At Home: Surface prep, repairs key to painting home exterior – News – The Topeka Capital-Journal

Experts recommend painting exterior wood paneling every seven to 10 years to prevent paint from peeling, bubbling, and cracking, which can lead to exposure to water, rot, and costly repairs. While investing in a professional paint job will save homeowners money in the long run, the cost can range from a few thousand to several thousand dollars depending on the size of the home.

It might be tempting to try the do-it-yourself approach to save money. However, homeowners should consider several factors before going on their own, including the height of their home and whether they have access to the tools they need.

“If a homeowner can do this safely and has the equipment to do this, it’s probably fine as long as they follow the paint manufacturer’s recommendations,” said Josh Barr, owner of Graystone Painting & Refinishing. “It’s terribly unsafe if you don’t have the right equipment.”

Before hiring a professional, he recommends homeowners collect the following information:

• Is the painter or the company insured? Do you have employee insurance in the event of an accident at work?

• How long have you been in business?

• What kind of paint will you use?

• Request a detailed quote that covers surface preparation, labor, and material costs so you know exactly what you are getting.

Barr said the offer should include high quality exterior paint and the cost of necessary repairs such as replacing boards due to wood rot. Many contractors offer free estimates, while others apply credit notes from an estimate to the final invoice when they are hired on the job.

“Some contractors bid by square feet, some by consideration, and others by the developed area method we use,” Barr said.

Once you’ve collected bids and selected a painter, the weather conditions must be right before you can proceed. Barr says the temperature is not only dry outside, but it also plays an important role in the paintwork.

“The temperature must stay above 35 degrees for at least 48 hours,” he said.

In Kansas, unpredictable weather means that the best time to paint can vary from year to year.

“Depending on the weather, we painted the exterior from March to December,” said Tim Horgan, owner of Education Painting, which also specializes in decks and window glazing.

According to Horgan, the first step to getting a professional paint job is to prepare surfaces.

“Thorough pressure washing removes dirt, loose paint, cobwebs and wasp nests and cleans all surfaces,” he said.

Next, any necessary repairs are made and any loose paint is scraped off and sanded to a smooth finish.

Cavities or spaces, such as. B. between siding and cladding or window and cladding are sealed with sealant to prevent water from entering cracks.

“Without this step, water can get into these spaces and promote rot,” said Horgan. “We seal it so everything is protected.”

Finally, the primer is applied to each bare wood and then painted. Horgan says his team spray on the first coat of paint and then brush it back for better adhesion and filling in tiny cracks.

“It is so important to take care of your home,” he said. “We’re not afraid to take over the jobs of older homes, and we want to make sure we can take care of whatever needs to be done for your home. We are proud of that. “

Older homes, especially those built before 1978, can contain leaded paints, which can pose an environmental hazard if not disposed of properly.

“If your home was built prior to 1978, get a company that is a Kansas Healthy Homes and EPA Certified Renovator. Storing and disposing of old paint and having the appropriate tools are important, ”said Josh Barr. “It’s a security problem.”

Barr and Horgan say the painting business in Topeka and the surrounding area is booming during the COVID-19 pandemic as people seek refuge and work on home improvement projects.

“We’re busier than we should be, even if this wasn’t happening,” said Barr. “We follow CDC guidelines and do digital estimates.”

Both companies have roughly two weeks to spare, so homeowners interested in getting in their books for this spring should call now.

“We all have home improvement projects and then we get over our heads,” said Horgan. “It helps to have a professional to walk you through the most important steps.”

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