How managers can move their organization from reactive emergencies to planned activities
Angela Testa, senior vice president of operations at American Campus Communities, strengthens operations without compromising a healthy work environment
Managers must consider a number of situations before scheduling paints and coatings applications. Among the most important factors are weather conditions, preparation time, and the tools workers use to apply the paints and coatings.
A lack of preparation for application projects can lead to disaster. Reading the technical data sheet before using any materials is an effective way to avoid application problems.
"Technical data sheets have almost every detail a facility would need to know prior to applying a coating," Laws says. "Instructions on surface preparation for various substrates, mixing instructions if using a multi-component coating, and directions for multiple application methods are all items that can be found on the technical data sheet. Dry and cure times, ambient condition parameters, and coverage rates can also be found here. After investing in a product, the five minutes invested reading a data sheet is certainly worth it to ensure the coating's potential is met."
Proper preparation also helps ensure better long-term performance.
"Surface issues such as contamination will significantly reduce the life of a coating," Laws says. "If you cannot get a solid bond to the substrate, the coating will come up."
Weather conditions are also an important consideration.
"Certainly, you don't want to apply anything in direct sunlight because it will flash dry and create a skin which tends to cause bubbling," O'Reilly says. "Something that is less an issue with water-based products but still an issue is the dew point. How close to the dew point is the actual temperature? You typically want it 15 degrees difference, just so that there's enough dryness in the air to dry the coating, and it can cause blushing if the dew point is too close to the temperature."
Managers also need to avoid allowing occupants back into a freshly painted area too soon after jobs are completed.
"Areas and items that have been painted are often put back into service once the coating is dry to the touch," Laws says. "However, the full chemical and abrasion resistance isn't achieved until the coating is fully cured. There are some situations where this isn't an issue, but if the coating will see heavy traffic and frequent chemicals the cure time should be honored to prevent premature failure."
Another factor managers must consider leading up to a project is specifying the appropriate brushes and rollers to match a product's application requirements. Finding the proper tools is especially important to accommodate changing paint technologies.
"Have a relationship with the paint manufacturer or store to help give you expert knowledge so that you can maximize the performance and meet your needs and desires with regards to the overall need of the paint and get a smooth uniform finish for the job," Revnew says.
Factors to Consider Before Starting a Paints and Coatings Project