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Paintshop Policies and Practices, Part 1: Communications

A former U. S. official’s unprofessional, and potentially unlawful, use of personal electronic devices and addresses for official/ business purposes should remind everyone else to watch their steps.

In all areas of life, including our work lives, certain communication rules must be followed. And certain precautions must be taken to protect the privacy and integrity of all data and information placed into our hands. And, under our watch.

Five Polices to Keep Your Communications Static-Clear, Squeaky Clean

1. Use only company/employer-issued mobile and electronic devices to conduct and carry out all work-related communications via electronic means.

Example: Politely turn down a chief engineer’s request to use your personal cell phone
for work-time communications and texting.

Note: Many companies do not allow staff members to use their cell phones at work, except during breaks. For emergency use, you need authorization from your supervisor, or someone else in management.

2. Use only company/employer-authorized e-mail addresses, social networking pages, web sites, blog sites, etc. to send, exchange, and receive work-related communications, data, records, etc.

Example: Your personal-professional electronic media sites such as LinkedIn.com, Indeed.com, wordpress.com (or .org), Facebook.com are hands-off for work-related/company/employer purposes.

3. Even during off-hours, keep all work/business and personal communications activities, including electronic, separate from each other.

Example: Insist that your employer furnish and expense out any work cell phone, I-Pad, tablet, notebook, and other devices that you need to use during off-hours.

4. With your employer, set up authorized and secured the electronic devices, websites, e-mail accounts and addresses, fax numbers, blog sites, etc. that you need to conduct their business whenever and wherever you need to do so.

Example: Even on vacation, reserve the use of personal electronic devices, sites, pages, links, etc. for your personal use. No exceptions!

5. Do your Paintshop scheduling, estimating, ordering, invoicing, phoning, texting, faxing, messaging, project managing, banking, recordkeeping, etc. on company/employer-owned or leased devices only.

Example: Technically, any paintshop device must be checked-in and stored at your department, or other designated spot, each time that your shift ends. This includes credit and debit cards.

Five Practices to Protect Your Job-and your Reputation

1. Don’t share or publicize your access codes and passwords for any mobile or electronic device that you use for your work.

Example: Even if your boss and/or teammates need to use your device(s) when you’re off duty, make certain the devices are set up so your boss and each teammate has his or her own access code and password. No exception!

2. To limit another’s access to your inputs and content, have your employer install security programs on all devices that you use.

Example: If no one else needs to use certain data, files, schematics, estimates/comps, paint requisitions, etc., still see that your boss sets up every device that you use as company-secured property.

3. Only take work home after or off your shift if (a) you have authorization to do so; (b) you have left an identical set of materials at work; and, (c) you have the work stored on a company-owned/leased device with tight security protection. And backup.

Example: Any materials removed from your place of employment are considered 100 percent company-owned property. Even if and when removed temporarily.

4. Follow a full transparency practice when performing any work-related communication task, project, transmission, etc. – whether oral, written, fax, computer, IPad, mobile phone, audio-visual, etc.

Example: Be ready and able to share and justify any part or aspect of any work-related communication that you handle, generate, transmit, receive, etc. Regardless how brief, incidental or unimportant it may seem to you, or another person.

5. Say, write, ext, post, record, tape, film, or notate nothing that you do not want to, and/or cannot explain to more than one other person. A teammate that has your back, for instance.

Example: Holding yourself accountable first helps you approach all work-related communications with an honest and accountable commitment to others. Also to both short-term objectives and long-term goals, the bigger picture, and the greater mission.

A painter’s job description requires that he or she put himself or herself out there on a regular basis. It also requires that the painter communicate in ways that matter, and that will stand up to scrutiny.

Closing note: Working with different contractors/employers, professionals and tradespersons, crews/teams, vendors/suppliers, and, customers/clients is great. And, the opportunity can provide any professional painter and decorator with benefits that are priceless, transferable, and timeless.

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Be able and willing to justify all work-related communications to anyone.
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Thank you for serving others, and for accepting this link to “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Paintshop: What Hotel and Facility Painters Need to Do Their Jobs

*** A lead painter, whose hotel was damaged by Hurricane Maria’s winds, reminded me about a post that I missed submitting. Perhaps, you will find something here that can help you in 2017.

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A hotel chain’s Senior chief engineer in South Carolina emailed about team preparedness, after the October 29, 2014 post. (“Hotel Engineering Team Training: Pilot Project 2015”)

 

“We’re a small group of specialty brand inns.  Our paint applicators are all experienced in brush, roller and spray. None of them requires formal instruction on using new products, tools (and) equipment. Each painter is good at picking up on things, and running with it.

 

“Our budget is always tight. The 2015 budget can be stretched to purchase a few newer types of products, tools and equipment for each paint shop.

 

“I emailed all of our engineering directors. Each submitted a similar short list of needs. All of them requested the following:

 

1.  Samples of new formulations of basic paint products that may fit our property needs.

‘My application specialist needs to test out a product before he can decide whether to go with the newer product, or stick with the standard one.’

 

2. Small samples of products as they come on the market.

‘Our chief engineers push for their painters and maintenance techs to get to test out any new product, supply, tool, or piece of equipment before they get stuck with it.’

 

3. Free new painting and maintenance tools to try-before-we-buy.

‘Promising new tools come on the market. I want my painter, and maintenance people, to be able to try a few of them, at least. . .It makes no sense to buy a new tool for my paint shop, before we know if it will work for the painter that has to use it.’

 

4. New spray gun, or spray system pre-purchase testing

‘Each of our painters does a lot of spraying, interior and exterior. At some point, a spray gun becomes too costly to repair, or rebuild, even with thorough cleaning and careful maintenance. Replacement becomes sensible option. Some of the new spray gun systems can be expensive…’

 

Question 1: “Bob, who do we call to get small samples of products as they come on the market?”

Answer: “In your capacity, contact the product manufacturer’s testing division. Explain your interest and need in testing new products before you buy them. Tell them about the products, including theirs, that your painters have used in the past. Share a short list of pros and cons. Offer specific engineering departments and sites within your chain as “testers and test sites.”

 

Question 2: “How do we get samples of new paint/finish products that may fit our property (ies)?”

Answer: “Talk to your regular paint supplier/distributor first. If that doesn’t work, contact the paint manufacturer’s representative for each respective product line.”

TIP: “It might help to seal the arrangement if you can offer your paint applicators’ experiences with the product as ‘painting trade testimonials.’ Check in advance with a few of your painters.”

 

Question 3: “How do we get to test out new tools and equipment free? Try-before-we-buy?”

Answer: “Contact the respective tool manufacturer – “Trade/contractor services.” Talk with the director or assistant director of their “after market” research testing center. Find out what type(s) of research data they need.

 

“And, if you know that you can help meet their need:

“FAX a 1-2 page “Trade Testing-Based Proposal. Offer to provide “after market” tool use data. State how many “testing” locations you can provide and their location. For each, describe:

(1) approximate acreage and age of developed area, also property layout;

(2) structures: number, square footage, style, relevant substrates;

(3) paint shop job description, capabilities.

 

“For the tool, describe (1) need: current and projected; (2) use: how, where, and frequency; (3) purchasing plan: minimum quantity, initial order; approximate purchase date(s).

 

TIP: “Keep your proposal brief, and to the point! Do not offer the expertise of any specific dynamo painters under your umbrella. At this point, do not “bank on” any staff member to help pull this off.”

 

Question 4: “How can we get at least three spray systems to try out? Pre-purchase testing. Longer than one day for each system.

“Next year’s budget: I can fit in the purchase of one system for each property, after March 30. If our applicators know how to use the system, each engineering department can save sizeable funds, now going to outside contractors…”

Answer: “Spray systems for commercial and/or industrial use tend to be expensive. Phone the manufacturer’s nearest rep. Especially if you already use one or more of their spray guns and spraying systems.

 

“If you’re confident that you can provide important data not yet at the manufacturer’s fingertips:

“FAX a 1-page proposal letter. Offer to supply certifiable testimonials from both your top, and less experienced, sprayers. Include their experience in using that manufacturer’s spray systems, also their experience using any comparable system made by a top competitor.

“Briefly describe how your sprayers can provide feedback that will help the manufacturer build and sustain its market base for that specific spray system.

 TIP: “Please do not offer to provide any data that you’re not certain you can supply.”

 

Some needs transfer into future situations. Some useful ideas turn into future opportunities.

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Thanks for reading “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Robert and Jamaica

My brother-in-law’s eyes glisten, when he describes the ocean views in every direction, from the family’s hilltop home in Jamaica. At every window, you can feel the ocean breeze. Even on the hottest, most humid days.

When Hurricane Andrew struck the Caribbean in August of 1992, the television news media showed shots of that house, being ravaged by the winds and rain. Small sections of the roof being peeled off, and flung away. Closed window shutters being ripped from their hinges, then twirling and hurling through the air.

Miraculously, the huge white stucco house stood unscathed otherwise. Structurally sound. Most of the interior had been left undamaged, except for marred walls. A few pieces of wood furniture were scratched and water damaged. A few dozen earthen floor tiles loosened.

Repairs took time, and cost a small fortune. Most construction materials had to be imported from the mainland. The United States, primarily.

The lost roof sections and window panes were replaced first. Destroyed wood window shutters were replaced. As necessary, interior surfaces and living spaces were repaired and refinished. Uprooted landscaping was replaced.

In 2014, the entire property was restored to its original appearance. Certain “upgrades” were added that featured construction materials and techniques designed to withstand major disaster wind currents, rain, and flooding.

1. A new roof was put on the house and adjacent building. Roof tresses were stapled and tied down with special stabilizers.
2. All windows were replaced with units designed to withstand 250-mph storm winds and gusts.
3. All wood shutters were stripped, refinished and re-installed with solid steel hardware.
4. The exterior surfaces were pressure-washed, with a special compound, then repaired and prepped. An extreme environmental exposure primer sealer was sprayed on. Then, three coats of tropical-formulated paint were brushed, rolled, and sprayed on. Note: Products were heavy-duty. Manufacturer: Sherwin-Williams.
5. All interior painted surfaces were stripped, filled and sanded. Then, three coats of off-white stucco paint were applied, using brushes, rollers and spray systems. Manufacturer: Glidden’s.
6. All natural wood railings, wainscoting, and trims were repaired, filled and smooth-sanded. Then, two teak oil-treatments were applied. Manufacturer: MinWax.
7. The tile floors were cleaned with a mixture of natural elements, then re-grouted, and resealed.
8. The wood furniture and cabinetry were cleaned. Most received a teak oil-treatment.
9. Wood furniture and cabinetry with badly-abused surfaces were carefully wet-sanded. Then the pieces were painted with high-gloss indoor or outdoor latex.
10. Upholstered pieces were repaired and recovered.

The property remains in the family. Since 2007, the property and the resident owner receive visitors on rare occasions, and only at certain times of the year.
Still visible from every window, veranda and door is the ocean’s face. As peaceful, yet as changing and unpredictable, as the winds overhead.

The last month has been an ideal time to reflect on that home in Jamaica – and its very long recovery. Even with plenty of money, the owners have had to exercise immense patience during this reconstruction process.

And, as someone else’s in-law told me as Hurricane Maria threatened the islands last week, “Hurricanes are a part of island life, Bob. You take the major damage with the major joys.”

The man knew what he was talking about. At 71, he was still a life-long, and full-time, resident of St. Anne’s and Kingston. He’d ridden out many major storms in the past. And, even as he knew the Category 4-5 was ripping off shutters, uprooting 50-60 year old trees, and pouring rain into every crack, he smiled. Totally accepting and content.

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Natives bring island life into perspective for mainlanders.
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Best regards to both Roberts: the one back home in Jamaica, the other one wishing he were there.

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Disaster Recovery, Part 3: When Painting Is Not Enough

Time: 9:00 am; Date: Monday, September 11, 2017. Seven hours after Hurricane Irma moved northward, residents of Central Florida assessed the damages and described their problems.

1. Problem: New, high-durability exterior paint stripped from much of exterior wood. Curled strips of paint hung from the rest of the structure. A dream home, completed three months before storm.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace wood if it’s been soaked by water. When surface is dry, apply two full coats of oil-based primer, using exterior wood filler and caulking where needed. Apply elasmeric coating if the surface is rough. Apply acrylic latex finish if the surface is typically smoother.

2. Problem: Over one-third of wooden rest areas dismantled, including seating, floors, banisters, rails and steps.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace entire area with pressure treated woods. Then stain or paint with oil-based exterior product.

3. Problem: Pool gazebo blown apart, looks like broken Tinker Toy or Lincoln Log set.
Painter’s recommendations: Replace wood, and match existing finish. Or replace the entire gazebo. Then apply a semi-transparent stain for a fast finish.

4. Problem: Ceiling over exterior, three-bay drive-through of hotel lobby’s entrance ripped off. Everything destroyed.
Painter’s recommendations: Install gunite system, then paint using exterior acrylic latex. Gunite is an optimum application, applied by an construction finish expert.

5. Problem: 75 percent of property’s fencing loosened from post braces. Sticky residue
covered manufacturer’s finish.
Painter’s recommendations: Reattach fence sections with fasteners, or use epoxy glue.
Remove residue with lacquer thinner, or non-acetone nail polish remover. Either has less chance of dulling the surface finish.

6. Problem:
Windows of 45 upgraded guest rooms blown out or broken. Rooms a big mess.
Painter’s recommendations: Clear each window frame of glass. Clear debris out of the room. Install temporary wood panels until new glass can be fitted. Repair wall or ceiling damage as necessary.

7. Problem: 130-year old tree uprooted, then toppled onto guest cottage.
Painter’s recommendations: This is an insurance job. Remove tree and cottage. Use part of tree to build something, maybe a custom table top with a rustic appeal.

My message was the same essentially for everyone:

“You’re going to need a lot more than painting. Before any painting can be scheduled.”
RECOVERY TIP: People need to identify and list damages, especially construction-wise. Before their insurance adjusters come to inspect and offer settlements.

PROBLEMS TO RESOLVE BEFORE PAINTING

1. All structural areas, exposed to flooding, water, and/or rain, had to be inspected for toxic
black and/or green mold/mildew; thoroughly dried out by industrial fans, then re-inspected.
Remove or thoroughly clean mold-infested surfaces. Then rinse with warm water. Let dry.

2. Structural areas, construction materials and substrates that emitted odors and/or fumes,
contained hazardous elements, looked discolored, and/or showed signs of 50 percent or more damage, had to be torn out, then removed from the property. According to EPA standards. NOTE: Hazmat (hazardous materials) specialists must be used to handle these removals.

3. Drywall surfaces which have gotten wet through the core must be cut out and replaced.

4. Water infiltration can also leave health-related contaminants which must be properly disposed of. Caution: This job may fall under EPA removal requirements.

5. When cleaning: Protect all skin, hands, face, eyes, etc. from exposure. Provide breathing protection to prevent illness and permanent damage. Example: Full-face breathing apparatus.

6. Limit exposure to paint and finishing chemicals, particularly if you have any breathing or respiratory problem such as asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, or COPD. Use a full-face breathing apparatus, particularly if you must work around paint chemicals for an extended period of time, and/or frequently.

7. Rebuilding and upgrading is a job for licensed and insured outside contractors. Particularly, heavily damaged areas as described here. Examples of extensive work needed include: new electrical work and plumbing; ceiling and wall joists, drywall/plaster board; window and door frames, doors, cabinetry, fixtures, flooring; etc.

Structures and areas heavily damaged by wind, rain, flooding, toxic contaminants, spillage, waste seepage, etc. require a lot of work before any painter can come on board.

Rejuvination tends to be a long and expensive process. It cannot be rushed or done haphazardly. Many building codes, safety and health standards, and laws are involved. Also inspections.

Bottom line: If you’re a staff painter, you may not become involved at all in the major rebuilding of your hotel or facility. You may not want to be involved.

FOOTNOTE: After a tornado hit my grandparents’ large farm in 1946, they discovered that more than shingles and chimney bricks had disconnected from the house. Sections of plaster had popped (dislodged) from the ceilings and walls in every room. Behind painted and also wallpapered surfaces. My grandfather called it a “farmer-painter’s nightmare.”

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Disaster Recovery, Part 2: Paintshop Priorities

You may not have much time to get the paintshop back in shape, after a hurricane, or another type of disaster, passes or weakens. In fact, you may need to work that job around the recovery property tasks that you must help others get done throughout the property.

Here are tips on what you might need to get ready right away, or as soon as possible.

ESSENTIAL MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES

1. Throw-away sponges, non-porous buckets, long rubber gloves, face masks.
2. Disposable plastic sheeting, 2-4 ML, duct tape, tarp clasps.
3. Scented bleach – to minimize lingering odors.
4. Non-toxic commercial fungal mold remediation solution, hydrogen peroxide.
5. Fillers, caulking, masonry patch, polyester filler.
6. Sandpaper – assorted counts, steel wool.
7. Interior latex paint – main base colors used on property, exterior latex or oil-base paints.
8. Glues, carpet tile adhesive and tape, mortar mix.
9. Paper towels, clean throw-away rags.
10. Other: Hygienic hand wipes, dust masks; texture for repairs.

ESSENTIAL TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT

1. Scrapers, putty knives, wire brushes.
2. Paintbrushes: 1 ½, 2, 3, and 4-inches; cutting in brush. China bristles and nylon/polyester.
3. Paint rollers and covers: 9-inch x ¼-inch, 3/8-inch, ½-inch, 1 ½-inch.
4. Pressure washer, rubber boots, water exposure gear.
5. Organic vapor respirator
6. Gas compressor..


ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND SERVICES
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Disaster Recovery, Part I: Hotel/Facility Priorities Come First

The lady walked toward her vehicle in Home Depot’s parking lot. In one hand, she grasped two, 1-gallon cans of Glidden’s Interior Latex Paint. In the other, she held onto a 2-inch Purdy paintbrush, a 6-inch paint roller with cover and an orange combination paint tray and screen.

It was one day after Hurricane Irma, and the tornadoes that it had spawned, had whipped through Central Florida.

When a major disaster hits – eg. hurricane, tropical storm, tornado – painting should be one of the last things on your immediate agenda.

HOTEL/FACILITY PAINTER’S TOP TEN PRIORITIES

1. Help your chief engineer check out all systems that are under the department’s charge – eg. mechanical, electrical, plumbing.

2. As part of the engineering team: (a) assess each building’s condition, interior and exterior; (b) identify problem areas; (c) determine which problems to resolve a.s.a.p., and, (d) decide how to handle each of them promptly and safely.

3. As part of the engineering team, get the department back in shape, so that all of you can do the major recovery and repair tasks and projects as efficiently as possible.

4. As part of the engineering team, help implement the plan to (a) make repairs and (b) get everything up and running again in a timely, safe and cost-effective manner.

5. Assist groundspersons in clearing away all broken trees, limbs and branches and brush; also dismantled lumber, metal, piping; debris, garbage, etc. This includes clearing main traffic areas.

6. Help repair and replace all crucial lighting – especially front entrance, parking, walkways, corridors, lobby, public restrooms. Also repair main walkways, as soon as possible.

7. Assist other departments, as necessary, to get their areas up and running again.

8. Assist chief engineer in working with utility companies, outside contractors, repair services, etc. to get property systems and amenities, and business operations back in working order.

9. Between efforts to help others, start to get your paintshop back in shape. HINT: Try to unpack, then set up what you’ll need to use first.

10. When your chief engineer gives the go-ahead, concentrate your efforts on reorganizing the paintshop so that you can get back to your painting job.

By the way, it can be tempting to ignore the engineering department’s big job during this very disorganized and stressful time. You might be tempted to hide in your area. Do not do it!

This is one instance when painting will be lower on the list of everyone’s priorities.

At the top of every staff member’s and department’s disaster recovery list needs to be:

1. people
2. property
3. business
4. “neighborhood”

This is one time when, both now and later, you’ll be glad that you helped others first.

See: “Painting It: Disaster Recovery, Part 2: Paintshop Priorities.”
See: “Painting It: Disaster Recovery, Part 3: When Painting Is Not Enough.”

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Thank you for doing your best job every day. Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painter’s Hurricane Preparedness Tips, Part 5: Packing for Riding Out Storm

Usually, you can prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm – unlike many other major disasters such as tornadoes or flash floods.

So, there are few reasons, or excuses, for getting caught without any supplies needed to ride out the storm.

In fact, survivors of more than one major hurricane can tell you what to pack – and how. And, they will spare no expletives in describing persons that do not heed their voices of experience.

PACKING TIPS FROM SURVIVORS OF MULTIPLE HURRICANES

1. For each person, fill backpack or luggage piece with at least seven (7) days of essential clothing and health/hygiene aids.
Examples: shirts/tops, pants, socks, underwear, flat and sturdy walking shoes, hat, sunglasses; toothbrush, tube toothpaste/gel, collapsible cup, 2 facecloths, 2 hand towels; roll toilet paper, package moist wipes; also mini-First-Aid kit, skin crème; small flashlight/fresh batteries. See below for other items to consider packing.
TIP: Include packaged snacks, juice boxes/cans inside double zip-locked plastic bag.
2. Each person needs to keep his or her wallet/ handbag/fanny pack with them.
3. For each person, fill out personal information card: medical conditions, medication list, surgeries, health providers’ contact information, etc. Put in wallet/handbag/fanny pack. Make copy for small undergarment bag. See no. 4 below.
4. Each person should also secure small emergency pack to his or her undergarment. TIP: A small waterproof/double zip-lock bag works great. INSIDE: Some cash, car/truck keys; also photocopy of I.D. cards: driver’s license, Social Security, insurance, credit cards, bank/credit union, Medicare, Medicaid; personal info. card.
5. Keep cell phone/ mobile device plus charger close by, to use as soon as service reactivated.
6. Add to same backpacks or luggage: items that person will need to get on with life under disaster hit and recovery conditions.
7. Prepare for “worse case scenario.” Say your roof gets blown off; nearly everything gets sucked out of your closets, or water damaged beyond use. Or you lose your home.
8. Supply each person with “toteable” resting items: bed pillow/double-cased, small blanket.
9. Add to same backpacks or luggage: Prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Put each person’s current and next month’s supply/containers in his or her luggage piece, Exception: For persons unable to take and manage their own medications, place their supply in your luggage.
10. Place excess, also not currently taken, medications into a waterproof container with tight-fitting lid. LABEL with permanent marker. Place container in the back of a closet in middle of your home.
11. Place remaining carryable essentials in heavy-duty trash bags, or plastic containers with lids. Carefully store in same middle closet used above. TIP: Heavier bags or large storage containers may fare better than smaller ones. Smaller things can easily turn into flying saucers.
12. Put together a “portable cupboard.” Fill plastic container with food staples and more snacks; napkins, foam/ plastic plates, cups, eating utensils; also hand can opener, etc.
13. Put together a sSafety kit.” Fill small waterproof container with small flashlights, batteries, chargers; candles, lighters; First-aid kit; skin, toiletry and hygiene items.

IMPORTANT TIP: Pack as if you know that you will be in a transient-mode for at least one week. When you need to run for your life is way too late to pack the stuff that you have to have to survive.

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Prepare ahead. Get ready.
Channel stress. Stay safe. Take in nature.
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Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”
Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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