4  FM quick reads on paint

1. Maintaining Exterior Painted Wood

To avoid damage to any exterior wood elements of your building, it's important to repaint exterior wood every five years. Paint serves as a protective coating, and letting that coating deteriorate can be detrimental to the wood underneath.

At least once a year, inspect all exterior wood, especially areas that receive constant sun, constant shade or areas that may pool water. If you find any areas of discoloration, blistering, bubbling, peeling or cracking, it's past time to repaint. Staying on a 5-year painting schedule keeps not only the appearance of your building fresh, but also keeps the wood in good condition.

Green Paint Certifications

Evaluating paint choices based on green attributes can be confusing if you don’t know what to look for.

There are three main green paint certifications. Green Seal looks at VOC levels. It also evaluates chemicals used in the manufacturing process and develops its standards in a public forum.

The Master Painters Institute certification develops green performance standards that take into account both a paint’s environmental attributes and its performance.

Greenguard certification focuses on indoor air quality. Paint is tested by placing a sample in a chamber where purified air blown across it. The air is then measured for chemicals as it leaves the chamber.

To be sure that the paint you’re specifying is really green, look for one or more of these certifications on the product.

Finding an Exterior Painting Contractor

Selecting the right exterior painting contractor is just as important as the right paint. Choose a contractor who gives a good first impression and responds to any communication promptly. And if staying on schedule is of great importance to you, consider looking for contractors who don't have a reputation for excessive change orders.

Also be sure to obtain a full report on the painting team's safety training and record. Similarly, you must provide any hazards or potentially dangerous materials at the jobsite.

Pricing varies from contractor to contractor, but most consider 4 basic elements to determine the cost estimate: building size and height, number of windows and doors, and the amount of prep necessary. Be sure to get a complete set of plans from each contractor in order to compare apples to apples.

Paint Quality and Performance

Many factors go into evaluating paint. In general, as paint quality increases, so does the price of paint. Quality paints use higher cost components, which translate into higher product costs. This is not always the case, but it is a strong indicator of quality.

Quality paint will have a high percentage of solids. The more solids, the more dry paint left on the application as the liquid evaporates. A higher concentration of solids will make the paint flow better during application, require fewer coats, splatter less and have better hiding characteristics.

Quality paints will also contain prime pigments that cover better and higher percentages of acrylic binders in latex paints that allow better bonding and higher resistance to cracking.


paint , coating , wood , exterior , building envelope , maintenance

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