One of the things we all look at when we review bid proposals or consider a contractor is the Labor Warranty offered for the project. How long of a warranty should you expect? What does it cover? How will it be honored? DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
Given the market conditions of the past few years and the number of different guarantee type offers bandied about by Denver house painters, lets address what makes a warranty offer a valid, real thing that impacts a purchasing decision one way or the other.
How long should a paint job in Denver last and what impacts that life?
The factors are as follows:
# 1- The Quality of the Paint and Prep Products.The higher quality paint products and the type and level of caulk and primers will impact long term life. However, based on certain weather conditions, this will only get you so far.
# 2- Application of Paint- Proper application, using the right primers plus caulking voids properly will impact life.
# 3- Non-dilution of Paint – Diluted paint, especially a lower grade paint, can shorten life by as much as 50%.
# 4- Applying the Wrong Type of Product to a Particular Surface. For example, PAINT IS NOT THE BEST PRODUCT TO PUT ON CEDAR HOMES, even if the house has been painted previously. Cedar is very porous. Paint is not a penetrator. It wants to grab on to a sealed surface. That is why your house painter will use primer on bare wood. Stain is designed to penetrate into a porous surface like cedar. Paint has a tendency to sit on top of cedar and is more likely to peel away or add weight and pull away previously applied paint.
# 5- Elevation- With higher elevations, UV and weather affects the life of paint or stain in a negative way. In Denver and surrounding areas, 5280 ft. is hard on paint and prep products. South and west exposures will fade and warp faster and northern exposures will swell and accumulate moisture. Accumulation of snow to lower sections of a house will cause failure to vertical surfaces and all horizontal surfaces, fences and decks will take a significant hit short and mid-term. Horizontal surfaces will require yearly or bi-yearly maintenance.
#6- Variance of Temp. – The greater the temperature variance throughout the day, the more impacted surfaces are that paint or stain are applied to, due to extreme expansion and contraction. This also affects the ability for caulk to seal voids long term, no matter what the quality. Denver can experience up to 60 degree temperature swings during the course of a day..
#7- Type of Weather. While salt water and humidity present their own challenges in other areas of the country; heat, snow, freezing rain, sleet, hail, pollution, and wind all combine to make Colorado and places of similar weather very challenging for paint film life.
#8- Quality of the People Providing the Work. On-site care and attention to detail by the Denver area house painter that you choose to do the work will affect the end result’s mid and long term life, for sure.
With all that said be very wary of warranty offers from house painters in Denver that extend out to a number of years that would not really make reasonable sense given all the above noted factors combined. It would not matter if multiple layers or coats of even the highest rated paint in the country was applied to your home. The UV will fade it and the extreme elements here in Colorado will compromise it. Paint film, no matter how thick, will start to experience failure at somewhere between 3-4 years. Most homes need to be re-painted at 5-6 years here. New homes, even with lower grade products used, can go 8-9 years as they have not experienced years of expansion and contraction, pollution, UV and weather.
Other Considerations in House Painting Warranties
Many warranties from Denver exterior painters are driven to sell you now. “What can we do to sell more bids now, now, now” kind of thought process. They are market strategies designed most often to rely on people moving out of their homes before the warranty is needed. This is a flawed strategy that lacks vision and accountability. This type of short view of not ‘seeing the forest beyond the trees’ type of marketing will result in more warranty work than real work. Will they come when faced with this choice? , when will they come? , who will come? , will they be able to answer the call for such work? , how will they survive? What seems like a great way to drive business now may not be so great down the road.
The ideal behind a warranty is to protect you in case something fails within what should be considered a reasonable amount of time for that product or service to last. A warranty should be straight forward and you should feel comfortable that you understand it. A reasonable and intelligently ascertained warranty for the Denver painting market is in the 3-5 year range. Some other quick things to make note of: How detailed is the warranty? How often will you need to use it? Lack of detail could be important when it comes to redemption – what good is a 100,000 mile warranty on a car if the car is in the shop all the time being fixed. You are just frustrated & unhappy all the time. Ultimately, what is the real intention of whatever is offered to you when making a purchasing decision?