Custom Painting, Inc. recently finished a project that involved painting the exteriors of the Kairos Power warehouse in Alameda, California. This project posed a unique set of challenges, mainly coming from weather-related issues, which caused unforeseen delays and tested the ability of our team to adapt and overcome.
In this article, we are going to delve into the weather-related challenges faced by our team during this project and explore effective strategies for handling delays in painting projects. These experiences serve as valuable lessons for both painting contractors and clients alike, emphasizing the importance of proactive planning and flexible project management in the face of unpredictable weather conditions. If you are interested, read on and learn more about how to handle delays while painting.
About the Site
Kairos Power is a nuclear research and testing facility in Alameda, CA. The warehouse was an old rail hangar built back in the 1940s for the Navy. It was leased by Kairos Power in 2017. The building was built to last. That is why it has been reused and repurposed. In fact, it was used as a manufacturing building, too.
One of the best things about the building is its earthquake-ready features. In fact, it has been tested through earthquake simulation, and it was confirmed that it can survive intense earthquakes even when it is an old structure. The building also does not have any supporting interior pillars, but it still remains intact because of its underground piling and bracing system.
The building has been repainted a lot of times when it was in use. However, it was idle and frayed for several years before it was leased by Kairos Power. With this, our team was tasked to paint the building to make it look modern and brand new.
How Rain Can Affect Exterior Painting
While painting the warehouse of Kairos Power, our team experienced different weather-related issues. This is because we were tasked to do the project during the winter season. We faced issues like fog, wind, cold temperatures, and rain. Among these, rain is the major issue that we’ve faced, and we needed to postpone the project for several days.
Rain can greatly affect exterior painting projects in different ways, potentially leading to delays and compromising the overall quality of the paint job. Below are some of the ways rain can affect exterior painting:
- Adhesion Issues: Rainwater can make surfaces damp or wet, which can hinder the adhesion of paint. Proper adhesion is very important for the durability and longevity of the paint job. If paint is applied to a wet or damp surface, it may not stick well, leading to peeling, blistering, or flaking.
- Paint Dilution: Rain can dilute paint that has been applied but not yet dried. This can affect the color consistency and coverage of the paint, resulting in uneven or streaky finishes. Aside from that, diluted paint may also run or drip, leading to an uneven appearance.
- Surface Damage: Heavy rain that is accompanied by strong winds can cause physical damage to painted surfaces. It’s because raindrops can dislodge wet paint, create runs, or cause streaks as they hit the surface. Also, rain can carry dirt and debris onto freshly painted surfaces, destroying the finish.
- Longer Drying Times: Rain and humidity levels can prolong the drying time of paint. When paint takes longer to dry, it becomes susceptible to dust and debris settling on the surface, which can ruin the finish. In addition, longer drying times may also delay subsequent coats, leading to project delays.
- Mildew and Mold Growth: When there is excessive moisture from rain, it creates an ideal condition for the growth of mildew and mold on painted surfaces. This does not only compromise the appearance of the paint but also poses health risks.
- Material Damage: Rain can also damage painting equipment and materials. There are paint brushes, rollers, and trays that can be ruined if they get wet. Aside from that, water can also contaminate paint cans or buckets, rendering the remaining paint unusable.
How to Handle Delays
Bad weather conditions are among the major enemies of exterior painting jobs. We really cannot do anything to control the weather. All we can do is delay the project for a few days. Handling delays during a painting project is important to ensure that it stays on track and meets deadlines. Below are some of the ways to manage delays when painting:
- Proactive Planning: It is best to begin with a detailed project plan that includes a timeline, milestones, and a buffer for potential delays. Our contracts at Custom Painting, Inc. have a clause or phrase that allows additional time in case the weather is not ideal for painting. When scheduling outdoor painting projects, it is important to consider weather forecasts and seasonal factors. Develop contingency plans for common delays, such as weather-related setbacks or unexpected surface issues.
- Regular Communication: It is very important to maintain open and transparent communication with the client. Let them know if there are any delays and the reasons behind them. It is also essential to establish clear lines of communication among team members and suppliers to coordinate efforts and minimize disruptions.
- Adjusting the Schedule: If a delay is anticipated because of weather or other factors, you need to adjust the project schedule accordingly. Allow for additional time to account for possible interruptions. In our case, we had to delay the project for around 20 days, or roughly three weeks, because of rain. It is important that the team is flexible and ready to reschedule work as needed to accommodate unforeseen delays.
- Protecting Work Already Completed: When rain or other adverse weather is expected, it is important to take precautions to protect completed work. Freshly painted surfaces need to be covered or shielded to prevent damage. Also, make sure that all your tools, equipment, and materials are secured to avoid losses or damage during delays.
- Client Expectation Management: It is also best to set realistic expectations with the client from the start of the project. Explain to them that delays can occur and how you will handle them. Always keep the client informed and involved in decision-making when significant delays arise.
The inclement weather was truly the biggest challenge our team faced while repainting the warehouse of Kairos Power. There were roughly 20 days or three weeks of delay due to rain. But other than the weather, other issues were typical, such as peeling and cracking paint. Despite weather-related challenges, our team at Custom Painting, Inc. successfully transformed and updated the old building into a brand-new facility, which made our client satisfied.
If you have bought or leased a commercial property and you’d like to update its paint, our team can definitely help you. Custom Painting, Inc. offers complete painting services for both residential and commercial properties. Our expert painters have an eye for detail and a strong commitment to quality. If you are interested, you may call us at 925-294-8062 or fill out this contact form to learn about our services, or request a free quote for your painting needs.