Does Your Home Need An Exterior Repaint?

beautiful home after exterior paint job

When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, it’s important to recognize when it needs to get done. Leaving a home’s exterior alone when it needs to be repainted can result is lots of damage, some of which can be extremely costly. If you live in your own home, here are a few signs to watch out for on its exterior. They will indicate that it’s time to repaint the exterior to help keep your home looking and operating at its absolute best.

1. Peeling Paint

When paint starts to peel, that is a very big indicator that you need to repaint. This happens much more frequently in cold and snowy climates, where frequent temperature changes around the freezing mark will cause the paint to expand and contract. When this happens, it can separate from itself and your home, which means it is no longer providing that extra layer of protection that your home needs.

2. The Caulking is Wearing Out

Paint and caulking are teammates: they both perform necessary tasks working towards a common goal. For paint, it’s keeping the broad parts of your home protected from the elements, for caulking, it’s sealing up the seams and gaps to make things weather and water resistant. If the caulking is starting to separate on your home’s exterior, it’s time to get it redone. But since paint and caulking work together, you will have to repaint as well to ensure you have the best levels of protection for your home.

3. Mold and Water Stains

Extremely costly and potentially dangerous, signs of mold and water damage mean that the time to repaint is now. Not tomorrow. Not next season. Now. These two types of damage have a habit of spreading under your home’s exterior, which can cause massive amounts of damage and, in the case of mold, potential health risks. If you find this damage, be sure to call in professionals who can help you fix the damages, and then it’ll be time for a fresh coat of paint.

Painting the exterior of your home is an absolutely essential aspect of home ownership. Shopping for high-quality exterior paint is a good first step. Quality paint not only helps your home look good, the right paint helps to protect is from the weather and regular wear and tear. It’s best to think of paint as a suit of armour for your home: when you see a break or crack in that armour, it means you need a new set. If you see evidence of your home’s paint wearing away, whether it’s peeling or giving way to mold or water, maybe it’s time you get some tips on buying the best exterior paint for your home. An exterior repaint is the perfect way to keep your home looking and operating at its best.

Should you Stain Your Deck, or Paint It?

With Spring officially upon us, many homeowners are looking at their decks and wondering what to do. It needs fixed up and protected, but should they do it with stain or paint. Each of these options has various advantages and disadvantages, so today, we decided to look at both to give you a balanced opinion.

Staining

Staining is used exclusively on wooden decks, or decks made with some sort of wood-based materials. It’s usually used to highlight the colour of the wood and give the deck a rustic, traditional feel.

Staining Pros:

1. Stain is an effective barrier against moisture, which can protect your deck from rain and water damage, and deteriorating when soaked for long periods of time.

2. Stain is also very easy to apply, much easier than paint. It usually only takes a couple of coats and doesn’t require primer.

3. As stated, stain gives your deck a very natural look that can highlight the beauty of the wood.

Staining Cons:

1. Stain requires a lot of prep before application, including sanding and even stripping before applying a new coat.

2. Most stains last only a year, two at the very maximum, and so you will get very used to re-staining every year.

3. Stain doesn’t cover up, so any blemishes or unsightly aspects of your deck will still look that way after a good staining, even with the best products available.

Painting

Painting a deck is often more labour intensive, but it can also yield longer lasting results. Plus, paint can be applied to more than just wooden surfaces and comes in multiple colours. So if you have a particular design in mind, paint can help unify your vision.

Painting Pros:

1. Painting typically last longer than staining, usually by a few years. A quality paint and paint job can last anywhere from 3 years and up.

2. Stain comes in a few colours: grey, brown, those sorts of colours. Paint comes in nearly every colour under the sun.

3. Being opaque, paint will cover up blemishes and stains on your deck completely, which can give you extra time on old or unsightly deck wood that’s still structurally sound.

Painting Cons:

1. Deck painting is no easy task. It will require multiple coats, and plenty of preparation. It will last longer, but it’s no small feat painting a deck.

2. And despite lasting longer, painting isn’t as moisture resistant as staining. If you live in a wet climate, paint may actually be a bad idea and cause your deck to deteriorate more quickly.

At an average cost of $2-5 dollars per square foot for each of these products, you can choose to stain or paint your deck on other factors, like look and frequency of maintenance. Just be sure that, no matter the material you choose, that it is applied properly and, most importantly, safely. Follow the safety instructions, and always make sure you leave the new coat of stain or paint time to soak in and dry.

3 Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Autumn Season

leaves on ground in autumn

Autumn is here and that means winter is just around the corner. For many people, the panic of Christmas is already settling in, but there is something more important and in need of your attention right away: your home. With autumn and winter come the cold weather and, in the case of your home, a strong defence is your best offence. We’ve compiled some of the most important things to consider when it comes to prepping your home for winter. With these tips, you’ll be warmer, safer, and happier in the coming months.

Paint Before it Gets too Cold

Painting outdoors in the winter is a near-impossible task. Paint is simply not designed to dry in the cold, it will crack and peel and fail to bond properly. So any outdoor painting needs to happen in the fall, before winter sets in. For the colder months, it’s best to focus your painting efforts on things you’ll still use in the winter: railings, decks, and similar pieces. Be sure a wire brush to scrub away any loose paint chips before repainting to give you the proper surface for painting. After that, the right kind of paint for the job will keep those handy outdoor pieces you still use in the winter looking and performing their best.

Waterproof Means Warmer Winters

Doors and windows let in the cold, everyone knows that, so making sure they’re all ready for winter is key to keeping your heating costs low and your family comfortable in the coming months. Wherever water can get, cold air can also seep through and, if water gets trapped in small places before winter, it can expand and make matters worse. Before the cold comes, check all of your doors and windows and replace any fixtures or weather stripping that has worn away. This will keep the cold out of your home in the fall and winter and also make your home less susceptible to water damage in the other seasons.

Top to Bottom Care

Everything from your drains and spouts all the way to the top shingle on your roof needs a thorough inspection before the snow comes because you’ll have a harder time getting reasonable prices for winter roofers. But in the fall, they do a great job that won’t impact your heating bill. The same goes for drains and spouts: good luck cleaning these out below the freezing point, the water in there will freeze, expand, and ruin things. So watch out for excess water and keep your drains and spouts clear for the winter.

There are plenty of other things you can do to prepare your home for autumn, but these three tips are a surefire way to keep your family and home safe and warm as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder. Be sure to clear out all water, inspect your home for leaks and cracks, and repaint any surfaces that need work.

Exterior Painting, Does Your Home Really Need It?

home in toronto in need of exterior painting

Exterior painting can be a labourious process, one that involves hours of outside work, buying all sorts of new materials, and choosing a new paint colour for your project. This can all seem like a pain and many people try to delay the inevitable as long as possible. But painting the exterior of your home can not only be fun (unless it’s the dead of winter), it may simply be necessary to protecting your home.

Every time your house shields you from a thunder storm, protects you from intense winds, or shelters you from the hot sun, the paint on your house is doing the same thing. Rain, dirt, and heat will all slowly degrade the paint on the outside of your home, meaning that it may be time to replace the paint to help your house look better after years of abuse. Think of it as a thank you to your home for all the years of shelter it has provided you.

But exterior paint is more than just an added buffer to the elements, it is an integral part of your home’s defenses. A quality exterior paint, such as Benjamin Moore, protects your home from water damage and provides a surface that is easy to clean. A good exterior paint job, then, will help prevent water from seeping into parts of your home and keep it looking its best.

Does Your Home Need Painting?

So how do you know if your home needs exterior painting? There are more than a few signs that it needs done. One is the colour. If your house’s colour is faded, then the paint is wearing out, meaning your home is more susceptible to those nasty elements. Dirty exterior walls can also indicate that your paint is becoming less effective. The more difficult the surface is to clean, the more likely you need to repaint the surface. Another tip is to find a relatively sheltered or hidden part of the painted surface and put some tape on it. Strip it away and see what happens. If the paint is taken with it, the whole coat is separating from the house, leaving space for dirt and water to start causing problems under the surface. That will need to be taken care of right away.

The most obvious reason to paint the exterior of your home is if the paint is already chipping. When your home’s paint is already falling off, bigger problems are only one bout of bad weather away, which could leave your home looking bad and also suffering from intense damage from any number of weather-related incidents. Rather than wait in these instances, you should consider painting your home right away.

But if all else fails, just go with your gut feeling. People are starting to trust their own instincts less and less, but if you find yourself thinking that you need to revamp the exterior of your home, then your house could probably do with some exterior painting. You may have noticed some small details over a long period of time that you think you forgot about, or someone could have mentioned something. Whatever the reason, be it fading colour or chipping or simply a gut feeling, exterior painting is always a great option to keep your home safe and beautiful.

If you ever have any questions about the right exterior paint product for your project, feel free to visit us or give us a call.

Exterior Painting In Winter, A Disaster Waiting To Happen

home about to be painted in the middle of winter

Exterior painting is a difficult task even during the best of summer days, but it’s even more difficult during our frigid Toronto months. Most professional painters simply refuse exterior painting jobs in the winter and for good reason. Turns out it isn’t the working conditions that make professionals shy away, it’s the poor results. The cold and varying moisture levels can wreak havoc on your work, cracking and even changing colour, so it’s important to either wait for summer or be prepared with more than just a winter jacket.

Today we look at the two biggest challenges for winter painting and offer some painting tips to get the job done. Just be aware, if you can leave the job until summer, spending the winter home decorating is a better choice, and has more stable results.

The Problem with Painting in Winter

Moisture and temperature are the two biggest problems facing the aspiring winter painter, but both can be controlled. Temperature is the most obvious concern, not simply because it makes the paint thicker. Curing is a delicate process and cold temperatures makes the paint cure slowly and unevenly. Latex paint has an especially difficult time in the cold because the latex particles will harden, leaving you with wasted efforts. You’ll find the application process is also more difficult with thicker paint, another result of cold products. Even spray paint is known to crack in the cold.

Even worse than the cold is dramatic changes in temperature. While you may be tucked away in your warm bed, your paint is left out in the cold and paint hates cooling down. As the sun goes down, the paint will become increasingly viscous, but not evenly. Changing temperatures lead to uneven curing, so the paint will start to blister and peel because it can’t bond to the house properly. Painting vinyl siding can be especially difficult because vinyl shrinks dramatically in cool temperatures and expands in the heat.

Moisture is the second major problem for winter painting. Rain and dew are constant problems, so painters have to be extra careful to minimize moisture to let the paint cure on its own year round. Moisture in the winter, however, is even harder to control.

Winter drizzle and drifting snow will react with your paint in ways that can and will look pretty terrible. Dampness and condensation can lead to discolouring and blushing, ruining all of your outdoor work. With the weather being that much more unpredictable in winter, moisture becomes more difficult to control as well. As temperatures hover around zero, the water can expand, contract, and bond with your paint as well, leading to discolouring and improper drying.

All of these problems can lead to a poorly performing paint job that needs to be redone come summertime.

The Solutions

Cold temperature paints can help with the chilly weather, being specially designed to cure at lower temperatures, usually at around 1.5 degrees Celsius instead of above 10c. A high quality product recommended by your local paint store is a good place to start.

You’ll also have to take your time. Colder paint takes much longer to cure, so make sure you give it longer than usual between coats. Alkyd paints in particular will need time, so give the paint ample time between coats.

We can’t control the weather, but we’re pretty good at predicting it, so check the forecast for both temperature and moisture before starting. There’s no point in painting if rain is on the way, and stretches of relatively stable temperatures are highly recommended.

Make sure to paint between 10 AM and 2 PM to help with the application. Paint thickens in the cold, so it’ll be more malleable during midday. As for mixing, your project will take over some of your more heated areas. Paint is harder to mix when cold, so mix it at room temperature.

If exterior painting has to happen in the colder months, minimize the elements you can control. Scaffolding and controlling the environment can help as well. Tarps and heaters can give you that extra bit of control as well. So, if you just have to get the job done, make sure you’re prepared. And an extra pair of socks will go a long way.

For more advice on getting your winter painting projects completed, give us a call.

What’s The Difference Between Interior and Exterior Paints?

Different paints have different properties, and are formulated for different purposes. Interior paint is made to be scrubbed, resist staining, and allow cleaning. Exterior paints are made to combat against fading and mildew. When starting a painting project, it’s important to know the differences between the two and choose the right paint.

In order to understand the difference between exterior and interior paints, you will need to learn a bit about the chemistry behind paint. Read on for an introduction to the main components of all paints.

First, some basics about paint

The components of all paints contain pigments, solvents, additives and resins. In latex paint, the solvent is water, while in oil-based paint the solvent of choice is mineral spirits. The solvent is what causes the paint to be ‘wet’. As paint dries, the solvent will evaporate. You are left with the resins, pigments, and additives, which are the lasting ingredients.  The pigment is the color, which is bound to the surface by the resin.  Resins can be made of epoxy, acrylic or even silicone.

Additives give paint different properties, such as resisting the growth of mildew, making the paint easier to apply, or even making it easier to clean.

In both types (interior and exterior) the solvents and pigments share similarities. You can use either oil-based or water-based paints outdoors, but for interior work oil-based paints are not usually used. The reason is their odor and difficulty to clean-up.

So, what’s the difference?

While there can be many subtle differences, the primary difference between interior and exterior paints is in their choice of resin. You will remember that the resin is what binds the pigment to the surface. In an exterior paint, it is important that the paint can survive temperature changes and being exposed to moisture. Exterior paint also must be tougher and resist peeling, chipping, and fading from sunlight. For these reasons, the resins used in binding exterior paints must be softer.

For interior paint where temperature is not a problem, the binding resins are more rigid, which cuts down on scuffing and smearing.

Where should you use one over the other?

The added resins in exterior paint can cause outgassing, that may last up to 48 hours, but usually continues in small amounts for years. This is one reason you wouldn’t want to use exterior paint indoors. Choose a flat sheen exterior paint for masonry and stucco, as this will allow the surfaces to breathe, and allow moisture to breathe through the paint to escape. Brick walls especially should be allowed to breathe, as moisture transfer is to be expected with brick.

Interior paints are delicate in comparison with exterior paints, but don’t outgas in the same way, making them safer to use indoors. You should still make sure there is adequate ventilation when painting indoors. For an indoor surface, you may need to clean and scrub, choose a glossy finish interior paint, as they resist scrubbing better than flat surfaces, which can smear.

As a final note, we should mention that there are paints that are both interior and exterior, and can serve either purpose. These paints can be quite useful and versatile, but do have some tradeoffs. When in doubt about what type of paint to use, talk to a professional painter, or come into our store and ask our highly knowledgeable staff.

Exterior Paint Buying Guide

When working on an exterior painting project, choosing the right paint is crucial. It may not always be obvious, but the paint used is directly proportional to how long it is going to last. Choosing the wrong paint usually means having to repaint again just after winter or summer destroys your work. In today’s post, we are going to cover a bit of the basics about how to choose the right exterior paint for your project, and how to make sure that it not only looks great, but protects the materials that you are painting on, and resists the weather’s attempts to fade and peel the paint. Remember, when buying exterior paint there is more consider than simply choosing the paint colour.

Oil-Based vs Water-Based

The first choice that presents itself is whether to choose a water-based paint, or an oil-based paint. Water-based paints, such as acrylic or latex paint, contain a pigment and binder in a water solution. These paints dry much faster, and are not flammable. Water-based paints also retain their color for a much longer time than other paints, and are breathable, so they do not trap any moisture inside of the coating. They also boast a more glossy finish than oil-based paints.

Oil-based paints, like an alkyd paint, are used when surface penetration is a key goal. They are usually composed of a pigment with a resin contained in a solvent thinner. After application, the thinner evaporates, and leaves behind a hard coating of pigment. Downsides here are that it takes a bit longer to dry, however it does leave a smoother finish, with less imperfections and better flow.

Finishes and Sheens

The next question arises when choosing the sheen, or finish. The sheen can be flat, glossy, or satin, or a mixture of a couple of different types. Choose a flat sheen for walls and fences. This will cover up any imperfections in the wood or wall that would normally be visible with a glossy sheen. Flat finishes do tend to be harder to clean, so be aware of that.

A glossy sheen will be a lot easier to clean, while being shiny and quite resistant to weathering. These are usually chosen for outdoor furniture, doors, window sills, and the like. Satin finishes are slightly glossy and good for most surfaces; they are also easy to clean and they tend to hide imperfections like a flat paint does.

Primers

Choosing a proper primer for your job depends mostly on the material being painted on, and the paint that is going to be applied over the primer. Primers are also made in both oil-based and water-based varieties. An oil-based primer can be used with either oil or water-based paint, however, a water-based primer is only recommended for use with a water-based paint. Always make sure to prime surfaces such as wood, or other stripped and bare surfaces before applying paint.

Priming a surface will allow the paint to adhere much better and last a lot longer. Be aware that there are specific types of primers used depending on the surfaces, such as wood primer, steel primer, et cetera. Some paints are actually paint and primer in one so that you don’t need to worry about choosing a primer. These are great, however, for most jobs, it’s recommended to use a separate primer coating.

In closing, there are many different formulas of paint, primer, and in-between. The one you choose should reflect the surface and location of your project. Be aware that a good exterior paint will also protect your surface materials from weather damage, and won’t peel or crack as easily. Good paints also tend to keep their color much longer, with less fading.

So remember, there is much to consider when buying exterior paint and it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional at your local paint store before making your final decision.