Author Archive

Caulking Wood Siding and Trims

Caulking is a material used for sealing joints in various substrates. The benefits of caulking are to provide an aesthetically pleasing finish to the substrate and to prevent moisture from penetrating, causing deterioration. However Caulking is not suitable for use on all substrates and when used on wood siding, can actually cause more harm than good, as shown below

Failed Caulking On Wood Siding

Caulking is not recommended for use on butt-joints on wood siding, as siding boards are designed to expand and contract with the elements in ways that the caulking cannot. For example, when heated in the sunlight the wood siding will expand both sideways and outwards.

This was a problem found during an inspection of painting preparation work on a recent repaint project. There was evidence of the caulking failing between all of the butt joints (see image above). The use of caulking was an attempt to correct other issues with the building, however, the caulking failed causing moisture to become trapped behind it resulting in wood rot and failure of both the coating and the caulking.

Another area that Caulking should not be used is on trim boards that sit on top of the siding. On most homes the trim goes up after the siding is installed, which creates a large gap that should not be caulked. It requires strip flashing instead of caulking to deflect moisture from behind.

The air needs to circulate behind these boards and the opening allows for any trapped moisture to be released. The bottoms of sidings boards should not be caulked for the same reasons.

Caulking should be used sparingly on any external wood siding projects, and as seen in the inspection described above, and not on wood butt-joints because of the expansion and contraction in the elements.

The caulking was used in an attempt to correct other issues, but it failed and offered no protection resulting in the costly requirement of having to replace all of the deteriorated wood siding and trim.

2017 Board of Directors


Terry Jennett

Calibre Coatings Ltd.
6224 29 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 1W3
Phone: (403) 287-7792

Past President
Sandy Baker

Foothills Decorating
5648 Burleigh Crescent SE
Calgary, Alberta T2H IZ8
Phone: 403-242-1364
Fax: 403-254-1337

Vice President, North


Vice President, South
Chris Kulbaba

Calibre Coatings Ltd.
6224 29 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 1W3

Dave Schiffers

RCI Coatings Ltd.
36, 11010 – 46 Street SE
Calgary, Alberta T2C 1G4
Phone: 403-992-5841

Mark Chambers

O’Canada Contractors Ltd.
3636 109th Ave
Edmonton, Alberta T5W 0G7
Phone: 780-940-1769
Fax: 780-479-3189

Bob Derochie

Derochie Painting Ltd.
4010 – 24 Avenue N
Lethbridge, Alberta T1H 6L7
Phone: 403-380-4248
Fax: 403-380-4436

Ryan DeSouza

Final Touch Decorating
44 Abbercove Way SE
Calgary, Alberta T2A 6Z3
Phone: 403-475-6214×2
Fax: 403-475-6234

Mark DuMerton

M&L Painting 1999 Ltd.
5b, 421 East Lake Rd NE
Airdrie, Alberta T4A 0H6
Phone: 403-912-2639
Fax: 403-912-2641

Nathaniel Sarabura

Mi-Pride Painting & Decorating Ltd.
133, 2770 – 3 Avenue NE
Calgary, Alberta  T2A 2L5
Phone: 403- 235-0503

Technical Chair
Tom Pharis

Cloverdale Paint Inc.
640 – 42 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1Y6
Phone: 403-287-0014
Fax: 403-243-8508


Tips of Cleaning Interior Walls

Interior walls can be subject to all kinds of marks such as dirt, scuffs or hand prints. Cleaning interior walls requires some consideration, excessive cleaning or cleaning using inappropriate cleaning methods can cause irreparable damage to the coated surface.

Within this article we discuss the best practices for successfully cleaning interior walls.

Determine substrate
Before you carry out any cleaning it is best to determine what type of coating has been previously applied to the surface or substrate (if any)

Low gloss coatings –  are less durable than higher gloss coatings making them more susceptible to damage from harsh abrasion and chemical cleaning.

High gloss coatings – are more durable, so will endure more abrasion and chemical cleaning, but are less often used on interior walls because they tend to enhance any surface defects, making them more visible.

Cleaning solutions When choosing a cleaning solution check for any abrasives, alcohols or harsh chemicals. Low gloss latex coated interior walls especially cannot endure this type of cleaning product, but some other products would fail if alcohol, bleach or other harsh chemicals are applied to them.

Test patch
Before commencing any cleaning on the full surface, carry out a test patch in an out-of-the-way area to assess the effect on the coating.

Rinse thoroughly
Whatever cleaning solution is used must be removed thoroughly or risk leaving streaking, especially if repainting the surface over the solution.  Washing procedures should always be from the “bottom up” to also avoid streaking.

For best results, if you know what coating has been used to coat the surface, speak to the coating manufacturer about any recommended cleaning products or methods to be used.

Products tested by MPI are listed in the MPI Approved Products List (APL) under the relevant standard #. Look out for the MPI Approved Product Label on paint cans!
CLICK HERE for more information.

Legal Issues: Dismissal for delay

By David I. Bristow, QC, LSM, C.Arb

In July 2016, the Ontario Court of Appeal delivered judgment in a bizarre case of dismissal of six construction lien actions, and one trust action, for a 15-year delay (Southwestern Sales Corporation Limited v. Spurr Bros. Ltd. et al., p. 132 OR [3D] 794). This was an appeal from an order of Justice Pamela Hebner, from the dismissal of a motion to set aside a master’s order dismissing the action.

The plaintiff, Southwestern, supplied aggregate building materials. It registered six claims for lien against the land of the defendants, Spurr Bros., in December 2000. Action was commenced in January 2001. Spurr Bros. paid approximately $330,000 into court and the liens were lifted. In January 2003, the plaintiff filed its trial record. It then commenced a breach of trust action. A very lengthy period of inactivity followed.

Status hearings were scheduled, but were adjourned. The trial was set for September 2009, but did not proceed—it was eventually struck from the trial list. More status hearings were scheduled and adjourned at the defendants’ request. A status hearing set for October 6, 2014 was pre-emptory. No one appeared for the plaintiff, and the actions were dismissed by Case Management Master Lou Ann Pope.

The defendant obtained its money out of court, after it had been paid into court years before. It then tried to garnish the plaintiff’s bank account to satisfy its unpaid costs order.

The plaintiff obtained new counsel, who moved right away to set aside the dismissal of the plaintiff’s actions. The previous lawyer, Mr. I, had been representing the plaintiff until he surrendered his license to the Law Society of Upper Canada about two months before the status hearing, unbeknownst to his client.

The plaintiff advanced three grounds of appeal to the Court of Appeal:

The motion judge applied the wrong legal test in dismissing the actions.
She erred in failing to accept the appellant’s explanation for its delay.
She erred in finding the defendant had suffered prejudice.

The legal test

The Court of Appeal found the correct legal test had been met. It stated:

a decision to dismiss an action for delay at a status hearing is discretionary and entitled to deference on appeal unless the decision was made on an erroneous legal principle or is infected by a palpable and overriding error of fact.

It then stated:

the timeliness of the adjudication is one measure of the health of a justice system. In respect of the criminal justice system, the Supreme Court of Canada has stressed the need to change a ‘culture of delay and complacency towards it (R. v. Jordan 2016 S.C.J. No. 27).’ The same can be said of the Ontario Civil Justice System …

the Rules of Civil Procedure contain general and specific provisions to create a culture of timely civil justice. At the general level, rule 1.04(1) requires courts to construe the rules ‘to secure the just, most expeditious and least expensive determination of every civil proceeding on its merits.’ At the specific level, rule 48.14 establishes a presumptive timeframe for the listing of a civil action for trial which, if not met, requires the Plaintiff to show cause why the action should not be dismissed. Rule 48.14 provides the court with a tool by which to assume an active role in controlling the pace of litigation.

The court summed up the issue by finding the plaintiff wanting to set aside the dismissal order made at the status hearing must demonstrate two things:

There was an acceptable explanation for the plaintiff’s delay.
If the action were allowed to proceed, the defendant would suffer no non-compensable prejudice.

Explanation for delay

The plaintiff explained its delay of 13 years was due to having been misled by its counsel about the progress of the action. It said it was not told a status hearing had been scheduled for October 2014. It also said it was unaware its counsel had been delaying the action or had surrendered his license.

The motions judge found the plaintiff did not have an adequate explanation for the delay. She stated:

When years had passed without any substantive steps being taken towards a resolution, why did the plaintiff not investigate and demand that steps be taken? Why did the plaintiff not retain another counsel to move the action forward? There was no answer offered to answer these questions.

The Court of Appeal found the plaintiff bore primary responsibility for its progress. Retaining a lawyer in the action did not lessen that obligation. The court stated:

as part of its obligation to move its construction lien actions along, the appellant was required to take reasonable steps to supervise its counsel’s work to ensure there would be an expeditious determination of the actions on their merits. On a motion to set aside a dismissal order, one would expect a commercial plaintiff like the appellant to file concrete evidence describing the steps it had taken to supervise its counsel’s handling of its actions.

Therefore, there was no acceptable explanation for the 13-year delay.

Prejudice to the defendants

Since there was no acceptable explanation for the delay, the court held it was not necessary to deal with the issue of non-compensable prejudice to the plaintiff. The Appeal Court did review the prejudice matter without making a decision. It agreed with Justice Hebner’s reasons for judgment when she stated:

A lien claim can be an onerous thing for a defendant. A defendant is faced with the prospect of either having its land tied up as a result of the registration of a claim for lien or, alternatively, having to finance sometimes substantial payments into court in order to free up title to the land. Similarly, a breach of trust claim can also be an onerous thing for defendants. They are faced with the possibility of being personally responsible for a corporate debt. For these reasons, it seems to me that a lengthy delay in a claim for lien case (and a breach of trust case) constitutes prejudice to the defendants of the kind described above. If the lien claimant wants to take advantage of the provisions of the Construction Lien Act and tie up title to a defendant’s property, it ought to proceed expeditiously to have its claim determined. Similarly, if a lien claimant wants to take advantage of the trust provisions of the Construction Lien Act it ought to be prepared to proceed expeditiously to have its claim determined. A lien claimant ought not to be entitled to sit back and allow years to pass while the defendant’s property (or, as in this case, the defendant’s money) is held hostage.


Judges have an uncanny instinct to find cases where the facts are so clear a new concept can be enunciated and take hold, greatly assisting our beleaguered judicial system. Master Pope, Justice Hebner, and the Court of Appeal were all correct, and they gave reasons in very clear and certain terms.

With this case in mind, plaintiffs will now be under increasing pressure to move their cases along as quickly as possible, and clients will share that responsibility with their lawyers.


David I. BristowDavid I. Bristow, QC, LSM, C.Arb., is a Toronto-based provider of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services consisting of mediations, arbitrations, and early neutral evaluations. He is co-author of Construction Builders’ and Mechanics’ Liens in Canada. Bristow is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s (AAA’s) panel of arbitrators, a mediation and arbitration panel member of both the International Chamber of Commerce and the Centre for Public Resources Institute of Dispute Resolution, and a charter member of Mediators Beyond Borders. He can be reached at




The Importance Of Using Mock-Ups

Mock-ups (or test-patches) are an invaluable tool in the paint and coatings industry for keeping paint projects on time and on budget.

They are sample patches applied either to sample panels or directly onto the substrate in a less visible location before the actual coating work begins. They applied using the same materials, techniques, and personnel that will be used on the final project.

The purpose of this is to assess the final result of the coating and determine any potential coatings failures before the entire painting project is undertaken.

A mock-up also sets the standard for balance of the project.

Mock-ups on conventional concrete surfaces

On conventional concrete surfaces, mock-ups are a useful tool for testing the effectiveness of surface preparation as well for determining how the specified system will perform.

This is especially important with the increasing use of fly ash concrete. The usual specified water-based alkali-resistant primer for the first coat of the system may fail when applied to fly ash concrete.

This failure is thought to occur because the fly ash is composed from coal.  Coal is essentially the same product as oil, so the fly ash may impart oily characteristics into the concrete.

In theory, abrasive blasting could create a profile with sufficient tooth for the water-based primer to adhere where fly ash has been used, but the suspected oily residue could still be present, so a mock-up would be imperative. Additionally, if the project is an interior project abrasive blasting would be prohibited.

To date, solvent-based bonding primers have shown to be effective as a first coat solution for fly ash concrete surfaces, however, it must be noted that concrete is highly alkaline, so solvent-based primers without alkali-resistant properties should not be used.

Correcting any issues that may lead to coatings failure with a test-patch is far less costly and time-consuming than corrections made after large-scale coatings application has commenced.
Wide-scale coatings failure can be avoided by using a mock-up on a small section of the project before large-scale work commenced.

Products tested by MPI are listed in the MPI Approved Products List (APL) under the relevant standard #. Look out for the MPI Approved Product Label on paint cans! 
CLICK HERE for more information.