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School maintenance: How often should you inspect your paintwork?

Brendan Hood |   April 2, 2020 at 8:00 AM

School maintenance: How often should you inspect your paintwork?

Painting maintenance is a key component of any comprehensive school maintenance plan. But how often should you inspect and clean your school’s exterior and interior paintwork? And what are the common signs to look for which indicate work needs to be done?

In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of school painting maintenance, as well as how often it should take place and common problems to look out for.

The benefits of painting maintenance in schools

There are a number of benefits to taking a proactive approach to painting maintenance. Not only will preventative maintenance save your school time and money, but it will also improve your reputation and create an optimal learning environment by:

  1. Preventing problems rather than reactively treating them
  2. Reducing long-term costs associated with significant paint deterioration
  3. Smoothing out your school’s cash flow with smaller regular payments
  4. Minimising disruptions during term by addressing paintwork problems early
  5. Maintaining an aesthetic environment that encourages learning
  6. Increasing demand by always making a good first impression
  7. Improving retention through consistently well-maintained facilities

How often should painting maintenance take place?

Your painting maintenance schedule will depend on the location, type and size of the buildings in your school, as well as the budget at your disposal. The quality of the initial paintwork will also affect what maintenance is needed and how often.

With this information, professional painting contractors will be able to work with you to create a painting maintenance plan tailored to the specific needs of your school. However, even without this additional expertise, there are some basic maintenance rules you can follow yourself.

Interior paintwork

Interior paintwork should be inspected and cleaned annually, according to the Queensland Independent Schools Block Grant Authority (BGA). Additionally, the school maintenance plan should include time and budget allocation for the reapplication of powder coat finishes every two years, as required, and new internal paintwork every five years.

Exterior paintwork

Exterior paintwork should be inspected and cleaned annually, however cleaning may increase up to quarterly in marine or geothermal locations. The BGA also recommends planning for repainting of exterior surfaces every 10 years.

While an annual inspection is the bare minimum, it may be prudent to include regular inspections on a term basis, particularly of problem areas, such as paintwork which attracts graffiti or is in a damp location.

How do I know if painting maintenance is required?

As well as regular cleaning of interior and exterior surfaces, painting maintenance must also address different problems as they arise. A common maintenance activity in schools is likely to be the removal of stains and graffiti, which should be undertaken as soon as possible.

There are also a range of other common paint problems that may need to be addressed throughout the lifespan of your school’s paintwork, including:

  • Pealing, cracking or flaking paint
  • Mildew and mould
  • Efflorescence (white, crusty mineral salts)
  • Mud cracking
  • Chalking (a fine chalky powder on the paint surface)
  • Yellowing

These paint problems are caused by a range of factors, including moisture seepage or dampness, low-quality or the wrong choice of paint, or inadequate surface preparation or application.

Depending on the problem and its cause, the affected paintwork may need to be thoroughly cleaned and a new coat of appropriate paint applied, or scraped and sanded back entirely, before a new application of paint. That’s all part of school maintenance.

The good news is that by regularly inspecting and cleaning your school’s paintwork, many of these problems can be avoided or caught before they escalate. If you’re looking for more tips on school painting maintenance, including how to clean interior and exterior paintwork, download our free Maintaining Your Painted Property guide.

Maintaining Your Painted Property

Higgins Coatings is Australia's premier commercial painting contractor with over 70 years of experience in providing cost-effective painting and tailored maintenance solutions to a broad range of industries including hospitals, aged care, schools, and strata. If you need quality painting services delivered on time and within budget, contact us today for a consultation.