Illustration of how anti urine paint works

Protect your property and support clean environment with anti urine paint

Public urination is an offence under the common law and punishable with a fine here in South Africa, but this does not seem to be deterring the offenders, as a stroll through any city on a Sunday morning will show. Nasty smells and stains linger on our streets, especially in nightlife hotspots, where the problem can be on residents’ very doorsteps. Not only that, but councils are forced to spend hundreds of thousands of rands every year in clean up costs. Fortunately, there is a solution: anti urine paint.

Cities from Hamburg to San Francisco have adopted anti urine technology to combat the problem. And now South African cities are picking up on the trend, Cape Town being the first one to consider using anti urine paint to combat public urination. Anti pee paint not only protects the wall it coats, but it also splashes urine right back at its source and discourages public urination reducing health hazards such as hepatitis and asthmatic reactions. It’s time to ‘pee back’!

If your property, business or service is being damaged as a result of public urination, this article outlines how you can use anti pee paint to protect your substrate and deter those thinking to take a leak.

Anti urine coating protects on nanoscale

The strength of urine repellent paint is that it protects a substrate on the nanoscopic scale. These coatings (known as nano coatings) do not just form a layer over a substrate, but rather the individual particles actually form bonds with it. This creates a layer that clings firmly to the substrate on the one side, and provides a specific protective function on its surface. In the case of anti urine coating, this function is hydrophobicity or oleophobicity.

A hydrophobic substance “fears water”, and an oleophobic substance “fears oil”; what this means is that it repels water or oil. Anti urine paint is actually superhydrophobic, it has the strongest degree of repulsion possible in a coating. Its surface is covered in pointy nanoscopic geography which only allows liquid to touch a tiny percentage of it, ultimately repelling the liquid. Anyone trying have a sneaky leak against a surface treated with anti pee paint will find themselves quickly regretting it when their shoes and trousers get covered in urine.

A few things to be aware of before applying anti urine paint

One of the great advantages of urine repellent paint is its versatility: almost any substrate can be coated with anti pee paint, including steel, brick, concrete, metals, masonry, plastic, wood, fabric, and more. Factors which may affect your anti pee paint choice include:

  1. Surface preparation is paramount: The substrate must be cleaned of all oil, grease, dust, dirt, and other foreign material for the coating to adhere properly. It can also be applied to smooth surfaces, though preparing the substrate by sanding it with 320-800 grit sandpaper will improve adhesion.
  2. It can only withstand moderate abrasion: Because the superhydrophobic properties of anti urine paint are based on the surface structure of the coating, abrasion can cause a reduction in performance.
  3. Longevity: Anti pee paint needs to be reapplied on a yearly basis, perhaps more often if it is in direct sunlight. UV radiation will cause it to deteriorate faster; here in South Africa reapplication may be required more frequently than once a year. However, if you buy a system with a bottom and top coat, you need only reapply the top coat.
  4. Be aware that they do not dry clear. They will dry to a translucent white, like a slight milky haze. The substrate will not remain unaffected.

As well as being superhydrophobic, anti urine paint will provide other benefits for your substrate, including corrosion prevention, improving the functionality and lifespan of a substrate, and making it self-cleaning. It can even be used for anti graffiti protection.

Anti urine coating being used around the world

public urination forbidden in SOuth Africa even without anti urine paint

Even though anti urine paint is not yet applied in South Africa other measures have been taken to combat the nuisance.

Anti urine paint came to the attention of the world when Hamburg, Germany, announced it was coating the streets of its famous St Pauli red light district in order to curb public urination, as reported by The South African. The district put up signs on some of the coated walls saying “we pee back”. A railway station in Cologne, Germany followed suit, coating a particular trouble area in the car park. In San Francisco, where public urination is a problem so bad it degrades and fells lampposts, the Department of Public Works coated walls all across the city in Ultra Ever Dry. In Philadelphia, the transit authority coated subway lifts, and in the UK, Hackney Council have coated walls in a last-ditch attempt to protect them from night time sneaky leakers. In short, urine repellent paint is a product that can protect residents’ doorways, but also stairways, walls, carparks, and any other substrate that suffers from this noxious problem.

At the moment the anti urine paint is not applied in South African cities, yet it is considered by a couple. The current measures that have been taken to prevent public urination include R40.000 fine in Durban, getting arrested in Linden, Johannesburg and being punished in Cape Town according to the By-law Relating to Streets, Public Places and Prevention of Noise Nuisances, 2007.

Where to buy anti pee paint in South Africa

Superhydrophobic urine repellent paint is new to the South African market, and availability is therefore still limited. The application process requires equipment and skills, and it is recommended that only trained contractors apply anti urine coating. Note that an anti urine paint is a nano coating and can be applied by contractors specialised in such solutions. For more information about purchasing anti pee paint for your business, or to be connected with one of our coating partners to complete your project, contact us! Our experts are here to help, just use our free quote service by clicking the “Request a quote” button at the bottom of this article.


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