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By Dan Hounsell, Editor-in-Chief
Paints & Coatings Article Use Policy
The information challenge related to paint and coatings applications extends to up-to-date information about the areas of facilities in which painters will be working.
“If a facility does a rehab or a new addition or it’s a new facility, most often when the construction process is finished, maintenance managers typically don’t even know what was used on the walls during the construction process,” Watson says. “They typically are left to guess as to what was used. They don’t know, so they have to repaint entire walls or classrooms.
“Managers need to seek out (software) that help them track the products that were used in what areas from the very beginning of a project. They can talk with our architectural account executives and our national reps to get that set up prior to a building being painted.”
Manufacturers agree that managers can deliver more successful paint and coating applications if they take the time to understand the spaces in which projects take place and the substrates painters must deal with.
“One of the common issues is specifying a coating that was not designed for the area or exposure it is being used in. i.e., using a conventional commercial eggshell paint in a high-abuse hallway,” says Jeff Spillane with Benjamin Moore.
The challenge for managers is the variety of areas and substrates that make up most large institutional and commercial facilities.
“The key is matching the specific product with the substrate and its exposure requirements,” Watson says. “The (locations) in facilities can range from a shower room to a janitorial closet to a patient room to a locker room. There are many different substrates and exposures we need to be in tune with.”
Too often, managers focus on the substrate and pay too little attention to the area of the facility and the challenges that it can present to painters.
“It’s not just the substrate,” O’Reilly says. “It’s the functionality of the coating on the surface. Take handrails in hotels, for example. Most suntan lotions contains lanolin, which will eat away the coating, so you need to kick it up to a more industrial coating. Common areas usually require a more durable coating, versus an interior area, such as a hotel room or commercial office space or retail.”
Even if managers know their buildings well, they should not assume they know everything about a particular area.
“A change in environment or use can cause issues with paint,” Spillane says. “For example, you may have an area that was being used for storage and painted with conventional wall and floor paints. The area then gets converted to a production area, and the coatings used previously were not designed for that purpose.”
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