November 15, 2022

Sometimes it’s all in the Paperwork

By Paul Daniels

I was recently talking with a customer who is involved in a legal matter concerning a job that was done several years ago. One of the issues that came up was the information that was available to the building owner and their maintenance department on how to care for and maintain the product. Over the years, I have seen how not following up after a job can come back to cost all involved a lot of time and money.

Many of the complaints that I have heard over the years could have been avoided if the original installer had spent the extra time making sure that the correct documentation got to the parties that were responsible for maintaining the products. On large commercial projects, it’s important that your care and maintenance documents are available with the turnover documents and during the commissioning of the project.

In one case, abrasive cleaning products were used by the cleaning crew in a large hotel, leaving scratched shower door hardware. Using an acetic cure silicone near plated or sealed hardware can cause issues with the plating. In this example, acetic cure silicone was used to seal a joint between a wall and a piece of glass held with plated clips. The silicone reacted to them. In both cases, manufacturers’ literature warned against both these issues.

On small projects or residential jobs, it’s easy to get product care information into the right hands or spend time training your customers on how to take care of their new construction. The larger the project, or the more time between the installation and the actual commission of the building, the more challenges there are getting these materials to the correct people.

In these cases, you want to get documents signed by the general contractor or building owner documenting that you have provided these documents to them. This will help settle future issues that may come up after the project is in use.

Most manufacturers today post care and maintenance documents on their websites. It’s a good idea to put a package together that you can give to your customers with warnings and recommended care instructions. These practices take time but will show your customers that you value the work that you have completed and want them to understand how they can keep it looking new for years to come.