July 21

3 Challenges of Painting a Multi-Family Building


Property managers have a lot to deal with when it comes to maintaining multi-family buildings. Besides leasing units to tenants, they must ensure repairs are completed on time, community rules are enforced, and make sure the building maintains full occupancy. For that to happen, each unit must be move-in ready quickly after being vacated. Not only do they have to worry about the interior of each unit, but the exterior is also just as important to keep up.

Multi-family properties, like condominiums, apartment buildings, duplexes, HOA communities, and mixed-use properties need regular maintenance like any other property. An economical way of keeping these properties looking nice is to apply a fresh coat of paint.

Keeping the property clean and fresh increases its visual appeal. This helps to retain current residents and to attract future tenants. When a property manager is trying to sign up qualified tenants for their available rental properties,  a coat of fresh paint can make the place look newer and more appealing.

Difficulties of Painting Multi-Family Buildings

First impressions are important in attracting new tenants and a quality paint job is crucial to keeping potential tenants interested. Interior and exterior paint is both an aesthetic boost and a practical need for rental properties, which property managers will have to deal with at some point in their maintenance duties.

Because multi-family buildings come in all shapes and sizes, they create complex painting projects. Apartment buildings and condominiums require special attention and have unique issues. Here are a few challenges of painting these types of properties.

painting multi-family building

1. Height and Access

The requirement to access multi-unit buildings with multiple stories to paint the exterior is always a challenge. Professional commercial painters must worry about their safety and the safety of the occupants of the building.

Specific equipment is needed to access tall buildings. This can include using scaffolding, cranes, extension ladders, and more. Painting contractors that specialize in commercial painters are trained and skilled in the use of this equipment.

Painting at a higher level means that painters must pay extra attention to detail. High-rise apartment buildings are visible from a distance so everyone can see them. Property managers want their buildings to look aesthetically pleasing from any view.

Another risk involved when painting at greater heights is pollution. The level of pollution is greater at those heights, which poses a health risk to the paint contractor and the crew. The effects of extreme weather are also greater at such heights and can put a professional painter in jeopardy. Wind and rain can prove extra hazardous when accessing higher levels while using the equipment. 

2. Flexibility and Coordination

Multi-family properties never close. Many commercial businesses have regular hours where commercial painting can be scheduled around them. When painting a multi-family building, there will always be people at home, entering and exiting the building, or gathering indoors or outdoors as a community. This presents an additional challenge during any painting project.

Painting multi-family properties requires flexibility in scheduling. Coordinating with tenants to complete painting can be a challenge. A helpful tip is to provide plenty of advance notice concerning dates when the painting will take place. It is recommended to repaint the interiors of units every time there is a change of tenants or on an annual basis.

Maintaining the health and safety of tenants and workers must always be top of mind during painting projects. To decrease exposure to drying paint or tenant movement through the complex, it is best to complete the painting during the least active hours. Many professional painters meet LEED standards for a healthier environment. There are also low or no-VOC paints now available that are safe to use indoors while clients and tenants are present.

3. Communication

The painting contractor chosen to complete a multi-family building project will be in and out of multiple units. They will be dealing with a variety of people and should know how to handle conflicts and other tenuous situations.

Professional commercial painting contractors will assign an experienced project manager to supervise all multi-family property painting projects. That project manager is the point of contact for any issues and questions, both from the tenants and the property manager.

Signs Your Multi-Family Building Needs a Touch-up

A commercial building is a significant investment and requires maintenance to retain and add value. If you own or manage a multi-family property, painting is a crucial part of maintaining your property. 

Exterior and interior paint can last for several years when high-quality paint is used and applied by a qualified professional, but even the best paint job doesn’t last forever. Here are a few indications that your paint job needs to be updated to protect your building and keep it looking its best.

Too Much Time Since The Last Paint Job

Most experts recommend that commercial exteriors receive a fresh coat of paint about every 3-5 years. The frequency of repainting a building depends largely on environmental factors. If your business is located in a cold or rainy region, you will likely need to refresh your exterior more frequently. Buildings located in milder climates may go 5-7 years before needing a new coat of paint.

Fading Color

Direct sunlight exposure can cause paint to gradually lose its color. It helps to keep a reference to notice the degree to which the surface has faded. A photo taken after the latest paint job is a good reference. If you notice a significant difference between the two, it’s time to schedule a paint project.

Signs of Damage

Paint is an important aspect of protecting a building from the elements. Exterior paint works as a sealant for the walls and siding, helping keep out moisture. A quality paint job protects surfaces from moisture, fungi, and more. 

If your multi-family property is showing signs of damage, the existing paint is not providing good protection. If the paint on your building is peeling, you could be exposing your building to mildew, mold, and rot.

Washing the Walls or Siding Doesn’t Help

Sometimes paint looks dull because of a build-up of dust and dirt. It’s a good idea to schedule regular pressure washing to keep your multi-family property looking its best. If the appearance doesn’t improve after a washing, it’s a sign that your paint job needs refreshing.

Rebranding or Updating Your Business Logo

Keeping your property’s paint job fresh is key to maintaining your brand’s image. If you are undergoing a major rebrand, you need to make sure that your property reflects those changes. You can use colors that match your brand to give your building a professional appearance and stand out from the competition.

A Decrease in Business

If existing tenants are leaving or potential tenants are not choosing your multi-family property, you shouldn’t overlook the role your property’s appearance plays.  If the exterior and interior of a living space look clean and well maintained, it helps project a quality multi-family community. A run-down building that needs a new paint job will send a negative message about your property to potential tenants.

Your property needs a competitive edge. If your rental property is in a hard-to-rent area, your city is experiencing some economic downturns, or you otherwise have a difficult time attracting quality tenants, new paint may be the boost you need to make your place stand out above the others.

Use as a Renewal Incentive

To keep a good resident in place who has been there for several years, consider arranging for a repaint as a renewal incentive. Even after a few years, interior walls can look dull and lifeless.  A new paint job will make the tenant happier and keep the rental unit looking nice.

Why You Should Hire A Professional Commercial Painter

When painting multi-family properties, you don’t want to hire just any painter. They may save you a few bucks, but the risks involved are not worth the savings. Experienced commercial painters have completed a wide variety of projects. They understand the different requirements needed for a massive building or commercial space.

They are also capable of completing your painting requirements in a very cost-efficient and time-saving manner. Professional commercial paint companies will also have many reliable and experienced people under their employ, which allows them to finish paint projects quickly.

Liability. Professional painters are fully licensed, bonded, and insured.  If there are any damages to the property or injuries caused to the painters or the tenants, you will be responsible for them. Hiring an unlicensed amateur can lead to the risk of liability. Working with an insured commercial painter ensures that any damages or injuries will be covered under the painter’s insurance policy.

Quality. Professional painters are experienced and trained in the latest painting techniques. They have the necessary equipment and materials to paint multi-family properties. No amateur will have the resources that a professional has to achieve the best results.

Expertise. When you hire a professional painter who understands the challenges of multi-family buildings, they will be able to guide your decision-making process. They have the credentials and access to equipment needed to access multi-level buildings.

A Choice You Can Make with Confidence

Equipped with years of experience and knowledge about multi-family buildings, The Painting Pros will deliver exceptional quality. When you hire us to paint your multi-family property, you can rest assured that the job will get done on time and will exceed your expectations. We guarantee the best paint solutions within your project specifications. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Schedule a service call with a professional painter today!


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