Weather’s effects on a home’s paint and stain finishes
The high temperatures that many across the country experienced, and in some areas, continue to feel beyond summer, could have had several effects on a home’s exterior paint or stain finishes. Direct sunlight, for example, can fade color overtime, and if some areas of the home are shaded by porch awnings, roofs, trees or other neighboring homes, an uneven color can be more noticeable as leaves fall and reveal more of the home. Some homeowners that attempted DIY painting or staining projects over the summer may also be noticing that their paint job is uneven, tacky or peeling and pulling off of the surfaces easily. Their coating likely did not adhere properly since not all paint and stain products are formulated to be applied in extreme temperatures.
As temperatures drop leading into fall and winter, the changing climate brings cold, dry winds mixed with snow and chances of ice. Any exterior surface area that paint or stain did not properly cure to could be vulnerable to the hazards these changing climate patterns carry. Any paint or stain that may still be on the surface can be chipped or flaked from wind or ice, and any moisture that makes it way to the surface of the wood or siding can damage the surface, which can become stained, discolored or softened from rotting or water damage.
Preparing to protect surfaces from weather hazards
To assess any areas of vulnerability at a home before starting a project, it’s extremely helpful if a homeowner is able to share the last date their exterior surfaces were refinished. A walk-around is also recommended to examine the state of the paint and stain finishes, including color, adhesion and water repellency. Some key signs of a home that needs to be refinished include:
- Water is not being whisked from the surface
- Paint and/or stain is peeling, pulling or lifting from the surface
- Areas of the home appear to be faded or discolored
For any areas that will be refinished, first remove any existing paint or stain with a stripping product, scraper or wire brush, depending on the surface*. Then, be sure to properly clean the surface with a wood or deck cleaner. After the surfaces have been fully prepped, they are ready to be resealed and finished.
Selecting the best products for the job needs to take several variables into account, such as the region, climate and time of year. For example, homes that receive a lot of direct sunlight throughout the year should consider a paint formula with excellent fade resistance. Knowing how important this is to the aesthetic of a home, we formulated UV-Protect Technology, the same automotive grade technology trusted by leading automotive manufacturers, in the new PPG TIMELESS® exterior paint and primer. The product also has a tough exterior finish for exceptional resistance to chipping, flaking and cracking while resisting mold, mildew and algae on the dry paint film to further protect the surface. Applying paint and stain finishes gets more difficult as the temperature gets colder, but some products allow for a wider timeframe for application, like the OLYMPIC® MAXIMUM® Stain + Sealant in One, which in some opacities can be applied in temperatures as low as 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, timing is of the essence when it comes to protecting a home’s exterior. Though there is still time to assess for vulnerability and address any potential hazards as the seasons change, it’s important to do so well in advance of winter climates.
*WARNING! If you scrape, sand, or remove old paint, you may release lead dust. LEAD IS TOXIC. EXPOSURE TO LEAD DUST CAN CAUSE SERIOUS ILLNESS, SUCH AS BRAIN DAMAGE, ESPECIALLY IN CHILDREN. PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD ALSO AVOID EXPOSURE. Wear a NIOSH-approved respirator to control lead exposure. Clean up carefully with a HEPA vacuum and a wet mop. Before you start, find out how to protect yourself and your family by contacting the National Lead Information Hotline at 1-800-424-LEAD or log on to www.epa.gov/lead.