True Cost Of A Paint

Direct Cost

The true cost of a paint or coating is not just the price per gallon/liter. There are direct and indirect costs to consider.

Direct cost is the price per gallon/liter. Indirect cost includes how much labor it takes to apply per square feet/meters and how much time each complete application will last.

Time is the largest factor to take into account. How much time does it take to get the job done? And by done, that means properly applying the product so that the system lasts as it should with the need for reapplication.

Sustainability also affects the true cost of a coating. If a coating breaks down and has to be removed and replaced in a shorter period of time, it will be more expensive in time, money and the impact to the environment. Being sustainable means that it will hold up for extended periods and can attain an extended life cycle. How? A simple way would be to simply recoat that system so that it bonds with itself creating a “new” seamless membrane.

So if a product is sustainable for up to twenty years, this means that adding another coat at the end of its life cycle would create another twenty-year protection. In this manner, coatings don’t ever need to be removed, preventing the production of unwanted waste. Waste that needs to be transported and stored, thereby incurring fees.

A good coating can also save on replacement fees, such as in the case of wind and weather resistance.

Studies show that, if there are open seams or joints, wind can get beneath the surface and rip and tear off building components. The best way to make a surface wind and weather resistant is to completely seal it so there are no gaps, holes or openings for the weather to get behind it. That is a seamless, continual, monolithic membrane. This comes into play especially during high weather events such as heavy wind and rains during hurricanes and typhoons.

Do you know what roofs have many unsealed lips and joints? The most common roofs with seams are those with shingled or tile surfaces.

Another indirect cost, which is more of an intangible, is the impact the product has on the environment. This cost is equally, if not more, important.

Landfills and Waste

If a coating has to be removed and replaced, it generates waste that needs to be transported, and stored in overflowing landfills. These landfills are showing tremendous output of C02 emissions that produce greenhouse gases, contributing to Global Warming/Climate Change.

There are also other direct and indirect costs on the impact to the environment. For instance, a white solar reflective coating that repels the heat of the sun off a building and roof keeps a building cooler. That in return requires less air conditioning, saving energy and reduces our global footprint.

A lot of project estimates are based on direct costs. But studies show that for every dollar that is spent on a direct cost, there is another dollar spent on an indirect cost, such as downtime on a building and relocation fees to move occupants. Most times, when something is removed from a building, then something has to be put back, as with asbestos or lead-based paint. With the generation of this type of waste, the indirect costs can sometimes be hidden or unknown.

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