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Winter Weather Can Be Damaging to Exterior Paint: Here’s What You Should Know

If you’ve put off painting the exterior of your house, you may just have to keep putting it off. At least for the next few months. It’s getting frosty outside, and unfortunately, the cold weather can be rough on your exterior paint. In fact, it may be contributing to peeling or discoloration!

What Does Winter Weather Do to Your Exterior Paint?

According to research done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, interior condensation combined with a cold exterior temperature can cause paint to peel and chip.

The damage comes from two sides. Your family produces water vapor during the day by doing ordinary things like cooking or washing clothes. Because ventilation isn’t as effective in the wintertime, water vapor becomes trapped in the attic and walls. When this water vapor condenses, it can soak into your siding or your outside paint job, causing the paint to peel.

From the outside of your home, snow and ice can linger in the eaves and gutters. As the ice melts, it seeps down, doing even more damage to your exterior paint job. That’s why the paint around your roof line, kitchen, and laundry room tends to deteriorate faster. If the caulk around doors or window frames is damaged, you can have problems in those areas, too.

Exterior Paint Problems Can Be Avoided, Even in Winter

The good news is that exterior paint problems can be avoided, even in cold weather. With proper insulation and moisture barriers, and sufficient ventilation, you can avoid the condensation problem described above. We recommend that you install a solid 6-mil polyethylene vapor barrier in crawl spaces and exterior walls. Also, be sure to properly vent kitchens, bathrooms, and clothes dryers to the outside. This will reduce the amount of moisture that seeps into your paint, and keep your exterior looking nice longer.

Pay Close Attention to Temperature Guidelines When You Paint Your Exterior

If you’ve been wanting to repaint your home, the best thing for you to do during cold weather is wait. Don’t try to replace peeling paint or put a second coat on faded color during the winter.

If you want to be better prepared, check the labels on your paint for recommended temperatures. Generally, the standard minimum is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, each brand of paint is different. We recommend that users apply paint only in the recommended range for the best coverage.

What’s the problem with painting in the cold? Unfortunately, it can shorten the paint’s drying time, which can cause poor surface adhesion. This often results in bubbling or cracking on your exterior surface. If your leftover paint freezes, that will damage the product as well. We recommend storing your paint indoors.

If You Need Expert Advice, SNL Painting Inc can Help

If you’d like more expert advice, or if you want to schedule a paint job before this year’s big freeze, contact SNL Painting Inc! We’re happy to help, no matter how low the temps drop outside.

Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding: Which Should You Choose?

Refinishing a house can add to its curb appeal – and its owner’s sense of pride! If you have an older home, you may be facing a tough choice: do something about peeling paint by hiring a professional exterior painter. Or going with a popular choice and installing vinyl siding. Which should you choose?

Compare the Durability of Exterior Paint vs. Vinyl Siding  

When it comes to durability, vinyl is the preferred choice. Paint will begin to peel and fade within five to eight years. Vinyl siding, on the other hand, has a lifespan of 20 years or more. Vinyl also comes with integral insulation and can be more energy efficient.

The cons of choosing vinyl siding over paint may depend on where you live. Keep in mind that vinyl siding is flexible. It can bend, dent, or warp. So, if you live in a windy or storm-prone climate, you may want to consider the cost of maintaining the siding on your home.

Consider the Initial and Long-Term Cost

When you consider cost, be sure to factor in both the initial payment and the long-term requirements of your home’s exterior. These costs vary depending on the materials you choose, and whether or not you decide to hire professionals.

Painting is less expensive than siding initially, and if it’s done well, it can beautify your home for several years. Because high-quality paint lasts longer, you’ll want to use the best that you can afford. To give you a cost estimate, a 3,000 square foot house requires somewhere around 15 gallons of paint. Premium paint can cost $50 a gallon or more. So, you can expect that the cost in paint will be approximately $750 or more.

Painting requires a lot of prep work to achieve the smooth, evenly-coated surface you’ll want to achieve. Other repairs to loose or rotted wood may also prove costly. Whether you do the work yourself or hire professionals, the job will require an investment, as well as regular maintenance.

Let’s compare this cost to that of vinyl siding. Installing vinyl, even on a smaller one-story home, will cost upwards of $3,600. Depending on your contractor, vinyl can run you as much as $12,000. Clearly, it’s more expensive up front. However, as we mentioned above, it may require less consistent maintenance over time.

Appearance Matters: the Aesthetics of Exterior Paint

Do aesthetics matter to you? You may want to consider how vinyl siding will change the appearance – even the character – of your house, especially if you have an older home. Repainted wood not only gives your house a classic appearance, it also allows you to keep those charming details, like window sills, cornices, or decorative trim, that give the home so much character. Siding, on the other hand, may make your home look boxy or bland. As one expert in historic home restoration puts it, “Installing vinyl siding on a building is like putting a slipcover on a sofa.”

Whichever you choose, you’ll need to be prepared to invest effort, money, and time into your project so that your home will look its best. If you would like to get advice from professional home painters, let us know! Our experts will be happy to talk to you further about this important choice.

How to Choose the Best Exterior Paint for your Home

The way you feel about spring storms can change the minute you become a homeowner. Along with rain, wind, and hail come those panicky feelings: What is this going to do to my siding? Will my exterior paint job be able to handle all this rain? Will the work I’ve done on my home hold up in this weather?

Your fears are not overblown! The fact is that when paint begins to crack or peel, moisture caused by inclement weather can seep in and damage your home. If you want your exterior to stand up against the elements, you need to put some thought into what you’re using to smarten up your property.

Experts recommend choosing a coating that contains high quality resin to allow for breathable adhesion that will last, no matter what the weather. When you shop for the exterior paint, pay attention to the ratio of resin to pigment. Elastomeric coatings that allow for flexibility can keep rain and hail out while preventing those hairline cracks that can cause damage over time.

If you’re preparing to repaint your exterior, and you want to do it right, follow these tips to get the best exterior paint for your buck:

Use Alkyd or Acrylic Primer on Bare Wood.

If you’re painting on bare wood, use an alkyd or high-quality acrylic latex primer before you apply exterior paint. While some homeowners prefer the oil-based (alkyd) primer because of it’s tried and true reputation, many professionals select the acrylic latex because of its high quality. Whichever you choose, each primer is designed to fill the pores in the wood and give you a nice base for your paint. Be sure to spread your primer to the proper thickness to reap the rewards come stormy weather. If you run into knots that are difficult to cover, use a pigmented shellac.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to buy paint and primer together, read the labels. Oftentimes, the manufacturer will recommend a primer designed for peak performance.  

If you’re painting over old coatings, or if you have questions about your project, rely on our expertise. Our professionals are here to help you achieve the best results.  

If You’re Weatherproofing Smooth Siding, go for 100 Percent Acrylic.

For smooth siding constructed of either wood or cement board, we recommend 100 percent acrylic latex flat. This paint protects against hot sunlight better than any other paint on the market. It also hides dents or imperfections in your siding and gives you a nice finish for years to come. If you prefer a smoother surface that’s easier to clean, you can select “eggshell,” but stay away from high gloss paint, which is better suited for interiors.

Spending a few extra dollars for higher quality covering is well worth it for the adhesion and smooth coat. Because latex paints are more sensitive to temperature, we recommend that you call a professional if you have questions about which paints to use in your particular region.

Use 100 Percent Acrylic for Concrete and Brick Surfaces, as well.  

For concrete or masonry walls, including stucco, we also recommend 100 percent acrylic latex paint. Not only does this paint bind well to your surface, it also “breathes” to let moisture escape. This is necessary in any region of the country because if moisture gets under the surface, it will eventually ruin your paint job, creating headaches for you in the years ahead.

Whatever you do, don’t use oil-based paints on brick or concrete. The strong alkaline content in those cement blocks will shed your paint and create additional work for you.

Please Note: If the surface you’re painting has small cracks in it, you might want to try a thicker acrylic elastomeric paint. This paint is more flexible than regular acrylic. It is costlier, however, so it’s a good idea to discuss options with a professional if you’re not confident about the product.

When it’s Time to Paint the Trim, go for Acrylic in Gloss or Semigloss

The color you choose for the trim can brighten up your home and give you great curb appeal. For this detail work, you may use gloss or semigloss, as long as you’re sticking with 100 percent acrylic latex. This is the longest-lasting option for painting smooth trim, whatever the material. Because painting trim is such time-consuming work, you don’t want to have to go over it year after year. Thus, choosing a durable, long-lasting paint with a glossy sheen is the way to paint like a pro.

Pro Tip: If you’re painting over an old coat of oil-based paint, sand it first so your new covering will adhere.  

Learn More

If you’d like information about weatherproofing the exterior of your home, or if you’d like a quote from one of our seasoned professionals, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is always ready and willing to help!



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