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Proper Raleigh Exterior House Painting Preparations Steps

Painting the exterior of your Raleigh home can be a large and expensive project.

Some experts say that you should spruce up the exterior of your house every “this” amount of years, while others may claim that a paint job can last up to “that” amount of years.

The location of your Raleigh home will have an impact on how well your paint job is maintained, but there are other ways to ensure you get the best value on your exterior paint job.

To save yourself from having to repaint the exterior of your home too often, it is crucial to take into account the proper steps to preparing the exterior of your home for painting.

Let’s make sure your future painting contractor plans on taking these steps prior to contracting your exterior house painting project.

1) Home Pressure Washing Details

The first step in every exterior house painting job is to assess the surface and materials your home is built from.

After the painter has a good idea of the condition of the siding surface, arguably the single most important 1st step is power washing. Power washing your home should remove all chipped and loose paint, mold or mildew, and any chipped wood or lose materials off the surface.

There are two different ways to power wash the exterior of your home, low and high-pressure power washing.

Using high-pressure washing can cause a lot of damage to your home. If the pressure is too high water can get into the walls causing water damage, blast away mortar from brick houses, and gouge wood siding. Water can also spray any leftover lead paint chips from older houses into your yard, leaving the chips open to children and pets who could ingest them.

Low-pressure power washing gets the exterior of your home clean and prepped for painting without the damage done by high pressure.

However, water alone will not properly prep your exterior for a lasting paint job. There are three important additives to properly power wash that will help your paint job last longer. This solution should be applied to the entire surface, not just places with visible mold or mildew growth.

The main agent used is sodium hypochlorite or bleach. The other two agents are copper sulfate and trisodium phosphate (without phosphorus). A higher solution to water ratio works more quickly and effectively to kill the living spores found in the mold, mildew, and moss.

Adding soap to the mixture can also improve results. If the solution to water ratio is too strong, it can damage your home and plants.

2) Scraping/ Sanding

Let’s make sure that the top-coat is bonding to a solid surface. Any loose paint that was not washed off should be properly scraped and sanded.  This is a very important step.

3) Spot Priming Raw, not primed or painted areas

Don’t believe the hype of paints being able to bond on their own. It’s just marketing. Even the disclaimer on the can will state not to paint over raw wood. But, we digress on that one. Just take our word for it. Primers are still needed!

4) Caulking and Sealing the Surfaces

After spot priming the exterior of your home, your painting contractor should now assess the surface again to caulk any open cracks in your siding and trim.

Caulking is a substance designed to seal the joint between two surfaces. It is important to make sure your contractor is using premium caulking.

A premium caulking product will seal cracks long term and help to keep your siding and trim dry during wet or damp weather. Having these areas sealed will inevitably help fight against wood rot and future paint failure.

Throughout extreme conditions, caulking will prevent insect damage and increase the effectiveness of your insulation. Meaning, keeping the cold weather and bugs where they belong, outside!

Caulking should be done at any gaps, in corners where the siding meets corner edge boards and around windows and door frames. Caulk any ledges where the siding meets brick or concrete and caulk the siding around any spigot or pipe that extrudes through your siding.

5) Putting the Nail Holes.

Don’t forget to set and seal those nails. All protruding nails should be reset and puttied smooth to the surface with painter’s putty.

Masking & Covering

When the exterior of your home has been properly power washed and prepped, it’s time to remove any nearby items that could get in the way of a great paint job.

Surfaces that are not meant to be painted should be masked or otherwise protected.

Plants and shrubs close to your home should be trimmed or tied back or covered so that they do not interfere with the painting process or while the paint is drying.

3 Short Additional Notes

1.) If the gutters and downspouts are being painted the downspouts should be removed and painted.

2) If possible, all shutters should be removed and painted after the home is painted.

3)The house should be re-inspected for any missing caulk and re-caulked where it is necessary.

Concluding Your Exterior House Painting Project

Prep work is the key to a lasting exterior painting job. To ensure that your paint job continues to look fresh, be sure to low-pressure power wash your home once a year to keep any mold or mildew at bay.

At A Touch of Color Painting, we provide professional services at fair prices and take extreme care in the preparation process of exterior house painting.

We are a locally owned midsized company that specializes in exterior house painting and repairs.  We provide services to the Raleigh, Wake Forest, Cary, and Chapel Hill areas.

Please call us today with questions Contact Us or call us to receive a free estimate at 919-426-4928!

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