The use of chalk to point out failures, such as unexposed crack repairs, sections of sanding which need to be redone, additional coats required, or misses in application. It’s a nonverbal method of communication that takes the pressure off the actual supervisor, and if used properly, is a valuable tool for painting contractors and site managers. If the site manager themself walks around with either chalk or a marking pen and denotes misses in application, failures, areas requiring a dampproof primer or waterproofing and sealant. It is visual and understandable for everyone to see and creates a culture of accountability without a combative type of communication.
Recently I was on a site where crack exposure was being done and the applicators doing the exposure were skipping areas and missing areas and not following any sort of procedure. So they were going, doing a south facing wall, then skipping to the west face wall and continuing to reveal open cracks there, while there were still many cracks and areas with loose, flaking paint that needed to be prepared. Now this is not only time consuming, but the risk is high that areas can be overlooked during application. So particularly in preparation, this is a valuable tool.
Giving the supervisor chalk and having him mark out cracks for repair, as well as damp areas, as well as areas of loose plaster after a tap test, affords us the opportunity in ensure that these misses in preparation aren’t made on a regular basis. This can then be reinforced with the site manager doing a similar job in pointing out any missed cracks or missed areas of application.
It might seem like a small endeavor however, I believe that, in terms of standards, in terms of raising the quality of preparation, this is a valuable tool. In addition to this, moisture measurements can be documented for future reference, as well as any critical failures such as structural cracks or reoccurrence of cracks where the client needs to be made aware that there are movement cracks or any reoccurring damp issues.
So in conclusion, feel free to purchase some chalk, try it and see if the standard of preparation with your team improves.