Celebrating a milestone

This year marks Philpaint’s 25th year in business. Since starting in 1986 our business and the world have undergone considerable changes.

When we started we were a part-time pressure washing company operating out of a spare bedroom. Today we are a full-service paint contracting company that has been operating out of the same location since 1991. (We did move to a new suite in the same building last year.)

The company’s first marketing materials consisted of home-made fliers created on a typewriter with hand drawn illustrations. With today’s technology (and the ease of hiring designers) professional marketing materials are easily created and produced. Changes in technology have had other impacts as well.

The most obvious advance in technology since 1986 is the Internet. When we launched our first web site in 1996 we were one of the first painting companies in the country to do so. Today, our site allows us to educate clients at any hour of the day. And of course, email has made communications faster and more convenient.

As I read this on my 18 inch flat screen monitor, I am reminded of the Apple Macintosh I purchased shortly after starting the business. I no longer recall the exact specifications, but the screen measured something like a whopping 6 inches and the processor speed was likely measured in kilohertz. My “accounting” software consisted of a crude spreadsheet that did little more than track cash flow. Today we use the latest version of QuickBooks.

Personally, my knowledge of both the painting industry and general business practices has expanded greatly. Today I am recognized as an industry expert in creating business systems, and regularly give workshops and give interviews to trade magazines.

I would like to thank our many loyal customers who have played such an important part in our success. In an industry in which 90 percent of new companies fail within 5 years, I am very proud to be celebrating 25 years in business. And I look forward to many more years of serving our customers.

Principles of Ventilation

As warm air within a home rises it carries with it moisture generated within the home. (Warm air holds more moisture than cool air.) This warm, moisture laden air eventually reaches the attic. Proper ventilation will allow the warm air to migrate outside.

As a general rule, adequate ventilation requires 1 square inch of Net Free Ventilation per 1 square foot of attic space. Homes with steep pitched roofs will require more ventilation because of the increased air volume in the attic.

The ventilation should be spread evenly between intake and exhaust vents. Ideal ventilation consists of continuous soffit vents and continuous ridge vents. The dynamics of air movement will pull cool air into the attic through the soffit vents and exhaust the warm air through the ridge vent.

Without adequate ventilation warm, moist air cannot easily escape from wall cavities and the attic. The moisture will ultimately migrate through siding, fascia boards, soffits, etc. At the surface of the substrate hydrostatic pressure will compromise the adhesion of the paint. The result will be cracked or bubbling paint, and eventually premature failure of the paint film.

Unfortunately, many homes (particularly older homes) are not adequately ventilated. While additional ventilation can be added, the design of some homes can pose considerable challenges.

When evaluating your ventilation system, it is important to accurately identify the size of your soffit vents. For example, a home with 2,000 square feet of attic requires twelve to nineteen 16” x 8” soffit vents, and twenty-four to thirty-eight 16” x 4” soffit vents.

Equally important is the spacing of these vents. Ideally the vents should be evenly spaced around the home to allow for maximum air flow. Uneven spacing may result in “dead air”, that is, areas with little or no air movement.

Pressure Washing

High pressure water is an effective cleaning agent for many surfaces, particularly masonry such as bricks, driveways, sidewalks, and patios. High pressure water literally blasts away dirt, mildew and other contaminants. It is also great for the area around the pool but we do request that if you are having any lifting of the pool liner that you get pool liner replaced before you make an appointment for the pressure washing.

However, painted surfaces should generally not be cleaned with high pressure water. Not only can such a method cause damage to the paint and the underlying substrate, it is ineffective in removing dirt and mildew on such surfaces.

A wide variety of pressure washers are available. Their output can range from 1,000 PSI to 5,000 PSI. Machines with outputs above 5,000 PSI are generally considered water blasters, and are usually used for industrial applications.

For most residential applications, an output of 1,500 PSI to 2,500 PSI is sufficient.

The output of the pressure washer is controlled and directed with a gun and wand assembly similar to that found at a self-service car wash. A tip at the end of the wand shapes the output into a fan, the width of which can be changed by inserting a different tip.

Though masonry surfaces are less susceptible to damage from high pressure water, care must be exercised. Pressurized water is abrasive, and prolonged exposure can loosen pea gravel and mortar.

In many situations, pressure washing may not sufficiently clean a surface. Bricks, for example, are highly porous and mildew and algae can grow in these pores. In such situations, a diluted bleach solution may be required to remove the residual fungal growth.