Project: Shore II Condominium, Jersey City, N.J. Client: Taylor Management
Alpine Painting Rises to Meet Access Challenge on Multi-Level High-Rise Project
When Taylor Management reached out to Alpine Painting & Sandblasting of Paterson, N.J., regarding the high-rise condominium they managed for Shore II Condominium Association, their foremost question wasn’t about paint color—it was about access and safety.
The property management company, Taylor Management, one of the largest in the region, wanted to recoat the 195 balconies on its multi-level condominium tower without troubling homeowners with opening their units to painters. So, they turned to a contractor that had the necessary expertise in applying coatings to high-rise facilities to determine a safe solution for exterior access to this job.
Finding a Solution at Height
Taylor Management regional vice president Larry Rada, consulted with Alpine principal Dave Scaturro and the two determined that the job would most effectively be done from a suspended scaffolding system. The roughly ten-year-old building featured a Davit system, essentially a system of roof anchors. Suspended scaffolding, much like that used by window washers, could be hooked up to these outriggers. Through this system workers could safely move down the building and from one location to another, gaining the full access necessary to complete the extensive prep, repairs and painting.
To ensure the utmost safety, Alpine brought in an outside consultant to ensure crews were following all possible best practices. A licensed scaffolding rigger from R&R Scaffold, which supplied the equipment, helped the painters ensure that they were safely anchoring all of equipment to the structure.
“They even consulted with an engineer to certify that everything was sound and stable,” Scaturro shares. “We had to get some additional roof mounting equipment in order to reaffirm that everything was going to support the weight of the equipment and manpower.”
Crews of four to six guys would be supported on these suspended scaffolds with independent lifelines as a necessary additional layer of fall protection.
Accounting for Residents
The scaffolding also had to be safely erected to account for passersby. The up-and-coming community in Jersey City sees plenty of routine foot traffic. With plenty of passersby below, Alpine Painting decided to install sidewalk bridging. This added layer of protection just below the suspended scaffolding would protect residents and visitors in the event that something was dropped from the scaffolding above.
But scaffolding was only half the access story. Throughout the two month span of work, the painting team had to carefully schedule painting to give plenty of notice to the property management company as to when they would be on-site. After all, window washing scaffolding would be pressed against people’s windows, a potentially unwelcome surprise for an unsuspecting homeowner. In addition, homeowners had responsibility for removing any outdoor furniture so that painting could take place in one sweep. This demanded that the painting team be in constant contact with their client to ensure there were no surprises anywhere along the job.
Rigorous Surface Prep
Work began with intense surface prep. After donning eye protection, crews used grinding equipment to bring all the 195 floor surfaces to a CSP 2-3 profile. Peeling coatings past their expected lifespan, as well as surface contaminants, were cleaned away during this process.
The painters also completed concrete repairs on a spot basis. Cracks and divots smaller than a ¼-inch were repaired with a 100 percent solid epoxy paste that leveled out those areas. On larger pockmarks, crews would grind out a termination cut around the spalled area and then fill that with a repair mortar.
With repair and prep complete, the floors received a full prime coat of Sherwin Williams Sher-Crete Flexible Concrete Waterproofer, a flexible waterproof deck coating, topped by a finish coat of the same. On the ceilings, painters applied a prime coat of Sherwin-Williams PrepRite ProBlock Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer and a finish coat of Sherwin-Williams’ Super Paint in a flat finish.
All told, the work would take just over two months, making it well within the estimated two to three month timeline. Incorporating PDCA standards into the project contract helped align everyone’s expectations. Ultimately, the team was able to complete the entire job with only minor spot cleanups at the end, a testament to the team’s attention to detail. However, the biggest proof of a job well done has come since, with recommendations from and several additional projects completed for the same project management company.
Scaturro’s not surprised at the repeat business. The crew proved itself on a uniquely challenging project, and came out with glowing reviews.
“Unless you’re used to working on high rises it definitely takes a lot of time and strategy with your team and training to make sure guys are working safely at heights and that all the equipment is tied off properly,” Scaturro says. “You need guys who are trained at working with this stuff and you need partners who help install swing stages on a regular basis, as checks and balances. We have a great team.”