Length of Warranty Considerations

All too many times, customers reach out for the longest warranty they can find. At times, doing so at considerable cost. A good manager or board member should consider the budgetary cycle first, before buying into all the manufacturer hype and marketing. While most major manufacturers are responsible in writing their specifications for a property, all too many times the specifications error on the side of overkill. This overkill is done so using extended warranties as the market reason, when in fact the true beneficiary is the manufacturer with increased product sales.


Before deciding on a specification, consider three things other than the warranty being offered.

1. True service life. While a 5, 7 or 10 year warranty may be provided, in almost all cases the actual service life is much longer. When we provide a 7 year system, that product will protect the substrate usually for 10 to 12 years before degrading to a point that recoating is essential.

2. That many times, the consumer is looking to freshen the appearance or change the color well before the service life, and in some cases, the warranty, has ended.

3. The most often overlooked item is the per year additional cost for the warranty extension. As an example, if a 7 year system costs $100,000.00 and a 10 year requires a different product and additional coat which raises the cost to $150,000.00, the per year budget cost changes from $14,285.00 during the first seven years to $16,667.00 for the remaining three years.


In this budget example you will be paying a higher per year cost during the final years when you are already getting sick of the appearance and are ready for a change. By keeping the budget cycle at seven years, you keep the per year cost down and keep a fresher appearance for your building.

Protect Your Balcony and Walkway Slabs

Balconies can be a promotional highlight of a High Rise building, giving the unit owners the opportunity to step outside and enjoy the view. While sipping evening coffee and reading a good book, most people will notice the cool breeze long before thinking about their balcony’s stability.  However, structural durability should be aforethought because balconies are more vulnerable to deterioration than any other building element.  Balconies can be a nightmare if water penetrates the concrete base and compromises its structural integrity. For this reason, water-retaining carpets are strongly discouraged and waterproof systems/sealants are recommended for both new and existing decks.

Impermeable paints or sealants are required to prevent concrete corrosion. However, when constructed, the vast majority of balconies are left without any waterproofing protection. Water is destructive because when combined with concrete and steel, an electrochemical reaction results in oxidation. The by-products of oxidation take up more space than the base metal and cause the concrete to spall away from its reinforcing steel. Simply put, when balconies are not waterproofed, water can seep into the porous concrete and rust the structural steel reinforcement within it.  Rusted, steel expands which then causes the concrete to crumble and fall.

Deterioration rates vary due to the specific circumstances of the building.  One of the most damaging factors leading to the rusting of reinforcing steel is outdoor carpeting. Like a sponge, carpets absorb moisture and remain damp for long periods of time. Carpets keep the balcony in a state of perpetual wetness, speeding up the deterioration process. Shallow concrete over reinforcing steel, water infiltration in railing embedments and insufficient drainage also accelerate the corrosion process.  Once the decay begins, small cracks can worsen and lead to an accelerated attack of the balcony’s structural integrity.

To prevent water damage, the surface of outdoor balconies must be protected.  There are a wide variety of products on the market that provide stand alone waterproofing or under flooring waterproofing if tile or other flooring options are of interest.  Speak to the material suppliers and your coatings professional.

Whichever waterproofing finish you choose, it will be a vast improvement over any moisture trapping carpet sold as an outdoor product. Don’t be sold that carpet glue waterproofing capabilities have anything to do with waterproofing the slab.  A common misconception.  Waterproof carpet glue only means the glue will not breakdown and lose it’s adhesive characteristics.  IT DOES NOT WATERPOOF THE SLAB.

Each layer of waterpoof protection will help prevent further moisture absorption, enhancing the longevity of the concrete balcony and the property value of the unit.  By decreasing the amount of water reaching the concrete embedded steel, community associations can prevent the most common types of deterioration so that homeowners enjoying the open-air can continue drinking their coffee and reading a book without a thought about the steel reinforced concrete beneath their feet.

Misconceptions About Electrostatic Painting

There is a large misconception about electrostatic painting in the market place.  Painting Contractors (the ones like us that have the capability) enjoy this misconception as we are able to secure much higher pricing for this application method.

With that said, it is, only an application method.  One which does not work well outside in windy conditions.  One which requires use of solvent based materials rather than industrial acrylics.

The misconceptions are as follows:

·         Better finish

·         It’s the way its done in the factory

·         Longer life

·         It’s done with powder coating

None of these are true.  It is simply a method of spray application that provides the user with better transfer efficiency of the coatings.  It is primarily used in the furniture refinishing business where applicators can perform the work inside.  You gain a wrap around affect which gets the substrate coated on all sides from one spray direction rather than having wasted coating drift away.

Outside, with any kind of wind, the process becomes tedious and at times, will not work at all.

It is not powder coating.  Anyone who indicates that this process is what is done in a factory environment, isn’t telling you that part two of that process is baking the coating on the substrate in special ovens.

It sounds high tec.  It is sold by those who know they can get more money or exclude other competition from getting the work.  The equip cost upwards of 5k to 10k and many contractors won’t spend it which eliminates some competitors.

A good painting contractor will pick the application method that is best for the customer and the environmental conditions that exist on the project.  They will pick a method that achieves the desired finishes, with the best possible coatings in the quickest time possible for the best cost.