One of the things we all look at when we review Bid proposals or consider a Contractor is what the Labor Warranty is offered for the Project. How long of a Warranty should I expect? What does it cover? How will it be honored? DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
We’ll given the Market Conditions of the past two, three years & the number of diff. guarantee type offers bandied about by Painting Contractors, lets address what makes a Warranty offer a valid, real thing to impact a purchasing decision one way or the other.
First of all, how long should a Paint Job Last and what impacts that life. The factors as I see it 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 and 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 really, it wants to grab on to a Sealed Surface. That is why you use Primer to Bare Wood. The stain is designed to penetrate into a Porous Surface-like Cedar. Paint has a tendency to sit on top of Cedar and not is more likely to peel away or add weight and pull away previously applied Paint.
# 5- Elevation- With Higher Elevations, UV & Weather affects Life of Paint or Stain in a Negative Way. In Denver & Surrounding Areas 5280 Ft. is hard on Paint & 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, the More impacted Surfaces are that Paint or Stain are applied to due to extreme expansion and Contraction. This also affects the ability of Caulk to seal Voids long term no matter what the quality. Denver can experience up to 60-degree temp. Swings.
#7- Type of Weather. While Salt Water and Humidity present their own challenges in those type of Cities; Heat, Snow, Freezing Rain, Sleet, Hail, Pollution, and Wind all combine to make Colorado & places of similar ilk very challenging for Paint Film Life.
#8- Quality of the People Providing the Work. Onsite care and attention to detail by the people there to do the work will affect the End Result’s mid & long term life for sure.
With all that said be very wary of Warranty offers 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 were 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 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.
Many of these Warranties 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 I say is a flawed strategy that lacks vision and accountability. This type of Short Viewed 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. Why especially pay more for such Warranty Marketed programs with different offers of length or the use of diff. types of Paint, etc.
The Ideal behind a Warranty is to protect you in case something has failure within what should be considered a reasonable amount of time for that product or service to last. They should be straight forward and one should feel comfortable they understand it. A reasonable & intelligently ascertained Warranty for this 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 mean anything when it comes to redemption and 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?