True prep work begins with getting the jobsite ready and protected so there are no accidents or damage to the customer’s property. Plus, don’t forget to protect the crew’s lungs, eyes and skin. Without a healthy crew, the job doesn’t get done.
Everyone wants to start painting as fast as possible, which means site and personal protection steps need to be quick, painless and reliable. Today there are a number of product innovations on the market that can help you do just that. As with any profession, new technologies are bringing new effi ciencies that deserve a close look.
When it comes to jobsite protection, innovative technologies can make your job faster and easier. If you’re still using bulk poly products that make it hard to hold plastic up and tape at the same time, take a look at products that cling to surfaces with a strong static charge. The static cling frees up your hands to make placement, repositioning and taping a little easier. Most come in boxed rolls so you just pull and cut. The newer, more advanced painter’s plastics are also flake, lacquer and solvent resistant to minimize leaks and damage and make cleanup much easier.
Masking is another prep step that has gotten faster and easier, thanks to dispensers. If you are using paper or bulk poly for masking, you may want to switch to a masking tool designed specifically for heavy use by contractors. These can dispense masking film or masking paper and masking tape at the same time. Dispensers with a three-point tape hub allow for various widths of tape and tracking adjustment capability to eliminate wrinkling.
Masking film with superior flake resistance helps the paint bind to the film, which helps with cleanup. Films with a static cling feature will stay in place even in windy conditions or when you use spray equipment.
“You may be pretty tough – but your eyes are some of the most delicate, easily injured parts of the anatomy.”
Red rosin paper has long been the standard when it comes to protecting customers’ floors, but it’s got some real limitations; it can tear and leak and requires tape to keep it in place. New floor protection products use all kinds of new technology so they stick to the floor without the use of tape. Many can be repositioned and reused. Be prepared to pay a little extra for these products, but it will pay off when you can reuse it.
Even with the floor surfaces covered at your jobsite, it’s still smart to prevent dirt and debris from being tracked in. Wearing booties is one way to help minimize dirt tracking. There are also sticky mats on the market that will catch dirt at the entrance. The mats’ supersticky surface captures dirt from shoes and carts, while a nonskid backing keeps the mats in place on floor surfaces such as carpet, wood and tile.
It’s very important to protect the health of your crew. That usually means wearing protective gear that can guard against injury to lungs, eyes and skin.
If you’re using a paint sanding respirator without a built-in valve, take a closer look at disposable valved respirators that help reduce heat inside the mask and allow easier breathing. They still protect you from certain dusts caused by sanding, grinding, sawing and insulating, but your crew will probably be more comfortable while working.
Finally, don’t forget about eye protection. You may be pretty tough – but your eyes are some of the most delicate, easily injured parts of the anatomy. A lot of people think plain old sunglasses will do the trick, but you never know when debris might come flying. Choose safety eyewear that has been tested using ANSI standards. You’ll be surprised at the choices you have in colors and styles. Don’t worry; you can be safer and still look good while wearing safety eyewear.
Protection is the first step in any successful job – for the site and for you and your crew. Fortunately for all painting contractors, the innovative products and tools that make your job faster and easier just keep on coming. Stay up to date and informed so you can incorporate the ones that make the most sense into your work routine. As a true professional, your health, image and efficiency are all keys to your success. APC
Wade Bowman is the brand manager for 3M Masking Systems. David Bierman is the business unit manager for 3M Safety.