What is Home Warranty Insurance (HWI)? Do I need to get it?

HWI is an insurance introduced by the Home Building Act. It is taken out by the painter/builder/tradesman on behalf of the client on a job-by-job basis for the client’s protection. Should a warranty issue arrive and the painter does not honour the warranty or the company goes into liquidation, a claim can be made under this insurance. This insurance is run by the Department of Fair Trading and compulsory if the contract is over $ 20,000.

Touching up your paintwork:

Paint does not touch up mid wall. Touch-ups need to be done wall to wall. Shade and sheen differences occur even with the same type of paint, especially if the original work has been done a while ago.

Why do windows and weatherboards always peel?

After about 30 years, primers become oxygenated. This causes the primer to powder and become an unstable substrate. The result is ‘crocodiling’ and peeling. If paint is applied over unstable surface, the paint job looks good for about 6 months and then peels again. The only solution is to start again. The underlying paint and primer will need to be burnt off or Summit Coatings uses a non-caustic paint stripper on larger areas. Preparation is the only thing which will guarantee lasting paintwork, but it is time consuming and hence a little costly.

Why do clear finishes fail?

On new timbers, tannin needs to leach out of the timber. On hardwood, that can take up to 6 months. Tannin boils under clear coatings and ‘pops’ off the coat. Any failures in clear coatings need to be completely removed. It cannot be treated like paint, where you can sand patches. Clear coating is hard to match and the failure usually runs along the whole section. Clear finishes must be maintained. In high UV areas, once the finish looks flat, it will need another coat. The darker the stain, the more UV stable is the finish, as it blocks the UV from getting into the tannin. If you consider a clear finish on your weatherboards, it is wise to seal the back of them to stop moisture ingress. This is particularly advisable when building decks.

Why do timbers rot?

End grains should be painted before the timbers are put up, as they suck up moisture. This is a job for the carpenter as it needs to be done at the time of construction. Tops and bottoms of doors should also be primed and not installed too low to the ground as water will swell the door and cause rotting. Untreated pine or Oregon timbers cannot be used in external building.

Why do newly rendered buildings stain and peel?

Lime burn from uncured render causes this staining. White marks and eventual hairline cracks appear. It takes 6 weeks for new render to cure. However, it is common that builders don’t adhere to this timeframe as they want the areas completed and scaffolding removed. Try to persuade your builder to stick to it. The problem is unsightly and rectification can be costly. Sometimes all the paint needs to be completely removed and the job started again.

Why do planter boxes and retaining walls always bubble?

When this occurs, it is usually that an inadequate membrane had been installed or that there is no damp course. Bitumen painted behind will not work. A qualified water proofer will need to be engaged during construction to avoid paint to bubble due to water penetration. Water based epoxy paints can be used to alleviate some of the problem, but eventually, water will win. Summit Coatings can install DRYZONE, a siliconing agent, to stop rising damp, but this will not work on retaining walls, where hydrostatic pressure is the problem.

Can COLORBOND be painted?

The answer is yes. Summit Coatings has been successfully painted numerous Colorbond roofs and gutters, using Zinseer primers for adherence. Forever Finish as a finishing coat which makes these areas look like new.

I have faded aluminum windows, can they be painted?

The answer is yes. Prepared properly and sprayed with auto paints, they look like new. Visit our website for pictures.

I tried to wash marks off my walls and it leaves a ‘shiny spot’:

Good quality paint washes, but you have to be gentle. Don’t use abrasive products like gumption as they will sand the surface. Use water, then a product like ‘Nifty’. Flat paints don’t clean very well at all. For an easy to maintain surface, use low sheen levels. The glossier the paint, the better its serviceability. Some paints have Teflon added for low maintenance, and it works.

Why are my ceilings mouldy?

Mould is a result of a moist environment. Old paint goes mouldy, because the additive stopping the mould starts failing. Sub floor and roof ventilation are the best prevention of this to happen. It is important that you remove the moist air. Install ventilation fans in bathrooms and laundries and whirly birds in your roof. A damp house is unhealthy.

Rust and what to do about it:

Once rust has appeared on your metal surfaces, it needs to be sandblasted, or it will return. Ungalvanised metal within 20 km of the coast will not last. If you live very close to the ocean, make sure everything you put into your house is stainless steel or plastic. Take a lesson from boaties, they have figured it out. Zinc only works on sandblasted metal. Epoxy mastics are rust tolerant, but need to be treated. There are some new age rust inhibitors, such as Rust Master and Penetrol, on the market, which work quite well. Be prepared to maintain rusted areas. Wash the salt off as much as possible. Metal under overhangs where rain does not wash salt off on a regular bases, does fail.



  1. Different Specifications

    When obtaining quotes, make sure that all painters quote on the same specification. Compare ‘apples with apples’. On larger jobs, it is wise to get an independent consultant to write the specification and even pay and oversee the work. Preparation is the key to good and lasting paintwork and usually takes about 2/3rd of the time spent on the job. Make sure your painter has this covered.

  2. Painter has no work:

    This is a bad sign. If painters have no or little work, they are often not very sought after. Good quality tradesmen are always busy. In order to get the work, they quote cheap, but later give an excuse such as health reasons for quitting the job, once a better paying on comes in.

  3. Painter does not know how to quote:

    When you get a quote which is a lot cheaper than other comparable quotes, it is possible that the painter has made a mistake (left items off the list) or does not know how to quote efficiently. Once you have engaged this painter, you might find that they charge for ‘extras’, do a low quality job, or simply walk away as they realize they cannot finish the work for the price quoted. Summit Coatings’ costs are all inclusive.

  4. Painter does not engage his employees properly

    Many contractors can work for ‘cheap’, if they are not paying employee allowances, taxes and most dominantly insurances, such as WorkCover, Public Liability and Superannuation for their employees. Make sure all workers on site have White Cards and are properly instructed under the WorkCover Act. Many painters also engage painters on holiday visas, paying them as little and $ 6/hour. This might sound attractive, but is highly illegal and destroys the industry. These contractors never honour their warranty so don’t risk it.

  5. Using inferior paint:

    Make sure all paint tins delivered to site are new and from reputable manufacturers. It is quite common that old Dulux or Taubmans/Bristol paint tins are refilled with poor quality paint. Inferior paint will not last and is difficult to look after. It does not make that much difference to the cost of a paint job as painting is labour intensive and quality products promotes a quality job.