Painting and Restoring an Old Home

Old Boston House Painting RestorationRestoring an old home can be much more difficult than simply re-painting a newer structure, but it is a good investment and well-worth the effort. In addition to updating the paint, it is also sometimes necessary to do repairs and other restoration work at the same time. Because of these common obstacles, it is in the best interest of the home owner to hire a professional painting company that has experience working with this type of project.

Inspect the Exterior
There are several different issues that can affect a house at any age. Older homes will typically have more of these issues than newer homes, simply because most of these problems will arise over time due to weather, neglect or poor priming and preparation techniques over the years.

  • Mildew
    Mildew is a problem that many people in the northeast contend with every year, after a particularly wet winter or summer storm season. Mildew will grow quickly on any organic surface, such as the wood structure within your home. If not removed completely, it can begin to grow – even underneath fresh paint.
  • Moisture
    In addition to concerns about mildew, where there’s moisture there are other problems. The wood in your home naturally expands and contracts after contact with moisture. This can cause the paint to peel, loosening the coating effect of the paint, exposing your home even more to the elements.
  • Blisters
    Blistering can be caused by moisture or heat. Interior moisture is drawn to the exterior of the home and is then heated by the summer sun, which then vaporizes the water behind the paint film, leaving behind a pocket that looks like a blister or bubble. Not allowing a surface to dry long enough after washing or exposure to wet weather before painting will also cause blisters to form.
  • Chalking
    Chalking is caused by an actual breakdown of the paint’s coating binder following UV exposure from the sun. Underlying causes of chalking include paint that was spread too thin, thinned out too much before painting or surfaces that weren’t properly primed and sealed.
  • Checking
    The term checking refers to a phenomenon that happens when the top coating layer of the paint breaks. The paint then cracks, creating larger breaks that can go all the way down to the primer level. Flaking then occurs as the broken coating layers come completely apart from the surface.

Preparation is Key
You will be able to instantly tell if your contractor knows his stuff by the way he starts the job. Surface preparation to overcome maintenance issues before any painting is done to prevent coating failures. Once the home has been checked for the problems mentioned above and any necessary repairs have been made, it’s time to clean and prep for painting.

A pressure washer should be used to clean the entire exterior of the home at a setting no higher than 500 psi, to avoid any damage to the wood. All surfaces should then be cleaned with a solution of water, bleach and TSP to kill any mold and mildew spores. Any loose paint should be removed through a combination of processes, including sanding, scraping or stripping.

An Ounce of Prevention
If mold and mildew were a problem in the home, it is important to take the necessary steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. One way to do this is through regular inspections and maintenance. Check the sides of the home that get a southern exposure for extra wear and tear caused by the sun, rain and wind. A northern exposure will generally have more problems with mold and mildew and should be regularly cleaned with a water, bleach and TSP solution to control growth.

Touch up painting as well as complete coats of fresh paint should be done as needed to protect the surfaces from these problems. Consulting with a professional painting company that has years of experience in overcoming these regional issues can help you to restore your home and prevent future problems.

With over 30 years of experience serving clients in the greater Boston, Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire regions, Donovan Painting has a dedicated team of estimators, foremen and painters working closely with each client to ensure that every project exceeds expectations. Customer satisfaction is our number one priority. Call today for a free estimate at 617-864-2184.