Does Your Equipment Need a Spring Checkup?

These tips will ensure you’re ready for exterior season

Spring’s just around the corner, and like many painting businesses, you’re probably beginning to prepare for exterior season. In all your preparation, don’t forget to perform an annual checkup on your equipment. Now’s the time to make sure your gear is still performing well and to upgrade or replace any tools or equipment as necessary.

Here’s a quick checklist to help guide you through some of your most important equipment maintenance decisions.

Sprayer Condition

Make sure your airless sprayers are in good condition. Check for any damage, kinks, or leaks in the paint hose. Inspect the gun and pump filter elements for clogs and debris, and check the pump inlet strainer, suction tube, and drain tube for any hardened or dried-on paint, clogs, or debris. Clean and replace these elements as needed. Make sure to also inspect the throat packing wet cup (typically found next to the pump rod) for paint or fluid; tighten it if it’s leaking, and always clean it after each use.

If you use a Graco® Contractor Series or similar piston pump sprayer, experts recommend using Sherwin-Williams Spray Source Packing Saver Lubricant every time you use your sprayer. It will help keep your packings wet, reduce friction, and dissolve material on the displacement rod. Keeping the rod clean and lubricated reduces abrasion and wear, which will make your sprayer last longer and require less maintenance.

If you test out a sprayer and it appears to be malfunctioning, contact your local Spray Source equipment service center. They offer fast turnaround with quality repairs to help get you back out on the jobsite quickly, as well as repair parts and additional accessories. Sherwin-Williams has also coordinated with both Graco and Titan to offer troubleshooting support by phone or video. Start your troubleshooting with a call to Graco (800-285-0032) or Titan (800-526-5362).

Spray Tip Condition

Are your spray tips still in good condition and ready for more use? Tips can get blown out from overuse or clogged from inadequate cleaning. This matters because worn tips can eat into your bottom line. Graco found that worn tips can result in up to 25 percent more paint being used (due to overspray) and application time increasing by up to 20 percent (due to producing an uneven finish).

Don’t let that happen to your business. Inspect your spray tips and replace them as soon as you see signs of wear. Tip wear signs include when your fan pattern narrows. Generally, tips used with latex paint will need to be replaced every 15-40 gallons, while tips used with oil-based paints or stains will need to be replaced every 35-60 gallons.

You can also maximize your pump productivity by using a Titan® High Efficiency Airless (HEA) or Graco Low Pressure (LP) spray tip. These tips will unlock the full potential of your sprayers.

Equipment Upgrades

Consider the type and scope of jobs your business will be taking on this year. Even if your current equipment is working, investing in new equipment now can help you be more productive to start the year and open up new job opportunities. It may be time to invest in a more reliable unit, or to upgrade to a unit with higher throughput or that can handle multiple users at once.

For example, the Mi-T-M® HSP Series Gasoline Direct Drive Pressure Washer is built to boost cleaning power with hot water, effectively removing grease and grime from surfaces. A hot water pressure washer is ideal in removing grease in service garages, sterilizing healthcare facilities and food processing plants and cleaning heavy equipment at construction sites. The Titan Impact X 440 Electric Airless Sprayer features an adaptive pressure control system that automatically adjusts for optimal pressure to maintain a consistent fan pattern and minimize uneven spray patterns. And the Graco Ultimate QuickShot Airless Sprayer allows mobility with battery technology, making it ideal for decks, shutters, and other outdoor projects. Its instant-response electronic gun is the the lightest, smallest airless gun ever built while also virtually eliminating spits.

For any questions, contact your local Sherwin-Williams sales representative or store manager. They are knowledgeable about many spray and pressure-washing units, and can engage Graco, Titan, and Mi-T-M for a demo.

Vehicle Organization

If you’re thinking about doing some spring cleaning, extend that to your vehicle, too! Though painter’s vehicles can sometimes get messy or cluttered with lots of supplies and equipment, a little bit of organization can go a long way toward helping your team find what they need when they need it and can even add to your professionalism.

For specific organizational solutions, check out our five tips for fitting everything you need in one vehicle.

Ladder Safety

It’s important to inspect your ladders regularly. Any signs of damage can quickly become safety concerns for you and your crew. If you find one of your ladders is old or broken, take it as an opportunity to upgrade your equipment. New ladders, such as the Werner® LeanSafe X3 Aluminum Ladder or GlideSafe™ Fiberglass Extension Ladder, offer productivity-enhancing features over traditional ladders.

Werner recommends paying attention to your ladders’ condition: “It’s like any other tool. You have to make sure it is safe. You need to pay attention to the details and all the parts. Regular inspection of your ladders for any potential issues is one of the most important aspects of safety.” Use the Werner inspection checklist to review the most common areas of ladder issues.

Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for repair parts, new tips and accessories, or to invest in a new unit, Sherwin-Williams can help with its vendor partners and available PRO+ credit terms. Investing time to inspect your equipment now can result in great rewards later. Performing a checkup on all your equipment is a great way to make sure you and your business can hit the ground running this exterior season.