The hard thing about “hard times” is keeping it from getting “harder” down the road. Rory Vaden in Seven Principles of a Balanced Life puts it this way: “The short term easy leads to the long term difficult, while the short term difficult leads to the long term easy.”
I share this to point out the value of maintaining the protective paint coatings on your home. This applies mostly to exterior painting, but can apply to some interior situations also. Many people, when theirs or the country’s economy is bad, have deferred painting of their homes until their budget allows. Very understandable, but at some point the long-term damage should begin to override the short-term gains.
“Painting: The art of protecting flat surfaces from the weather and exposing them to the critic.” – Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary – US author & satirist (1842 – 1914)
This author has it right! Many people don’t realize, that as painting contractors, our first priority is to protect the surfaces we coat from damage. Our coatings are actually sacrificial so the substrates don’t have to be. And that’s a good thing because painting is cheaper than replacing. Of course, aesthetics, or how it “looks” is usually what’s most important to the property owner, and keeps us as professional estimators and craftsmen sharp. Protective coatings in balance with decorating permeate our painting processes and specifications. The goal is to have a well preserved substrate with a perfectly pleasing look.
Consider these concepts when you contemplate exterior painting:
- Foundation stem walls and wood fascias are the first to go. Bare wood substrates become damaged quickly.
- Hairline stucco cracking is most likely an aesthetics issue only. Find a coating solution, and don’t allow “patching” of every hairline crack. It could telegraph through permanently destroying the aesthetics.
- A faded coating probably all ready signifies substandard substrate protection Heavy chalkiness is not solved by a simple pressure washing, and paint cannot stick to a chalky surface for long, and then it becomes a nightmare to correct.
- Even small quantities of lead paint dust is dangerous especially to renovators and children. Pre-1978 homes see the EPA/lead website.
- There is no universal primer!
- Pressure washing the “haboob” dust out of your stucco could brighten the look enough.
- Low bid is not necessarily the best bid, and “apples to apples” is hard to get to.
- Highly regarded manufactures have low-end, poor quality paints also.
- Paintjobs should last 8 to 12 years at least (with MTS’s suggested specifications). Many painters sell a 2 year paintjob which coincides with the Registrar of Contractor’s required warranty. Contractor warranties should be for labor & materials.
- Proper prep simply equals = clean, tight, dry, & dull
- Color matters! Especially to you the homeowner, but also to the type of material and application processes specified, and to bring out the best of the substrates applied to.
- Instead of investing in a 2 coat system try increasing the quality of coatings for more cost-effectiveness. The labor cost is much more expensive than the materials.
- 2 coat painting system equals = full manufactures recommended thickness with proper dry time between coats.
- Backrolling and spraying 2 directions is rarely needed and is a replacement for improper spray technique. Training matters!
- Naturally finished (stain & clear coat) wood and fiberglass doors with high UV ray exposure have shorter life spans than opaque coatings. Usually 2 years or less with original coatings and maybe 4 years for well maintained and very high quality clear coatings.
- Consistent moisture intrusion (sprinklers) is difficult to protect against for any coating.
- Efflorescence (white powdery substance that tastes salty) is not a paint coating failure.
- Without a contract, proper contracting license, and Liability & Worker’s Compensation insurances YOUR monetary risks increase greatly, and reduced abilities to recoup damages if poor workmanship issues and/or injury lawsuits occur.
MTS Painting is proud to be a fully legal company with protections for our clients, the public, and our employees. Trust MTS Painting for the most professional paintjob available. Ask these questions and more before you hire a painting contractor. PAINTING WITH INTEGRITY is our motto for good reason!