Your home is likely the largest investment you'll ever make. So when it starts to look worn down on the outside because of flaking paint, mildew, weathering or even dirt, it's time to take action. You can hire a professional painting contractor to expertly prep your home and give it a face lift with a few good coats of paint. But what steps will they take to make sure your home is fully prepared for painting? Here are a few things they might do.
It's important for the exterior to have a clean surface before painting begins. This helps the paint stay on for much longer. Depending on the condition of your home, your painting contractors may perform one or all of the following cleaning methods.
Scrape Old Paint - When a home's paint has seen better days, it might have more paint chipping off of it than sticking to the surface. Painting over chipped paint only masks a problem, leading to more chipping in the future. The remedy is to scrape all loose and chipped paint away, once and for all! Contractors will use a decent sized putty knife (in the shape of a half circle with a pointed but not sharp edge) to pull up old paint. It's not necessary to strip the paint down to the wood.
Brush Away Dirt - Some homes are simply covered with too much dirt and grime to allow paint to adhere properly. Your contractor may use a long-armed scrub brush with cleaning solution and water to scrub away stuck-on debris. They will also thoroughly rinse the surface, as the cleaning solution can cause paint problems, too.
Power Wash - A faster alternative to scraping and brushing is using a pressure washer. For only mildly deteriorating exteriors, a pressure washer can remove most flaking paint and dirt. The painter will take special care to avoid windows, as the pressure can shatter windows easily. They will also go in a horizontal or top-down motion to avoid water damage underneath boards or shingles.
If you live in a wet climate, like the Pacific Northwest or near any cold seaside climate, your home may experience mildew problems. It's hard to differentiate between mildew and dirt, so your contractor may do a bleach test to determine if you really have an issue with mildew. If the bleach leaves a clean spot, it's likely mildew. All your contractor has to do is wash the house with a special mildew remover and rinse thoroughly.
Once your home is clean, the contractor may take steps to repair rotted or damaged wood. Then they can begin to paint the exterior with paint that will last for years to come.