03 Nov How to Get the Longest Life Out of Your Paint Job
We know you care about your home. You want it to look its best, and to hold up as long as possible. When it comes to your exterior, we’ve got you covered. We have tips and tricks to help you get the longest life out of your paint job. When you boil it down, keeping your exterior in prime condition is as simple as small maintenance efforts. By following the steps listed below you can keep your home in tiptop condition.
Conduct a Home Inspection
A home inspection is easy. It requires slipping on a jacket and taking a walk around the exterior of your house. Take a look at each side of the house and look closely for anything out of the ordinary. You want to keep an eye out for loose siding boards or shingles, nails that are sticking up, open caulk lines, raw wood, and chipping paint. We recommend inspecting your home at least once a year. It may help to schedule inspections on your calendar as a convenient reminder.
Get Out Your Hammer and Paintbrush
Where you have loose siding boards or see nails sticking up, reset the nails by lightly hammering the nails flush with the siding boards. Be careful not to hit the nails with too much force, as this can cause hammerhead indentations that are unsightly. If necessary, touch up the area with primer and paint.
If a siding board is loose due to warping, it may be time for you to replace sections of your siding. You can ask a siding contractor to inspect your siding and create a plan of action for you if this is the case.
Where you see raw wood, brush a bit of primer on the area and then brush with a coat or two of paint. The best time to assess and touch up your home is July. This insures you will not trap moisture inside trouble areas in your siding.
Peeling or Chipping Paint
Wood siding swells in the winter due to moisture in the air, and shrinks in the summer due to the dryer air. This puts pressure on the paint over many years, which can cause paint to lift, crack or peel. By performing yearly inspections and following touch up procedures you will prevent long term or sometimes permanent damage to your siding.
It is typical to find more chipping and peeling on the South-facing side of your home due to more intense sun exposure. A typical paint job lasts 7-10 years. For this reason, if you have large spans of failing paint (like the photo shown here) and the time since your last paint job is over 7 years, we advise waiting until your next full paint job to fix the issue. If your exterior has small areas of chipping and peeling paint (like the photo shown here) you can use the following 4-step process to remedy the problem area.
Step 1: Use a paint scraper (can be purchased at your local paint or hardware store) to lightly scrape the worst of the peeling paint off. The paint will typically continue flaking off, so just get the worst of the chipping paint and call it good.
Step 2: Use a section of 80-220 grit sandpaper (depending on the roughness of your siding) to sand down the area you just scraped. The goal is to create a gradual transition from raw wood to painted areas in order to help the paint not to peel again.
Step 3: Prime the area of raw wood that has been exposed by your scraping and sanding. It is important that you use the appropriate primer depending on your siding. For example, if you have tight knot cedar siding you would use a slow dry oil primer. If you have composite siding, like LP or Weyerhaeuser, use a bonding primer. Bonding primers are usually water base. Both primers can be found at your local paint store.
Step 4: Paint the area using 1-2 coats of the paint originally used on your house. Note that depending on how long ago your last paint job occurred, you may find that the paint on your house differs in color than the fresh paint you apply. This is due to normal color pigment fading.
If you are an Amsberry’s Painting customer and are experiencing failing paint (defined as chipping or peeling paint), check your invoice to see if your exterior siding is covered under warranty. Our warranties cover a 10-year period from the date of your paint job. Warranties do not, however, cover failing trim. If you have questions about our warranties give our office a call at 425-485-7381.
Address Mold and Mildew
In the Pacific Northwest we experience a lot of mold and mildew growth due to the amount of rain we get. Mold and mildew growth is not atypical and can be taken care of. If you see any mold or mildew growth you can lightly wash off the growth by applying a small amount of a water/bleach solution to the area, and then rinsing the area with a garden hose. The water to bleach solution we recommend is a 5 parts water, 1 part bleach solution. For small areas this solution can be applied using a small sponge (make sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands). For larger areas you can put the solution into a two gallon garden sprayer and spray it onto the shingles or siding. The time frame between applying the solution and washing it off should be between 10 and 15 minutes.
So there you go! You are now equipped to care for your home exterior in order to get the longest life out of your paint job possible. Here’s to years of great looking and high-functioning exterior paint jobs the world over!
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