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Ask Mike Ripp: When Can Coating Result In A Problem Tub?

mike ripNAPCO’s Mike Ripp has over 30 years of experience in tub refinishing, making him a leading authority in the industry. In addition to providing refinishing training courses as Director of Training and Tech Support at NAPCO, Mike is an exceptional mentor in teaching tradesmen how to build their business.

“Mike, I’m seeing the coating starting to split and separate on the bottoms of a lot of bathtubs. Do you know why this is happening?”

If we go back and review every step that covers prep and product mixing, we can often learn a lot about where coating problems occur. In many tubs that run into problems, I find the issue revolves around how thick the coating is being applied to the tub.

If you apply coating on too thick on the bottom, usually what’s going to happen is that the air will start to dry the coating at the top. This causes the thicker coating to skim over before the solvent can escape.

As the solvent is trapped, what results is a reaction where the coating will fail due to improper curing – which explains the splitting and separating at the bottom.

At first, looks can be deceiving on this. The coating can appear perfectly fine. In fact, a refinisher who recently approached me with a problem tub was very confident that there was just no way his spray tech could have applied an extra heavy coating.

Maybe so, but had he actually gone out to the job and watched how the spray tech applied the coating? No. So I encouraged the refinisher to go back out on the job and watch the tech closer in action.

Guess what? As it turned out, the tech decided that more coating was better and consequently, he applied a whole lot of wet coating to the bottom of the tub – far too much.

So if you have a spray tech, make sure you take a good, long look at how they apply coating on the bottom of a tub the next time you’re on a job with them to avoid any bad habits from developing that might cost you in terms of time, money and reputation.

Make sure you’re in the camp of refinishers who get the job done right the first time. With superior products and expertise, NAPCO has you covered. If you have any questions about NAPCO products, our training programs or the refinishing business, call us toll free at 1-800-888-1081.

Simon Newton

Simon Newton, head of training at NAPCO. Simon has been involved in the refinishing business for over 25 years and brings a wealth of experience to his position. During that time he trained franchise owners and employees, as well as providing technical support. He built a wealth of real-world experience managing refinishing crews that provided both residential and commercial services. Simon is knowledgeable about all aspects of the business including practical application, trouble shooting and running a refinishing business.

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