Extend the paint life on your building

SprayPaintingPainting maintenance programs are not unique in the concept of maintaining buildings and structures. First, you have to define what is a painting maintenance program and secondly what benefit does it provide to school management.


In brief a painting maintenance program is constructed over a set period of time, generally in years. It will in most cases consist of a full repaint followed by annual paint maintenance services which, if external, will include cleaning of soiled painted surfaces and painting of any painted surfaces that have been damaged by normal wear and tear.

The cleaning component will in most cases include detergent washing of painted surfaces to remove dirt and grime and dry cleaning using a soft broom to remove cobwebs and dust where washing is not appropriate. The external cleaning is an important part of the process of maintaining a building as it is the build-up of salt, dirt and grime over time that will break down painted substrates.

A simple analogy is ‘we clean our cars regularly to protect the duco so why would you not clean your painted building on a regular basis’ especially when you consider the cost difference between a car and a school complex.

It is a well-known fact that if you wash your building externally every year the life of your paint work will be extended by three to four years. Once upon a time, paint manufacturers never used to mention the need to maintain your paint work, now they do as their warranty is linked to maintaining painted surfaces. It is no secret that the environment we live in has changed in regards to climatic conditions, pollutants in the air and the effect of acid rain impact on painted and pre-finished surfaces so it makes sense to wash your building on a regular basis.

Paint maintenance is the last step of the maintenance process where by any painted surfaces that have been damaged by normal wear and tear are sectionally repainted to an architectural break to ensure uniformity of appearance. Nothing looks worse that patch painting, so it is important that the painting extends to a break line in the building to project a uniform finish.

A typical painting maintenance program will be over six to seven years depending on the location, consist of a full repaint in year one and annual paint maintenance services on the anniversary of the initial repaint. There of course will be variances to the above; for example if you have a group of buildings that are in varying degrees of condition, your program will be structured accordingly with the repaints spread over the program – no point painting everything in the first year if does not need it. The only exception to this would be if you wanted to implement a full colour change.

The Benefits

What are the benefits you may well ask – the logical one is that you will extend the life of your painted surfaces and therefore save yourself the cost of regular repainting and possible building repairs where the substrate has broken down due to moisture ingress caused by your paint work breaking down.

The other stand out benefit is that your building will be maintained at an acceptable level that does not detract from its appearance.

Depending on which company you engage to put in place your painting maintenance program, there are a number of payment options to consider: first, there is the even spread of payment approach that divides the total cost of the program evenly over the term of the contract. This is a simplistic option that makes it easy to budget for. This system is generally a lot more expensive as it has an interest factor built into the price and “indexation” or rise and fall when calculated over the life of the program can increase the overall cost by up to 25 per cent.

The other payment options include paying a higher percentage in the first year to lessen the on-going payments in the latter years, or the standard pay as you go option where you pay the exact value for the work each year.

The added benefit of paying for the work each year is that the contract becomes a performance based agreement, as no money is owed it can be terminated without additional cost at any time which provides greater flexibility.


When considering a painting maintenance program approach to your building, ensure that it is beneficial.

For example, a multi-story classroom block generally would not suit a standard painting maintenance program unless it is close to the sea and susceptible to salt air build up. In this type of situation, full building washes can be tied in with high inaccessible window cleaning to minimise costs. With multi-story blocks that are not close to the sea, it not so much the repaint but the annual paint maintenance that has to be considered when it comes to accessing the building. Put simply it would be just too expensive to maintain all the building every year, hence you would have to compromise and only maintain ground level areas and internal common areas.

The majority of buildings and structures in the education sector would suit a painting maintenance program. The main factor is that it must suit your requirements and be structured accordingly to your benefit not the contractors

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