"Winterizing" Your Home
If you are looking to get your home addressed before the cold weather hits, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Prep is PARAMOUNT:
- Scraping, sanding, pound in nails, and pressure washing. Give plenty of time (at least 24 hours or 48 hours if high temps are below 60 degrees) before caulking, priming or painting.
- Caulking on all gaps. Regular painters caulk is fine for small gaps (less than 1/8"). Some gaps are expanding where the siding is starting to buckle or by brick or stucco. Those gaps should be caulked with an elastomeric caulk (Sashco, SW Shermax, Dap Dynaflex 230). These will not only seal the gap, but expand with the opposing surfaces.
- Priming is key. The "Paint and Primer in One"myth is a marketing ploy targeted to a market segment that believes that this is new technology. After scraping and pressure washing, there is inevitably going to be some exposed substrate. I recommend using PeelBond (XIM), Peelstop (Zinsser) or Prime RX (Sherwin Williams). This will not only prime the surface, but also anchor down the remaining areas.
- When you are ready for topcoat, keep these things in mind: There are more paints these days that can be applied at 35 degrees, but number one; that is surface temp. In the shade 35 degrees may still have frost on it. Also, it takes some time for the paint to cure. It is generally prudent to stop painting by 3:00 to allow some cure time before the sun goes down.
Ready for topcoat:
- Remember the temp rule. Surface temp will affect adhesion and dry time. Remember to stop early painting enough in the day to get some cure before sundown. As we get closer to winter, the temperature drops are more dramatic and can cause "surfactant leaching". This is only cosmetic, but can be disheartening when you've spent so much time doing it right. Typically, the surfactants (literally soap) can be wiped off with a rag. Surfactants are additives that are added to latex paint to keep the paint suspended. A very good paint to use in the fall is SW Resilience. This has a faster cure time.
- Don't procrastinate!! If you have spent the time to scrape, caulk and prime the surface; finish the job before winter hits!! The topcoat is a resilient protection from the elements. If you don't finish the job, the surfaces will get dirty and potentially compromised through the winter months.
- How many topcoats? There are many brands that will state a long warranty, typically based on two coats. If you intend to hold the manufacturer to what they state on the label, make sure that you apply enough paint to cover for the recommended coats for the recommended mil thickness per coat. Also, save your receipts. The burden of proof is on the consumer. Don't depend on the paint store to have this information (their records only go back a few years). Also, if a painters is completing the job for you, ask for the receipts. They may not want to divulge their pricing to you, but even receipts that have the pricing blocked out will be sufficient for warranty purposes.
- Finally!! Done!! Enjoy you home for years to come!!