Caulking expansion joints as part of a new commercial project is something we are often asked to do. The expansion joints are vertical joints running from ground to roof on Cinder Block walls (other types of walls as well).
When doing this type of work the three most important things to have are
1. The right type of caulk.
2. Backing rod.
3. A caulk gun that can handle urethane caulk. It’s thick and hard to gun.
This is the backing rod and caulk we are using. Sometimes the backing rod needed gets pretty big.
We are doing an addition to the Omaha Carmax. They are adding a photo booth (building) in which they can take photos of their cars. Doing this type of work in the winter can be a challenge. Fortunately the weather this week is good. We should be able to complete what we need to before it gets cold again. At least the exterior work.
Cold tubes of urethane caulk are a nightmare to deal with. Even with it being in the 50’s it will be difficult to gun.
We did get everything caulked as needed and went straight into blockfiller. Blockfiller is a masonry primer that fills in the pin holes and crevices on the masonry block. It is very thick and takes a big pump to gun it.
The inside of this building is interesting. the ceiling in the photobooth area looks like a saucer. The floor, which is covered up in the last photo, is a big turntable.
Start to finish we completed our work in a week. It was a team effort and everyone worked overtime getting it done. While the commercial caulking was a small part of the job it was a a difficult task with the colder temps.
Wallpaper repair or installation is not something we do on a regular basis. When we do it is usually on a commercial project like the Woodhouse Mazda project we are finishing up this week.
We were recently asked to look at some issues at the Omaha Hilton. With all the Coronavirus madness hotel occupancy has been rather low. With few people in the hotels problems develop. The Hilton had several water issues because the water wasn’t flowing in most of the pipes so leaks developed. This caused damaged drywall and wallpaper.
We are repairing the damaged drywall in the ceilings and walls. Some areas need to be painted and some need wallpaper replacement.
Working around customers (guests) is a challenge as is the logistics of working on the 8th floor when your staging point or work area is on the 1st floor. We set up a cart with most of the supplies we need but there is still a lot of up and down in the elevator.
In this type of environment it is important to be efficient and keep the work areas clean. We had issues to deal with on every floor, 2 through 8. Sanding drywall always creates a lot of dust so we had to be sure to vacuum that up right away.
The drywall repair is just about done. Painting will begin today and the wallpaper repair and replacement will begin next week. That will be complex. Cutting 52 inch paper and pasting it and then getting it up to another floor will be interesting.
It’s too bad we can’t move our cutting table closer to where we need to install the paper but we can’t. It’s big. Can’t really take over a hallway.
When this project is complete we will be moving on to repairing the walls and painting the pool area. That will be interesting. Draining a pool and staging scaffolding in and around the pool.
Epoxy floors were a very big part of my business many years ago. Just commercial ones like food plants, etc. We actually did many different types of resinous floors. MMA, epoxy, urethane cement.
There is a lot of money in those types of floors but the big thing for me was the challenge. They are difficult to do and there is always a limited time frame to complete it. Something always seems to go sideways and the pressure is high and all the plants want there floors done at the same time like Christmas, Thanks Giving. If the plant is going to be shut down, plan on spending your holiday there.
I still do floors from time to time but not like the good old days. I never thought I would see a floor I would pass on until last week.
One of the big oil change companies wanted to grind and epoxy their bays and the oil pit areas.
There was so much oil on those floors it would be impossible to grind deep enough to find a sound, oil free surface. Yuk
There was soo much oil that as I was measuring it out, my tape measure was flinging oil everywhere as it spun back into the housing.
We recently started a job at one of the MUD facilities in Omaha. Metropolitan Utilities District. They are great to work for. This time we are prepping and painting lots of exterior steel. Lots of safety yellow. Much of it can be sanded and painted but some of it will need to be sandblasted. The sandblasting is scheduled for this weekend 10/10/20. There should be much less traffic at the facility on the weekend. The fewer people around when sandblasting the better.
For this project we are using PPG Pitt-Tech. A very good direct to metal coating. We have purchased factory mix safety yellow. That being the case it will still take several coats of paint for proper coverage. Which we would do anyhow.
Of course this time of the year we keep an eye on the weather. The forecasts look good through the anticipated completion date. It has been rather cold in the morning though.
I get to do most of the sandblasting. Fun fun. This is always a two man gig so should be able to get some photos.
We went through 2100 Lbs of blast media. A lot more then I thought we would. Had a few issues. We had quite a few clogs in the blast line and one of the times my foreman was clearing it there was still pressure in the line and the coupling blew; he hamburgered the back of his hand.
We had quite a few rocks in the bags of media, so I got pelted several times as the rocks bounced back and hit me. Ouch. One rock took out a window in our work truck even though it was many feet away.
I taped up the window but it still blew inward when on the road. Glass everywhere.
The blasting is done and painting the rest of the safety yellow will be done by tomorrow.
We are currently doing a ground up car dealership (new). Our scope of work is typical for any commercial job. We are doing walls, lots of dryfall (ceilings) epoxy and a bit of wallpaper. What was not in our scope of work was to fix steel imperfections on door jambs.
On many commercial jobs the general contractor will whip out the awful bondo that is typically used to repair imperfections on cars. This product would work as a first coat if they ever had anybody that knew anything about how to apply it. We were on a large apartment complex job a couple years ago and it was a mess. Every time we turned around there would be someone slathering bondo on metals doors and frames.
On this job the contractor asked us to take over and fix steel imperfections on the jambs of the overhead doors that lead into the garage areas of the dealership. This was of course after someone else gave it a go. Yuk
Most of the imperfections were simply where the jambs were screwed into the wall studs.
Bondo is not easy to sand and if you have a large amount of it and it is not smoothed out it while wet it becomes a pain to sand down smooth.
The approach was to use an orbital sander with 80 grit paper on it to bring it down smooth and then use a detail sander to smooth the edges out. Then we used MH to skim over that repaired area to make it super smooth. MH is a great exterior spackle product. It dries very hard but is not terrible to sand.
These door jambs were made from galvanized steel so we also needed to clean them. Often they have a mill oil on them from when they are made. That oil must be removed prior to painting. We also sanded the entire jamb down to knock off burrs, etc.
Next we primed all those smoothed out areas and used Amershield as a top coat.
Wallpaper is still popular on commercial jobs. We are currently doing some wallpaper as part of a new Woodhouse Mazda project in Bellevue. It is not very popular on residential jobs. What we do most often is remove wallpaper on home projects.
It is best to remove wallpaper when possible but sometimes it is better to seal it and paint over it when it is going to cause too much damage to the walls in the removal process. When this situation arises the process is time consuming but not as bad as what is involved with wall repair when the paper won’t come off easy.
The first step is to make sure the paper is truly well adhered to the wall. Sometimes the paper is tight at the seams because they have been glued but the paper is fairly loose beyond that. If it has a good bond then you should be good to proceed. The areas need to be taped off for painting. Next is two coats of a quality oil base primer. Make sure to wait a fair amount of time between coats to insure the first coat is dry.
Any bubbles that may appear will need to be cut out and re-primed. Those bubbled areas will need to be skimmed over with drywall mud as well as all the wallpaper seams.
The areas that get drywall mud will need to be sanded and re-mudded as needed. Sand all those areas smooth and double prime with an alkyd primer.
Now it is a standard 2 coats of finish and clean-up. This system works but can be a bit time consuming. As long as you don’t cut corners it will work great. One note of caution. When dealing with an alkyd or oil base product, clean up is more of a challenge. Pay attention to any drips, etc. Clean them up while wet.
There are a few reasons you may get a blister on a new or newer exterior paint job. One reason is if the paint is applied within the dew point. You have probably heard a weather man mention the dew point and wondered what the heck is that or “why do I care about that”? The dew point is the temperature at which the moisture in the air will condense on a surface. Like moisture on the side of a cold beer glass. If you paint within the dew point the paint can’t adhere to the painted surface because of that moisture so it cures to itself. It’s just hanging there and will eventually form a bubble or bubbles.
This is easy to avoid. Paint only when the exterior temperatures are many degrees above the dew point and not expected to drop into or below the dew point until the paint has had a chance to cure. This type of failure is common when exterior painting is done in the fall or early spring and the painter isn’t monitoring the weather. If the painting is done in the fall you may not see the failure until next year in the spring or summer.
The “dreaded paint blister” as I like to call them is when the blister is formed because the original coating fails after a new coat of paint is applied over it. Normally there are many older coats of paint and it is on a older home with cedar or redwood lap siding.
There is no way to foresee this type of failure. These homes often pass through power washing without the paint coming off and there is no magic coating or primer to put on the home prior to painting to prevent this from happening. You just have to deal with it after the fact and here is how.
We took delivery today of a new Man lift. You only have to rent one a few times and it’s paid for. We have rented various lifts for so long it just makes sense to buy one now with all the commercial work we have on the books for the rest of the year.
We got a smoking deal on this one. About half what similar ones are going for!! Will make changing the light bulbs in the shop so much easier. Ha ha.
Epoxy floors are labor intensive but they sure look beautiful when done. To do the job correctly, you must grind the floor. Some people don’t. Big mistake.
We use a hand grinder in hard to get to places like this job. There was no way we could get an upright grinder down the staircase so on our knees we went.
A vacuum system is essential when grinding concrete. So are ear plugs. It’s a very loud process. If you don’t use a good HEPA vacuum system you will very quickly fill the room to the point of not being able to see. Breathing that is very bad too.
After the grinding is complete we use a special concrete patch material to fill cracks and holes. There are very few patch materials that can do the job and be top coated. The 2 component material we use can be top coated in 8 hours but we wait 24.
The patch material must be sanded after it’s cured. After which we vacuum again.
The primer coat is next. We double prime our epoxy floor jobs. On this job we are using MegaSeal primer and self leveling top coat. Once you get to this stage it is very important to observe the re-coat windows. How long you wait before applying the next coat and the maximum amount of time you can wait to recoat. Not paying attention to this is disastrous.
The self leveling product we used for the top coat is MegaSeal. Not an easy product to use. The pot life, or how long you have before it sets up, is about half of what they advertise so you have to work quickly. It is mixed up, poured out and spread on the floor. It gets cross rolled in two directions and then before it sets up we use a spike roller on it to release any air bubbles. All of this is done while wearing spike shoes. I haven’t fallen yet but I have had many close calls. This process is done again after the first coat cures over 24 hours.
Sprayed ceilings are very common on commercial jobs where the ceiling structure is exposed.
Sometimes a homeowner wants the same effect. These photos are from an older home in the North/West part of Omaha. The exposed structure was redwood so tannin bleed was a concern. We normally use an oil based product to seal the surface but decided to try a latex product instead. The big plus with using a latex or water based sealer is low odor.
Using the latex product worked but it required 3 coats to lock in the tannin bleed. Fair trade off in my opinion. This room had no windows and ventilation was a concern. Because the homeowner picked a dark color it also required a couple coats of the finish color. We decided to use an exterior grade product for the finish for durability and hide.
When you spray such a large volume of paint in a small area like this there is a dramatic increase in humidity as the paint dries. To combat this we had several fans going. We still had a problem with condensation on the exposed duct work. We would normally turn the air conditioning off before spraying but since it was a typical Omaha summer day we decided to spray the duct work in very light coats and then put the fans on them to speed drying.
Sprayed ceilings can be a challenge sometimes. This one turned out good. Next we will prep and paint the walls and a couple doors and trim. The floor is also getting an epoxy coating.