Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Exterior Repair, Sealing and Painting

Most of us only have to drive around the area for a short while to see many houses that are in need of some exterior work. Homes that require work on the outside are homes that WILL require work on the inside; it’s just a matter of time. By leaving the outside of your house to the mercy of the elements you guarantee yourselves future work with mold and other issues inside your walls.
Moisture build up inside the walls is a really, destructive situation if allowed to occur. Interior walls and surfaces can start to swell and decay from the inside out, mold sets in, staining occurs, the air inside the house becomes compromised, one begets the other like a row of falling dominoes. In some houses I have even seen electrical issues arise or the local wild life setting up shop in a few people’s homes that were left for too long. These can become very expensive problems to correct when left to the four winds, sun and rain without proper maintenance.

 The answer to all of this is simple: maintain the exterior of your home and all will be fine as far as the elements are concerned.

When an exterior repair person/painter comes to look at your house to give you a quote, you should walk around with them and look at all the areas of concern (you really should do that before you pick up the phone). As I have stated in other articles, a true blue professional painter is much more than that, they can spot problem areas from a mile away. They have the skills and know how to replace boards that are in decay, can seal areas properly, do all those things that need to be done before they even think about painting. We do all those things and more, so I suppose I would expect at least that from others. Most surfaces need to be scraped and sanded thoroughly, not lightly. If new sealer and paint goes over loose old paint it will fall off in a year or less, so not prepping properly will always come back to haunt you. We use power washers and sanders to take off old paint that is not adhered properly; we take the top layer right down to the base. In most cases when we seal an exterior there is A LOT of smooth wood, stripped siding or under-surfaces showing before we even think about sealing and covering. 

Not addressing these issues will only require more work done in a short period of time.
Now let’s talk about climate, sealers and paints/coatings. After taking the time to properly prep and repair all surfaces, the kind of products you put on the exterior of your home should be made to withstand our kind of climate. In central and eastern Ontario we have summers that are hot and humid, much like the tropical areas of the world. We have humidity levels that rarely go below 70%, usually 80% or more in the summer, this turns the sun’s rays into a magnifying glass for about five months of the year sometimes longer. The spring and fall periods are wet and mild, heavy on the wet, while our winters are becoming a mixture of freeze, melt, freeze, melt. Global warming has certainly taken a hold on our area of the planet, as the winters I remember as kid were far whiter, longer and colder than the ones I know now. The common denominators in the weather are moisture, lots of it and sun. We need products that will:
 1) Withstand a constant barrage of water and humidity
2) Withstand the sun’s intensified rays
Those are the two biggest factors of our climate.

For these reasons we have to take our exterior sealers and paint/coatings very seriously. We use different products for different surfaces, because there is no one coating fits all in the equation.

For exterior wood, metal and siding we use Diamond exterior sealers and colour coatings, it is made to withstand our kind of climate and maintains its beauty and integrity for many, many years. It is made to adhere to surfaces with a passion and allows for expansion of the surface to maintain and protect it. It comes in all colours imaginable and is the best exterior product we have ever seen for those kinds of surfaces, when  prepped properly.

 For stucco and similar surfaces we use Decroflex sealers and colour coatings because it is made to adhere to a largely porous surface allowing for expansion in the warm months and shrinking in the cold months, without losing its integrity. Again its colour and tone is maintained for many years while it protects and seals the surface beneath it.

For decks and similar surfaces we use Flood stains and sealers, it provides protection for wood surfaces in our type of climate for years and years, beautifully.

We use professional versions of these products made for people like us who do what we do and guarantee the work to be done properly. You can’t get this kind of quality at a box store.

Maintaining your house's exterior properly is a must, failure to do so will only result in damages that are far, far more costly to fix.
Phil the Painter Renovations

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