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Fumes and Fires: The Hazards of Industrial Spray Painting

Making a major upgrade to your building? Stop. Many business owners are DIY'ers, understandably. But, a painting job isn't something you want to take lightly. There are risks when doing this type of job on your own. Some of those risks are very serious. Here's why you should go for commercial equipment or outsource the job.

Benefits of using a Professional

Commercial Systems Have Internal Safeties
When you take on a paint job internally, without commercial systems, you're taking a huge liability risk. The risk of paint fumes is serious and it can be debilitating both immediately and over the long-term. Volatile compounds are typically used in paint, and these can damage the lungs, and other organs. Damage may not be immediate, but in some cases it is.

Either way, you risk a lawsuit. You may not be thinking about it now, but it's a risk that could put you out of business. If you're concerned about being around in 20 years, it pays to have professional equipment, if only for the internal safeties. What kind of safeties?

For starters, commercial paint booths use ventilation systems that are capable of clearing the room of most of the toxic fumes your employees will be exposed to. In addition to the venting systems, these commercial setups also include advanced breathing apparatuses that filter the air that painters breathe, further reducing the amount of toxic materials they are exposed to.

Commercial Systems Are Professional
There are many advantages of spray painting, but many of those advantages come from having the right equipment. If you don't use a commercial setup, you simply cannot get the best quality paint job.

Commercial sprayers, for example, use fine adjustment mechanisms to precisely control and mix the paint so that it goes on smooth. A spray gun is capable of providing even coverage, avoiding overlap and minimising overspray. Finally, commercial systems reduce the dust in the paint booth, which, in turn, reduces the impurities in the final paint job.

This ultimately means less finishing and detailing work in the final stages of painting. So, for example, it's common for a paint job to result in orange peel. This is when the finished job looks like the surface of an orange - it's dimpled or slightly pitted. It's a normal result of painting and usually not the fault of the paint equipment. However, it needs to be dealt with.

The way one finishes a paint job is through the process of wet-sanding. water, and very fine sandpaper, is used to smooth out the orange peel. Without commercial paint booths and sprayers, this becomes an impossible task, however. Why? Because fine dust particles make their way into the paint job, ruining the wet-sanding procedure. Too much material must be removed to get a smooth finish and more paint needs to be used to cover over-sanding. Multiple coats of paint are used and, sometimes, a "perfect" job can never be accomplished.

Professional Companies Have Experience; Use Them
Unless you happen to be very good at painting, it may make sense to outsource the job. Professional painters have experience and they know what they're doing. They also have a skillset that they have practiced and a protocol that's consistent from job to job. You don't have that.

A professional painter may also be more efficient. So, even if you could do the job yourself, at roughly the same or similar quality, you may end up taking twice or three times as long as the commercial painter. Why is this a big deal? Because your time is money. You may be missing out on the opportunity to make money doing something else in your business. This is called "opportunity cost."

Professional Companies Can Save You Money
When you do the job yourself, you risk having to do it over. Now, in truth, this is something almost no business owner expects to have to do. But, let's face it. When we are not professionals, we have a higher chance or risk of making a mistake. And, those mistakes fall entirely on us.

With a professional company, assuming that they stand behind their work (all professionals will), any mistakes are covered for free. This minor detail could save you thousands of dollars on a big job.

Commercial Painting Is Hard
The most obvious reason to outsource is that commercial painting is difficult. If you're painting the outside of a building, for example, you need special equipment and safety gear. If you're painting inside, you need a proper booth and paint, along with safety equipment. It's not something that you may use more than once. At the end of the day, this is not your core competency.

Jesse Spring has managed a small metal manufacturing business for a number of years now. When he has time off, he likes to share what he has learned over the years. Look for his informative articles on many websites and blogs.

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