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Posts tagged ‘engineering’

Painter’s View: Covering Up Toxic Mold Infestation

In Florida, more than a few hotels have redecorated all or most of their guest rooms and public areas to cover up a deeper problem. Example: Black mold infestation – Stachybotyry’s chartarum.

 

They’ve spent a lot of money to install new carpeting and tile, furniture and fixtures, window treatments and textiles, AC window units, fresh coats of paint, etc.

 

But none of it will eradicate “sick building syndrome,” the underlying challenge.

 

Black mold and mildew behind the walls, above the ceilings, inside pipes and duct work, under floors, behind cabinetry, etc.

 

To get rid of “sick building” conditions – specifically toxic black mold, the structure’s interior must be gutted. The drywall in all infested rooms and areas must be removed. Plumbing and piping must be torn out. Wall, ceiling and floor joists must be taken out.

 

The entire area must be mitigated and remediated. Aired out, dried completely, and treated for hazardous chemicals and toxins.

 

Painters cannot do this. It’s a job for the professionals in toxic and hazardous materials handling. It is a big job. A labor-intensive job. A dangerous job.

 

Take note: If the actual infested surfaces and elements are not removed. Painters, and other staff members, working in redecorated guest rooms and public areas will still be exposed to the dangerous toxins.

 

Eventually, because the climatic conditions do not self-correct nor reverse themselves, the harmful fungal infestations will work their way into the new drywall, carpeting, textiles and fabrics, piping/plumbing, ductwork and ventilation system, etc. Little-by-little, or alarmingly fast!

 

Then, the toxic black mold fungi will show its ugly face all over again.

 

That’s one reason why, on the national news, you will see big piles of torn drywall inside and outside of houses and commercial buildings damaged by floods, hurricanes, etc. That’s why you’ll see entire houses gutted, and fully exposed wall joists and ceiling frames.

 

Painters must use great caution if they must continue to work in rooms and buildings that have been redecorated, but still harbor the toxic black fungi.

 

MY ADVICE FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

 

Every time you work in or near one of those areas, protect yourself. Still hidden somewhere is the same toxic fungi and infestation that you may have been responsible, previously, for treating.

 

  1. SUIT UP! Head-to-toe in a disposable plastic uniform and shoe covers (like surgeons wear).
  2. Wear disposable gloves with a wide, snug wristband, or that reach mid-forearm.
  3. Wear a hat.
  4. Wear a nose and mouth mask.
  5. Better yet: Use a free-standing breathing apparatus.
  6. Wear eye goggles that fit snugly.

 

Repeated, or prolonged, exposure to toxic black mold fungi should be avoided. The price that your body might have to pay tends to be much higher than you could have anticipated.

 

Most of you can’t afford – and don’t want – to skip around from workplace to workplace. And, in Florida, as well as other parts of the country, it’s hard to find a hotel property that does not have some kind of environmental problem.

 

So, please! Do whatever you can.  NO! Do whatever it takes – to protect yourself from the effects of toxic Black mold fungi infestation.

 

It’s a life-threatening and traumatic tragedy. Trust me!  The EPA, environmental experts and medical specialists can tell you all about it.

 

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The life you save from permanent damage by toxic black mold exposure could be your own!

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2016. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

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John’s On-Its-Way-Out Hotel

John’s 200-room hotel was down and out in every way that you could think of.

 

1. Structurally, the buildings were old, and deteriorated.

2. Essential amenities – eg. in guest rooms, eating areas, pools – were obsolete, damaged beyond repair, and compromised by mold, mildew and water leakage.

3. In the last year, staff had been cut to one-half, or less.

4. Management was top heavy.

5. Budget had been cut to 40 percent.

6. Guest occupancy ran at 40 percent, or lower.

7. The hotel property set now on a state highway, because the “U. S. Highway” designation had been moved to the new bypass two years ago.

 

Still, it held on. “I don’t think we an make it much longer,” John e-mailed. “Word has it, but management won’t tell us anything yet, that the doors will be closed by Christmas.”

 

John had three years to go to qualify for full Social Security benefits, and Medicare. Where would a 62-year old painter be able to find work? Even part-time?

 

So, John did the unthinkable. The unauthorized.

 

Every afternoon, he worked “off-the-clock” in guest rooms.

 

One-by-one, he repaired bathroom plumbing. He replaced ceramic tiles in complementary colors. He laid not no-skid mats in the bathtubs.

 

He camouflaged beat up headboard walls, by repainting them. He sponge-cleaned draperies to remove mold and mildew buildup in hidden areas. He cut fresh lemons, and stuck one or two sections inside every window air conditioner unit.

 

How could John afford the supplies that he used? Where did he get them?

 

1. He cut out all drive-through cups of coffee, snacks, fast food, and dinners out. And smoking.

2. He qualified for the local bus services. Over 60, the half-price fare. Four days a week, he left his car in the driveway at home.

3. From Home Depot, Lowes and paint stores, he purchased rejected/returned gallons of paint. Trying to stick close to very light colors, that he could tint.

4. He let people in church know that he needed used paint brushes, rollers and covers, sea sponges, etc. All in good condition. Also, partially full tubes and containers of caulking, putty, fillers, etc.

5. He talked the director of the area “Habitat for Humanity” into giving – or selling cheap – cans of primer, paint, varnish, sealer, polyurethane, etc. left over from home building projects.

6. He did what it took to get the supplies needed to fix up all of the guest rooms.

 

His efforts helped. Other staff members – eg. housekeeping and engineering – noticed. They started to stay longer, and make little improvements here and there.

 

1. A part-time housekeeper, from Trinidad, grew plants. On the transit bus, she carried pots of young foliage. After her shift, she planted them. Then, she helped the groundskeeper weed, prune and revive neglected plants, shrubs, flowerbeds, and shorter trees.

2. A kitchen worker stayed late frequently. He thoroughly cleaned, scoured and reorganized the main kitchen.

3. Two food court workers stayed on two slow days. They cleaned and reorganized the food court displays, countertops, cooking and warming areas, etc.

4. A maintenance worker helped John cut new carpet remnants into 12-inch by 12-inch squares. Then,  they laid them in the entry ways of over fifty guest rooms.

5. A laundry room attendant, that once worked in New York City’s garment district, borrowed a portable sewing machine. He re-stitched and re-hemmed over 100 quilted bedspreads, and 50 coverlets.

6. A super-store manager, located over 80 miles away, shipped boxes of slightly used bath linens, returned by customers.

 

In the end, the hotel made it through June of 2014. The owners gave a two-week notice to all staff members, including in the front offices. Here’s how the hotel staff said their good-byes.

 

* June 16 to 20. Staff was allowed to take furniture, lamps, paintings, and mirrors. They could also take linens, window treatments, fixtures, tools, supplies, kitchen and cooking utensils, china and serving pieces, table services for 8, etc.

 

* June 23 and 24. Staff helped the drivers of charity trucks load up remaining larger items in good condition: beds, sofas, chairs, desks, tables, mirrors, etc.

 

* June 25 and 26. Staff hauled all remaining pieces to two large dumpsters on the property.

 

* June 28. The staff returned and enjoyed a carry-in dinner around the (drained) pool.

 

* June 30. The utilities were shut off.

 

* June 30. The hotel’s general manager and an owner locked the doors from the outside. A security company padlocked the chain-linked fencing and gates erected to keep out intruders.

 

 

JOHN HAS NO REGRETS.

“I could have gotten into trouble. But, I never thought of it. I just tried to fix the place up… I wanted to give our hotel one last chance.”

 

 

What would you do to try to give your hotel another chance?

 

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Kudos to John! How’s life back with your family in the Antilles?

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Thanks, everyone, for your support and input. Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved

How Teamwork Cut a Hotel’s Expenses by over $120,000

The hotel management explained, versus announced, to all staff the “need” to cut expenses “across the board,” as much as $120,000.

 

To kick off the effort, all managers – salaried staff – volunteered to take a 10 percent reduction in salary. “To start.” In addition, they agreed to pay 50 to 100 percent of certain expenses “out-of-pocket,” and non-reimbursable later by the hotel business.

 

Examples: Vehicle gas for local driving, association membership dues, event registrations and meals, and business entertainment.

 

They opted to fly 100 percent coach seats for all hotel-related business travel. Also, they gave up their vacation and bonus packages for one full year.

 

Then, the entire staff got accountable, and very creative.

 

1. Each department set a goal to reduce its budget by $10,000.

 

2. Management and all department directors and supervisors agreed, committed to, and announced: “No staff member would be let go.”

 

3. Then, the staff members in each department voted themselves pay cuts: 50 cents an hour for part-time employees; $1.00 an hour for full-time. Like the management they gave up their vacation pay for one full year. (A big sacrifice for employees with families.)

 

4. Each staff member assumed responsibility for reducing his or her supplies budget by at least 10 percent. The supplies had to relate specifically to his or her job description. Also, management’s productivity expectations for staff members was set in proportion to the reduction in supplies and materials available for them to do their work.

 

Examples: Painter. The “paint shop” expense reduction goal: 25 percent.

A. Less expensive paint would be ordered and used for low traffic and less visible areas.

B. Used rags still in good condition would be soaked, laundered and reused.

C. Worn, essential brushes would be replaced with mid-brand products – eg. Linzer, Branford, Arro Worthy, Merrit, Bestt Liebco, Proform. Worn, rarely used brushes would be replaced on an as needed basis during the tight budget year.

       Note: Read “Paint with Budget Cuts: Your Paint Shop Brushes,” posted March 07, 2015.

 

Examples: Maintenance techs. Maintenance shop” expense reduction goal: 15 percent.

A. All recyclable parts, from no-longer usable air conditioners, would be removed, cleaned, catalogued, and stored for making future repairs.

B. Parts, which were tarnished or mildly corroded, were cleaned instead of replaced.

C. Some parts were painted and reused, until replacement parts could be budgeted.

 

5. Each department group launched a “team support” program.

A. Whenever possible, team members shared rides to and from work.

B. Staff that were parents, especially of younger children, created a plan to save each other babysitter and transportation costs.

 

6. A related “Share My Ride” program was implemented interdepartmentally.

Example: Keisha, a housekeeping supervisor, picked up and dropped off PBX operator Elsa at her apartment complex’s front entrance, on days that both worked the same shift.

 

7. Departments shared supplies, tools and equipment whenever and wherever possible. This practice reduced overall purchasing expenses by 15 to over 20 percent with some essential items.

 

8. Monthly, each department hosted its own “carry-in” lunch. During every shift.

 

9. The hotel kitchen sent no good food to the dumpster. Especially leftovers or over-cooking from guest/conference banquets, dinners, buffets, etc.

A. The leftover food was made available to all staff members at meal and break times.

B. Depending on the quantity of leftover food, staff could pack “doggie boxes” to take home at the end of their shift.

 

The hotel management incurred no major problem – and no resistance – from any department or any staff member in meeting the budget cut needs.

 

Everyone pulled together to make it all happen. They protected their own jobs and livelihoods by helping to protect each other’s jobs.

 

They focused on need. They prioritized. They got very creative.

 

Two Engineering Department examples:

 

  1. A maintenance tech attended a technical college two evenings a week. To catch his connecting bus, he had to clock out one hour earlier those afternoons. A coworker passed the college on his way home each day. So, he offered the tech a ride to the college’s front entrance. The tech was able to work his full eight-hour shift, and could afford to pay a few dollars to the coworker for the rides each week.

 

  1. The painter generated free supplies from construction supply and paint stores where he did business. Also, he tapped the superintendents of several large commercial contractors that he knew. In kind, he arranged for the store managers to be able to (1) test out a few new product and equipment lines at the hotel and (2) videotape the new products being used. The construction superintendents received comp stays for their families at the hotel.

 

Hotel budget cuts provide a great opportunity for teamwork in action. At its best! And, at every level: organizationally, interdepartmentally, departmentally.

 

It invites tremendous creativity, collaboration and cooperation on a small-to-large scale. Most important, at a particularly stressful time, team-driven hotel budget cuts bring people together.

 

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An early “HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY” to all ye Irish lads and lassies.

A special “Hello” to everyone in the Chicago area.

 

Thanks for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

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Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

Painting Around Sharp Budget Cuts, Part 1

Sharp budget cuts mandate many changes in an organization – such as a hotel, hospital or university – that employs a full-time staff painter. They tend to include staff terminations in some departments – including engineering/facilities services/physical plant.

The loss of even one person, in an already manpower-strapped operation, can affect everyone there. Each person in a way unique to his or her job description, role as a member of the department team, and link as a member of the organizational team.

The work load increases, usually for everyone who still has a job.

Each person must continue to complete his or her own projects and work orders – in a timely, satisfactory manner. In addition, each has to assume some responsibility for the completion of tasks and work orders handled previously by the team member or members no longer there.

A painter, even a lead painter, may take on engineering/maintenance tech jobs and work orders.

Fill-in tasks, such as pest control spraying and mold/mildew remediation, may become regular parts of his or her routine job.

He or she may do basic guest room repairs and replacements. He or she may repair and replace air conditioner units, plumbing, lighting, tile and carpeting, roofing, WI-FI connections, and door key card systems.

The painter may help with mechanical and operating system repairs, and pool and spa repairs. He or she may be asked to handle exterior lighting and property security and safety system repairs. He or she may need to assist with groundskeeping and lawn maintenance.

 Any additional load leaves less time to get regular painting done.

How did you handle your engineering department’s last sharp budget cut? How many teammates, if any, did you lose? How many non-paint job responsibilities did you take on? For how long? How did it go?

Which, and how many, of your regular job tasks and projects got pushed on the back burners? How long ago was the last cutback? Do you continue to operate under capacity?

If so, how do you schedule in your regular projects and tasks? How do you make room for the added responsibilities? How do you ensure yourself the time and resources needed to do both jobs right?

Perhaps, one or more of the following related practices may help you be good-to-go.

 

1. Take your calendar – paper, online, app, etc. List your current paint shop-related projects and tasks.

 TIP: Take a little time with this. Make sure you get the main ones. Get down the other ones that you do take care of – and no one, including you, thinks much about.

 

2. With each project and task, determine where you’re really at.

ASK YOURSELF: What else needs to be done to complete it? Approximately, how much more time do you need to get each finished?

 

3. Prioritize each according to need. Set approximate time line and completion date.

 

4. On your calendar, slot out time needed each week – or every other week, at the latest – to work on each project.

TIP: You and your supervisor need to agree which ones must be completed as soon as possible. CAUTION: This can change at any time, and often. With little or no warning!

 

5. Allow yourself and your department a little flexibility.

 

6. Determine your regular paint shop tasks. The ones high on your job description and capability lists. Yes, those lists may vary a little or a lot.

 

7. Determine approximately how long you need, each week – or every other week, at the latest – to do each task.

 

8. Consider the best days of the week, and times, to work on each one.

Example: “Good-to-go: Wednesdays, 9-2, while most guests are visiting area theme parks; sightseeing; attending major sports event, conference, etc… and I can put other things on hold.”

 

9. Estimate how long you will need to do each.

 

10. Prioritize. Consult with your supervisor as needed.

 

11. Schedule onto your calendar – and all department calendars, too!

 

Sound like common-sense stuff, that every experienced painter will not need help with? Maybe.

When team size dwindles, available skill-sets and expertise can dwindle, too. So will available work time.

Confusion, stress and overload can set in suddenly. It can throw you off. Especially, if it hits you on an off day, at an off time.

“Nip it in the bud,” as character Barney Fife, “The Andy Griffith Show,” said repeatedly.

Get good-to-go. Block-in your painting and decorating related projects and tasks.

It is up to you to make certain that every paint-shop related project, task and work order is taken care of. That’s a given!

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Protect your own “staff painter” work day! Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob” blog.

Training Engineering/Maintenance Techs Basic Commercial Painting Skills and Methods

Introduction:

Mechanical repairs for a Maintenance Tech are no less important than the appearance of the room or space that you seek to improve. Surface repairs and painting can be learned to a point where you are as confident in doing it, as you are in performing your normal duties.

Building skills as a painter/tech requires the ability to respond to a wide variety of conditions. You want to be ready to use appropriate methods of painting to improve the appearance of a commercial business. You want everyone to be satisfied with the work: guests, visitors, customers, supervisors, management, and yourself.

 

1. What every tech needs to know about the painting trade.

 

A. Standard methods and techniques continue to work, when they match the criteria for which they were developed: surface/substrate, product/material, tools, equipment, environment.

B. Paint store managers, manufacturer’s reps, and interior designers tend to be excellent resources.

C. Many standard methods and techniques can be adapted – when used skillfully and carefully.

D. Surfaces should be touched-up, when you know the exact paint used before – or you are very skilled at mixing, matching and blending products, colors and textures.

E. For best results, the existing area should be blended with the touch-up or newly painted area.F. Before painting, the area should be prepared, so the new application matches the surface.

F. To preserve brushes, roller covers, work container, etc., clean them at the end of each day.

G. When finished, the work areas must be kept tidy and clean – guest room, walkway, paint shop

2. What every tech needs to know about painting and finishing products, in general.

 

A. Three main categories of products include waterborne (water-based), solvent borne(oil/petroleum-based), and catalyst  activated (eg. epoxy, urethane).

B. Generally, these products are composed of latexes, oils, urethanes, epoxies, and polyurethanes.

C. Many more types of products are available.

D. Products are designed for interior, exterior, and both interior/exterior applications.

 

3. What every tech needs to know about hotel/facility painting.

 

A. Touch-up paint color/tint that you use must match the paint on adjacent surfaces.

B. Some work orders can’t wait until you complete your current project or task.

C. Your chief engineer is your supervisor – not any other department manager.

D. When you stand in for the painter, both he and your supervisor are counting on you to do a good job – and to follow the rules and procedures.

E. Advance notice of the designated work areas, and “WET PAINT” use must be given to others.

F. Making note if more paint, supplies, etc. are needed helps you get job done on schedule.

 

4. What every tech needs to know to handle priority painting work orders.

 

A. Clearly understand what’s needed, also any limits – eg. time, budget, non-budgeted needs.

B. Select products/materials, tools, etc. based on need, inventory, budget/cost, time, traffic, etc.

C. Select method or technique based on surface/substrate and condition, location, time limit, etc.

D. Always give notice of painting to supervisor and/or other department managers (housekeeping, front desk) that room is to be put “OUT OF ORDER.”

E. Any work area – guest room, public restroom, restaurant, pool area, etc. – must be unoccupied, or “OUT OF ORDER” to complete the work safely and satisfactorily.

 5. TIPS: Training techs to perform basic painting tasks professionally.

 

A. Respect each tech’s unique set of skills and abilities, and known limitations.

B. Ask where, when and how they got painting their experience. (Basic information)

C. Find out the type(s) of painting projects they have worked on. What did they do? How often? For how long? Which were under no…little …a lot of supervision?

D. Assume they know the basic brush and roller techniques for materials to be used.

E. SHOW THEM the proper paints for specific areas.

F. Ensure that all techs, who will do paint-shop work, can repair areas that need to be painted.

 

6. TIPS: Training techs basic painting – the journey-apprentice way.

 

A. Work side-by-side with each trainee to ensure continuity in his or her workmanship.

B. Help each tech to find his or her comfort level using required methods, products, tools, etc.

C. Provide techs with tools of quality equal to those used by a journey instructor, or painter.

D. SHOW techs the basic methods of repairing wall damages on different surfaces and areas.

E. SHOW techs the proper way to spray paint a large surface. Include safety requirements.

 

Closing Comments:

An engineering/maintenance tech’s painting savvy will be only as sharp as the quality of his or her training; access to needed products, materials, supplies, and tools; and on-going support (departmentally and interdepartmentally).

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

Paint Shop 2: Policies and Guidelines That Will Work

There’s one way to operate a hotel or facility paint shop. That is with a set of easy-to-follow policies and guidelines (vs. rules) that fit the engineering department – and the organization.

The shop size can total one wall with a few shelves, a large room with a separate workshop area, or an entire small building, or shed. The rules will be the same, basically.

 

Some PAINT SHOP basics: JUST DO IT!

 

JUST DO IT: Keep shop neat. Picked up. Swept up.

JUST DO IT: Keep shop floor clean, and clear of parts, tools; spills, piles of anything, garbage.

JUST DO IT: Keep workshop clean, swept up and ready for next project.

JUST DO IT: Put things away – and in their proper places – when you’re finished with them.

DON’T DO IT: No “borrowing” of paint shop/engineering/company property for personal use.

DON’T DO IT: No “loaning” or “giving” of paint shop/engineering property to other departments – unless your supervisor authorizes. TIP: Get a written authorization.

 

1. Set up a Sign-out and Sign-in system for all paint shop property.

 

2. Put up a Paint Shop bulletin board. Post inventory list, requisition list, FYIs, cartoons, etc. TIP: And, keep those lists updated!

 

3. Tightly close all cans, bottles, tubes, boxes, bags, containers, etc.

 

4. Thoroughly clean all tools before storing back on the shelf, in the cupboard, in kiosk, etc.

 

5. Clean equipment; and make a note of any repairs needed, before returning to its proper storage area(s).

 

A. Flush out spray gun spray lines. Clean nozzles, tips, hoses, product containers, etc.

B. Soak and clean spray guns to prevent sticking, clogging, damage to mechanisms.

C. Empty out any unused product from container; place in storage container for recycling – eg. paint, polyurethane, chemical treatment.

D. Wash out each container with appropriate cleaning agent. Let dry.

 

6. Do basic repairs and maintenance on tools and equipment before storing.

 

7. Store products and materials appropriately and safely. Follow MSDS, UBC, HAZMAT, EPA codes.

 

A. All cans, spray cans, bottles, boxes, tubs: Upright.

B. Wallcovering rolls, boxes: Upright.All tubes – eg. paint, tinting.

 

8. Store all tools and equipment in a safe manner.

 

A. Brushes: Bristles up (no cover); bristles upright (sturdy cover); bristles down (in “wet-storage” brush container).

B. Roller covers: on end, to maintain nap integrity.

C. Electrical tools: Turn to “OFF” position before re-shelving, re-storing.

D. Mechanical tools: Close/fold up handles and levers before re-shelving or re-storing.

E. Saw blades, sharp edges: Remove, retract, or cover. Store in visible spot of toolbox/cabinet.

F. Sharp objects, scissors: Close up; place with handles up, or facing YOU.

G. Razor blades: Retract into holders/handles; or store individually in closed, marked box.

 

9. Store nuts, bolts, washers, screws, etc. in plastic organizer boxes – or small plastic/metal containers.

 

10. Store small tools in divided tool chest, toolbox, small carry-all, unbreakable containers.

 

11. Store like products together, like materials together, like tools together, etc.

 

12. Store all products, materials, supplies, tools, and equipment in dry, safe places.

 

13. Keep records of inventory use, loss, breakage, disrepair, “retirement,” etc.

 

14. Regularly, post a list of items that (a) are running low, (b) need to be requisitioned – and when, (c) need to be RUSH ordered, (d) are no longer used or kept in stock.

 

15. Post in visible spot a running list of your requisitioned items. Keep track of requisition and order status. Display date of order.

 

16. Requisition basic supplies before you get low. Keep checking with supervisor and/or purchasing manager about their order and delivery status.

 

17. Be cost-conscious and budget-time aware in selecting and ordering products, materials, supplies, new tools, etc.

 

18. Know which products, materials, supplies, etc. cannot be compromised – quality and durability versus cost.

 

19. Keep accurate records. Neat, complete, easy-to-understand, easy-to-use.

 

20. Discard products and materials that are no longer usable – dried up, discolored, faded, damaged (mold, mildew, water, sun); frayed, bug-infested.

 

** TIP: Fill partially full containers of paint, stain, varnish, etc. with sand, or other absorbent.

 

21. Discard products, materials, supplies, etc. that do not meet product standards and safety codes. WHY: Regulators and inspectors are watching. Too, people can get very ill.

 

22. Promptly discard damaged or broken tools and equipment that cannot be repaired – and are too dangerous to use in present condition. WHY: FIRE and SAFETY hazards.

 

23. Discard used rags, paper towels, etc. – especially those with strong odors, fumes, residue.

** TIP: Soak rags in soapy water to neutralize combustibility or flammability.

 

24. Report problems promptly to your supervisor, and to teammates. Keep everyone informed!

 

25. Promptly report losses, damages, and thefts of products, materials, supplies, tools, equipment.

WHY: It’s company policy! Also, some items may need to be replaced a.s.a.p.

 

Comply with the safety rules on an ongoing basis. It’s the best way to prevent accidents in your paint shop.

Establish policies and guidelines that are DO-ABLE.  Establishing that policy and practice helps all of your teammates – especially engineering/facility – keep the paint shop looking good, and working great! For everyone!

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Thank you for visiting “Painting  with Bob.”

Paint Shop I: Organizing and Storing, Part 1: Inventory Your Inventory

I learned young about paint shop operations. Part of my first job, as an apprentice painter, was keeping the paint shops – buildings – clean, inventory organized, and workshop spaces ready to use. (We did a tremendous volume of shop work: sandblasting, painting, finishing, etc.)

For a small painting contractor business, that may have been an easy job. For a major, and still growing, commercial and industrial contractor business, it meant a lot of steady work!

Every paint shop is organized differently. How well it works depends on the painter responsible for its operations. Also, it depends on how well it works for the rest of the team. Team members in the engineering or facility services department; also team members in the other departments within the organization.

When the painter responsible for the paint shop is not around, do enough people in the department know how to handle things? Painting-wise? Is everything being taken care of?

What follows is a two-section tutorial on Paint Shop Operations. Paint Shop I, starting here, covers organizing and storing. It’s divided into four parts: (1) inventory your inventory; (2) creating a place for everything; (3) putting and keeping everything in its place; and, (4) maintaining inventory lists.

 

1: Inventory your shop’s inventory – by category and subcategory.

—What do you have – types, colors, quantities, general condition?

 

A. Products/Materials:

(1) Paint – Latexes, epoxies, oils – Total no. of gallons, according to paint type, color.

(2) Finishes – Stains, varnishes, urethanes, shellac

(3) Coatings – Rust/corrosion prevention, anti-fouling, elastomeric, chemical-resistant, UV protective, waterproofing, heat-resistant

(4) Wallcoverings – Papers, vinyls, foils, flocks, textures, patterns, grasscloths; borders, murals

 

B. Preparation/Supplies:

(1) Sandpapers – What grades; total number of sheets in each grade

(2) Caulking tubes – Types (eg. for kitchen/bath, exterior); total number of each type

(3) Solvents – 1 gal. each of most used products: mineral spirits, lacquer thinners, denatured alcohol

(4) Paint tint kit – Universal tints

 

C. Work area supplies:

(1) Dropcloths – At least 3 – 4 ft. by 15 ft. for clean interior use; 2 – 4 ft. by 15 ft. for

exterior use; 2 – 16 ft. by 20 ft. for wide covering.

(2) Sheeting – 1 roll 20 ft. by 100 ft. plastic; 3+ smaller rolls

(3) Buckets, sponges – 1/2 gal., 1 gal., 2 gal., 5 gal; natural sea sponges (assorted sizes, thicknesses)

(4) Masking paper, masking tapes – 1 dozen each ¾-to 1 ½ inch masking tape.

 

D. Tools:

(1) Brushes – Assortment nylon or China bristle: 1-in., 2-in., 2 ½-in., 3-in., 4-in

(2) Rollers, roller covers – Assortment 3-in. to 12-in. rollers; ¼-in. to 1/1/2-in. naps.

(3) Paint tray, paint screen

(4) Broad knives, level, straight-edge

(5) Basic tool kit: Hammer, screwdrivers, wrench, pliers, clamps, etc.

 

E. Equipment:

(1) Spray guns, hose – Airless sprayer greater than ½ gal. perminate capacity

(2) Compressor – Greater than 6 OFM for spray painting

(3) Ladders – 1+ 24-ft. extension, 16-ft. stepladder, 5-ft. platform aluminum ladder

(4) Pressure washer – Greater than 2000 psi

(5) Garden sprayer system

 

F. Protective gear and Safety items:

(1) Boxes/ packages of disposable gloves, breathing masks

(2) Organic vapor respirator, also spare cartridges; dust mask supply, safety glasses

(3) Disposable plastic suits, hats, shoe coverings, vinyl/rubber gloves

(4) Signs: WET PAINT, CAUTION, KEEP OFF, Caution Tape

 

G. Cleaning/Clean-up Supplies:

(1) Sponges, bags of rags, buckets (2-qt. plastic), floor mops

(2) Glass/mirror cleaner, spot remover

(3) Standard trash bags, heavy duty trash bags; re-sealable plastic bags (eg. for storing hardware, switch plates)

(4) Small portable vacuum cleaner, shop vacuum; push brooms, large dustpans; dusting brushes, deck brush w/extension.

 

H. Vehicle/Golf Cart Maintenance:

(1) Car wax, upholstery cleaner

(2) Oil, tire gauge, tire pump

(3) Battery charger

(4) Small portable vacuum, combo mini-broom/dustpan

 

I. Recordkeeping, Writing, Presentations:

(1) Software programs – Excel, Outlook/Express, Word, PowerPoint, Quickbooks

(2) Printable forms and worksheets on internet

(3) Journals, ledgers, and other systems available from office supply –in-store, on-line.

 

Your Paint Shop inventory pertains to much more than a few cans of paint in your standard, frequently-used colors. It pertains to everything that you and every person in your department may need to perform painting-related tasks, work orders, projects, etc.

 

PAINT SHOP MANAGER TIP: You need to know what you have on-hand. You need to know what you’re supposed to keep on-hand. You need to know what you need to get on-hand. To be ready to go! Or, as close to that point as possible. At all times.

 

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Organize your Paint Shop. It saves lots of time. It minimizes mistakes, frustration and accidents. It cuts costs like you wouldn’t believe!

 

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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

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