THE NEW ENGLAND SEASONS
From below freezing temperatures in the winter to long hot summer days, the wood and surfaces on our exterior siding and trim is constantly expanding and contracting. Even in the summer when you might be thinking “this is not so bad…” we have the early morning fog suddenly shifting to the afternoon sun beating down on our homes. We are all too familiar with the winter’s here and in winter just when it gets bad, it gets worse with temperatures dropping below subzero, snow, hail, ice dams and the list goes on and on.
The truth is that if the exterior of your home is not done properly, it might only last a few rounds against the all-time reigning champ “the New England seasons.” To help you be a better informed Homeowner we’ve decided to share the secret and a few tips on how to beat the seasons in New England and have a long lasting exterior paint life. The secret to long lasting exterior paint life is surface preparation, and more than 60 percent of the time devoted to your exterior project should be focused on preparing a surface that will allow the top coats to last through any weather.
SURFACE PREPARATION TIPS
- Scraping – You want to scrape off all loose chips of paint from siding, trims, windows, doors, soffits and any other surface you may have that is peeling. However if it involves disturbance of lead paint, common in New England homes built prior to 1978, you want to consider hiring or at least consulting a painting contractor who is certified in your state for lead safe removal.
- Pressure washing – You want your home to be completely clean and free of any contaminants. If there is still dirt, mold, mildew or any other contaminants on the surface it may cause peeling, bubbling, and cracking of paint within the first few months. You don’t need the highest psi or to get extremely close, the point is to create a clean surface, in fact you could damage the surface beyond repair with too much pressure.
- Patching & Re-glazing– You want to patch nail holes and other problem areas with the proper applications. If necessary re-glaze your windows, this task is a bit more skill demanding. Patching should not be a solution however to rotten wood, you will need to remove and replace all the rotten wood with new appropriate grade wood.
- Sanding – Once the home is fully dry from pressure washing you want to sand all the surfaces to a softly feather finish, especially the areas where you removed the loose chips of paint. To check if your sanding is proper, run your hand on the surface before and after sanding, if done properly it will feel much smoother after you are done with this step.
- Caulking – Caulking is necessary in all separated miters in wooden trims and all areas where trim and siding areas meet. Caulking is not applied where vinyl siding meets trim, or vice-versa. Use high quality acrylic latex caulking and allow proper time to dry before priming, don’t use silicone for caulking as it’s non paintable.
- Priming – Believe it or not some people even painting contractors will say this is pointless as there is now “self-priming paints” trust us on this one, no matter the paint you always want to prime bare surfaces. You want to use a high quality and preferably oil primer on all bare surfaces. We go even a step further into recommending a full coat on all surfaces of tinted oil primer to ensure the longest life span on an exterior project. DO NOT SKIP PRIMING!
CHOOSING THE PRODUCTS
As we covered before the wood on your exterior siding and trim is constantly expanding and contracting, therefore you do not want to cut costs on the paint and primer. We recommend you invest in high quality paints and primers that will resist more the inevitable fading, cracking and peeling. There’s a few companies that do a great job at making those products such as Benjamin Moore, California Paints and Sherwin Williams. It wouldn’t be out of the realm to spend between $55 – $80 per gallon, but the truth is this will save you money in the long run, on what to most people is their biggest investment, their home. If your home is made out of Stucco, it lasts much longer and you might be able to get away with a cheaper product but keep the high quality paints in mind for your wooden trims and fascia boards.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PAINTING CONTRACTOR
Unfortunately painting in New England has become wildly unregulated with new companies opening their doors everyday, you want to make sure you invite an experienced painting contractor for your project. Surface preparation is an area that many of these new painting contractors will cut corners to save costs, although that new paint on the surface may look appealing when they finish, but the ugly truth is that it’s just masking what the seasons will shortly reveal. Review based websites, the Better Business Bureau and company online portfolios will be the best way for you to find a reliable contractor. Don’t forget to ask if they are lead safe certified, what warranties they offer, what procedure they use for surface prep and if their crews are trained and compliant to OSHA safety standards.
At Bright Painting we don’t skip any steps, when our exterior finish proudly holds and shines past various rounds with the champ “the New England seasons”, we dedicate that to our thorough and skillful surface preparation and problem solving. We are so confident in our services that we offer a 3 year warranty on all full exterior painting projects. When you hire Bright Painting you are investing in the peace of mind that your home will look beautiful for many years to come. We determine and analyze the root causes of the problem in the first place. We have developed a system through many different trials and errors to save you costs on restoring your home, and when rotten wood needs to be replaced we have carpenters on staff that can resolve the issue right away to avoid project delays. We have also experimented with different primers and paints that last longer and developed not only the best combinations but also finish schedules.
If you have any questions on your exterior project, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free estimate. We will be glad to meet you on the site give you a free estimate and if you have any DIY questions we will be more then glad to answer them for you.