5 Questions You Should Ask Your Coating Contractor Before Hiring Them

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Want to choose the perfect coating contractor for your project? Here are 5 questions you should ask before hiring one. 

  1. What sort of work have you done in the past? 

Always start with this question. The answer will provide you enough of a baseline to know whether the contractor will even be able to do your coating project. The coatings industry is vast and many contractors specialize in a few equipment or structures. You do not want a coating contractor who has no idea what they are doing. 

For example, let’s say that you have a painting project that includes coating an entire cold box on an air separation plant. You reach out to a coating contractor who says they will do the job. You come to find out while they are on the job that they have only worked on water tanks & are not familiar with the equipment or working around gases. A situation like that screams liability. Save yourself the stress of being in that situation by asking right off if the contractor has done any work like your project. 

2. Do you have insurance? 

This question will separate out the professionals from the rookies. Professional coating contractors will already have all the insurance & licenses to be working as a contractor in their state. You should never start a project with a contractor that does not have their insurance and licenses in place. Always ask for documentation for your files. 

3. Can I have a copy of your safety manual? 

Safety is crucial to any industrial project, and coatings fall underneath that umbrella. It is no joke why we have the saying: “Safety is number 1.” There is always a possibility that something goes wrong: an aerial boom lift stops working while a worker is in the air, a part of the project is in a confined space, the project is around hazardous materials, etc. A coating contractor should have a safety plan in place for a variety of different situations.

Additionally, you want to work with a contractor who wants to keep their workers & your company safe. A safety manual is a good identifier of that mentality being a core value to their business. 

4. What coatings do you use? 

Always ask about what coatings will be used & their accompanying MSDS sheets. You want to make sure that the coatings being used are up to your quality standards. Some lower quality coatings may not hold up as long & may allow bleedthrough. Additionally, the coating’s MSDS sheet will outline any hazards that you may need to be aware of. Some areas of the United States have strict EPA regulations where some coatings may need extra precautions done before the start of work. 

5. Is there a warranty? 

“Is there a warranty?” is another way of asking: “Do you stand behind your work?” A warranty ensures that if there are coating failures (read about common coating failures here) you will not be left with having to pay another contractor to redo the work. 

By asking these 5 questions, the answers will help you identify whether the coating contractor is qualified for your next project. Good luck & we hope you find a coating contractor that meets your needs. 

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