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Impact of the Coronavirus on the Roofing Industry

COVID-19 is a global threat. It is affecting health, living, and the economy. It is also affecting the roofing industry, so contractors need to be ready.

As with the medical field, prevention is the key. As the virus spreads, employers need to take preventative measures. The number of cases is rising which means you need to be prepared. Employers must have procedures in place for their workers to maintain health and well-being. The trouble is there is not much case law to go by for guidance, as dealing with pandemics is not a common issue.

OSHA has taken initiative to remind employers of their existing standards, focusing on OSHA’s Personal Protective Equipment standards. The Bloodborne Pathogens standard does not apply to coronavirus but it can serve as a helpful framework to put standards into place. There is also an OSHA webpage that provides employers with all current information on the virus. This is to help them establish guidelines and procedures for their workplace.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s advisory is also a great resource. This features a “Pandemic Preparedness” guide for employers. One key feature is that employers have a broader scope for questioning their employees on health issues. This is normally prohibited. They can request information about travel or when employees are showing flu-like symptoms. They can request for employees to have their temperature taken and can send them home at their discretion.

These measures can only be taken however when an employer feels the employee is a direct threat. There has to be a risk of substantial harm to the health of the individual or the other employees. Employers have to be careful not to violate employee rights and these guidelines are provided. Any information gained cannot be shared and adverse actions such as termination cannot be done.

The Impact on the Supply Chain

The impact of the virus in China is impacting the world in terms of production. Global markets and supply chains are feeling the strain. Mass quarantines, curfews, and travel restrictions are crippling Chinese shipping. This is affecting the roofing industry too. Specifically, the most drastic effects can be seen in the supply of solar roofing. Production has almost come to a stop as China is where 70% of these panels are produced.

Other materials are also seeing a decline in production. Aluminum, plastic, timber, and rubber have all declined. The lack of workforce has been the driving reason. Currently, manufacturing plants in China are believed to only be operating at 30%. This will continue to hit the roofing industry until the situation improves. U.S. roofing companies can expect to begin feeling higher costs and price fluctuations, material shortages, logistics breakdowns, order cancellations, and extended delays in product fulfillment and shipping.

Ultimately, project completion will slow which affects suppliers and project managers. Roofers are advised to begin preparing for these effects now by evaluating their own supply chains from end to end to pinpoint vulnerabilities. You need to identify potential alternative supply sources, preparing for costs to soar, and making sure you have adequate provisions to protect against increased costs, supply chain delays and interruptions.

Include Force Majeure Clauses

This needs to be in your contracts. This allocates the risk of performance if performance is delayed indefinitely or stopped as a result of circumstances outside of a party’s control. It also provides notice to the parties of the types of events that would cause a project to be suspended or that would excuse performance such as coronavirus and supply issues.

The party impacted by the force majeure is protected by temporarily suspending or terminating the contract due to unexpected and unavoidable events. The event must be beyond the control of the contracting parties, it cannot be anticipated, foreseeable, or expected, and the event must be unavoidable. At this time, the coronavirus pandemic and its global economic impact are covered under this.

The following elements should be addressed in a force majeure clause:

  • What events are considered force majeure?
  • Who is responsible for suspending performance?
  • Who is allowed to invoke the clause?
  • Which contractual obligations are covered by the clause?
  • How is the inability to perform determined?

What happens if the event continues for an extended time period?

If your company already has this clause in place, it would still be wise to review those provisions to make sure they are clear. Make sure terms such as “widespread epidemic,” “pandemic,” and/or “public health emergency” are added. Since courts will interpret the clause based on the wording, these key phrases need to be included.

Price Acceleration Provisions

Contractors need to consider adding terms to their contracts to protect themselves from labor and material price increase. A price acceleration provision allows the roofing contractor to adjust the contract price to reflect the revised actual cost of the labor and materials. The price acceleration clause is usually limited to increases in materials over the course of a single project.

The contractor also needs to provide the prime contractor or owner with evidence supporting the claim for additional compensation. Price acceleration clauses also sometimes contain a termination for convenience provision. This will enable the contractor to escape a contract if the cost of materials has increased too much.

A roofing contractor may find it difficult to include a price acceleration clause in its contract with a prime contractor because both the owner and the prime contractor are looking for fixed prices initially. In this situation, the roofing contractor should consider buying and storing materials prior to construction to avoid any potential increases later on.

Requesting a deposit to purchase the requested materials is also a good idea. The subcontractor should consider requesting that the prime contractor also add a similar provision in its contract. This way the prime contractor can seek additional funds from the owner for any labor or price acceleration that occurs throughout the project.

Conscientious Bidding

Roofing contractors should also be cautious when providing firm bids for projects. Especially, if they will not begin construction for a few months. In these cases, the contractor faces additional exposure for any increases in the costs of labor and materials caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Estimating these jobs thoughtfully, and conservatively can potentially make or break a roofing contractor. Especially since the extent of the repercussions of the coronavirus on the market is not yet known.

Since there is no current vaccine for the coronavirus and the number of infected individuals continues to rise, there is no way to know when the economy will normalize. Roofing contractors need to take steps to mitigate their risks and protect themselves. As the virus remains at large, there will be impacts to the U.S. construction industry, after the shock wave from China’s supply lines spreads.


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How To Clean Roof Shingles? Tips and Tricks


Dirty, stained and poorly maintained shingles are quite common here in the US, and understandably so. Roof cleaning services can cost you an arm and a leg while cleaning your roof on your own is a pretty hard and dangerous job. But for those who have the guts to go for it, we have prepared the following article, summarizing tips and tricks that will help you along the way.

The General Procedure

The cleaning procedure itself is pretty simple – Apply cleaning solution, let sit for 10–20 minutes, scrub with a mop or a broom if necessary and rinse off with enough water. Sound easy enough, but don’t close this article just yet! The devil is, as always, in the details.

Safety First

Your highest priority during the entire cleaning process should not be injuring yourself. Therefore, ALWAYS use a cleaning harness, work boots with a good grip and never attempt to clean a roof that is too steep!

Make sure to check the label of your preferred cleaning solution for safety requirements and always apply it from the bottom up, to avoid walking across the wet surface.

Check the Weather Forecast

Clean your roof only on cloudier days, without rain or snowfall. Avoid clear sunny days if possible, since your cleaning solution will dry off too quickly. Windy days should also be avoided.

Before Cleaning Your Roof, Perform a Maintenance Check

Everything should be in order before you begin cleaning your roof. Check for any loose shingles. Clear your roof as well as your gutters of all debris– both can be done easily with a leaf blower.

Make sure that your gutters are not blocked up and the cleaning solution can drain easily. Make sure to protect any plant life around your house from the cleaning solution as you would your furniture when painting an interior.

Know Your Chemicals

Various chemical solutions can be applied to your shingles. However, as with anything in life, all have their pros and cons.

The most common choice is bleach, usually hypochlorite based, or a homemade hypochlorite solution. Bleach is cheap and great at cleaning, but also corrosive and in addition, can cause discoloration of your roof. Peroxide based bleaches have a similar effect.

Another cheap alternative may be a lye solution, which will not cause discoloration. However, lye is still somewhat corrosive and also will require more personal protective equipment.

Lastly, a commercial non-corrosive cleaning agent of your choice may be chosen, but it is ought to be more costly and its efficacy should be closely evaluated by its user reviews.

Never Use a Pressure Washer

While it may seem like a great idea to apply or rinse the cleaning solution with some extra pressure, avoid doing so. Pressure washers erode the surfaces of your shingles and worsen any pre-existing conditions.

Apply Stain Blocker and Other Preventive Measures

Stain blockers are aftercare solutions which contain anti-moss additives to prevent staining. The best products on the market can buy you up to 3 years’ worth of protection against algae stains.

Also consider trimming any branches which may block sunlight from your roof, and planting trees further away from your house to avoid leaves and debris in the future.


Hopefully, the following tips will aid you in your future DIY roof cleaning projects. Most importantly, remember that your safety comes first! If you’re unsure, there’s no shame in hiring a professional, especially if your roof is too steep, or you lack the equipment necessary to clean your roof properly and safely. Good luck!


*Note: These tips apply to roofs with asphalt shingles. Different materials require different procedures and cleaning solutions. Thus, these tips cannot be applied interchangeably.


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Are You A Roofing Contractor? This Is How You Should Bid A Job

Tips To Choose The Best Roofing Contractor (a-one)

Greater than 90 percent of roofing contractors underbid for the work, according to “Roofing Contractor” publication. The issue, it says, is that many service providers cost a task per roof square– market terminology for a 100-square-foot block– without considering the inconsistencies of the task. Hips, valleys, roof height, and other information increase the time essential to finish the job as well as misshape the per-square average rate. By associating overhead costs to time, instead of squares, you can accurately value a task as well as win bids that make you cash.

Step the Roof covering

Action the outside measurements of your house in square feet. Divide the measurement by 100 to give you a variety of ground-level squares. Next off, take into consideration the roofing pitch. For reduced roof covering pitches– those with a 5:12 ratio or much less, which suggests the roofing increases 5 feet for every 12 feet of straight length– multiply your ground degree squares by 1.15 to 1.25. For medium-pitch roofs in the 6:12 to 9:12 slope variety, several your squares by 1.24 to 1.4. For shrill slopes, increase your squares by 1.4 to 1.7. This offers you the variety of squares you will mount.

Study the Roof covering

Examine the roofing and also note the number and problem of the eaves, ridges, air vent heaps, valleys and also blinking where the roofing system deck fulfills chimneys or walls. Roofing systems that require a full tear off as well as cleaning of existing products will certainly call for more materials as well as take more time to complete than tasks in which products can be reused. Check building codes prior to you start. Several codes restrict the number as well as kinds of materials, such as asphalt shingles, that you can overlay and reuse.

Compute Material and Labor Prices

Call your provider for current materials prices. Accumulate the price of all the materials you need. Consist of various other tools, such as a dumpster, as well as include sales tax obligations as well as distribution costs. Next, include labor prices. If you pay your contractors by the square, multiply the number of squares by the paid price. If you pay by the hour or day, approximate the variety of hours or days the job will take and increase this by the paid price. Utilize your experience to establish the factors that make the task hard and also, consequently, even more time consuming, such as steep pitches and roofing system elevation. Add the labor cost to the cost of products. Commercial Roofing contractors will have more margins to work with.

Include the Extras

Consist of expenses in your pricing. For instance, consist of employees’ settlement insurance based on your expected payroll as well as workers’ comp rate. Include a portion of your general expenses, such as workplace lease and also utilities. Lastly, add in your markup. Either multiply your total expenses by the portion markup you require or add in a buck quantity of profit. Separate the final proposal rate by the variety of squares the roof covering needs to offer you a per-square proposal rate.

Create Your Proposal

Write a letter to the customer that includes your quote. Your objective is to encourage the consumer that you are the most effective roofing professional for the job. Detail the industry-proven products you will utilize and also show that they are premium quality. Include images of any issues with the roof covering and describe thoroughly how you will certainly repair them. State any kind of warranties you use and include information on your state service provider qualification as well as responsibility insurance coverage. Testimonials are a great touch, as they verify that you can be ending up work on schedule and also on budget. Ultimately, discuss your start and conclusion dates.


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Tips to Choose the Best Company for Roof Repairs

(A-One) What Kind of Contractor do You Need

If you are looking for a good roofing contractor, it is a good idea to take your time so that you can find the right one. This is important because roof repairs and upgrades can be expensive. 

Look for A Local Roofing Contractor

It is highly recommended to hire a local roofing contractor as such a contractor is readily available and will help you whenever you need their services especially emergency roofing services. Avoid a roofing contractor who will offer their services and vanish. This is because the contractor may not be there to help when you need roofing services.

Look for A Specialist

Look for a roofing contractor who specializes in the kind of roofing work you require. For instance, if you would like the contractor who will work on your commercial roof, look for a good commercial roofing contractor. And if you are looking for a contractor who will work on your tiled roof, consider a contractor who specializes in tiled roofs. If you need specific services such as roof leak repair and heritage roof, find out about the credentials of the roofing contractor has in the services you need.

Read Testimonials and Reviews

Reading testimonials and reviews can help you have a rough idea of what to expect in case you hire a certain roofing contractor. This is because you will find out what previous clients have to say about the contractor. You can also ask for referrals from people you can trust. You should also ensure that you see the roofing projects that a roofing contractor has worked on.

Consider Quality of Service

A good roofing contractor offers a free consultation and quote and will recommend the right options for your roof without pressurizing you to choose a certain option. Besides, such a contractor keeps time, answers and returns the calls of their clients, and fulfill their promises. A contractor who does all these is reliable and can be trusted.

Don’t Hire A Roofing Contractor Based on Price Alone

You may be tempted to choose a roofing contractor based on price alone thinking that it will help you save money. However, avoid doing these as there are other more important factors you need to consider such as the quality of the roofing services offered by a contractor and the materials that the contractor uses. Remember that cheap materials and low-quality roofing services could be expensive in the long run.


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New windows are not always better tips for the renovation of old buildings

window replacement

For buyers and owners of old buildings, much has changed with the introduction of the Energy Saving Ordinance (EnEV), LEGACY said. If they renew at least one-fifth of a facade front, they have to insulate it at great expense. What is less well known, however, is that the same rule applies to the renovation of windows.

If at least 20 percent of the windows on one side of the house, or even just their glazing, are replaced, then the new elements must insulate as well as a modern double-glazed insulating window.

It is not always sensible to replace windows in old buildings. For several reasons, box double windows, i.e. constructions with inner and outer sashes, should be retained as far as possible. Once refurbished, these have several advantages over simple “insulating glass windows”.

First, there is the appearance of the facade: old windows are often structured by sash bars, profiled frames and a central post so that the facade does not appear as lifeless and interchangeable as in houses with modern windows and large glass surfaces.

Also, there is the higher sound insulation. Even without new insulating glazing, double box windows insulate better against external noise than new one-piece windows. The prerequisite for this is that the joint between the sash and the outer frame is not too wide.

Even thermal insulation is almost competitive with insulating glass windows from the 1980s and early 1990s, thanks to the approximately 10 to 15 centimeter thick standing air layer in the space between the inner and outer sashes. Also – provided that the wood substance is intact – a significant improvement in thermal insulation and sound insulation can be achieved through subsequent measures.

This requires the installation of a modern, approximately ten to 15 millimeter thick insulating glazing and the additional provision of the window frame with a circumferential lip seal.

However, both measures should only be carried out on the inner sash. This is because the cold outside air must continue to flow through the space between the panes of box windows to prevent condensation from forming.

It has also been proven that the sound insulation of windows is optimal when the inner pane is heavier, i.e. thicker, than the outer pane.

For this reason, the reworking of the outer wings should – in addition to a professional new coat of paint – also include the replacement of damaged weather legs. This is the lower, slightly rounded end profile of the sash. The often damaged putty joints should also be renewed. The window often has to be made “lockable and lockable”, e.g. the locks have to be replaced or the rods have to be oiled.

Of course, the replacement of windows can also be unavoidable: If the old substance is too bad or if the single glazed elements have too thin frames for insulating glass panes.

New windows most often consist of plastic and wood. The advantage of plastic windows is that they are largely maintenance-free. Wooden windows, on the other hand, must be repainted at intervals of several years.

But these have usually slimmer frame profiles, and the portion of the glass surface is also higher: The areas are lighter thereby, which can be important with older houses with much smaller window openings.

When installing new windows, the joints between the window frame and the brickwork should be 15 to 25 millimeters wide and the space between them carefully stuffed with mineral wool. If only assembly foam is used instead, then there is the danger that this foam “shrinks” later and still tears gaps.

Heating heat then escapes there and it can become draughty in the room. Before the windows on the inside of the masonry are plastered again, the joint to the masonry should be sealed windproof. Here sealing tapes or plaster end profiles are usual.


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Converting Flat Roofs into Pitched Roofs

Why Use Flat Roof For Your Commercial Building

Interested in converting your existing flat roof into a pitched roof? If so, you probably know the possibilities pitched roofs offer, such as increasing storage space, curb appeal, and in some cases your living space. However, did you know a pitched roof requires less maintenance on average while reducing the risk of structural issues later? Although, there are some downsides to making the leap and converting a flat roof. For instance, pitched roofs can still leak, and pose issues. The largest setback many encounters is the overall cost.

To help you take a closer look into considering if the switch is right for you, we will go over the basics so you can decide what’s best for you.

Flat Roofs, Bad Reputation

Although flat roofs are commonly used on commercial structures, they typically have a poor reputation within the residential building business. A stroll around a flat roof enriched area will reveal this phenomenon clearly. Did you know there are insurance company’s that simply refuse to cover flat roofs? But, why?

They require consistent maintenance, replacing roofing materials, and the cost of installation. Over time, gravity results in a sagging structure because flat roofs have a single (slight) pitch. Meanwhile, repairs or installations are often used low-quality material. Even professionals could lack experience, leading to vulnerabilities, including undersized structural members and sections where the roof planes connection. Furthermore, residential properties do not typically use the higher graded roofing materials used by large commercial structures.

Methods of Roof Conversion

Depending on the situation, the flat roof can be removed or left while a pitched roof is built above it. Leaving the flat room installed lowers costs, but it adds additional weight to the structure that it may not be designed to handle. Removing the old flat roof costs more, but creates options for extra space, higher ceilings, etc. Pitched roofs can be designed and built using traditional rafter framing or engineered wood trusses. Finally, the decision to convert has to gain approval from a certified building professional or engineer.

Reasons to Consider Converting a Roof?

Below are common reasons why property owners decide to convert:

Maintenance: Original construction design was low-quality and/or improper causing constant leaks. While a single leak may not be enough to convert, experiencing multiple leaks in a short period could be.

Expense: Old flat roofs with significant structural problems could result in repetitive repairs and possibly a full renovation. In these situations, the repair expense can be within a range of installing a pitched roof.

Increased Lifespan: Flat roofs should have similar lifespans, but due to improper installation being common, and improved material quality, pitched roofs tend to last longer. Additionally, homeowners should compare overall high-quality durability between shingles and flat roof options, torch down, tar and gravel, and others.

Improved Ventilation and Insulation: Because of the limited space a flat roof offers, using insulation with high R-values are difficult, but not with pitched roofs. Also, a flat roof generally is not ventilated (and should not be in most cases), whereas a pitched roof can benefit from ventilation.

Additional Space: Sometimes that additional storage or living space is important. Many factors determine how much space is added, from slopes, house size, and structure. Others aim for visual appeal with raising the ceiling height.

Curb Appeal: The final choice here depends on the taste of homeowners. Modern home designs have utilized flat roofs for many homes for centuries, but most prefer the look, low maintenance and overall space from a pitched roof.

Selling: When selling a property, the roof could become the difference between a fast sale or sit on the market. Pitched roofs have become the favored modern style, while some still prefer the older flat roof look.

Reasons Not to Convert?

Pitched roofs, just like flat roofs will eventually leak from failing flashing, materials or metal pieces that cover joints. In other cases, roofing materials wear out over time or could have poor installation, repairs or low-quality design. Other elements may wear down or cause issues, such as the walls, a chimney, ventilation piping, etc.)

Frequently, property owners learn their issues are caused simply from improperly installed or low-quality materials, while the overall structure and roof design remain solid.

To determine if converting is needed, have your roof diagnosed by a professional. Simply upgrading the roofing to high-quality materials could provide the same lifespan of a pitched roof. Contact a locally licensed roofing pro today to assist in making the correct approach for your flat roof.



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Tips for Property Managers: How to Decorate Your Building for the Holidays

Commercial Building Decoration

There are so many reasons to celebrate in December, as Hanukkah begins the night of December 2nd, followed by Christmas on the 25th, Kwanzaa on the 26th, and of course, the New Year on the 31st. So how to share the holiday spirit with your tenants?

You may not be big on decorations, but if you don’t decorate your building or host a party, you may be viewed as a modern-day Scrooge. On the flip side, if you add too many holiday symbols (Christmas trees, wreaths, lots of tinsel, yards of lights, menorahs, and Kwanzaa’s traditional Kinara candle holders), you might be accused of going overboard.

How can you strike a happy balance? According to Ginny Decker, vice president of property management for Monument Capital Real Estate Services, Miami and Katherine Furniss, marketing manager at CFH Group, another property management group in Miami, founding the middle ground has helped them keep tenants happier and encouraged them to renew.

Question: What is your company’s approach to decorating so building owners or property managers show they care—without making the building look like Santa’s workshop?

Decker: We let the on-site staff at each building decide based on tenant demographics. You want to have some decorations but not so much tinsel—for example—that it makes it hard for prospective tenants to see the building and sign a lease. We encourage an “understated ” look.

Q: How does that translate into decorations?

Decker: Generally, we say you can’t go wrong with simple, classic, white holiday lights that make residents feel good when they return home from work or when prospective tenants drive up to the building. Lights always add cheer.

Furniss: We take the same approach of keeping decorations simple and using maybe one color of lighting so they look generic, and maybe light the entrance and corporate leasing office. We might also put a wreath at the front door. We refer to all the celebrations as “the holidays” rather than to specific events.

Q: Anything else you do beside lights?

Decker: Because we try not to celebrate one denomination, we like other generic symbols such as snowflakes, snowmen, silver colors, as opposed to red and green, a tree, menorah, or Kwanzaa symbols. We want to be inclusive, especially since we often don’t know which holidays our residents celebrate.

Q: Have you had tenants complain about too much or too little?

Decker: Not so far.

Q: Do you also host holiday parties this time of year on- or off-site?

Decker: We do, and they’re on-site. The specifics vary from community to community-based on the resident profile. For buildings with young children, we might bring in a Santa Claus for photographs with the kids. For other sites, we might have gift wrapping parties where we supply the gift paper. We’ve also organize pot-luck suppers where we provide a ham or turkey, and residents bring side dishes and desserts. At some buildings with mostly lower-income residents, we may give away turkeys. We try to find out what residents want most by doing a lot of surveys throughout the year.

Furniss: We’ll host a party in the common area of a clubhouse or maybe on a pool deck of a building. We might have a movie night and ask residents for suggestions, and if their movie is picked they’ll get a prize. We’ll set up “Santa’s workshop” at each building with all the supplies needed to wrap gifts–paper and bows, and make it available the entire month of December. Many of our managers have been with us for years so they tend to know what works and doesn’t.

Q: How about saying thanks with contributions to a favorite charity in your tenants’ honor?

Decker: We try to do something like that during the season, or ask tenants to donate canned foods and toys so we all give back to our community beyond the building. We also let tenants know where their community may be hosting dinners they can attend.

Q: When do you suggest taking down decorations?

Decker: Usually, by the middle of January.

Furniss: We’ll take them down right after Christmas.

Q: Do you decorate for any other holidays to build camaraderie and good building morale?

Decker: We try to do things consistently year-round and in each quarter such as Halloween decorations come fall and a pool/barbecue around July 4th or some time during the summer. Again, we ask for tenant feedback to find what they want.

Furniss: We decorate for Halloween, and sometimes the staff dresses up, often with a theme such as witches

Q: Do you set a budget for these types of expenditures, and if so would you share?

Decker: I can’t give you a dollar amount since it varies so much by community and the number of units and occupants, which influences the amount.’

Furniss: Our buildings tend to spend between $500 and $1,000 for such events.

Q: Any parting advice?

Decker: Yes, keep decorating and hosting these kinds of celebrations and polling residents regarding what they want so they’ll take advantage. If we get 30 to 50 residents at an event, we consider that a good turnout and a success. We find that by taking time to do these things residents tend to renew their leases and remain longer with us

Furniss: We often try to have an event that offers children an activity when we can.

Now we’d love to hear from you! What do you do at your buildings to keep spirits up through the holiday season and even into the long month of January?

5 Tips to clean paintbrush easily (And quickly)

spray paint

A newly painted house gives a fresh breath of air, while gives your mind a relaxing wave. But all of it can vanish when it comes to clean up the mess you leave behind. And the most annoying part of which is, cleaning of your paint brushes. Your brushes are a significant investment. By cleaning them carefully and properly at the end of a painting session, they will work better and last longer. It is well worth spending the little bit of time and energy necessary to take good care of them.

You can learn more here at spraythatpaint paint sprayer reviews to find more.

Here are a few cleaning tips that will help you to keep your brushes painting like new for years.

  • Wipe off any excess paint using an old newspaper. Gently squeezing the bristles from the ferrule edge outwards with your fingers, or with a cloth, it will help remove paint from the brush. Be gentle to avoid pulling on the bristles, though.


  • For water-based paint: Put enough warm water into a container to fully cover the brush bristles. Put in a little liquid dishwashing Don’t use too large a container as you will be refilling it with clean soapy water more than a few times. Rinse and twirl the brush in the water working the soapy water into the bristles. Pour out the dirty water (see below for disposal recommendations) and change with clean soapy water. Go over until the brush is clean. Spin or flick the brush by hand or with a mechanical spinner to get rid of the water. 


  • For oil-based paint: First, decide which solvent is right for the painting product you are using.  (The information can be written on the paint can.)  Rule of thumb: use mineral spirits or paint thinner for oil-based paints, stains and varnishes. Use alcohol for shellacs. Pour sufficient solvent into a container to completely cover the brush bristles. Rinse and twirl the brush in the solvent, working it into the bristles. Do again the process with clean solvent until the bristles are clean. Spin or flick the brush by hand or with a mechanical spinner to get rid of the solvent.


  • After the brush is clean, we recommend combing the bristles to get rid of any dried paint and to prevent the reshaping of the brush. This will help out to keep the heel of the brush from filling with hardened paint. Combing the brush is mainly important if you use a brush spinner as the bristles can become tangled. You can get brush combs at nearly all hardware and paint stores. We recommend the one bought to comb the loose hair out of our cat’s fur. After you are done with it, let it dry by handing on a peg or nail. You can also rest it on a flat surface. As soon as the brush is dry, put the protective jacket back on the brush. This will help to keep hold of the proper shape.


  • Dripping paint solvents and water/latex paint mixtures down the drain could damage your septic system and is prohibited by most municipal sewage authorities. Don’t lose hope there is a simple solution. Pour water-based cleaning solutions in a large container and place it where the water can evaporate. I use a plastic bucket. Just the once the water has evaporated, you can peel off the latex residue and dispose of it. For dirty paint thinner use a large (I use a one-gallon plastic bottle) container and pour and let the paint sediment settle. After it is settled, you can decant the clean solvent and re-use it. Dispose of the solids as soon as the bottle gets full.


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