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Paintshop: Painting in Bad Weather

Heat/humidity. Full sun. Mist/rain/fog. Smog. Dust/dirt. Wind/whirlwinds. Arctic blasts. Cold/frost/ice. Sleet.

 

You know the policy: Paint until you can’t get anything done. Then try to paint anyway.

 

You’ve heard it before:

 

“You can’t let a little bad weather stop you.”

 

“A little rain or wind never hurt anyone.”

 

“Do it anyway.”

 

“Figure it out.”

 

“Just get it done. Now!”

 

Fourteen Tips for Painting in Bad Weather

 

  1. What’s the job? And what do you need to get it done?
  2. Assess your situation and the scene, relative to the project.
  3. How bad are the weather conditions?
  4. Do a last-minute check of the weather.
  5. What can you take care of while waiting for the bad weather to calm down, or clear up?
  6. Who has the final say whether you (a) hold off and reschedule, (b) wait a while, or, (c) do it anyway?
  7. Will you actually save time, money and manpower by holding off till the afternoon, or the next day? Or even later?
  8. Which way will your quality still be there?
  9. What can you do to make things work, even in the bad weather?

A. Can you paint less exposed surfaces and areas first.

B. Or, can you prep and paint sunny, less windy, less affected areas first?

SPECIAL TIPS: Remove all ice, water, rust, etc. from the surface to be painted. Make sure the surface is completely dry and smooth before painting. Use fast-drying primers and top coats; they are less affected by changes in the weather.

10. What can you do to protect you and your crew?

A. Can you partially tent or tarp the work area to cut out exposure to the elements – eg. wind, drizzle, snow, cold?

B. Allow enough air to circulate for the painted surface to dry.

11. What can you do to protect the crew from unhealthy and unsafe over-exposure?

SPECIAL TIPS: Dress for the conditions: warm coat, hat, work gloves, insulated boots. As soon as possible, invest in some waterproof apparel.

12. When is it time to call it quits? NOTE: Continuous high winds combined with rain do not a good paint job make.

13. What tasks are simply too dangerous in this bad weather? Example: Strong wind gusts are moving the extension ladders around, and pulling at the men’s clothing.

14. Is the painting project more important than following your instinct to just respect the bad weather? And try later?

INDUSTRIAL PAINTER TIP: Exterior painting can always be done, if you can isolate the work from the weather.

 

Bottom line: In bad weather conditions, health and safety must come first. No painting task nor project is worth a dollar if it costs anyone an injury, a serious illness, or worse.

 

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Make every job site a “safe-weather situation” for your crew and you.

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Start your year on a safe footing. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

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Paintshop: Managing Minor Frustrations and Snags

We’ve all had them. Those annoying, little glitches in our regular schedules that can mess up everything.

 

Take the new compressor hose that kinks, and causes the paint spray to sputter and spurt out of the nozzle. Or the day-late shipment of a big order of industrial coating for pipes. Or when you’re short two crew members, because they called in sick on the same day. Or the blown tire on the equipment-loaded truck out on the freeway.

 

What do you do? How do you deal with this minor stuff, so that you can move on to the real jobs?

 

Speedy Solutions for Minor Snags

 

1. Kinking compressor hose

 

Cut the hose where kinked area exists. Fit a hose connector – brass or galvanized pipe, as available. Then clasp each side of the connection with the proper size of stainless steel pipe clamp. This will hold well, until you are able to change out a new hose.

 

2. Delayed shipment of paint

A. Put out an emergency call to the manufacturer’s rep for a small supply of product. Enough to get at least one day of spraying completed.

B. Call the manager of the paint manufacturer’s closest paint store. Explain the situation. Have them get on the horn and get some of the shipment to you pronto.

 

3. Manpower shortage on a rush job

A. Call your company superintendent. Ask him to switch two guys to your job site for two days – whatever length of time you need the extra help.

B. Shorthanded anyway? Call for two men through the local painter’s union.

C. Non-union shop? Call the nearest construction trades’ labor pool.

D. Switch tasks on the schedule, if possible.

 

4. Big flat tire on loaded equipment truck

A. Call the shop for someone to bring out a replacement tire. TIP: Before you call, make sure that you have the jack system on the truck.

B. Call the shop for someone to bring out another truck, and then help you transfer the load. TIPS: Don’t think about transferring equipment that requires more men than you have around. And, never try to transfer equipment that requires OTHER equipment to move, lift, and/or lower it.

C. Call a truck towing service.

D. Call a truck rental outfit for emergency delivery.

 

5. Running out of paint thinner on a remote industrial job site.

A. Call your shop foreman. Have someone grab a supply, and deliver it to you.

B. Call the nearest paint store for an emergency delivery.

C. Call the closest Home Depot, Lowes, etc. – wherever your company has an account. Purchase a day’s supply of thinner over the phone. If possible, send a worker to pick it up.

D. Hand some cash to your site crew’s “go-for” person – apprentice. And, send him or her to the nearest hardware store. TIP: Price will be higher than a trade-construction source.

 

NOTE: Once, we called the business agent at the union hall, and asked him to pick up eight gallons of thinner from the nearest Sherwin-Williams, on the way for his scheduled visit to our site. Our company president ordered the supply. S-W had the containers waiting at their back door.

 

6. Two spray guns malfunction at the same time.

 

SPRAYER’S TIP: In your truck, carry a replacement rebuild kit for each type of spray gun you use frequently. Also, keep a supply of replacement rebuild kits for each type in the paintshop.

A. Call the shop foreman for quick delivery of a replacement rebuild kit for each spray gun you are using on-site. Also ask for a box of extra repair parts.

B. Call the nearest paint tool and equipment outlet that you deal with. Ask for a rush delivery.

C. Call your company boss, and ask him or her to buy a new spray gun and deliver it.

D. Do a rush clean-out of one spray gun, to get it back on the job. At least for that day.

E. At day’s end, tear down both spray guns. And do a complete overhaul.

 

By the way, sometimes you don’t have the time or resources to deal with a minor snag in the usual, standard, or acceptable way. When that’s the case, just do what you need to do to get the job moving forward.

 

BOTTOM LINE: Whatever comes along and stands in you and your crew’s way of getting the job done, do the best you can do at the time – and with what you have. And sweat about any repercussion later.

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It can take more skill and savvy to deal with the minor snags than the major job or project.

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Thank you for clicking into “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2018. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Paintshop Policies: Problems with Risk Management

Loss of property costs a business a lot of money. And, it can cost YOUR department more than it can afford. Thus, it’s essential to keep track of all losses and damages, even normal-use ones.

 

  1. Promptly document and report any loss or damage to your (1) supervisor and/or (2) company general manager/superintendent.
  2. Promptly document – keep a log – of any loss or damage that happens under your watch, or that you come upon that happened at another time.
  3. Report the loss or damage to your supervisor. Note: It is his or her job to determine which losses and/or damages should be reported to company management.
  4. Notify management when certain losses or damages occur repeatedly, and after you’ve already reported said incidences to your supervisor. Example: Losses of at least 8-five gallon buckets of new paint continued, for over five months after the foreman painter had repeatedly notified the project supervisor for the contractor for whom they both worked. So, the painter told the company’s superintendent that the losses of needed product continued.
  5. If you continue to suffer larger losses in the Paintshop, even after notification of management, ask your supervisor for a joint meeting with the general manager to discuss possible acceptable solutions.

Tread proactively and carefully when it comes to reporting possible internal, and possibly illegal, transport of products and materials.

Bottom line: Step up to the plate. Report losses and or damages as promptly as possible. And, do not be afraid to extend the reporting to higher-level managers when the standard chains-of-command reporting procedures are not working.

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Thanks for keeping on your toes. Even when it’s tough to do the right thing.

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“Painting with Bob” extends best wishes for your health, safety and prosperity in 2018.

Copyright 2017. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

All That Good Food: Plates for the Homeless COUPLES

Three homeless couples sleep in an empty duplex in the east part of St. Cloud, Florida. Two couples are in their late fifties. The third couple is in their seventies.

 

Two of the men are military veterans. Their physical damages, from serving in the Afghanistan War, are not considered severe enough to qualify them for help from any of those TV-publicized organizations for veterans.

 

In November of 2017, the owner of the duplex learned about his “guests.” He had the utilities turned back on through April of 2018.

 

My mother heard about the couples, while helping her local Friends of the Library group host its annual luncheon for the library staff.

 

So, what did she do?

 

An hour or so after the event ended, she went into the library staff’s kitchen. And, she fixed plates of leftover food for those three couples.

 

For each person, she fixed a plate with the following: a 3-inch sub sandwich, fresh (finger) veggies, fresh fruit sections, a tomato slice and large spoonful of cut lettuce, a few Dorito chips, and, a large spoonful of popped corn. Plus a thick, creamy-frosting topped cupcake, dropped into a foam cup for safer traveling.

 

Then, she took the two plastic bags of plated food to the nearby trailer park resident that knew the couples’ location.

 

Did my mother do the right thing?

 

After the lunch, a large quantity of food remained. After she fixed those six plates, a lot of food still remained for the library staff to munch on later.

 

Hopefully, why what Mom did – and how she did it – will count for something.

 

Christmas season or not, people need to eat to keep up their strength. And to avert more serious health problems. People over age 55 tend to have less reserve. Thus, they need to eat regularly and healthily. Preferably more than once a day.

 

When word about the couples reached my mother’s ears, she knew what she needed to do.

 

Even if it meant leaving a ten-twenty dollar donation in the Friends of the Library’s “Jack Lynn Sorting Room” at the local library. (Which she’d do anyway.)

 

Even if it meant that she needed to inform the rest of her group about what she’d done. (Which she’s doing today.)

You see, until a year ago, all three men were able to work at least part time. One, in fact, as a residential painter. Now, only one of the men is able to stand or walk more than fifteen minutes at a time.

 

I’d like to say that Mom’s spontaneous, though unauthorized, act of kindness, on behalf of the group, was 100 percent okay. I don’t know for certain.

 

What my mother learned this morning, from that trailer park resident, makes me glad about things like the possible hidden opportunity that all that food provided.

 

Simply put: A need could be filled. Immediately.

 

HOW OFTEN DOES THAT HAPPEN WHERE YOU LIVE?

 

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Stepping out of one’s comfort and safety zone, for others, can be a sure step for society.

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Best regards. And thank you for clicking on “Painting with Bob.”

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

PAINTSHOP: WHEN GOOD THINGS HAPPEN

Lead painters – paintshop managers – have many good things to report for 2017. Here are a few of the more than 5,900 responses that I received to the e-mailed question:

 

“IN YOUR PAINTSHOP, HOW HAVE THINGS BEEN GOING LATELY?”

 

  1. Regi.

“Owners ordered the property management to purchase and supply engineering with a much safer, and EPA certified, solution to treat Black mold. MoldSTAT Plus Mold Killer.”

 

  1. Alec.

“I found enough tinted paint to touch up all thirteen walls in the upgraded suites.”

 

  1. Danny.

“The air compressor kicked in first try this morning. It’s been malfunctioning. For over three months. No budget to replace it right now.”

 

  1. Pablo.

“The waterproof grout mix is holding all of those tiles onto the uneven surfaces around the pools…”

 

  1. Gabe.

“Management approved chief engineer’s request for a FaceMask breathing apparatus, and accessories before the end of 2017. My boss and I opted for a HobbyAir II, with 80-foot hose.””

 

  1. R.G.

“Starting January 2018, I’ll have a part-time painting assistant three mornings a week.”

 

  1. Brian.

“When I returned from vacation, some of the crew had cleared out the space to lay out the steel beams for me to spray. Over 120, each 80-foot long, need to be done in less than three days…”

 

  1. Fernando.

“Boss is paying time and a half when the shop closes down Christmas to New Year’s Day.”

 

  1. Margo.

“Three more painters have been added to help on the airport project January-February.

 

  1. Bill.

“Delivery date February 1 for my new (one year old) company truck. The old one is barely running. I’ve had to have it towed three times within the last month…”

 

A FEW TIPS OFFERED BY RESPONDING PAINTERS ABOUT REQUESTING EXPENSIVE THINGS 

 

DO before you ask management to invest in an expensive product, tool or equipment:  

  1. Research the item (s) you need.
  2. Contact a regional manufacturer’s rep.
  3. Ask for contact information for three contractors that use the product.
  4. Call each; find out what they like and dislike about the product. Also ask about alternate product (s) they recommend, and why.
  5. Then include all of the above information in your written request/proposal for management.

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A painter cannot operate his or her paintshop on management’s good intentions, or promises.

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Thanks for pushing for what you need, and for persisting until you get results.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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

Painter’s World During Christmas

His eyes. There was something so familiar about those eyes. I couldn’t stop staring into them.

 

I was only two years old. But I knew those sea green eyes. From somewhere. Glistening and clear.

 

Of course. This was Santa Claus’s lap that I was sitting on. And, it was Santa that kept smiling, and laughing so jolly-like at me.

 

He was all dressed up in his bright red plush suit with the white fur trim, matching hat, and shiny black boots and belt.

 

Of course. My instincts were correct. The big, tall man with the white wavy beard that touched his chest?

 

It was my own father. He was playing Santa at IUPAT/ IBPAT Local 8’s Christmas party for the union member’s children. Like my one-year old sister. And I.

 

Christmas season can be a fun and rewarding time for a painter.

 

The union painter may be recruited to play Santa at the annual Christmas party for members’ children. (Like my Dad did for over five years.) He or she may serve as coordinator for the big boss and his wife’s holiday night out for the employee painters and their spouses/significant others.

 

A painter may be one of the volunteers that assembles bicycles and other “vehicles” to help out Santa’s helpers-parents. He or she may help collect, then wrap toy donations for the local children’s home. The painter may represent the shop, and make the rounds to the local paint manufacturer’s stores’ open houses held for trade customers.

 

He and other crew members may be “volunteered” to paint scenes and props for the local Christmas parade float. Or sets for the community theatre’s annual Christmas production starring local children.  The painter may join the construction trades’ community charity chorus.

 

The independent painter may reach out to his or her community, and lend a hand wherever it’s needed. Even in the public school system, or at a shelter. He or she may offer tools and equipment to make others’ holiday tasks easier, and safer. Special skills and abilities may be donated to help local non-profits tackle their holiday community projects and programs.

 

At any older neighborhood church, the help of a younger and more agile painter/ craftsperson would be appreciated in decorating. Also setting up the traditional outdoor nativity scene. Even preparing for the special meal for people that are homeless or alone.

 

What about the staff painter? Show a little enthusiasm for the season; and you’re recruited for major holiday decorating. Stringing thousands and thousands of Christmas lights throughout the property. Examples: Those tall, tall Palm trees. Decorating the swimming pool areas. Painting, then setting up exterior and interior holiday displays. Helping create a special space – presence – for dear old Santa. Decorating the halls and lobbies, and other high traffic areas. (One year, we also decorated the public restrooms.)

 

What had been one of my favorite on-the-job holiday projects? Helping the rest of the staff set up their special displays and holiday activity areas.

 

By the way, your ChristmasNew Year week may be just around the corner – or already here. There’s still time. to grab your talents, pack essential tools and equipment, and head out to help make the season bright, cheerful and hopeful. For others!

 

And, that’s what this season is all about.

 

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Holiday bliss follows a benevolent heart, and extra pair of hands.  RDH

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Best wishes from the network of people that make “Painting with Bob” possible.

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

 

 

 

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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