® is applied as a final top coat.
  • Depending on the existing and new color selection, most SlideRenu® coatings have been formulated to achieve the recommended DFT thickness (7mils body slide and 11mils raft slide) and hiding/coverage in one application. SlideRenu® coatings have excellent elongation characteristics which can be applied up to 30 mils without cracking or forming spider cracks.
  • SlideRenu® coatings are applied by Certified Applicators that are trained by an authorized SlideCare water slide technician and come with a 1 year workmanship guarantee. For water parks that have skilled in-house painting resources, SlideCare offers certification services to train in-house maintenance staff which can greatly reduce application costs.
  • All SlideCare products are environmentally safe and worker friendly and meet the most stringent environmental standards due to the near 100% solids content formulations.


The soft organic gel coat resins begin to break down immediately after it is applied, and as a result, color and gloss retention suffers. As the oxidation process accelerates, color and gloss retention fails at an exponential rate. It is not uncommon for a new gel coat water slide to look dull and weathered after 1 or 2 seasons!

  • SlideRenu® coatings have been formulated with the highest color and gloss retention materials in the industry. Its high color-depth of image and permanent Wet-Look gloss retention finish produces a very shiny surface.
  • Since it is chemically impossible for SlideRenu® coatings to chalk or oxidize; gloss retention is maintained over the life of the coating, up to 10 years. Highly effective high-density UV blockers also provide an added shield of protection of the underlying colored pigment.
  • The high gloss and durability of Clear Shield, which is fortified with Teflon®, is unmatched in the industry. Its hydrophobic properties make it nearly impossible for any surface contaminant to stick to the surface. Furthermore, its graffiti resistant properties make it easier to remove water shoe marks, leaf stains and other hard to remove stains reducing maintenance costs.


Because gel coat forms a soft film, routine compounding and polishing reduces gel coat thickness by about 2-3 mils per year. Waxing weathered oxidized gel coat slides does very little to enhance their appearance.

  • SlideRenu® coatings are molecularly stronger than gel coat resins and don't wear out as fast. They have excellent mechanical properties even in the most extreme environmental conditions.
  • Water slides restored with SlideRenu® coatings typically don't require any compounding or polishing which saves a substantial amount of money over the maintenance life cycle of the water slide. However, good maintenance practices recommended that a water slide is cleaned using a foaming soap, water-based degreaser, enviro-safe scale remover and pressure washer at the beginning and end of the season. Slide manufacturers also recommend that water slides be waxed at least twice a year; opening day and closing day. A third waxing may also be needed based on usage, weather and location. SlideRenu® coatings accept most waxes but a nano-technology polymer wax bonds best with the compatible SlideRenu® polymer resins.


Gel coat is very expensive to apply averaging $15-$20/sq. ft. When the life cycle costs of gel coat are added to the initial application cost, gel coat costs about 2-3 times more than water slides resurfaced with SlideCare's 3- Coat Aquatic Protection System. Over a 10 year maintenance cycle, SlideRenu® coatings can save a substantial amount of money over gel coat resurfacing due to less maintenance costs and longer re-coat time.



SlideCare is a water slide maintenance products company. We are the only company in the aquatics industry that manufactures a variety of protective restoration coatings, cleaners, scale removers, waxes, polishes and glazes which have been specifically formulated to restore the LIKE NEW appearance to dull color faded water slides and aquatic play features. All of our products are environmentally friendly, worker safe and can be applied by your most trusted local painting contractor, internal maintenance staff, seasonal employees or our Certified Applicators.




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SlideCare, LLC
3428 Napa Boulevard Suite 1971 • Avon, Ohio 44011
Tel: 216.503.7203 • Fax: 440.937.8414