Painting commercial properties can be a simple task or ambitious undertaking. Ultimately a landlord is the decider on what the nature and extent of the job should look like. Yet a savvy ownership keeps its managers and tenants in mind when making aesthetic changes to a building. The decision maker will likely have to wade through many opinions before proceeding with the paint job. Once properly instructed, however, the contractor can face other obstacles, obstacles intrinsic to the structure itself. Whether a recent construction or an older edifice, it will present several challenges to a commercial painting contractor who wants to do a thorough job.
When establishing an agreement with a painter, the owner must take size into account. If your manpower is modest and capacity is limited, a large office or industrial site will require a more generous schedule in terms of deadlines for completion. Pre-existing damage to walls and other surfaces also delay fulfillment; managers do well to inventory each necessary repair with the commercial painters before estimating a done date. Depending on paint finish and the age of the building, primer could be advisable, another factor in the timeline. Whether or not trim is included is still another variable to clarify with the contractor.
Inspecting the roof on a regular basis–particularly in anticipation of a significant paint job–prevents insidious leaks and sometimes catastrophic wreckage. Commercial roof dangers include:
- Wind uplift — when air pressure from without and within force the roof in an upward direction
- Unreliable flashing — when the galvanized steel installed to keep water from pooling around vents, seams and joints is ineffective
- Standing water — common among flat roofs, requiring correction in slope or drainage, for example
- Roof punctures — caused by anything from heavy storms to construction activity
Over time, paint fades due to blazing sun and the violence of the elements — e.g. rain, snow and wind. The effect of this process is to cause an appearance of fatigue, wear and decay. Since this makes the structure less attractive to potential tenants, fading paint is a problem to be addressed by a commercial painting contractor. One thing owners and commercial painters can consider is whether the warranties on the existing paint allowed for fading in the time frame it happened. The answer should inform the choice of new paint. Maintaining healthy color and gloss promotes a building’s curb appeal.
Cracked and Blistered Paint
Another defect that makes a building look older and run down is cracking, or blistering, paint. This can happen for a number of reasons:
- Inadequate preparation of the surface when the original paint was applied
- Sub-standard paint that cannot adhere with flexibility
- Too thin a coat of paint
- Simple aging, where the paint can no longer expand and contract according to humidity
Seasoned and expert contractors help avoid these pitfalls.
Problems with Caulking
Prominent among buildings of tilt-up concrete construction, caulking is really found anywhere that water infiltration is likely, such as around windows. Knowledgeable property managers understand that caulking is not everlasting; it should be renewed after eight years or so. Still, monitoring its condition more frequently is well-advised. If it is split, inelastic or shows evidence of water seepage, replacement should occur immediately. Caulking involves non-toxic material and can also improve energy conservation in commercial buildings and homes. High-end, premium caulks can also suppress mildew.
Mold and Mildew
Fungi like mold and mildew not only diminish the appearance of a commercial structure, they also foul the inside with bad air quality. In terms of looks, they discolor the exterior materials with their own stains. Internally, mildew and other molds–usually originating where shade is found–can so pollute the circulated air that building inhabitants can suffer respiratory problems and allergic reactions if this kind of vegetation goes untreated. Equally important from a property owner’s perspective is the stench: mold and mildew convey a musty odor that can put prospective renters off while causing existing tenants to consider other options when the lease expires.
Painting: Preliminaries and Process
Preparation is a major determinant as far as timeline goes. The more renovation needed — spackling and caulking, e.g. — the longer the duration between start to finish of a commercial painting project. Protection of floors and furniture may be more or less intensive depending on their constituent materials. Following this groundwork, landlords and contractors should consult on the best paint for the job. The optimal choice might be one difficult to spread, so painters would proceed in a slower, plodding manner. Again, this will lengthen the project timetable, on the one hand, yet may provide a more durable and attractive surface. Furthermore, painters must account for weather, humidity and temperature when performing their task, knowing paint reacts to changing conditions.
Change Is a Constant
Yes, the weather cannot be ignored. A rainy day can render the work null and void. Humid conditions will slow the drying process. In addition, as noted above, a building might present hurdles on the path to re-painting. Without vigilance, deterioration and disrepair can sneak up on an owner, revealing themselves when the painters arrive. The bottom line is that circumstances happen, and they might just delay the completion–or even the start–of a commercial painting project.
Choose an Experienced and Reliable Painting Contractor For nearly 70 years, Shepard Contractors, Inc. has earned a reputation for finishing its work on time and according to customer specifications. In Tampa FL and surrounding counties, Shepard Contractors has delivered excellent results with exterior walls, interiors, industrial spaces and condominiums. Using only the highest quality paints, Shepard employs certified, competent professionals who are available to advise regarding colors; give realistic time estimates; and help you anticipate unpleasant surprises. Call today to learn more about our services.