by Donny Morelock / Published May 2015
IMPORTANCE OF PAINTING AND WATERPROOFING
The painting and waterproofing of your building(s) is arguably the single most important, budgeted item that any board or management company has to deal with. In this article, I will try to simplify the process and help you decide which direction to go.
Always remember the biggest, ongoing enemy to your property is moisture/water penetrating the envelope of your building.
ENGINEER/CONSTRUCTION MANAGER VS. PAINT COMPANY SPECIFICATION
It is important to note that in all cases, a detailed paint manufacturer specification will be needed to start the process. The warranty given will come from the paint manufacturer in writing and should include both labor and material. It will usually be seven years or ten years depending on the quality of the material specified. I encourage everyone to always get a price for both the seven years and the ten years so you can make an informed decision based on the amortized cost of each.
Is It Necessary to Hire an Engineer or Construction Consultant?
The answer will depend on several things of which I have listed some below:
• Is this the building(s) first repaint?
• Are you experiencing any severe waterproofing issues with the building?
• Are there any significant wood or concrete issues that need to be addressed?
• Have you had several warranty issues since the last repaint?
If the answer to any of the questions above is “yes,” then I would encourage an engineer/construction consultant be hired. I would like to point out that if none of the above scenarios are evident on your property, then it may not be necessary or frugal to include this in the budget. Most repaints are done with the specifications being written and adhered to by a reputable paint company only.
I would highly recommend that you disqualify any painting/waterproofing company who does not want to work with or highly discourages any third-party accountability. I prefer there to be additional accountability. I believe, when warranted, it helps protect both the owners and contractor.
INFORMATION NEEDED TO MAKE INFORMED DECISIONS
In most cases, the paint and waterproofing material used in new construction is of builder’s grade and is not designed to last the normal repaint cycle of 7–10 years. This is not to say there is anything wrong with this approach or product. However, managers and board members should know this going into the decision making process. It is equally important to know the following information on remedial repainting of buildings, and in most cases, the management and board members should have access to pertinent information from the last time the building was repainted.
With this knowledge, the following things should be considered on all painting and waterproofing projects:
• All caulking should be inspected and, if needed, should be removed and replaced with a high-quality urethane caulk. The Florida sun is very hard on anything that allows elasticity for waterproofing. All stucco should be inspected. It is typical of all stucco to show some signs of cracking, however the size and severity of this will help to decide whether a normal elastomeric patch followed by a high-quality sealer and paint will work or will a high-build product designed to bridge these stucco cracks be needed to fully waterproof the envelope of the building.
• A determination needs to be made on whether the building(s) need any additional repairs such as wood repair, concrete restoration, or waterproof membrane installation.
INITIAL STEPS TO GETTING STARTED AND ACTION PLAN
1. Determine the Time Frame to Get Your Building(s) Painted and Waterproofed
• First Repaint = five to seven years
• Remedial Repaints = Current need and indicated length of time from last time painted
2. Decide Whether You Need a Paint Specification Only
3. Decide on a Paint Manufacturer
• Use past experience
• Reputation in your marketplace
4. Decide on Which Contractors You Want to Bid Your Project
• Experience and years in business
• Provided references (Call them)
• Reputation in your marketplace
• General Contractors License. This applies if you think there might be additional wood or concrete restoration as part of your project
• I would suggest three bidders on smaller projects and four on larger ones
5. Set a Pre-Bid Meeting with All Involved (Paint company or engineer/ construction consultant will do this for you)
• Make this mandatory to bid your project. If you are not important enough or if they are not big enough, then you will not want them to bid.
• Make sure the paint company rep, the manager, and a minimum of two board members are in attendance.
• Go over the entire scope of work. Answer questions from contractors.
• Agree to send an addendum by a specific date if anything changes during this meeting. (This is common as you actually walk the property during the pre-bid meeting.)
• Inform the contractors of whether or not they are providing a port-a-potty.
• Inform everyone of when the project is expected to start.
• Inform the contractors how and when they are to deliver the bid. It should go directly to the board/manager and should be sealed in an envelope by a specific date. This is usually two to four weeks depend-ing on the complexity of the requested bid.
Donny Morelock, Owner and President
Concrete Painting and Restoration
Donny Morelock is Owner and President of CPR (Concrete Painting & Restoration) of Tampa Bay and Bradenton/Sarasota, Florida. Morelock brings more than 30 years of business ownership and expertise specializing in customer service in the painting, waterproofing, and restoration field. His motto is “NDC” No Dissatisfied Customers. He believes in offering a great product at a fair price. Morelock and CPR provide a family atmosphere with a blend of accountability. He has served on several charity organization boards in the past and believes in giving back to his community. Contact him at Donny@CPRPainting.net or (727) 939-9393.
6. Select a Contractor (a Process of Elimination)
• Many state the decision is not based on price. However, everything has a value and the manager/board has a fiduciary responsibility to be value conscious. With that said, price may be the easiest component to narrow on your list of contractors. I would suggest eliminating the highest and lowest bidder only if there is significant difference in them being high or low.
• Availability of the contractor to start and complete the project in your time frame.
• Call references that closely match your job scope.
• “Customer service philosophy” What is their position on this? I believe that in the construction industry if the project is big enough, there will be a problem! I further believe it is how the contractor reacts to this problem that differentiates them in their field!
• Agree on the terms of the contract and sign it.
*Always include the warranty!
7. Set a Pre-Production Meeting
• It is important to have the manager, at least two board members, the job superintendent, and the owner/management of the contractor at this meeting.
• Go over who the board liaison is and exchange phone numbers with the job superintendent and field management.
• Instruct the contractor where they can park their work vehicles, trailer/storage container, and port-a potty.
• Go over where any equipment being used for the job is to be parked or stored when not in use.
• Go over daily cleaning of the jobsite.
• Go over the approved hours of operation. Can they work on Saturdays?
• Possibly go over scheduling a Saturday to get the entry doors painted that could not be accessed dur-ing normal production.
• Agree on how and when to do final punch lists. (Every two buildings, etc.) This is important to ensure timely draw payments to the contractor as agreed.
• Last but not least—go over how to handle any problems on the job. This will be important in ensuring that the contractor handles every problem with concise communication and immediate action.
IN SUMMARY (PPI = NDC)
With the proper preparation, planning, and implementation, your next painting and waterproofing project can be uneventful and possibly the single, most important line item in the budget to protect your valuable investment. The outcome should always be “N.D.C.”… No Dissatisfied Customers!