Here Is Why Prep Is Extremely Important For Exterior Painting

exterior repainting

If you’re considering having your home’s exterior repainted, you might be wondering why there is a lot of focus and effort directed towards surface preparation in the painting estimate. You might have heard that the bulk of exterior painting work goes to surface prep, but what are some of the prep processes involved, and why is this important?

Indeed, it’s true that proper surface preparation before painting is critical to the final quality and durability of the paint job. But surface preparation can mean different things in different situations, and procedures used on a wood siding, for instance, might be inappropriate for stucco, aluminum or other material. Let’s take a quick look at some of the most common exterior surface prep procedures, and why they’re important.

1) Cleaning
The exterior of your home collects plenty of flying dirt, dust, and debris over the years, and this can quickly make your home look tired and aged. But most importantly, painting over this dirt and particles leads to poor paint adhesion and a less appealing final look. This is also one of the reasons why paint peels, bubble, and crack show within a few months of painting. It’s generally recommended that you pressure wash your siding and get rid of all the dirt and gunk before painting can proceed.

2) Sanding and Paint Scrapping
Many times, exterior paint will peel, crack, or bubble when its prime time is over. Painting directly over this loose paint leads to poor adhesion and creates an opportunity for the beginning of future paint failure. Usually, the old loose paint layer will eventually peel off, taking down with it the newly added coat of paint. This is why only the loose peeling, cracking and bubbling paint has to be scraped off and the surface sanded smooth before painting.

3) Mildew Treatment
If parts of your exterior are constantly exposed to moisture, chances are there’re molds and mildew starting to show up. This is common in high moisture areas, damp siding substrates and areas with a gutter or pumping leakage. Mildew and mold thrive in such high moisture areas.

Before painting, areas with mildew growth need to be treated using an appropriate mildewcide and the growth scrapped/washed off as part of surface prep. Painting over mildew affected, untreated areas will only cover them temporarily, but they will sprout back soon or later when the conditions are right. Also, any problem areas such as faulty gutters, downpours, roof, and plumbing should be addressed.

4) Repairs
As part of surface preparation, professional painting contractors can do minor surface repairs and light carpentry work where necessary, at a small extra charge. This might include replacing missing caulk and wood planks, filling in holes, drywall repair and so on. This is one of the reasons exterior home repainting is considered an invaluable home maintenance and value addition practice.

5) Priming
This is typically the last and equally important step in surface prep before paint can finally be applied. Paint doesn’t usually stick properly on bear surfaces, but it sticks pretty well on primed surfaces. Priming the exterior of your home leads to enhanced paint adhesion and increased durability. In addition, the primer helps to block and seal in any dark colors and stubborn stains that might otherwise bleed through your newly applied coat of paint.

The Bottom Line

As you can see, surface preparation is an extremely important part of exterior painting for better quality, durability and efficient painting. Failing to properly prepare the surface often leads to paint peeling, cracking, chalking and blistering.

At Aspen Painting, we take surface preparation very seriously before painting –we don’t do shortcuts. If you need professional help repainting your home’s exterior in Horsham, PA, Ambler, Dresher, Ft. Washington, or Blue Bell, we would be glad to assist. Simply call us today to get started.

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