When tradesmen before you have cut corners, a straightforward project can quickly turn disastrous. Here Chris Kerfoot, experienced painter and decorator describes how he delivered customer satisfaction on an exterior repainting project, despite a catalogue of unforeseen challenges.
Equipment failure in the critical cleaning phase
Before repainting a rendered property, it is critical to correctly clean the render to remove discolouration and kill residual mould. We use sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) mixed with clean water, which we apply using a pressure sprayer. Skipping this step is a common mistake and will have a significant effect on the results and longevity of the new paint job.
After about an hour, the pressure washer began to leak, rendering it useless, and bringing the project to a stop.
If you experience equipment failure, manage your customer’s expectations, and tell them straight away, don’t let them wonder why work has stopped so abruptly.
If you have colleagues or indus
try acquaintances locally, call them to see if they have similar equipment which could help you finish this job and buy you time to seek a professional repair or replacement part for your kit.
Failing that, try local merchants or hire companies who can often help get things back up and running quicker than you might expect.
Unearthing unforeseen complications
Cleaning the surface of the old render with a simple routine cleaning process uncovered the most hairline cracks we had ever seen on a single project. Upon further inspection it became apparent that the previous painter had uncovered the same issue, but instead of fixing the problem properly, they had simply smeared caulk over the fractures and painted the house. This is not best practice and a short-term solution at best, so we knew we had to put it right, properly.
If you uncover challenges like this which will extend the timeframe of the project, incur additional labour time and material costs, have an honest and upfront discussion with your customer at the earliest convenience.
There are a number of factors to consider before this conversation so that you have a clear idea in your mind of what you’d like the outcome to be. Do you need to charge more for this additional work? Have you got time to complete it before your next project begins? Is it something you are willing to do as a good will gesture to secure further word of mouth recommendations?
The home straight to a successful project
With the challenges overcome we were on the home straight. We masked the perimeter of the double glazing with Q1 precision line tape to ensure a razor-sharp paint line across the property. On top of that tape, we applied Q1 pre-taped film and unfolded the sheet to cover all windows and doors thoroughly. We used Q1’s multipurpose tape to seal the loose edges.
We used Johnstone’s Stormshield Masonry Paint, applied with a brush. Firstly, we applied a thin coat across the hairline cracks and then completed the job with two complete coats.
Finishing the project was easy, with Q1 peeling away with ease and absolutely no residue, despite the hot summer conditions and exposure to direct sunlight for most of the application time.