How to Get the Most out of Exterior Painting
Exterior painting is an exciting step in any renovation project. Regardless of whether you are painting as part of your regular maintenance of the home or if you just had new siding installed, knowing how to get the most out of your exterior paint job is vital to keeping it in top shape for years to come. After all, when you go through the work of choosing a color and having the work done, nothing would be worse than to have the paint job destroyed when there are a few simple things that you can do to take care of the paint and to make sure that damage doesn’t happen in the first place! Below are a few tips to help keep paint looking fantastic even years after you had the paint work done.
It may sound obvious to some people, but regular cleanings are truly the gold standard when it comes to keeping exterior paint in great shape. Mold, mildew and built-up grime from rainstorms all take a toll on the vibrance of your paint. They can slowly eat into the finish when the paint is not cleaned and allow it to become porous, which not only makes the paint look dull, but it also creates the perfect environment for mold to grab hold and spread more easily. Mold is very skilled at biting into damp surfaces and making them less waterproof, so having it removed at first sight is crucial. Hiring a professional cleaning company to pressure wash your exterior paint is the best way to move forward because they have the chemicals and the equipment to clean the paint as thoroughly as possible without causing any damage. At least one cleaning per year is important. If you clean twice per year, then your chances of having mold problems are drastically reduced. Some surfaces can only be cleaned with low pressure and certain chemicals or harsh scrub brushes will ruin an excellent paint job in no time.
There are many hazards for exterior paint that homeowners don’t consider when they have a new paint job to take care of. One of the biggest enemies of paint is prolonged moisture contact, which is why any bushes or plants that are very close to the house should be trimmed back or cut down altogether, depending on how much the homeowner wants to keep the plant. Plants that block sunlight from reaching the home by being very close to the siding don’t let dew and moisture dry very quickly, which is why mold is more prone to developing in these areas. Plants or trees that are close to the home can also scratch the paint surface during high winds or storms. Small scratches aren’t noticeable right away, but repeated scratching from long branches can wear through the paint in small areas and let moisture through, which is very bad for wood siding since it can rot. Anytime that moisture makes its way into your siding, there is a risk for damage that can end up being very costly.
Preparation and Repair
Of course, no matter how well you take care of a paint job it won’t make a difference if the paint job was not well done to start with. The biggest issue with exterior paint is preparation of the surface since it is often wet, may have rot or mold and needs to be sealed perfectly in order to guarantee a certain level of durability against the elements. To get the best lifespan out of your exterior paint, make sure that a professional company has prepared all the painting surfaces and that the paints chosen are high quality paints that will adhere properly. Any damage to the surface should be fully repaired before painting. Many homeowners try to paint over imperfections, but this is a very temporary solution that no amount of proper care will fix. Cracking, peeling and bubbling are all common problems with exterior paint jobs that are almost always caused by poor surface preparation or incomplete repairs to the underlying surface.
Overall, it isn’t too difficult to keep your exterior paint looking lovely when you make sure that the surface was in good shape to begin with and that it has been properly prepared for paint and that regular maintenance and care are taken once the paint job is complete. By having cleanings performed by professionals and by keeping an eye out for pesky plants or trees and damage after storms, there is no reason why your paint job shouldn’t last for many years.