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Challenges of Industrial painting in confined spaces

Confined spaces vary in type and dimension, but are described by SSPC as “large enough and so configured that an employee can enter and perform assigned work; having limited or restricted means for entry; and not designed for continuous occupancy.”

Because of the many challenges, painters enlisted to work in confined spaces should have the proper credentials. To receive a QP 1 certification for the painting of complex structures, contractors must have in place and be able to execute a plan for working in confined spaces.

Hazards of Painting in Confined Spaces

The materials left behind in a confined space, like a pipeline, can leave behind vapors that are dangerous in large enough concentrations. These vapors often collect in the bottom of tanks and, in the absence of detection equipment, emit no obvious signs of their presence.

To protect against exposure to these vapors, crews should measure the air quality with a multi-gas monitor before entering a confined space. This monitor should be capable of reading oxygen levels and detecting flammable or otherwise toxic substances. Measurements should be taken each time before entering, and should be continuously monitored in most cases.

Even when there are no preexisting chemicals present in the confined space, the products industrial painters use can be the source of dangerous byproduct. Solvent-based paints are often flammable or emit vapors that are hazardous when densely concentrated. High or 100 percent solids products should be used when possible, and detailed procedures for reducing fire hazards should always be followed. Water based, low VOC products make very good substitutes. This substituting out of a more dangerous product for a less dangerous one is an important part of the hierarchy of controls in the safety pyramid.

Evaporating solvents produce vapors that make ventilation in confined spaces a major concern. Crews spending long periods of time in confined spaces should wear the proper protective equipment. Air-supplied respirator hoods should be worn in addition to having a well-designed ventilation system in place. This ventilation system should ensure a fresh supply of air is continuously circulating throughout the space. The proper number of air exchanges per hour will depend on the volume of the space and the coatings system being used.

The most thorough way to eliminate the hazards associated with working in confined spaces is to design the work in such a way that crews never need to enter the confined space. This may seem obvious, but it’s important. Eliminating risks forms the foundation of safety.

Coated concrete flooring and workplace safety

coated concrete flooringAs industrial professionals, we all struggle every day to find ways of making the workplace safer for the people that make our businesses work: our employees. So when you’re building or renovating a warehouse, manufacturing plant, factory, storage facility or other commercial or industrial structure, it’s important to put yourself in your workers’ shoes as you decide what steps to take to improve safety.

How does a coated floor provide added safety?

Concrete flooring may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to improving safety, but having a professional coatings contractor apply the right coating can lead to a big boost in your workplace safety efforts.

A quality epoxy concrete coating will improve foot traffic by creating a slip-proof surface, leading to fewer accidents in the building. The new surface is also fire, chemical and impact resistant, which can come in handy depending on the work your company does. And while being easy to clean doesn’t seem like a safety feature, consider that having less dirt, dust, and grime in your facility means better health for your crews. If your employees can focus on their work rather than how cruddy they feel, they’re safer and more productive.

Another benefit of concrete floor coatings is in the design of your workplace. By applying colored stains to predetermined areas, you can better direct company workflow through your facility by creating sectors with specific purposes. Imagine how much safer someone might be if they could see the path the warehouse forklifts take and stay out of their way, or if they couldn’t wander into a danger zone without noticing the bright red flooring underneath them.

Improved workplace safety is just one of the benefits a quality concrete floor coating can bring to your industrial or commercial facility.

Ways to handle paint odors during commercial painting projects

painter with maskPaints that are mostly used in commercial projects do not have strong odors that the oil based paints will have, but there are people who are very sensitive to even the little smell of paint. Some people use eco-friendly paints that have a low level of odor or almost odorless. However, most of the wet paints that are used in commercial painting projects can be problematic for individuals with respiratory problems. Most of the people will find it difficult to be around any type of wet paint.

Actually it is important in commercial painting to be aware of how the new paint job will affect people. For example women who are pregnant can be well affected by the danger when they breathe in the fumes of fresh paint. Although the extent of the harm of the paint is not fully determined by the expert researchers but it is true that the paint is unsafe for women in this delicate condition. Following are few ways how to handle paint odors in commercial painting projects:

Pick the Right Paint:

The best way to handle the paint odor problem is to pick the best quality paint in commercial project. The higher the quality of the paint is the lower is the level of Volatile Organic Compounds level exists in the paint color. You can also use zero VOC paints that are used by many Commercial Painting Contractors nowadays and are little expensive. However, zero VOC paints offer a great level of benefits over other conventional paint types available in the market. The paints that are considered low VOC will typically have low level of fumes while it is drying. These paints are available in variety of popular color, so you can choose the best one for your commercial projects.

Choose the Right Time for Painting:

The earlier you can get your paint project completed the more time you will have to keep your room ventilated before you need to close windows for the evening. When the weather is very humid it causes the paint to dry much slower. If you are using a humidifier you really need to turn this off and even turn on your dehumidifier if you can as this will really help the paint dry quicker.

It is important to take a commercial painting project in dry season since you have to let your paint to be dried properly. If the paint is dried quickly, you can get more time to keep your room ventilated.There will be no paint odor if you allow the paint to properly dry. Hence, it is important to choose the perfect season for any commercial painting services because if the weather is very humid it causes the paint to dry much slower.

You can also use some baking soda in the painted room since this will help to absorb the fumes the paint generates while drying.

Swing Staging Painting and Safety

jma painters lafayette swing paintingWhat is swing staging painting? Swing stage scaffolding is exactly what it sounds like: a platform stage that swings from a building. This elevated work platform is supported by suspension lines, and is used primarily on high-rise buildings. Safety beams and canter weights are used to suspend our scaffold from the roof, and the platform is then raised and lowered with automatic hoisting equipment. It is used to transport workers, their tools and materials at an appropriate height to perform a job.

Swing stages are the most common type of suspended scaffolding used in the painting industry. The first reason is their versatility. Swing stages can be easily installed, dismantled, and relocated from place to place; they have a very user-friendly operating system. They also make it easier to access areas that may be inaccessible for other types of scaffolding or man lifts.

This is why they are more notably used by window washers and painters on tall buildings. At JMA, we use them on mid and high-rises, offices, warehouses, and schools.  Another very important reason is their safety. Just as any other type of scaffolding, swing stage scaffolding is safe when all of the right precautions are taken to ensure proper use.

Swing staging painting precautions

The first precaution to take when operating a swing-stage scaffold is to confirm that the scaffold is built to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Inspect your platform and guardrails to make sure that the base is sturdy and all three rails are in place. Check your lines. Look for any nicks, corrosion, bird-caging, or general ware-and-tear and take any and all defects seriously. Finally, test your motors and breaks. Make sure they are functional and operating correctly.

One rule of thumb to ensure your scaffold’s safety would be, to raise the scaffold 6 inches off the ground and jump. If there are no visible signs of distress or sounds, your scaffold is sturdy. I know this may sound dangerous, but put it this way, you would rather fall 6 inches off the ground than 6 stories, wouldn’t you? Scaffolds and all of their components should be able to hold 4 times their maximum intended load. So for instance, if a scaffold was meant to hold up to 1,000 lbs then it should be able to hold 4,000 lbs without failure. This is not to say test it out!

Whenever you are using a suspended scaffold system it is vital that you use a personal fall-arrest system for each worker on the scaffold. A personal fall-arrest system consists of five main components: an anchor point, a life-line, a connector, a deceleration device, and a body harness. It is important to remember that workers should be independently tied off from the scaffold in case of failure of the suspended scaffold system. Workers should always ensure their free-fall distance is always limited to 6 feet or less by following proper fall-protection techniques. Remember, a falling worker can fall up to 18.5 feet in a personal fall-arrest system with a lanyard; so if the ground or any other object is within 18.5 feet of the anchor point, use an SRL or another shortstop fall protection system.

Here at JMA we take safety very seriously. This is why we choose to have each one of our field workers extensively trained in all types of scaffolding, including suspended scaffolding. For more tips on scaffolding safety go to www.osha.gov or our website at www.jmapainters.com

How to Protect Your Warehouse from Water Damage

Elastomeric coatingsIs your warehouse experiencing water damage or mold and mildew infiltration? Have you found cracks in your façade that are appearing quite frequently as the weather changes? Your warehouse is destined to experience an accumulation of material after exposure to the elements and extreme temperature changes over time. Good news is you can slow down this process. How? JMA offers protection for warehouse through waterproofing.

Your warehouse needs protection. Whether your warehouse is a place you are storing your products, equipment, or where your work gets done its where you store your money, so to speak.  A waterproof coating is the answer. With the ability to stretch and retain its shape as well as expand and contract in extreme temperatures, an elastomeric coating is the top solution for waterproofing your building.

Waterproof coatings help to prevent water damage

Water based elastomeric coatings are often the go-to choice for exterior concrete/masonry wall applications. Elastomeric coatings are higher volume solids (45-60%) than conventional paints, and are applied in films that typically attain a dry film thickness in the range of 10-20 mils per coat (versus conventional paints with a DFT of 2-3 mils). Initially designed as a waterproofing solution for stucco, which is a relatively rough surface that tends to crack, elastomerics are also well suited for tilt-up or poured-in-place concrete and masonry wall surfaces (including CMUs) because they provide excellent waterproofing properties; can tolerate some substrate movement; and their stretchiness (150-400% or greater elongation without breaking throughout their service life) allows them to fill or bridge even moving hairline cracks.

Elastomeric coatings can be an attractive choice for specifiers or owners because of their durability; many manufacturers offer a 10-year warranty versus the typical two-year warranty for conventional coatings. So it’s not unusual to see elastomeric technology specified for applications where a high quality exterior latex coating may actually be equally suitable.

Elastomeric coatings restrict water from lingering on surfaces, a preventative measure toward mold and water damage as well as rotting foundation and structural damage. Believe it or not, this means that elastomeric paint can assist your HVAC system in preventing moisture buildup. Temperature changes due to excessive dampness can decrease in your structure as well.

Waterproof coatings have more elasticity and life span compared to typical paint. When the surface of your warehouse changes, whether it is due to temperature or movement, the elastomeric coatings are flexible enough to expand or contract with the surface rather than simply giving in and cracking. Waterproof coatings have the ability to withstand wind driven rain up to 100 mph. This extreme flexibility can also bond existing cracks in surfaces by moving with them. This is a good thing if you live in south Louisiana!

Expansion joints are the next thing to consider ensuring that no water penetrates into your industrial warehouse.  Vertical expansion joints are customary on concrete tilt up structures and you will typically get 10-25 years out of the joint, depending on the type of sealant caulk applied. When replacing the sealant, to guarantee that it will adhere to your substrate, our recommendation is to make sure that all existing sealant and backer rod is removed from the surface.

The existing sealant can be removed with electric caulk cutters and razor knives, and to ensure all contaminants are removed, wipe down all joint conditions. Where you see rust and where you experience places that sealant will not bond to, make sure to prime the surface. Install new open-cell backer rod with a protective waterproof skin in all joints as needed to control the width to depth ratio as per the manufacturer specification for the new sealant. Re-caulk all vertical expansion joints using a Polyurethane Sealant. This process will provide you with many more water-free years.

 Applying waterproof coating systems is a job best left to experienced professionals to ensure that the products are being used to their full potential.  JMA has the know how to get the job done and how to get the job done right. Painting the interior and exterior of your warehouse can be costly, but replacing your water damaged goods can be costly as well.  Don’t waste any time and call JMA painters today.

 

COMMERCIAL GRADE EPOXY FLOOR COATING

epoxy flooring lafayette louisiana jma paintersWhat is epoxy floor coating?

Epoxy is a system comprised of both resins and hardeners. Once these two components are mixed together, triggering a chemical reaction, resulting in a robust and rigid plastic surface that binds well to the floor’s substrate. Epoxy is typically applied to concrete, but can be applied to other types such as VCT (Vinyl Composition Tile), wood, and tile to name a few.

An epoxy floor coating requires the application of multiple layers of epoxy. Thinner coatings cost less, but they will likely be a smoother, and thus more slippery. They will also show imperfections in the floor. The opposite is true for thicker coatings. Imperfections will be smoothed out, while the floor won’t be as slippery.

More benefits to epoxy flooring

Epoxy floors are long-lasting and extremely durable, able to take the punishment of daily heavy machinery traffic, variable temperatures, chemical abrasion, and constant cleaning and maintenance. Since epoxy floors are non-porous, contaminants like dirt and mold won’t be able to settle in. This allows maintenance crews to use normal cleaning devices and solutions to keep the epoxy floor in good shape. Despite its durability, maintenance is key to a long-lasting, durable epoxy floor.

Another big upside to epoxy flooring is its established reputation for safety. Epoxy floors aren’t slippery, and various non-slip coatings and textured finishes, like flakes and colored aggregates, can be added to make them even safer. Other aggregates that can be added to the epoxy floor include polypropylene or aluminum oxide, quartz, and silica flour.

Epoxy floors also look great. Aside from its functionality they are not adding highly aesthetic upgrades for commercial businesses. Style might not matter to a food processing plant, but a modern restaurant owner might love the look of epoxy floors. And even the grittiest industrial factories will want to look their best for investors, business partners, inspectors, and others visitors. Epoxy floors can make your business stand out.

Once an industrial or commercial customers contacts for proposed work, we conduct a comprehensive inspection of the structure’s space. Of particular interest to us are the high-traffic pedestrian areas, and any spaces or areas that accumulate grease, oil, bacteria, fungus or other contaminants (Enemy #1 for food service and pharmaceutical plants). After inspection, Lakeside Painting’s paint professionals prep the concrete floors by removing old surfaces and shot-blasting and/or diamond grinding the surface to ensure proper adhesion. This is followed up with a wide range of epoxy coatings, giving the surface a brilliant and strong finish. We can also add grit or texture to the coating in wet areas or any surfaces which accumulate oil and grease; thus ensuring employee safety.

Epoxy surface preparation and application

The number one secret to success is preparation. Spending a little extra time ensuing things are done correctly will make a world of difference.

The best methods for preparing concrete for epoxy coatings are shot-blasting and/or diamond grinding. These methods remove of latent, deteriorated concrete and contaminants from the floor surface. Getting down to sound, clean concrete, which allows the first and most important coat to penetrate deep into the concrete. Creating the bond that makes the coating stay down and last.

Most coating failures are directly linked to improper preparations. Other common failures are due to oil and/or moisture intrusion into the concrete slab. Oil intrusion is easy to recognize as it leaves visible stains. Proper cleaning and shot-blasting, along with the use of specific oil-tolerable primers, are recommended for heavily oil-contaminated areas. Moisture can be a hidden problem requiring tests to determine its presence.

Types of Epoxy Coatings

  • ArmorSeal
  • Tnemec
  • Insulating Epoxy Coatings
  • Hi-build Epoxy
  • Fiberglass Reinforced Epoxy
  • 100% Solids Epoxy
  • Water-Repellant Epoxies
  • Antimicrobial Flooring
  • Thermal-Shock Resistant Coatings
  • Anti-slip Safety Flooring
  • Chemical Resistant Coatings

What businesses can benefit from epoxy floors?

  • Commercial Retail Stores
  • Manufacturing Facilities
  • Energy Facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Food Processing Plants
  • Agricultural Facilities
  • Restaurants
  • Warehouses
  • Breweries
  • Auto Dealers
  • Auto Repair Shops
  • Garages
  • Parking Structures
  • Sports Stadiums & Facilities
  • University Research Facilities
  • Conference Centers
  • Airports
  • Commercial Kitchens
  • Cafeterias

With hundreds of uses in thousands of applications, epoxy coatings are a common service in the field of commercial painting. JMA Painters provides epoxy coatings for a wide variety of situations. We have the product expertise that will ensure you get the right coating for your specific application, and we will make sure it is installed correctly for maximum performance.

When you need epoxy coatings installed in your commercial facility, you need a contractor with the skills, experience and management to do it efficiently and correctly. JMA Painters will work whatever hours are necessary to minimize your downtime and get your coatings installed quickly.

For excellent commercial painting services and epoxy coating installations, JMA is a company you can trust. Our thorough training, extensive experience and dedication to personalized service make us the commercial painting contractor to call in Louisiana.

 

 

Benefits of repainting the exterior of your business

Repainting exterior of smoothie king center

Repainting exterior of smoothie king center

There are many benefits of repainting the exterior of your business.  The exterior of your business allows a potential customer to judge a book by its cover, which in this case, can be a good thing for you. A well maintained property is much more welcoming than a property with chipping and peeling paint, and will create a cleaner atmosphere for future clients and customers.  Customers generally prefer and trust a friendly looking, visually appealing business.

Commercial painting offers a solution for property and business owners. In addition to improving customer and client confidence, commercial painting can protect the surface of a buildings exterior. Constant exposure to sunlight and weather can have damaging effects on structural material. By coating the exterior with UV resistant and weather combatant paint, the longevity of your business can improve simply by repainting the exterior of your business.

An added benefit you might not immediately think about is improved employee morale, retention, and productivity. Your employees are directly influenced by their visual surroundings.  Industry journals regularly cite the value of clean, bright workplaces.  A new coat of paint will lead to higher spirits than a dull environment, and a new paint job will pep up employees before they even step inside. Take a second to think of well known successful businesses that are known for happy employees – Do they have a facility that employees are proud to walk in? Probably so.

Most importantly are the direct economic benefits to a commercial building that has been well maintained. Starting with building value.  Take two of the same building with the only difference being condition and aesthetic value of paint and landscaping – Every time the good looking, well maintained building will have a higher value, sales values, and bring greater rents from better tenants. Along with greater income from a well painted building, there is also the cost benefit of regular maintenance.  As a general rule, it is less expensive to do timely maintenance and keep a building up than it is to allow the building to deteriorate to the point of needing a major overhaul.

Signs its time to repaint the exterior of your business

  • Cracking: Failing to repair cracked paint will cause it to flake and peel off.  The next layer of material will then be exposed to the elements.
  • Chalking: Chalking on painted materials, such as wood and stucco, appears as a fine powder that rubs off easily on your hand. Over the course of time, chalking degrades the protection paint provides to an exterior surface and also causes colors to fade.
  • Blistering: Moisture can get into the material at unpainted areas, allowing layers of paint to peel and bubble.
  • Mildew and algae: If you spot gray or black spots on the exterior surface of your premises, it may be mildew or algae. This is caused by poor air circulation and excessive moisture. If nothing is done about it, the paint could flake or crack, and its life span will be significantly reduced.

 

If you are in Louisiana, and you are considering the many benefits of an exterior commercial paint job, please give the friendly professionals at JMA Painters an opportunity to discuss your project with you and provide an estimate for your upcoming work.

 

Historic Home Restoration

historic home restorationHistory is abundant in the southern Louisiana area. That’s why we take pride in giving historic homes a “new life.” Whether it’s ensuring an existing building is secure or adding modern amenities, we appreciate the style and architectural needs with the ability to complete the project.

JMA Painters brings back the value, splendor and integrity in linking the past with the present then taking it into the future for generations to appreciate and enjoy. In historic home restoration there are many choices that will need to be made when trying to plan such a project so that the original construction and the integral character of the home are not compromised.

Conservation is the least aggressive action. This involves treating existing materials so that additional harm and damage does no t occur.  Restoration repairs the entire building with with intentions of restoring it to the original grace and glory.

Historic home restoration entails more phases than conservation and strives to fix destruction while at the same time maintaining as much of the present state of the historic areas as possible.
JMA Painters  takes advantage of modern expertise to give older buildings an efficient new life while paying special attention to the details of preserving it authentically. With years of experience JMA Painters, LLC has developed a reputation for quality work, reliable scheduling, and effortless communication. After only 8 years, we are well on our way to becoming the largest painting company in the area. They have the experience in repairing weathered worn and damaged structures or recreate historic architecture to commercial properties.

Refurbishing a timeless treasure or mistreated piece of the past and renovating it for future generations to relish is tremendously satisfying work. To think we have the ability to restore and preserve a moment of time from so long ago for our grandchildren to experience and learn from is an honor like no other. You will be impressed with our customer service and the quality of work we provide.  We would love to hear from you.

 

Exterior Surfaces: Can it be painted?

A great way to update the appearance of your business is to have the exterior painted. There are many different types of exterior surfaces, and not all of them are suitable for painting. A professional painter will be able to tell you what the case is for your business.

When painting any exterior surface, it’s important to make certain of a few things:

  • The surface is properly prepped – cleaned and free of any dirt, debris, and mildew.
    • Pressure or hand wash the surface and allow it to dry completely
  • Remove any loose paint
  • Sand anywhere it’s required (glossy surfaces and bare wood, to give the paint something to stick to)
    • Make sure after sanding that the surface is dusted. Any leftover dust can interfere with the new paint.

If your exterior is in need of any repairs, the repairs must be completed before painting. It’s important to replace things like dried out or damaged caulk. Cracks or holes in the surface should be filled as well. This way, the paint has an even, undamaged surface to adhere to. Without repairing these situations, the damage can get worse and be harder to repair. Typical surfaces that can be painted include: wood, siding, and masonry.

Wood

Wood is fairly standard to paint. Prep the surface carefully, ensuring that the surface is clean, undamaged, and free of loose paint and debris, and paint away!

Siding – aluminum siding and vinyl siding can both be painted.

Vinyl is probably the easiest of all surfaces to paint, as all it tends to require is a good cleaning. Use a high quality acrylic latex-based paint, not an oil based paint. Don’t scrape or sand the surface, as you may damage the siding.

Aluminum siding is a bit trickier. When the bare metal is exposed, it begins to oxidize, so it’s important to remove any built up oxidation with steel wool before painting. If there is exposed metal, it’s important to prime the surface in order to prevent additional oxidation. When priming and painting, it’s best to use acrylic latex-based paints. These adhere evenly, and mimic the original texture of the siding, be it smooth or textured.

Masonry – brick, stucco, and concrete block are all paintable surfaces.

The key with masonry is age. Young masonry may retain moisture from its original mixing, or have higher levels of alkalinity. These both create challenges when painting, as it’s important to always have a dry surface with a lower alkaline level. Time and natural weathering will take care of both of these issues, but if the surface must be painted right away, use an alkaline-resistant primer/sealer. Then paint the surface with acrylic latex-based paints.

Older masonry has efflorescence to contend with. Make sure any efflorescence is removed, and the areas where it tends to accumulate is sealed in order to prevent any more from building up.

 

Low Pressure Wash Your Roof to Improve Its Appearance and Reduce Maintenance Costs

A critical part of the home that is often overlooked until there is a problem is the roof! Every homeowner knows they have to take care of their house. And yet, so many people don’t realize that there are things you can do for your roof that will help extend its life, improve your energy efficiency, and increase curb appeal. Some of the offenders that damage your roof include:

  • Fungus
  • Moss
  • Mildew
  • Mold
  • Algae

These things just love to munch on the limestone that is a large part of an asphalt roof. Couple the limestone with the warm, humid environment that a roof can offer and you wind up with a discolored, potentially damaged, unattractive, streaked, and stained roof! Not only is this unappealing from a visual standpoint, but it can negatively impact your energy usage and structural integrity!

How does mold impact my home’s energy efficiency?

Shingles are designed to reflect sunlight in order to lower home energy costs. Mold, and all of its friends up there, will build up on the surface of your roof. This interferes with the reflective properties of the shingles, which means your home absorbs more heat, which means increased cooling costs in the summer.

How is the structural integrity affected?

The mold, fungus, mildew, algae, and moss love to eat the limestone component of your asphalt roof. As they wear away that limestone filler, your roof will weaken. Where your roof was once a solid line of defense against the elements, it may now leak, or lose shingles if it’s left unattended long enough. It’s important to regularly remove these damage causing organisms from your roof.

How do I get rid of it?

A simple, yet very effective method of protecting your roof is to do a low pressure wash! Pressure washing removes all of the damaging buildup on the surface of your roof, without stripping away the asphalt, when done correctly. It’s very important to use low pressure! Heat makes asphalt slightly malleable, and if you use high pressure on your shingles, you can carve up your shingles like a Christmas turkey.

If you keep up with your roof and take good care of it, you can put off a full roof replacement for a very long time. Other things you can do to increase the life of your roof include cleaning your gutters and trimming overhanging limbs. These reduce the chances of moisture being trapped on your roof, and moisture is the number one ingredient that is required for the growth of mold and all its friends.